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 : Food-tourism on a budget

I daresay eating or makan-makan in Indonesia as a tourist is affordable and clean at most places. We are able to have our meals at decent air-conditioned restaurants with a price tag way cheaper than in Malaysia. Imagine a meal set for two in a fast food chain, TEXAS CHICKEN for instance, only costs us MYR 12.

And our most hefty meal at AYAM GORENG KALASAN which included a dessert even, later amounts to only MYR 25. Alhamdulilah.. kenyang. 


We were off to a happy start when our pre-booked meal of Nasi Padang  (MYR12/meal) on the Air Asia flight proved to be delicious. Like pure chewy daging rendang on board the plane! We underestimated how quick the journey could be because as soon as we opened the aromatic, piping hot packaging.. the flight attendants were already bringing the black plastic bag around to collect the rubbish. Argh.. panik. I blom makan.. 

Mr Husband ate, well …  swallowed it all in a jiff. I chose to pack it for dinner later at the hotel. There wasn’t enough time for a quick photo too but we did have a snap of our meals during the return flight from Medan to KLIA2. This time it was Nasi Lemak Pak Naseer and Nasi Tomato with Ayam Percik. The latter dish was Hazeeq’s favourite. He kept asking for more ‘matik’ [read=nasi] throughout the flight. The percik was a bit spicy for the boy but he liked the rice anyway.




And if I heard it correctly.. I think Air Asia is introducing a Kids Meal on board soon.

Great.“With Air Asia, every kid can eat”

Cafe Bang Memeng,

Komplek Istana Maimun



This was an impromptu breakfast meal. We were secretly scouting for the Halal logo from the few eateries (gerai) available within the grounds of Istana Maimun. Then, jeng jeng jeng.. we spotted one of the cooks in a hijab. So in the spirit of InsyaAllah Halal.. we ordered simple nasi goreng with jus durian belanda.



Fried Rice with Durian Belanda juice





Perhaps this is not a tourist-y destination, but we were willing to try anything for lunch. Especially since we don’t have a proper tour guide to consult. Plus we couldn’t find the famous Restoran Garuda most bloggers went to during their trip to Medan. Still, Jo’s Tea House was not disappointing. A very pretty lady came to take our order. Prettier than Bunga Cinta Lestari, I have to say.

Mr Husband tried the Mee Udon Medan. As for myself, I went for the Rawon Setan.Which is beef broth with bits of beansprouts and an egg. For a while, i thought the Rawon looked like brewed Jamu  – pretty spicy looking. Rawon was to be eaten with rice but well.. I just had rice for breakfast. Diet konon. Though I ended up nicking Hazeeqs Monte Cristo Banana Chocolate Bread. He was too busy posing for the camera in sipping the iced lemon tea.


To be honest, Rumah Hijau’s Banana Chocolate Cake lagik nyaman. And this Rumah Hijau is in Kuching, Sarawak. One of our must eat places when go back Kuching.




Dessert does not come any sweeter than the Es Nangka we had at this joint. Nangka is Jackfruit. It was overwhelmingly sweet thus we were glad we shared the bowl of Es (ICE). And to wash it down – another sweet coconut drink.


Continue reading

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!!