Medan Transportation

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Most Recent Transportation in Medan

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Rail & Boat

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    I have taken the boat between Penang and Belawan which is a seaport 20km north of Medan.

    There is also substantial railway link from Medan to Belawan as well as to other towns in Northern Sumatra - Binjai and Tanjungpura (northwest) and Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar (southeast).

    Actually, air and road are easier ways to get to other parts of Sumatra.

    There are many day, 1 night or 2 nights tour by bus to Danau Toba (Lake Toba), Brastagi and other tourist destinations.

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    Cheapest but nor recommended

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    The cheapest way to get around is by the public minibuses.

    However not recommended as you will squeeze into this small mini bus in squatting positions.

    There is no bus stop but the mini-buses will pick up passengers waiting at common popular road corners.

    You may want to take a spin to see how the students, local Medanese go to work but when you see the cramp condition, I doubt you want to do it again.

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    Walkabout Kesawan Square

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    The best way to see Kesawan Square and Merdeka Square is by foot.

    At Kesawan Square, the colonial and prewar house have five foot way (covered walkways outside the building). Merdeka Square is an Esplanade surrounded by colonial buildings, railway station and banks and eating outlets.

    The only thing is that there is a lack of pedestrian trafffic light crossing or overhead bridges. So exercise caution when crossing the road especially the several lanes road around Merdeka Square.

    Or have your becak driver follow you as you get on foot and explore the urban historic and local downtown environs.

    Not safe One of few overhead pedestrian crossings

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Taxis - Easiest and Safest

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Medan taxis are the easiest and safest way to get around town.

    However, there is no meter used. So you have to negotiate the price before boarding.

    Some will try to up the price while you are getting there but be firm. Found the taxi drivers to be reasonable. We were allowed to fit 4 persons in the back seat!

    If your taxi takes to a shopping mall, you can stop in front and walk as some malls require taxis to pay a parking fee to enter to drop off passengers. At some hotels, taxi booth are opened and checked by hotel security.

    Most taxi drivers do not speak English. So have your destination or hotel name written down if you cannot speak Bahasa Indonesia.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Try the becak (motorized tricycle)

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    One of the most popular and fun way to see the tourist sights or visit the shopping malls of Medan is by becak. It is a trishaw but run by a motorcycle.

    Fares need to be negotiated after letting know where you are going. Depending on your destination/s, it can be anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 rupiah.

    It can take two persons and a third person on the motorcycle.

    There is a front cover if it rains and so have fun going around.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Easy to Drive

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Although Medan has over 2 million people, traffic is surprisingly light in Medan. So it is relatively easy to drive around with minimal jam and not too difficult to find parking.

    Driving is on the left side like the Britisih although Indonesia was under Dutch colonial rule. Not sure why.

    There are roundabouts to navigate although traffic lights are more common now. The tree-lined roads and colonial and prewar houses make driving a pleasure in Medan.

    Of course, beware of people crossing the road as there is a lack of overhead or street level pedestrian crossing.

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    Flying by Lion Air

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Have flown by Garuda and MAS (Malaysian Airlines) from Penang to Medan before. This was the first time, I was flying on Lion Air - an Indonesian budget airlines.

    Of course, I was worried a little as all Indonesian airlines were put on safety alert list recently in Europe. Anyway, the worries were unfounded as I have a smooth and comfortable flight to and fro between Penang and Medan, less than 40 minutes flight time. Was delayed though by 2 hours at Penang Airport to Medan which I was told was not usual.

    As it was a short flight, only a small cup of water was offered. The other airlines between Penang and Medan is Malaysian Airlines with Air Asia (via Kuala Lumpur LCC)

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    Medan Polonia Airport

    by SLLiew Updated Nov 23, 2007

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    I have flown into Medan Polonia airport - four times. Each time, I am amazed by the approach. You cross the the Straits of Melaka, then the coastline of Sumatra island and quickly, you see the agriculture fields and the brown roof-tops of of Medan town with not many tall buildings.

    The airport code is MES and the airport is located only 10-15 minutes from downtown Medan. May be too close for safety as the airport is a residential area and so a new airport is being built.

    It is a small airport. It was busy as an international aid operation and visit by high profile world leaders after the Asian disastrous tsunami.

    Anyway, you have deplane by walking down the mobile stairs and walk on the airport tarmac from the plane to the airport. Luckily it was not raining.

    When departing, you will go upstairs to the second level and then down the stairs again to airport tarmac.

