Medan 2014 : Shopping on a budget?


I can see why some people take pride in being able to do their shopping overseas. And I totally understand why online retailers and ‘pemborong’ in Malaysia gets euphoric while shopping in generally, Indonesia. Even I find it difficult to shop for my own collection without having to deal with the Indonesian retailer who keeps pushing for me to buy more so they could give me a good price.

For God’s sake, I just want 1 pair. Still, we gathered experience shopping at their many pajaks and malls.


Bless Medan for having Matahari departmental store. It reminds me of Aeon we have back home. We were lucky that Matahari was having a sale. Almost all the items on sale have a 50-75% discount – perhaps in conjunction with the Indonesia Independence Day  – and other offers include Beli 2 Gratis 1 (buy 2-free-1 deal).

I got myself a batik-motif jacket with a matching mustard top. Nice. Also a few other tops for my boy Hazeeq and nephew Adil.

I was however ‘conned’ into making a contribution to the store. The cashier was speaking so fast in her Indonesian accent that I ended up nodding my head – only to realize that she has deducted 50 000 IDR from my change for the donation. Pffftt.. I could buy another top with that.

I learnt my lesson though.Hence on my 2nd visit to Matahari at a different mall, I quickly said ‘enggak mahu sumbang.. mau kembali”. Sounds very kedekut but feeling mehh at the same time. I am a  tourist! He he.


I did not enjoy going here. In fact, we spent less than an hour at this place after I’ve got my travelling telekung.


While I agree the price tags were cheap, I dislike the idea of having these persistent peddlers following us everywhere and persuading us to buy things from them – key chain, kids clothes etc.. Even Mr Husband described them as a being ‘aggressive’.

After a half-hearted haggling session at one of the stores, we angkat kaki and left the place.

I secured these travelling telekung for 60 000IDR/piece. I have to say though that the material was super lembut and not transparent which was important for prayer. I currently don’t wear them for my travels but use it in the comfort of my own home. Its like too attention seeking to wear a minty green telekung in public.



Medan Mall reminds me of Wisma Satok, Kuching with more variety despite its small size. It is also connected to a another open-air pajak and that is where the shopping happens. I bought 3 jubah/long dress and a mini batik top. The jubah price ranges from 180 000 IDR/piece. Some garments are sold at as low as 100 000 IDR but agak-gaklah kan.. murah tuh murah tapi kualiti???



This was Mr Husbands favourite place. He morphed into a masculine shopaholic and of course, he treated me to a few clothes as well. Hehe.. rezeki jangan ditolak. Hazeeq and I ended up sitting at the side, exhausted while waiting for him to get the best deal. We wanted baju batik sedondon and material -wise was a challenge. Men can’t wear silk and most nice designs were made from silk.



Still, he walked out from the place a very happy man as we managed to find what we were looking for plus a few telekung and jubah for his mother. I was a happy wife too.. yeay yeay baju baru lagi.. 


Last but not least, we also strolled at this mall. This was like any other shopping malls we have in Malaysia. I browsed through their selection of hijabs and scarfs at the little boutiques but I daresay that tudung designs by our young Malaysian entrepreneurs online lagi classy and interesting. So if you want to shop for hijabs, JOM VISIT MALAYSIA.


In between our shopping session, we also come across nice smelling bakeries and local products yang sedap. Hmmm.. local ke.. tak sure.. but we did brought back boxes of tea and coffee to try at home.


The days in Medan were definitely well spent. We burnt calories by walking/shopping and as for Hazeeq.. I guess he is glad for naptime.


Medan 2014 : Istana Maimoon

Istana Maimoon has got to be the one and only tourist attraction we went to. The fun point of the visit was to play dress up and have our photos taken as the Sultan and Sultanah of long ago.


It was cheap thrill in a positive way. It costs a mere 10 000 IDR per person per costume and if we choose to have our photo printed out – it just costs another 10 000 IDR.

Total cost : a priceless 40 000 IDR ( = MYR10)

a very sulky and angry little prince


There was no entrance fee but we were encouraged to give some donation. Unlike temples or tourist sites in Cambodia, there was no donation box but we trust the nice, elderly man would keep the money for the good of the palace. In fact, he was like a human money exchange as he announced the value of our IDR donations in ringgit Malaysia.

” ini sumbangannya baru 5 ringgit bapak.. mau bagi lagi?’

Medan : The Itinerary and Grand Angkasa International Hotel

“With Air AsiaGo, every ibuk can fly”

Finally, I had my birthday trip to Medan last weekend. However, I should mention that this trip has no Brastagi. No Piso-piso Waterfall. Not even a visit to Paten or Hillpark Sibolangit. No Bika Ambon. Danau Toba? Forget it. We think that our dear boy Hazeeq could not stand the 6 hours journey in a confined space. Hence, the mini adventure was limited to just Bandar Medan.. and wow it was still a worthwhile birthday ticket for a party of 3.

1.00 MYR = 3,702.00 IDR

Why Medan you may ask. Why not Bandung or Jakarta. Well.. simply because it was cheap on AirAsiaGo. We were undoubtedly excited about the trip and took much time reading outdated blog entries regarding Medan,till we have overlooked an important fact. The international airport tax in Medan per se has risen to 200 000 IDR fr0m 75 000 IDR starting May 2014. Perghh… nasib jak ada duit lebih. Mun sik.. gine nak bayar yah..

Grand Angkasa international Hotel

In Medan, we lived like royalty.


We thought our hotel was a 3 star accommodation because of the price but it turned out to be a 5 star hotel.  They were also kind enough to give us a room with proper double bed instead of twin single beds that we initially booked. Breakfast was not included but what the heck.. makan luar ajalah.. As you can see, our days were liven up by the spirit of food and shopping. We went to every single pajak or mall we could think of with the BETOR (beca motor) as our favourite mode of transportation despite Hazeeq’s frequent refusal, “naik motor burok agi?”

a betor with a door

Here is a glimpse of our itinerary.

Fullscreen capture 2582014 90344 PM

Of course the room was clean, housekeeping was superb. Mr Husband made it a point for them to replenish our shower gels that have been used walaupun pada hakikatnya it has been stashed away.. he he. Beds were comfortable. TV reception was satisfactory. We even managed to catch up on movies like White House Down and G.I Joe during Hazeeq’s afternoon 3 hour nap.

Later, stories of shopping and our culinary adventure!!