Definitely not what it is hyped up to be
Sibolga Travel Blog› entry 27 of 56 › view all entries
OK, so for a while, I had heard that Sibolga was North Sumatra's west coast resort town--a place for Medanites, Malaysians, Singaporeans, and more wealthy Indonesians to enjoy in all its remoteness. Indeed, it takes a long time to get out here by bus or mini-van from Medan. I am not sure if there is a commercial airport either--just a small charter air strip. Sibolga is quaint if you look at it from a descriptive point of view. If I say it like this--small town stretched along the beach between the Indian Ocean and the Bukit Barisan Mountains--it sounds appealing. In fact, there was much talk about the city installing a monorail along the side of the mountain above the city so tourists could enjoy the view of the ocean and sunset over the town. That never happened...and probably for the good of the city's budget. It has a heavy naval presence and its busy trade seaport and passenger ferries to Nias give it a seedy atmosphere. Violent crimes are not uncommon and I felt uneasy walking around town. Apparently, there are not too many Caucasian tourists that pass through here. It is sad to note that Sibolga was hit hard by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It wouldn't surprise me if the whole city was covered with water due to the whole town's proximity to the water. Hopefully, however, it will bring with it opportunities for further improvements.