Medan

Medan is big, hot, noisy, congested and dirty, with only a few havens of greenery - for example, Merdeka Square - and no obvious 'sights' to enthrall the visitor. However, while the architecture is not notable by international standards it is significant in the Indonesian context, and Medan does provide a vivid and vivacious introduction to Asia for those who are new to the region. In addition, and perhaps because foreign tourists are less in evidence, the local people are generally warm and welcoming. For those coming from other parts of Indonesia, Medan shows the country in quite a different light, sharing plenty in common with Peninsular Malaysia. This is evident in the crumbling Chinese shophouses, with their five foot walkways, the smell of incense wafting out into the street. Visitors will also note presence of a permanent Indian population, not seen anywhere else in the archipelago, driving becaks (rickshaws), cooking fine curries and worshipping at garish southern Indian Hindu temples.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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