Medan is an Indonesian city on the island of Sumatra. It is most visited as the take-off point for people traveling to Danau Toba, a beautiful lake that is definitely on my Indonesian to-do list.
A co-worker and I were jetting off to spend a 4-day weekend in Penang, Malaysia. Unfortunately, we were free starting Wednesday at 4:00, but unable to catch a flight to Penang until Thursday night.
Looking to remedy this situation, we decided to spend Thursday in Medan (the obvious solution, yes? :))
Now, if we’re being 100% honest here, me to you, this is not on my top-ten-things-to-do-in-Indonesia list. Or my top twenty. But it was a pretty city and a lovely, clean get-away from Jakarta.
We were able to hit all of the “major” tourist attractions before noon (a palace, a mansion, and a temple), but enjoyed the rest of the day drinking fruit juice at the historical Tip Top Cafe, meandering through colorful temples, and getting some fantastic hot stone massages at Zen Garden Massage.
We ended the night checking out what was apparently the cool local hang out: the train tracks. Unless you have an affinity for creepy men, you probably do not need to visit this place.
We even found our own little corner of Jakarta hidden nearby … no place like home!
If you do happen to find yourself in Medan, I will pass on to you the resounding advice of my students: EAT. I am rather incapable of remembering and/or spelling the majority of their (rather passionate) suggestions, but the fusion of cultures makes for delicious Chinese, Indian, Malay, and Indonesian cuisine. There’s a huge variety of street food available at Merdeka Walk!