I am so annoyed that I lost my notes in my move from Japan to Guam. However, because there is not a lot written about Medan, here a few tips and photos from our time there.
Medan is definitely not a destination city. It is a transportation hub in and out of Sumatra and you don’t need to spend any real time here. But if you have a few hours or a day, here is what we found. It is tantizling close to Kula Lumpur and Singapore so I had to go. And it is the natural jumping off point for Lake Toba (which is worth a visit).
The Museum of North Sumatra was very well done and worth an hour or so.
Tjong A Fie Mansion was beautiful but there is not much signage. Recommend you learn a little about the family before you visit.
As you know, I love Mosques, and Mesjid Raya Al Mashun was a beautiful example with its tile and open patios. It is probably on a short list of my favorites.
Tip Top Restaurant gets outstanding reviews and has nice outdoor seating. It was fine. I was more interested in its history which goes back to 1929 than the actual food.
We also paid a quick stop to Vihara Gunung Timur Tao temple. It is beautiful and colorful. It was closed but they let us walk around. I think this was my first Toa temple. Again, I wouldn’t make a special trip, but I am glad we stopped.
And while I usually try to stay in small unique locations, in the large cities of Indonesia there is no reason not to treat yourself to some reasonably priced luxury – so once again I used my Marriot points and stayed at the JW Marriott and it did not disappoint.
Like the rest of the cities in Indonesia, traffic is crazy and the city is not set up for walking or public transportation. But Grab is easy and affordable.