Sumatra's big one

Medan Travel Blog

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Medan's Masjid Raya

I spent several months in Medan doing my thesis research, so I really got to know the city from the backstreets first before I visited its tourist attractions. Even though I really like the city, I admit it has a lot of unattractive elements to it. There is some violent crime, air pollution is horrible (I noticed in more recent trips here that they took down the air pollution gauge at one of the busy intersections--and it is not because air quality is good now), and a general impression from the street level is that the city is pretty dirty. Those things aside, Medan offers its residents some of the best shopping  and mix of food on the whole island. The cultural range here, in general, is impressive and gives Medan a lot of character that is lacking in more monotonous cities (no names).

Medan's Istana Maimun
Aside from the Batak groups and the usual suspects (Javanese, Sundanese, and Minangkabau), Medan hosts an ethnic Chinese population that has not been assimilated as much as those found on Java, and a Tamil Indian population--a rarity for Indonesia despite strong ties to India throughout its history. Shopping in Medan is good, and there are a number of malls and plazas. More recently, a luxury mall was built, and the area around the central padang (used for political speeches or playing soccer in the mud) has been turned into a neon-lighted, outdoor food court that stretches the entire length of the padang on the side closest to the main post office. I was impressed with Medan's development in recent years and look forward to its continued growth.

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Medans Masjid Raya
Medan's Masjid Raya
Medans Istana Maimun
Medan's Istana Maimun
Medans Masjid Raya
Medan's Masjid Raya
Medans Istana Maimun with laundry…
Medan's Istana Maimun with laundr…
Medans Sri Mariaman Temple
Medan's Sri Mariaman Temple
Medan
photo by: inikeke