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Welcome to MEDAN – NORTH SUMATRA

September 25, 2010

Hi guys, it’s been a long time…this is the next chapter….!!!

It was about two months in advance that I planned this trip, and it came true on Aug 13th when I took 6 days off until Aug 18th.

The trip was owesome,flied with Lion Air from Ngurah Rai Airport at about 1pm and got to Polonia Airport at about 8pm where I had like 2 hours transit in Jakarta and it was tiring,moreover the weather was rainy and cloudy it caused flights were delayed.

At about 8pm,landed at Polonia Airport,waiting for a couple of minute for my back-pack and went out right away thru’ the exit gate where an absolute cute girl had been standing there and waiting for my coming with a smile,holding an umberella in her right hand,soon I felt so relax:).Thanks for the pick-up dear.

MEDAN AT GLANCE

Medan (Indonesian: Kota Medan) is the capital of the province of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Located in the northern part of the province along the coast, Medan is the fourth largest city in Indonesia, as well as the largest city in the country which is not in Java. The city is bordered by Deli Serdang Regency to the east, south and west, and the Strait of Malacca to the north. It is close to the volcano Sinabung, which erupted from its 400 year dormant state in August 2010.

The city has a mix of communities, reflecting its history. It is famous throughout Indonesia as the home of the Batak people, although, traditionally it is a Melayu Kampung. More recently more and more of the Batak ethnic minority have come to the city to make what was once a minority become a fairly sized community. However, Batak homelands are found throughout North Sumatra. In addition, there is a large ethnic Javanese community, largely made up of the descendants of people transported from Java in the last century as part of the government’s transmigration policy, an attempt to relieve the chronic overcrowding of Java.

A highly visible component of Medan’s population is the large number of Chinese, who are very active in the business sector, and unlike the ethnic Chinese in many other parts of Indonesia continue to speak Hokkien. Finally, the city has a sizable community of Tamil descent who are commonly known as keling. A well-known Tamil neighbourhood is Kampung Keling. In addition to Indonesian, Batak Simalungun, Batak Karo, Batak Mandailing, Batak Pak-Pak, Batak Angkola, Batak Toba, Deli Malay, Javanese, Hokkien (Min Nan), Tamil, Acehnese, Minangkabau and English are spoken.

There are many old buildings in Medan that still retain their Dutch architecture. These include the old City Hall, the central Post Office, the Tirtanadi Water Tower, which is Medan City’s icon, and Titi Gantung (a bridge over the railway).

There are several historic places such as Maimun Palace (Istana Maimun) built in years 1887–1891, where the Sultan of Deli still lives (the Sultan no longer holds any official power), and the Great Mosque (Masjid Raya) of Medan built in 1906 in the Moroccan style by the Dutch architect Dingemans.[2]

Since 2005, a catholic temple, in Indo-Mogul style, devoted to Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni (Our Lady of Good Health), is built in Medan. This particular Saint knows its origin with an apparition in the 17th century in India. The temple is an imposant building, of two storeys and a small tower of seven storeys in Indonesian style, that already attracts attention from the main road (it is situated in the small road Jl. Sakura III besides Jl. Simatupang). It is already the second most important pilgrimage place in Asia.

One of the unique features of Medan are the motorized becaks that are found almost everywhere. Unlike traditional becaks, a motorized becak can take its passenger anywhere in the city. The fare of riding a ‘becak’ is relatively cheap and is usually negotiated beforehand.

Pic 1: Unique transport in Medan “Becak”.

Railroad tracks connect Medan to Binjai and Tanjungpura to the northwest, to port of Belawan to the north, and to Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar to the southeast.The seaport of Belawan is about 20 km to the north. Polonia International Airport is located in the heart of the city. Kuala Namu International Airport is a new airport under construction and is due to replace Polonia in mid-2011.

Well that’s the short introduction about Medan, …On this first day,dinner time..Merdeka Walk is one of the best place to hang out,especially for the youth,opened from 11.00 – 24.00 Monday – Sunday. On Aug 27th, 1945, the Independence of Indonesia Republic was officially announced here, that is why this place becomes one of the historic place in Medan, and then called “Lapangan Merdeka”. It was rainy when we got to this place, and finally Pizza was chosen for the dinner! From the Airport, we took a taxi for IDR 20.000,-.

Pic.2 : MERDEKA WALK famous place to hang out

After dinner, we continued to Jl.Pancing, where I stayed with my girlfriend’s brother. From Merdeka Walk we took a Becak Motor for IDR 30.000,-.

That’s the end of the first day. The next trip was a visit to Bukit Lawang (The Rehabilitation Center of the Orang Utan) on Aug 14th.

To Be Continued….

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