There are actually some valuable Indonesian treasures you can find in Medan, Sumatra. As one of the largest cities in Indonesia, Medan is located in Northern Sumatra. It serves as the main hub and gateway with its Polonia International Airport and Belawan. Medan becomes the fourth largest city in Indonesia and the largest city outside Java.
Although it does not keep many tourist destinations but Medan is where tourists normally fly in order to get to Lake Toba and Bukit Lawang or some even took off to Penang, Malaysia.
Important Landmarks of Medan
- Tjong A Fies Mansion: It a two-story mansion built by a Hakka merchant. If you are interested in old architecture of the past, you should certainly go to this place.
- Medan Grand Mosque (Masjid Raya): As one of the biggest mosques in Indonesia, this Morrocan style mosque is definitely worth a quick look. Being the main destinations for local muslim tourists from all across the country, Masjid Raya is as great as Masjid Istiqlal, Jakarta.
- Marian Shrine of Annai Velangkanni: With some parts of the population are Christians, Medan also has a wonderful church. This church is a fascinating Indo-Mogul style church that is famous for its historical values and spiritual buff.
Medan’s International airport is Polonia International Airport, located about 15 minutes from the city. It has both international and domestic flights. International airlines serving this airport are:
- Firefly Airlines: from/to Penang and Subang (KL)
- AirAsia: from Kuala Lumpur
- Garuda Indonesia: from/to Kuala Lumpur (MAS)
- Indonesia AirAsia: from/to Penang, KL, Bangkok and Hong Kong
- Lion Air: from/to Penang
- Malaysia Airlines: from/to Penang and KL
- SilkAir: from/to Singapore
- Mandala Airlines: from/to Singapore
- Swriwijaya Air: from/to Penang
- Valuair: from/to Singapore
As you can see, there are numerous choices flying from various spots in Indonesia for domestic flights with several airlines.
Note that the airport departure tax for domestic departures require Rp 35,000, while international departures are Rp 75,000.
Meanwhile, if you want to go to the city, you may take a taxi for about Rp 40,000 and if you can scout a bit more, you are able to bargain down to Rp 20,000.
If you come through the sea, the nearest seaport is Belawan, with both domestic and international boat and ferry services.
If you stay here for a quick get through to other places, you are most likely to need a place to spend just a night or two. This city is not really a backpacking sleep so do not expect much. If you are willing to spend quite amount of money, you will find many hotels that are up to city standards easily. Nonetheless, there are a few budget homestays, bed and breakfasts or hostels to choose from if you want to save up your budget.
- You can head out directly to the famous Lake Toba for a good chill and relax by the largest volcanic lake. It will take 4 hour-drive away by land.
- For a quick getaway at Berastagi that is famous for locals, you will need approximately 1.5 hour-drive away. Then, you can hike out to the two nearby volcanoes, Sinabung and Sibayak.
- Moreover, you should explore the village at the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park that will require about 3 hour-drive away, where you can do treks, hikes, or just chill by the river. Most of all, the main attraction here is Bukit Lawang being famous for the Orangutan Trekking and its Orangutan Viewing Platform. If exploring nature is your passion, this Gunung Leuser National Park offers you a bunch of adventures.
Indeed, there are still some valuable Indonesian treasures you can find in Medan, Sumatra. Spend some time here to make some memorable experiences to remember for the rest of your life.