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Medan is the fourth largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung. With a population of about two million people it is the largest city outside of Java. There is no single ethnic group forming a majority; the largest ethnic groups are the Chinese, Javanese, Toba-Batak, Minangkabau, Mandailing Batak, Karo Batak, Southern Indians, and Northern Indians, and there are many more ethnic minorities.

About 10,000 years ago, Neolithical hunters and collecters from the Hoa Binh-culture found their place in the swampy coastal areas around the current Medan. They left big mountains of thrown-away shells, remains of seafood they ate. These mountains of shells give one of the few intriquing glitches of neolithical foundation in western Indonesia, but too bad they are all destroyed by commercial lime (...)

The modern history of the Medan area starts in 1862, when a Dutch employer, Jacob Nienhuys, saw the potential of the fertile vulcanic soils in this area and persuaded the sultan of Deli to give permission for the cultivation of tobacco. The cover leaves from Deli became world-famous very soon, and from the beginning of the 19th century foreign capital flowed into the area. This started (...)

Medan's international airport is known as Polonia International Airport and is located about 15 minutes from the city. It handles both domestic and regional international flights. Domestic departure taxes from Medan is Rp 35,000, while international departure tax is Rp 75,000. Medan airport Medan is currently in the process of finalising the new Kuala Namu Internationa (...)

Medan is the provincial capital of Sumatra Utara (North Sumatra). It's a cosmopolitan city with over two milion residents, a business centre for big oil and agricultural companies. Impoerant international investments in the plantation culture had big influence on the developement of Sumatra after 1870, and medan grew from a small village into a thriving colonial city from 60.000 inhabitants in 194 (...)

Medan has changes pretty much over the last decades. It was a small, thriving city before the Second World War with 60,00 residents, nowadays it's a fast expanding metropole with a little less than 2 milion inhabitanst and very crowded streets full of new office buildings, stores and noisy motorized becaks and minivans which spew of thick clouds of pollution. The population from before the indepen (...)

Medan can be used as starting point for a number of excursions in the refgion. The main roads in the area are in pretty good condition, but the surface of the secondary roads (kabupaten) are kind of rough. Travellers which intend to leave the paved roads, can best rent a jeep. Travel agencies in Medan take care of organised daytrips with car and guide. Old Deli Delu (...)

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