Corinne, I've spoken to a woman who travels regularly to Medan and Bukit Lawang regularly. She's a traveller not a travel provider. She's in her 40's and in her own words, is less likely to attract unwanted attention than a young blonde. Pamela says she's never had a problem in Medan, not even walking around late at night. Note, she is a very experienced traveller and feels very comfortable in Indonesia. She the type to sit and have coffe and a chat with locals rather than hang around at hostels.
Her advice to you is to dress reasonably modestly - long pants or long skirt, mid arm sleeves and not too much skin or cleavage. And trust your judgement - if it feels dangerous, or a person seems dodgy - walk away.
Some tips from WorldNomads.com here: http://journals.worldnomads.com/safetyhub/story/59196/Worldwide/Being-Safe-and-Cautious-When-Travelling
Pamela also has some accommodation suggestions (below) where you'll no doubt find like-minded travellers. there's always safety in numbers, and you could make a friendship that lasts a lifetime.
Blue Angel http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com/blueangel.htm
Bukit Lawang accomodation suggestions
and a place NOT mentioned on the above website is Green Hill owned by English woman Andrea Molyneaux and her Indonesian husband Mbra.
Andrea wrote the page in latest LP Indonesia book on Orangutans.
Thanks Pamela, and good luck Corrine almost 10 years ago
Hi Zhang yan,
I am the Pamela from the above post and I am amazed you can reply to this question with such certainly.
Unsafe in what way?
From my own personal experience as a solo female in Medan I have never had any problems at all in regards to safety.
I have spent lots of time in Medan in between my trips to elsewhere in North Sumatra and Aceh and even wandered the main streets at 11.30 pm and been completely safe. I even had the experience of walking back to my room in Jalan Tengah and all the electricity went off and the place was in darkness except for the car lights which I used to walk back to my room.
Pamela less than a minute ago about 9 years ago
I think the main problem you might encounter is the "excess friendliness" of the locals, especially of the Batak people. They will want to talk to you, know about your country. Beware, some of them can be really handsome, great guitar players and experienced womanizers :-)
Besides this, you should not worry. They might be annoyingly friendly, but they would never dare touch you or harrass you if you tell them to leave you alone. about 9 years ago