September 11, 2011

"Rahmat" International Museum & Wildlife Gallery

Address: Jl. S.Parman No.309, Medan

I found this place very interesting and I would definitely recommend you to go here when visiting Medan. This museum showcases preserved wildlife animals such as elephants, bears, orangutans, deers etc. The skin, teeth and nails of all the animals showcased are real. It is owned by Rahmat Shah, a successful business man and professional hunter. Some of the animals are hunted by Rahmat himself.

At first, I was a bit apprehensive seeing all the animals in the museum (there are many!). However then one of the staffs explained that only a small portion of the museum's collection is from his hunting trips. And when hunted, it is based on conservation regulations: only hunt animals with large populations, or ones that are old. She continued explaining that most of the animals at the museum died in zoos, or were donated or purchased legally.

The museum consists of 2 floors and is divided into sections depending on the species. Nearing the end of the trail, it did get a bit weird with trophies of his sons & daughter on display which had nothing to do with wildlife conservation
(?!?!). But overall, hats off to his dedication in keeping this museum up and running!

Entrance fee is Rp. 25,000 for adults.

September 4, 2011


Medan is the capital city of the North Sumatra province. There are a few landmarks that are the must sees of the city.

1. Istana Maimun
(Maimun Palace)
Address: Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Medan

This palace was built by the Deli Sultanate which used to rule over Medan. It's yellow facade makes it easy to spot from afar but unfortunately, the last time I went there in 2008, the palace looked quite neglected upon closer look.

Maimun Palace ca. 1890-1905

Maimun Palace 2008

2. Mesjid Raya (Grand Mosque)
The mosque's name is actually Al-Mashun mosque, but it is better known as Mesjid Raya.
It lies not far away from Maimun Palace. This mosque is still actively used until today however, again I saw signs of "insufficient funds" :(

I skipped these landmarks during my trip to Medan this year. Instead, I went on "safari" :) Will blog about it in the next couple of days....

September 3, 2011

Pulang Kampung

Busy busy busy...that's my excuse for neglecting this blog. June-July was a HECTIC period at the office as usual, because it were the months leading up to the Ramadan (the Islamic fasting month - many clients commissioned product testing projects which needed to finish before the Ramadan started).

Each year, the Ramadan period differs because it follows the Islamic calendar which is based on the moon cycle. It usually moves backwards by about 10 days. This year, the Ramadan was from late July - late August. So next year, it would probably be from mid July - mid August.

We then celebrate the end of the Ramadan with a Muslim holiday: Idul Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr in english).
In Indonesia, the official holiday lasts for 2 days but then in recent years, the government imposed a "joint holiday" a few days before and after the official Idul Fitri holiday.

This year, the calendar marked Idul Fitri to fall on a Tuesday & Wednesday. But...Monday, Thursday & Friday was announced as a joint holiday which means that we had the entire week off! Actually, the joint holidays are taken off of your annual leave so actually it is not something "free".

In Indonesia, the Idul Fitri holidays are like Christmas-New Year holidays. People go back to their hometowns to celebrate it with the extended family. We call it: pulang kampung (literal translation: go back to hometown). During this period, travel fare skyrockets, if not sold-out.

If you want to see Jakarta a bit less crowded, then this is also the time :) However, restaurants are very crowded because of course all the help has gone pulang kampung. Ahhh...Jakartans :P Quick side note: there are stories that some families even stay at hotels because they don't want to be bothered with all the chores!

Because my grandparents are no longer alive, usually my family and I don't go back to our hometown for Idul Fitri. But this year, we did. So I have a couple of posts coming up ahead to make up for all the time I haven't written anything :) Stay tuned...

Typical: Traffic jam because everybody is on their way pulang kampung

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