    There is a departure tax of 75,000 Rupiah payable after you have your boarding pass.

    Inside the airport, there are several well-stocked souvenir shop to use up all your Rupiah and buy those hard to find souvenir while you were in Medan shopping malls.

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    Ferry Ride to samosir Island

    by denna Written Aug 22, 2007

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    Go early to book your vehicle on this ferry as there are limited places especially during holidays.it's an interesting ride to enjoy lake toba.the trick is, ask your driver to get the ticket early.be among the last to board ( of course on time) and with that you'll be among the first to get out from the ferry.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • Rented a Toyota Kijang from a local travel agent.

    by ardistice Written Apr 10, 2007

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    In April 2007 we made a trip from Medan to Lake Toba via Pemangtansiantar then returned via Kabanjahe/Brastagi. After went to Bukit Lawang.

    The trip from Medan to Lake Toba took with a few stops and the ferry ride about 6-7 hourse. You could reach Prapat in 4 hours if you go non-stop. Then we went on the boat to Samosir Island, a beautiful place to stay. We stayed in Tuk-Tuk at Tabo Cottages.
    You can find this hotel on the internet. It has nice rooms; fairly clean and the food is home-cooked and tasty. It is directly on the Lake. I think as far as i can judge is one of the better places at Lake Toba. We had lunch at Bagus cafe, which is a tranquil etnic hide out and we made a small tour on the Island. We went to Simanindo to see the Batak dance which is lovely and to the graves in Tomok. Watch out there as there is a fake site, you bump on the first one from the main road, but walk a bit further in and you will find the real one.
    After that we took the ferry back to Prapat and then made the drive up to Brastagi, which is a bit longer, but beautiful. Hotel Siantar is a nice and very clean spot for coffeestop on the way.
    Do not forget to visit the Batak kings palace on the way and Sisipiso waterfal.
    We went back to Medan and the next day left for Bukit Lawang. Which is a hell of a drive of at least 3 hours. Bad road, full of potholes, but certainly worth it and there stayed at the Jungle Inn. The people and the food were lovely, but the room was not so good. Anyway you can go for the honeymoon suite, but they sell now every room as the honeymoon suite. The other place to stay is Eco lodge. Its more down stream. Jungle Inn is directly opposite of the Orang Oetan center and we did catch them wandering along the river....so that was great.

    We did a wonderful trek up the mountain and tubed down river again.

    I can certainly recommend both locations. Medan is a city you might not like, but look under the covers and there is quite some history there. Its been modernized and more agreeable too. Ardy Timmer

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Chyan's Profile Photo

    Friendly travel ambassador to escort you

    by Chyan Written Jan 7, 2006

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    If you are unfamiliar with Medan or need a translator for travel by Airport Taxi (the white taxi) around Medan from the Airport, a friendly travel ambassador is present at Polonia International Airport to escort you. Be prepared to give him a tip. There is no Airport Bus at Polonia International Airport.

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    • Backpacking
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • and_juana's Profile Photo

    Medan, Lake Toba

    by and_juana Written Aug 4, 2004

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    Lake Toba is approximately 3 hours by road from Medan there is a frequent bus service that runs from Medan to Lake Toba and hired taxis available.

    If you are in Samosir and wish to go to Lake Toba there is a regular ferry service that will carry passengers and motorcycles. If you so desire there are private speedboats for charter.

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  • and_juana's Profile Photo

    Medan, Lake Toba

    by and_juana Written Aug 4, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lake Toba is approximately 3 hours by road from Medan there is a frequent bus service that runs from Medan to Lake Toba and hired taxis available.

    If you are in Samosir and wish to go to Lake Toba there is a regular ferry service that will carry passengers and motorcycles. If you so desire there are private speedboats for charter.

    Map

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  • Audrey118's Profile Photo

    Trishaw driven by motorbike

    by Audrey118 Updated Apr 17, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is so so odd. In Malaysia we have trishaw mainly for tourists in Malacca and also Penang and the trishaw men - or we call them behca man peddles. We also rode them in Beijing.

    But in Medan, you see loads of them but they are equiped with a motorbike - and a very unenvironmental one...lots of smokey pollution!!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    Ferry to Penang

    by lotharscheer Written Feb 8, 2011

    Ferry from Medan (Balawan) to Penang is not running anymore.
    Dumai to Malakka (and Port Klang) is still running.

    Art Deco in Jl. Ahmad Yani Tjong A Fie Mansion Art Deco in Jl. Ahmad Yani Maimun Palace Masjid Raya
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