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Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

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Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

I have been asked by guests, which I met during my sunset beer in the Warung, and through PM’s to write a bit about traveling during the Super High Season and Room Rates in Tuk Tuk, so that guests are properly warned about what to expect.

Now first of all when is the Super High Season in Tuk Tuk. This is something nobody knows or can predict.

For sure it will be Super High Season just before and after New Year as well as following Hari Raja, Eid ul Fitr, the end of Ramadan.

Sometimes Christmas is Super High Season, however last Christmas was relatively quiet in Tuk Tuk, while New Year made up for that.

Normally, IMLEK, Chinese New Year, is Super High Season, however a few years ago the expected guests did not come. My feeling for coming IMLEK is that is going to be a real Super High Season. Coming IMLEK is scheduled from January 30 to Febr 4.

Regular transportation rates will go up by 10 to 20% and roomrates in Tuk Tuk may easily double, triple or even more.

Especially on Jan 31 and Febr 2 it may be very hard to arrange for private transportation from Medan or the Airport at a reasonable cost for the simple reason that all the cars will already be on the road to Parapat. On and after Febr 2 it will be the other way around, private transportation hard to arrange for in Parapat. Unfortunately this will hold also for public transportation and shared taxi seats. Trying to arrange for transportation for an off the Parapat – Medan route may become next to impossible.

Like around New Year coming IMLEK traveltime from Medan to Samosir with a private car, using the car ferry, may easily go up from the normal 7 hours to 15 to 20 hours.

Quite some guests are especially complaining about the common practice of guesthouses, accommodations and hotels in Tuk Tuk doubling, tripling or even more of the room rates during the Super High Season.

Sometimes, I am wondering whether the guest should really blame the accommodations for this practice or whether he should point the finger to somebody else.

Now let me put this ‘Practice’, in a bit of different perspective.

Generally speaking the break – even point for a hotel or first class guesthouse is somewhere around 50% accupancy.

In Tuk Tuk, where in quite some places facilities are very basic, maintenance non-existant, labour cost very low combined with an overall very low service level the break even point is much lower than the above mentioned 50 % occupancy rate. Let’s say 20% occupancy at this moment in time will do the trick.

So, how is this going to work out.

Take a guesthouse with a regular roomrate of Rp 100.000,-- per night. ( Euro 6,-- or something like US $ 9,-- per night)

With an occupancy rate of 20 % the expected, or hoped for, income from this room is minimum 70 nights at Rp 100.000,-- or Rp 7.000.000,--

Now during the really low season when most of the rooms in Tuk Tuk are empty the clever guest comes in and he going for a real tough negotiation. Using arguments like, if I stay with you for Rp 50.000,-- a night, your income is Rp 50.000,-- , if this is not acceptable I go to another place and you have nothing. And the deal is made for Rp 60.000,--

So how many real Super High Season Nights are for Sale. Let’s just say around Christmas and New Year, IMLEK and Hari Raja each 5. So 55 Low Season Nights and 15 Super High Season Nights.

It was hoped that the room would bring an income of Rp 7.000.000,--

Instead building this up regularly based on Rp 100.000,-- per night it now starts with;

55 nights at Rp 60.000,-- makes a total of Rp 3.300.000,--

To make up for the difference Rp 3.700.000,-- in 15 nights the room should bring in minimum Rp 250.000,--per night. (This in line with the normal practice of doubling or tripling the room rates during the Super High Season)

As said, sometimes I am wondering whether the guest should really blame the accommodations for this doubling, tripling rate practice or whether he should point the finger to somebody else. For example his fellow clever guest during who during very Low Season shows his exceptional negotiation skills.

HORAS !!! HORAS !!! HORAS !!! WELCOME TO TUK TUK. This week, very low season, or during IMLEK.

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21. Re: Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

Thank you for clearing that up for me...i will just have to go to BL after that, hope it doesn't take me 2 days heh.

The problem is that i am flying to Jakarta and still have no idea or to head north or south from there :) And my flight is in 15 hours!

So if I got it right - out of the airport in Medan, shared taxy for Parapat (cca 80.000), and then ferry to Samosir-Sosor Galung Jetty.

What taxy color should i pick - or better say, which is the best color to let it close?

And where can I have a beer with you Mr HorasSamosir?

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22. Re: Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

Hello Anka,

You can try to pre-arrange a shared taxi to pick you up from the Airport, such as Raja Taxi or Bagus Tours and Transport. The easiest way out for you is most likely NiceTrans shared taxi, just look for the information/taxi counter in the arrival hall or the taxi counter on your way out of the Airport and just ask for Nice Trans. Cost will be as you said some Rp 80.000,-- per person.

Normally I report at around 18:00 h at the Warung on the other side of the road from Bagus Bay and Horas Family Home for my sunset beer and you will be most welcome to come over and share a beer with me.


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23. Re: Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

It is happening now,

Now at 18:00 h, July 28, 2014 the start of the Eid-Ul-Fitr Holidays is in full swing. The two car ferries, bringing local guests with cars from Medan, Kabanjahe, Tebing Tinggi and Siantar to mention only a few places are operating on a non-stop 24 hrs a day basis. At this moment the waiting time for the car ferries is 5 hrs, this will most likely be more in the coming hours.

The passenger ferries are bringing the regular foreign tourists and quite a few come without a confirmed booking. These guests are really checking quite a lot of places to find a good and cheap room. At this moment this is about next to impossible. I have checked a few accommodations which are normally empty because the guests think their rooms are too cheap. (Rp 40.000,--) Now, the places I checked with only a few rooms left offer their rooms now for Rp 200.000,-- instead of the normal Rp 40.000,--



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24. Re: Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir


For coming and going to Tuk Tuk , Samosir, by car yesterday July 30 and for the coming days think in terms of the following:

Coming from Medan or the Airport normal travelling time is 4 hrs plus one hour for the car ferry crossing Lake Toba from Ajibata to Tomok.

Now add to he normal travelling time of 5 hrs:

1 hr traffic jam at Perbaungan

4 hr traffic jams in and around Tebing Tinggi, especially at Sei Rampah and Kampung Pon

1 hr traffic jam in the City Centre of Pematang Siantar

2 hr traffic jam at Simpang Dua

8 hr or more waiting time for the car ferry

So normal travelling time from Medan to Samosir via Siantar by car is these days some 20 hrs.

Going back from Parapat to Medan via Berastagi.

Normal travelling time some 6 hours

These days add the following

3 hrs for trying to get out of Parapat.

8 to 10 hrs from Mikie Holiday to Medan.

Starting very very early for coming and going may safe you quite some time in the traffic jams


25. Re: Super High Season in Tuk Tuk, Samosir

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