Friday, June 27, 2014

Medan Trip - The Prologue

21 June 2014 to 25 June 2014.

Another blocked dates for holiday. Yes. Another holiday. Less than two months after the last one.

Say that I am a travel freak and I will proudly declare that I am indeed one.

The story started a few months ago when one of my course mates declared in our whatsapp chat group that she was getting married and invited us to attend the wedding in her hometown in Medan, North Sumatera.

I have visited Medan back then in 2007 and I was not impressed with the city or even the famous Lake Toba. However, my buddy was getting married so I should support her, right?

So there I was, checking the websites of various airlines to search for Singapore-Medan flights. Basically there are a few airlines that fly directly between the two cities.

Silk Air, Valuair, Air Asia

I happened to look at Jetstar website and it offered SGD 72 for return flight. And of course I grabbed the chance! We bought five tickets for me, bf, Anam, Awan, and Ahin.

So again, let's visit Medan in the net before we visit it in the real world.

Medan is the capital of North Sumatera province. It is located in Sumatera island besides Malacca Strait. This city is the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Hokkien people and Batak people live in this city as the majority.

Medan is about 1 hour flight from Singapore
Long long long time ago, Medan was a port town, known as Haru or Deli. The inhabitants of Deli came from Malay Peninsula, Mandailing Regency, and Karo Highlands. It was also said that Deli was under the Kingdom of Aceh.

The Chinese came to Medan for trading. They occupied an area outside of Medan called Medan Labuhan to carry out their daily trading activities. Only after a natural disaster that destroyed the town, the Chinese moved to other places.

So much for the history. This holiday was a bit different since I did not plan the itinerary. You may wonder. Why? Yeah, why?

Anam is a Medanese. He was the one settling the programme of the trip, transportation, and accomodation. I was not doing anything except begging him to include Sipiso-piso Waterfall in the itinerary.

To be honest, I am a planning freak. Not to be involved in planning took a big chunk of flavour in the trip itself. I was not too excited, I felt insecure not knowing anything, I thought I was in the dark.

I started packing only a day before the trip, which was so NOT ME!

As a result, I slept only 3 hours before getting up and rushing to Changi Airport.

The flight to Medan was operated by Valuair. Our flight schedule was at 08:50 am (GMT +8) and we reached there around 07:30 am (GMT +8). After clearing the document verification and immigration, we sat at Starbucks for breakfast.

A heart to start a good trip

And we met another friend here, Chee. Chee was our classmate in university and he was travelling to Medan for the same purpose as we did. After chit-chatting for awhile, we proceeded to the boarding gate. There was slight delay in the take off, but who cared!

Sleeping throughout the flight

We reached Kualanamu Airport around 9:00am local time (GMT +7). The flight only took 1 hour due to the short distance between Medan and Singapore. I got a window seat and I felt quite surprised of the sight of the airport from afar.

That's Kualanamu International Airport. So WOW!

The airport looked like Svarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok at the first glance. Don't you think so?

Right? Right? Right?

Kualanamu International Airport started its operation for Medan and the surrounding since July 2013. The purpose of constructing Kualanamu International Airport was to replace Polonia International Airport which has reached its 85th year of service.

Kualanamu International Airport is currently the second largest airport in Indonesia after Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng. Kualanamu International Airport is located 38 km out of Medan city, in Deli Serdang.

After the plane has completely stopped, we strolled towards the immigration counter and queued for our chops. The officer that cleared my immigration was also from Palembang and he joked with me for a while before let me go.

Queueing for immigration clearance

When we walked out of the airport, Anam and Erland were already there waiting for us. After exchanging greetings with each other, we walked to the car. Then I noticed something: there was an integrated train station in the airport!

Stasiun Kereta Api Bandara a.k.a Airport Train Station

Therefore, when you reached Kualanamu International Airport, you can straight away take the train to go to the city centre, a.k.a Stasiun Medan (Medan Station). The train ticket costs IDR 80000 (SGD 8.3) one way and the train is brand-new, imported from Korea, and equipped with wifi.

I think this is the coolest train in Indonesia (Photo Source:

I was quite sad that we did not have the chance to experience the first airport train in Indonesia. But well, life must go on. So, here we were, ready for our Medan journey!

Next Post - A Culinary Day in Medan Kota

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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