Medan Transportation

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Best Rated Transportation in Medan

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Medan Polonia Airport

    by SLLiew Updated Nov 23, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    the toll to be payed quite often looking out through the open door the road to Medan
    Related to:
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    • 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

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    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

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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  • 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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    Medan Have New Airport

    by explore_discover Updated Jan 27, 2015

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    Update

    ***Medan Have new Airport now, Kuala Namu (AITA Code KNO) since July 2013 which replace the Old Polonia Airport Medan MES )
    There are DAMRI Bus Service to Medan City IRD10,000-15,000
    I have not been travelled to KNO yet

    http://www.kualanamu-airport.co.id/id/guides/transportation
    ***************************************************************************************************************************

    The Airport is located very near to the city (in fact with in the city) most hotels can be reached with in 15 minutes max by Taxi or by the Becak, you need to do is avoid the Taxi Company Agents come out from the terminal parking lot, walk a little and cross the street infront you will find Motor Becaks standing. It cost cheaper then airport taxi (IDR10,000 to 15,000) while Taxi company have fixed charges over IDR45,000.

    Domestic and International Arrivals are handled with in same terminal since the Original Domestic Terminal was destroyed because of fire. All terminals are adjacent and only few minutes walk away from each other.

    Motorcycles (Ojeks) also available if you dont have heavy or large size luggage.

    On my return from Medan I walked to the airport from my accommodation, it took less then 15 minutes.

    The Becak
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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:
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    Fly Garuda Indonesia

    by meiyergani Updated Jun 28, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Garuda Indonesia Airways now fly directly from Jakarta Soekarno Hatta Airport to Medan Kuala Namu International Airport 9 times a day vise verse and would take about 2 hours 20 minutes.
    The schedule is oke, departure and arrival always on time.... breakfast, lunch or diner is include during your flight

    Kualanamu Medan
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    AROUND SAMOSIR ISLAND

    by ancient_traveler Written May 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Fishing

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