MEDAN TRAVEL DIARIES: Pre-departure research

TD asked me if If I wanna go with him to Medan. So I did a little research to find out if it was worth going to and I’m sharing it with you. 

This is where Medan is in Indonesia

  • Capital of the North Sumatra province in Indonesia.
  • Located on the northern coast
  • Fourth largest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung
  • Largest Indonesian city outside Java.
  • Bordered by the Deli Serdang Regency to the east, south and west, and the Strait of Malacca to the north
  • Close to the volcano Sinabung, which erupted in August 2010 after a 400 year dormant state.

The Great Mosque

From 2005 Medan was governed by a mayor, Dr. H. Abdillah Ak, MBA (appointed for the period 2005-2010).

  1. Abdillah and his vice mayor were caught by Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission in 2008.
  2. Syamsul Arifin (Governor of North Sumatra Province) appointed Affifudin Lubis to become the acting mayor.
  3. 2009 – Affifudin Lubis resigned as mayor. Governor appointed Rahudman Harahap to become the mayor.
  4. Rahudman wanted to be a candidate in the 2010 mayor election, he resigned as mayor.
  5. Syamsul Arifin became the acting mayor.
  6. In the 2010 mayor election, Rahudman Harahap is elected mayor.

Medan is divided into 21 districts (kecamatan) and 151 subdistricts (kelurahan).

Maimun Palace or Maimoon Palace

Maimun Palace or Maimoon Palace (ca.1890-1905).


Many old buildings in Medan that still retain their Dutch architecture:

  • Old City Hall
  • Central Post Office
  • Tirtanadi Water Tower, which is Medan City’s icon
  • Titi Gantung (a bridge over the railway).
istana maimun

Maimun Palace (1998)

There are several historic places:

Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni catholic church in medan

The Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

To Buy

  • There are many malls
  • Jl Yani has a collection of antique shops which sell all kinds of Batak, Acehneses, Minang and Javanese antiquities.
  • Buy clothes at Monginsidi Plaza or ‘Monza’ as the locals say. Remember to haggle.
  • In Medan’s Chinatown around Jl Sutomo you will find everything from heavy machinery to toiletries.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on your things though as pickpockets are common.
  • Dried fruits or Manisan – Pasar Rame, a famous morning till afternoon market, beside Thamrin Plaza.
  • Jalan Majapahit for the best selection bika ambon and marquisa syrup
  • ZUKI bakery and cake: Bika ambon (cake made of rice flour)
    • 061 452 5830/ 415 8416
    • Jl. Letjen S Parman 103 Medan 20112
  • A1 ASLI:  marquisa syrup and Terong Belandasyrup
    • 061 415 5232 / 415 0470
    • Jl. Gajah Mada no 3A Medan
  • Bolu Meranti:  home- made roll cakes with varies taste, cheese, blueberry, mocca.
    • 061- 453 8217
    • Jl. Kruing no 2K Medan
  • Ulos (local woven cloths), is a traditional ceremonial shawl worn by both men and women. Ulos in different design is colorful and of importance significance.
  • Click here to check out Medan Shopping Tips by Ancient Traveler

Note: All above information (except for some shopping tips from Ancient Traveler) and images are credited to Wikipedia, Wikitravel, therefore I do not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information. Please do your own research as well to confirm.

Bika Ambon via J’s Kitchen

I’ve decided on going with hubby on this trip because I’d love to see the historical landmarks and old buildings. I know that once we leave this post, I will never have the chance to see Medan again. I love how Indonesians have preserved their cultural heritage and landmarks such as wearing Batiks and the amazing Borobodur Temple. I think we Filipinos can learn a thing or two from them in this regard.

Hope I find a good bargain on a nice piece of Ulos yeah?

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