The International Steam Pages


Every Day is Market Day, Berastagi 2017

This is part of our report on our visit to North Sumatra in 2017.  You can read about the rest of it from the links below.



Berastagi has two main markets, one just for plants and fruit / vegetables and another general one. They are justly famous among local and foreign tourists. 

The first is rather tidier and 'middle class', prices are at least 25% higher than elsewhere. The vegetables are instantly recognisable, while the fruits available include oranges, passion fruit (marquisa), mangosteens, avocados, salak, dragon fruit and even strawberries.

The second is the real treasure, a rabbit warren where every turn brings a new delight. The main meat is pork with some beef available. The chickens are guaranteed fresh. 

The quantity and variety of fish and other seafood is amazing. There are eels, cat fish, prawns, squid, mussels as well as fish. Also available are fresh water fish from the huge Lake Toba not far away, seen here being trucked in and kept in large tanks. It seems that fish that cannot be sold immediately is dried and salted.

If you're not one for meat, then tofu (soya bean curd) is widely sold and to make it more palatable you can add ready mixed sauces.

There are plenty of vegetables even if the ambience is not that of the premier market.

Not so much a lovely bunch but coconuts by the hundred, Yuehong is tasting palm sugar, of course she bought some!

There's plenty of fruit here too, of course. I love 'pisang goreng' (fried banana) but on this visit the exotica won hands down. We confined our purchases to the king (durian) and queen (mangosteen) of fruits, the combined bills would have come close to mine for the Bir Bintang.

And to get your purchases home, what better than taking a horse (kuda) and cart (delman/dokar)? 

To be honest, most people use the extremely frequent and cheap minibuses which run out to the local villages. They are rarely overcrowded and the latest ones come with all facilities: 

I suspect the four legged transport is mainly now used by tourists at the weekends. 


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

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