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See North Sumatera
Places of interest in North Sumatra

On this page is a list of tourist attractions in the province of North Sumatra.

Medan was one the site of a battlefield between the Aceh people and the neighboring Deli Kingdom. Medan is the capital of North Sumatra Province, a trading center and important harbor. Once Medan was part of the Deli Sultanate. What is historically most interesting is the Masjid Besar (Grand Mosque) and the Palace of the Sultan of Deli which has been restored to revive its past grandeur.

Medan's harbor town is called Belawan, which is the sea link to Penang Malaysia. Medan, Indonesia s western international gateway maintains regular flight to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Amsterdam and Vienna. Additionally, there are several air connections between Medan and Jakarta, and other destinations in Sumatra.

Lake Toba - Prapat

The town of Prapat is the main tourist resort and lies on the very shore of famous Lake Toba. This lake is about 50 miles long and 16 miles across, with a depth about 1.400 feet. In Parapat live Batak Toba and Batak Simalungun tribes, and are happy and easy going people. They are known for their lively and sentimental love songs.

Recreational sports in Parapat are among others swimming, water skiing, motor boating, canoeing, fishing, and golf at Sally golf course (19 holes) about 5 kilometers from Parapat. Parapat is 176 from Medan and can be reached in 4 hours by bus. The climate in Parapat is cool, and dry, making Parapat an ideal place to relax. Many hotels, bungalows, villas, resthouses welcome visitors. Small shops selling souvenirs such as "Ulos" (local woven cloths) and specific fruits locally grown.

Samosir Island

The island of Samosir is right in the middle of Lake Toba, covering area of 329 square miles. This island is the original home of the fiercest but kind-hearted Toba Bataks. It can be reached in half an hour by boat from Parapat. Visiting the village of Tomok, Tuk-tuk, Siallagan, Ambarita are recommended for traditional Batak Toba houses, and local dances. This island has many hotels, bungalows, and rest houses.

Great Bukit Barisan Forest Park

Located at Tongkoh village, in the district of the Karo highlands, approximately 59 kilometers from Medan. Formerly Talura Bukit Barisan since 1916, known for its location called "Arboretum Tongkoh- ' Berastagi", however since 1989 renovated and renamed Great Bukit Barisan Forest Park.

Found there is the zoological museum and a gazebo with Karo ornaments designed on the top of the roof, painted with various writings of typical welcome greetings in Tapanuli, which is "Horas".

Crocodile Farm

Medan has the largest crocodile farm in Indonesia. Here one can see how the crocodile eggs are hatched, and then reared somewhere else. This farm is located at Asam Kumbang, 5 kilometers from the heart of the city, and has nearly 2000 crocodiles of different kinds.


This places is for the adventurous, accesible through Sumatra's inland wilderness, crossing rivers and going over steep hills. Areo lies south of the Mount Leuser National Park, a rehabilitation center for orang utans in Bahorok, which was inaugurated in 1973, Orang utans living here are of Sumatra and Kalimantan origin.


Berastagi, a tourist town is another lovely town located in the Karo highlands. The town is known fomts plantations and various kinds of flowers vegetables and fruit most famous of which is the "Marquisa" passion fruit.

Its 66 kilometers southwest of Medan and is 4.594 feet above sea level. There is a pleasant colonial-style hole with a golf course. Other new hotels can also be found. From Gundaling Hill a clear view of Mt. Sibayak and Mt. Sinabung volcanoes can be seen.


Jangga is a village of native Bataks, located in the hills, on the main road to other Batak communities living separately there, like Lumban Nabolon village, Tonga-Tonga Sirait Uruk village, Janji Matogu village, Sibubak hubak village, Siregar village, Sigaol village, Silalahi Toruan Muara village and Tomok Sihotang village.

There are monuments of King Tambun and King Manurung, traditional houses, cultural and other historical remains left by Batak Kings centuries ago. This natively unchanged Batak village has complete ornamentation, and is a often visited by domestic and foreign visitors. In this place, visitors can watch young girls or old ladies weaving the beautiful ulos cloth inside the booths their principle livelihood beside agriculture.

Sipiso-piso Waterfall and Tongging

Tongging is a place to see a waterfall surrounded by beautiful sights in cool mountain air. It is 24 kilometers from Kaban Jahe, located at the north side of Lake Toba. The 360 feet waterfall is visible from a gazebo at one of the tops of the hills.

Lingga Village

Located some 15 kilometers from Berastagi, this is a unique Batak Karo village where traditional houses are still well preserved and inhabited today. Five to six families live in each house, unseparated by any partition, while each family have their own stoves.

Rumah Bolon

House of Bolon (Rumah Bolon), the long house that belonged to King Simalungun has now been restored and redesigned into a museum.

Pematang Siantar

Pematang Siantar is the second largest city, Iying 128 kilometers to the South of Medan. On the way, you will pass through many rubber, cocoa, palm oil, tobacco and tea plantations. This is the richest part of North Sumatra, because these plantations produce the main export commodities.

Then onward to Lake Toba you will see a vast stretch of land covered with thick forests, plantations, terraced rice-fields, lush vegetation, blue and green hills and mountains.

Pandan Beach

A seaside resort with white sandy beaches where a fishing village can be found 11 kilometers from Sibolga. Here the visitors can enjoy the magnificent view of the Indian Ocean and see fishermen in their sailing boats from the beach to the open sea. The restaurants here offer you the grilled fresh fish just caught from the sea. Small souvenir shops selling sea shells, corals, ring-stones, etc. are available here.

South Tapanuli

It lies in the southern part of North Sumatra, bordering the provinces of West Sumatra and Riou. This region has a population of approximately 900.000. It lies on the way to West Sumatra overland. The sceneries are attractive all the way. Some of the tourist objects are Candi Portibi, Dolok Simago-mago, Pakantan, HusarTolang, Sibanggor, Adian Lungun R.liroha.

There are also hot springs and a good hotel available at Tor Sibohi. This district is known for its ceramics and handicrafts. The Portibi temple is at Padang Bolak, 78 kilometers from Padang Sidempuan, or 518 kilometers from Medan. There are cultural remnants of a Hindu temple of the Kingdom of Panai, founded in 1039 a.d.

Nias Island

This island lies off West Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. The villages of Bawomataluo and Hilisimae are curious places to visit, where visitors can see performances of traditional war-dances and thrilling high-jump sports, i.e. people making dangerous leaps over two-meter-high stones. Typical scenes are dancers clad in traditional costumes with bird feathers on their heads, a hall for the Chief-of-Tribe built on wooden logs with stone chairs weighing up to 18 tons.

Last revised on October 22, 2009
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