Medan Transportation

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Best Rated Transportation in Medan

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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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    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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    By "Minibus-taxi" to Medan

    by globetrott Updated May 18, 2009

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    Real Taxis to Medan are about 75 US$ one way but there are minibuses as well and we payed 25 $ for it, haggling is essential and also to fix the price in advance. Dont expect any comfort, no safety-belts nor anything else to get some hold in case of an accident. Drivers will speed even when it is just for a few meters and the side-door of these buses will always stay open.
    For these 25 US$ we got a ride of 3 hours from Belawan (the next port, where our ship had docked) to Medan and back, including a citytour that was worth the trouble, BUT I guess the next time I would prefer a real taxi or to take the official bustour, offered by the ship.
    Our Minibus had a driver who did not speak any english and an extra "tourguide" speaking a bit of english but giving no tourist-informations, just translating a bit and explaining to the driver where to go.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Seniors

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    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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    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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    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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    Walkabout Kesawan Square

    by SLLiew Written Nov 23, 2007

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    Not safe
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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.

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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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    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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    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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    Medan, Lake Toba

    by and_juana Written Aug 4, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Map

    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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    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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    AROUND SAMOSIR ISLAND

    by ancient_traveler Written May 8, 2009

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    It may be obvious but just remember there are no taxis around Tuk Tuk.

    Sure you can walk the small part of the island in an hour or so but if you are heading out for the night plan ahead on how you will get back home. The locals are very friendly people who will go out of their way to help. However, some corners of the island are very quiet at night and you may find yourself on a long long walk.

    Most of the cottages and guest houses at Tuk Tuk will rent you a very serviceable bicycle for a nominal fee, this is a very much preferred way to get around, but be very careful for the cars as nobody looks and there does not seem to be any right side of the road, even when its the left side.

    Related to:
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    • Budget Travel
    • Fishing

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    SUDAKO

    by ancient_traveler Written May 8, 2009

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    yellow sudako

    Sudako, the mini van is one of the public transportation in Medan. Easily recognized from the yellow color, besides blue. It stops wherever the passengers want, as long as it is still in the route, cause there is no particular bus stop for it. Hence, it contributes quite a lot to the bad traffic jam in town.

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    FERRY TO SAMOSIR ISLAND (*)

    by ancient_traveler Written May 8, 2009

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    Ajibata
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    Parapat is connected to Tomok and Tuk Tuk on the Samosir Island by boat/ferry that run every 1-2 hours, the last one at 6:00 pm.

    Self proclaimed 'Tourist Hunters' may befriend you on the boat but are harmless and often helpful to find things, arrangements etc.

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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Medan Transportation

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