Day 2 – Medan
After a stressful evening dealing with lost credit cards, we woke up to a great morning. When we pulled away the curtains, it wasn’t as hazy as the day before. It seemed like there was a shower overnight so the sky was clear and the roads below quite wet.
When we were ready, we made our way to the restaurant for breakfast. It was still early so the restaurant wasn’t crowded yet. The buffet spread was quite huge with many different stations for different types of food.
Coffee was served when we took our seats. We went to the eggs station and ordered omelets and then proceeded to help ourselves with food from other stations.
Having collected our omelets and other food, we tucked into our first breakfast in Medan. We then went to get more food from other stations. There were dim sum items as well and we took some.
There was a whole table of sushi items which we skipped as we didn’t like sushi. Had our children come, they would be delighted. Of course, there were the usual rice and noodles and other local dishes as well. So the buffet spread was sizeable.
Bread, pastries and cakes were available as well and not forgetting local oleh-oleh and desserts. Fruit juice was from fresh fruits which was very good. We took different cuts of fruits as well and we were immensely satisfied. We were so full after breakfast when we left the restaurant.
So we decided to explore the hotel before returning to our room as we were too stressed and distracted the previous night due to losing my credit cards. We walked around the ground floor lobby first and took some pictures.
Just outside the restaurant was Gourmet Café where bread and cakes were available. Across from Gourmet Café was Prime Steak Restaurant. Next door was Jade Restaurant that was closed during the morning. Outside Jade Restaurant were moon cakes on display and for sale. Mid Autumn Festival was just around the corner.
We then walked further to take a look at the hotel lounge where we would be back for our welcome drinks during the evening. It was quiet at the lounge that morning.
Next we took a lift to the seventeenth floor to visit the fitness centre and swimming pool. It was still early, the spa and fitness centre were empty. So we went outdoor to have a look at the swimming pool area.
Due to the overnight shower, the seats and surrounding floor area were wet. But the sky was clear with no haze early this morning. We had unobstructed view of the city facing east and Centre Point Mall was just slightly on the right. As this was a Sunday morning, the city was quiet and the roads were not busy as seen from above.
The swimming pool wasn’t very big but looked clean. However, the wooden floorings were uneven and in need of repairs. The pool was empty as well but by the time we left, two guests came and took their plunge into the pool for a swim.
We then left the swimming pool and returned to our room. Having made ourselves comfortable and looking out from our room windows where we could see Grand Aston City Hall Hotel on our extreme left and Hotel Aryaduta Medan and Palladium Mall on its right after the bridge, we decided to take a walk there to visit those places.
Before we left JW Marriott Hotel, we approached concierge to enquire about the shuttle bus schedule to Centre Point Mall. We would be shopping at Centre Point Mall later and would like to catch a ride back to Marriott Hotel.
With the information we required obtained, we walked out of Marriott Hotel and turned left to walk towards Grand Aston City Hall Hotel. It was a cool and quiet Sunday morning after the overnight shower and that was why we didn’t mind a slow walk to the city centre.
The pavements on both sides of the road were not in good conditions. There was water ponding on some parts of the road due to the overnight shower. So we had to take precaution walking on the pavements and at the same time avoiding the ponding area to prevent being splashed by vehicles on the road.
In under ten minutes, we arrived at Grand Aston Hotel with Merdeka Walk just across the road. Merdeka Walk was quiet during the day.
So we made our way into Grand Aston Hotel for a look. We stayed at this hotel twice last year so we had good impression of the hotel. The Spa Centre was only meant for their VIP members and hotel guests so we didn’t have the chance to go for a massage.
So we left Grand Aston Hotel and turned left and walked across the bridge towards Hotel Aryaduta Medan. We entered the hotel and took a lift to the ninth floor hotel lobby and swimming pool level. We had not stayed at this hotel before so we came for a quick visit and used the toilets before leaving the hotel to do some shopping next door at the Palladium Mall.
As we approached the entrance of Palladium Mall, cubicles set up by Matahari Departmental Store were out there with loud blaring music attracting shoppers to take a look at what was on offer. There were cubicles of clothes and shoes and prices seemed to be very good.
We entered the mall and since it was nearly 10 am, most of the shops in the mall were still not opened yet. However, Matahari Departmental Store was opening and their sales staff were having some motivational song and dance at the entrance of the store to begin a brand new day of providing excellent customer service to shoppers.
So we went into the store and spent sometime there that morning. My dear wife bought some clothes and shoes for herself and our girls. This was time for me to take a seat at the shoes section to rest and play with my phone.
Next, we went to the ground floor and shop for a pair of sports shoe for our younger son at Sports Station. There were quite a lot of selections from Nike, Addidas, Reebok, New Balance and others. Having tested several pairs on my feet which is the same size as our younger son, we decided to settle on a pair of New Balance running shoe with a discount of 50%. So this pair of sports shoe cost only 400,000 IDR.
