Get prepared for all that Bali has to offer – you will have it all brought to you on a golden platter, you will have to try hard to shake off all the hawkers, you will be offered all that you don’t need from drinks to stone massage to zipline to banana boat; and you will be expected to pay a much higher price than a local would… But once you get out of those ultra-touristy areas (that cover a big part of the island, but not all of it …yet) Bali can still impress you – beautiful landscapes, thousands of family temples, delicious street food, smiling and kind people (protip: when on tight budget and not willing to spend money on transportation, politely refuse all the scooter drivers that pull over offering to give you a ride for money, by telling them you will just walk; once he realizes you are serious and he won’t be able to squeeze…

Of all the countless islands of Indonesia I decided to visit two: Sumatra and Bali (Lombok doesn’t count as I was there for half a day only just to hop on a plane). Below are some impressions of Sumatran part of my trip.

I owe huge thanks to Rudy, the greatest ever couchsurfing host from Medan and to his flatmate William… It is them (and their jolly bunch of friends) I had a very soft landing in Indonesia and I got introduced to many a local custom. The care they took of me even felt too much at some point but only until I watched some videos of people getting mugged in many cruel ways at night (especially by guys on electric scooters)… It was only then that I understood better why my friends would always give their buddies a ride back right to their door and wait until they safely got in… And the security of Indonesian Chinese (and…