So spontaneously booked a flight to Medan Indonesia (super cheap airfares) for a holiday just found out it's the island of Sumatra haha nothing more adventurous then going to the unknowen. Super excited have 2 weeks there and want to fill it with fun , please share anything with me hikes, camping, hotels, restaurants, dos, donts I open for it all :)
Thanks and happy travels to all those globe trotting!
if you go to Medan, you should go to Parapat, where you can see Toba Lake, biggest lake in Indonesia and in the center of the lake there is a Samosir Island. You can also take city tour in Medan, there are Melayu Palace, and beautiful mosque (I forgot the name)... almost 8 years ago
There are many exciting places and activities that you can do, but all depend on your interest. What Siti suggested is one of good options in North Sumatra. You can also explore Medan city for it's culinary, melting pot culture. After that, you can go down to West Sumatra province, famous for Ngarai Sianok, beautiful mountain area and explore Padang city. If you like beach, I suggest U can go to Belitung province, it has many gorgeous beaches, e.g Tanjung Tinggi. almost 8 years ago
Since you are arriving in Medan (my adopted hometown!) I suggest you head out to Bukit Lawang (3-4 hours by bus depending on traffic) and go visit the orangutans at the feeding platform. Lots of inns are nearby but my favourite is the Jungle Inn at the end of the path, just across the river from the orangutan area.
From there you can head out to Lake Toba (five hours from Medan), which Siti has already mentioned. You can take a boat from Parapat to Samosir Island (1/2 an hour) and stay in Tuk Tuk. My favourite places are Tabo Cottages (more high end but well worth it), the Carolina or Samosir Cottages. The boat stops at all these places and you can just tell them where you want to go.
The third place, only one hour from Medan is Brastagi, a small mountain town. You can go volcano trekking up Mt. Sibayak (only a couple of hours to the top) or Singabung (you need a good guide and should stay overnight).
Most people stay in Medan only one or two nights, but I ended up staying...lived here almost five years! It's not the prettiest city, but it does have lots of good restaurants. To get around, better to take a Blue Bird taxi (metered and safe) to help get you around the city--also cheaper than a becak (motorized pedicab)...the drivers will see you are a tourist and try to rip you off. The Mesjid Raya is the beautiful mosque Siti mentioned, near the airport--there is a good little cafe right next to it, the Cafe Raya. Tip Top is another good restaurant, in Kesawan Square.
Hope this helps! Have fun! almost 8 years ago
I would also say Samosir Island though it take a while to get there. The hotel we stayed in was like paradise with beautiful gardens & orchids. The trival culture wasn't great, more puton for tourists though we did dine on an island which we had all for ourselves which was great. We were also brought to a village where they had a meeting house square where justice used to be dispensed which was interesting. For more authentic tribal culture can be found in the highlands in Brastagi with two smoking volcanoes in the background. We were brought in to see a Batak house where people live today, pitch dark inside though.
Bukit Lawang where the orangutans are, quite a walk along side a river & alot of steep steps to negotiate. Lots of crowds around too so don't expect deserted wilderness at feeding time.
Further north, where I didn't go, I believe you can see elephants in the wild. Not sure if you're in Banda Aceh province yet which has Sharia law.
In Medan there is the mosque & palace.
This is the tour I did. over 7 years ago