Palladium Mall wasn’t very big and many shops were still closed on Sunday near to noon, so we made our way out to look for a bluebird taxi to send us to Centre Point Mall. A bluebird taxi was waiting near the entrance so we boarded and told the driver to send us to Centre Point Mall. In about 5 minutes, we arrived at Centre Point Mall. Taxi fare was 15,000 IDR but we paid him 20,000 IDR. Taxi fare for the previous night’s ride from Centre Point Mall to JW Marriott Hotel was 24,000 IDR but we gave the driver 30,000 IDR. A few thousand rupiah may not seem a lot to us but to these drivers trying to feed their families, a little bit helps along the way.
Centre Point Mall was busy this Sunday afternoon. People were entering and leaving the mall and with cars coming into the entrance of the mall, it was a little congested. Once inside the mall, it was a pleasant experience with good air-conditioning providing a more conducive environment for shopping and dining.
It was a busy day at Centre Point Mall so we went back to the Grand Duck Restaurant we had dinner the night before for lunch.
It was crowded this time. We could not find a table inside the restaurant. A waiter directed us to a table outside the restaurant. In fact, most of the tables outside the restaurant were already occupied. We settled down and my wife ordered their signature duck noodles while I had curry beef noodles. We also ordered two glasses of avocado juice and another glass of kiwi juice. We were more tired and thirsty than hungry after our sumptuous buffet breakfast in the morning. Our food came and we had a nice lunch and the bill came up around 150,000 IDR.
Happy with our lunch, we went shopping and walked from level to level. The food court on the top floor was interesting with stalls offering different food from neighbouring countries. Eventually we were back on ground floor.
Since we had already bought clothes and a pair of running shoe at Palladium Mall, there was nothing else we needed to buy at Centre Point Mall. However, we bought a T-short that was on offer for our son from H&M Store.
We went to the information counter to enquire about the shuttle bus from JW Marriott Hotel. We were given a schedule and requested to wait at the entrance. The entrance was actually a very busy place with vehicles and human traffic coming and going.
After waiting at the entrance for a while which was a little hot and hazy, we decided to enter the mall to wait under air-conditioned environment. There was an event at the main hall so we hung around and watched the activities happening there.
Eventually, the shuttle bus from JW Marriott Hotel arrived. Staff at the mall informed us to head to the entrance and we boarded the bus. There were only two other men together with my wife and myself taking the shuttle bus back to the hotel. The surrounding area at the mall was a little congested. Nevertheless, we arrived JW Marriott Hotel in about ten minutes.
With our shopping done, we returned to our room. We took pictures of the shoes and sent them over to our children back home via whatsapp. They were very happy about the purchase and looked forward to our return the next day to try out on the shoes.
Now that we were free we could simply enjoy the hotel room and watched TV. It was a good time to rest again as our previous night was not so enjoyable due to having to deal with the loss of my credit cards. There were so many international channels to explore and watch, as such, we were not bored. The few hours passed so quickly and it was time for dinner. So we went down to the lobby and went to the restaurant.
Surprisingly, the restaurant was rather empty. We felt very cold in our room where the thermostat didn’t seem to be working properly. So we requested for warm water and were given.
I ordered carbonara while my wife ordered nasi goreng. Basket of bread and butter came first and the amount was quite a lot with different varieties.
Our food came shortly after so we took our time to enjoy our dinner. The quality of the food was good and prices quite reasonable as well.
After dinner we went to front desk to request to use the computer to do our online check in for our flight for the next day. We were shown to a computer next to check in counter. Unfortunately, the computer required an access code. So Ilham brought us to the executive lounge on the sixteenth floor to use the computers over there.
We managed to get to the airline’s website but we were not allowed to check in online. So we spent a bit of time to hang out at the lounge before going down to the lobby to have our welcome drinks at the lobby lounge.
The lounge was quite quiet as well. A pianist was playing some oldies and sentimental songs and it was pleasant. We were offered fruit punch so we sat down for some time to enjoy the music and ambience in the lounge. After having consumed our drinks, we left the lounge and headed back towards the restaurant.
We went to the Gourmet Café to purchase some bread to bring home the next day. It was after 8 pm and all bread and cakes were given 50% discount. We bought quite a number of bread as well as a slice of avocado cake for supper later. We had actually wanted to buy a whole avocado cake but we feared the cake might go bad when we leave Medan the next day in the afternoon.
With our purchase done, we returned to our room for more TV programs. The room was really huge and airy. We really liked our room but the temperature in the room was a little on the low side due to a faulty thermostat.
Coffee time came and we enjoyed our coffee and tea and shared the piece of avocado mousse cake. It was really very good. How we wished we could purchase a whole cake and bring home with us.
It was getting late into the night watching our favorite Hong Kong TV channel. So with bed time beckoning, we turned off the TV and lights and concluded our relaxing day of shopping in Medan City.
Continue to Day 3 …