North Sumatra & Aceh in 10 Days (5): Medan


Medan at last! After an exhausting 10-hour ride from Barus, we’re back in this town, tired, hungry and awfully stink. At 7 AM, The driver drops us at the hotel near Masjid Raya Medan. Unfortunately we can’t check-in for another five hours. “What to do, what to do?” I said to myself.

First things first, we need to replenish our energy, serious hunger needs serious breakfast, it’s time for something critical and has been tested through times: “Lontong Sayur Kak Lin”. Usually I don’t eat spicy breakfast, but this is an exception, then we eat like two refugees from Africa.

City Tour

We’re strolling to Istana Maimoon (Maimoon Palace), Medan’s landmark. It’s said that if you’re going to Medan and not visiting this palace, then you’ve never been to Medan.

We’re not in luck, it’s weekend. And weekend means many group tours attend this palace, especially schoolkids from nearby districts or town. These little brats are swarming the palace, making loud noise. I hate crowded place, particularly at tourist attraction, and especially at the old building like Maimoon Palace.

We continue our city tour to Al-Mashun Grand Mosque A.K.A. Medan Grand Mosque. Well, in this famous mosque, we’re approached by an unsympathetic gatekeeper. He tells us, travelers from distant land, to fill the guest book and impolitely asks us to put some donation. Well, screw you old man, we ain’t put some money so you can buy a pack of cigarette or buy soft drink from our donation.

A few pictures of Medan Grand Mosque are enough, now I’m really hungry I need to take a big lunch. After having a discussion with El, we decide to have lunch at Sinar Pagi restaurant at Sei Deli street. We take betor to the restaurant and the driver offers us a ride back to the hotel, so he’ll wait in the front of the restaurant. Well, good idea mister driver.

Medan Culinary Episode

Sinar Pagi restaurant is crowded with people, well it’s lunch time already. Inside the restaurant, the waiters and waitresses are taking and delivering orders with full speed, I watch in awe as we order our lunch: the notorious Soto Medan a la Sinar Pagi. In a matter of seconds after the soto has arrived, it’s vanished from my bowl quickly. I feel like haven’t eaten in days. With full stomach, we’re heading back to the hotel for check-in and then…sleep hard.

Three hours later I wake up, fully charged. Our next culinary destination is Komdak fried rice at Kampung Keling. The place is quite legendary in Medan, founded more than forty years ago and still attracting people from all over the town and outside Medan. After having a tasty fried rice and their famous orange juice, we walk to Sun Plaza, shop for late night snacks, then head back to hotel to get some rest.



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