It’s the end of the year, and if you are like us, you would probably be busy planning for your 2016 holidays and getaways already 😉 Need some ideas on where to go during one of the long weekends next year? Wondering if there are other destinations near Singapore worth visiting, apart from the usual suspects of Batam, Bintan, and Johor Bahru? This Medan travel overview is for you!
Medan Travel Overview
If you are a foodie and nature-lover in search for a quick weekend jaunt, then I will highly recommend you to visit Medan, the fourth largest city in Indonesia, and also the largest city outside Java island!
Medan Travel 101: What is so special about Medan?
It’s actually my hometown! I am not sure how many of you know this, but I was actually born and raised in Medan. I lived there for fifteen years before moving to Singapore nine years ago (you can guess how old I am from that 😉 So yes, it is a special city to me 🙂
Another unique thing about Medan is that a majority of the Indonesian-Chinese residents converse daily in Hokkien, and not Bahasa Indonesia. Place a non-Hokkien speaker in Medan for a year, and I am sure he will be a fluent speaker in no time!
But the main reason why people like to visit Medan is because the city has one of the best street food scenes around! My family has been living in Jakarta for about eight years now and so far, I still cannot find street food stalls that can beat the ones in Medan.
On top of that, Medan is also a city with easy access to the great outdoors. For instance, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake Danau Toba, with Samosir Island (which is as big as Singapore!) sitting in the middle of it, are just a few hours’ drive away from the city. You can also visit Berastagi, a rural mountain retreat promising cool fresh air, as well as go trekking at Bukit Lawang and try your luck at spotting Orang Utans along the way. Medan is definitely one of the perfect destinations for the adventurous travellers out there 🙂
Medan Travel 101: How to get to Medan?
However, due to the limited number of flights, flying to Medan will not be as cheap as flying to other more popular destinations like Jakarta or Bangkok. Tickets can easily cost from around SGD 180 to SGD 300. So I would recommend you to grab your tickets during promotional periods!
For Jetstar, always check their website on Fridays, as they have the Friday Fare Frenzy sale. I managed to buy a return ticket to Medan for as cheap as SGD 120 during their Friday sale!
Alternatively, if all the direct flights are expensive, what you can do is take a ferry to Batam (SGD 50 for return tickets) and hop on a domestic flight to Medan from there. The flights will usually cost around SGD 100 to SGD 120. It’s usually just slightly cheaper than flying direct. The downside is that you will be quite tired after the entire journey. And for me, most of the time, it is just not worth the time and hassle. So I won’t really recommend this route, unless direct flights are really expensive and you have a very tight budget! Stay tuned as I will be posting more about Medan on the blog 😉
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