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South Sumatra
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Medan is the capital of the North Sumatra province in Indonesia.Located on the northern coast, Medan is the fourth largest city in Indonesia (behind Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung), and the largest Indonesian city outside Java.The city is bordered by the Deli Serdang Regency to the east, south and west, and the Strait of Malacca to the north.It is close to the volcano Sinabung, which erupted in August 2010 after a 400 year dormant state.From 2005 Medan was governed by a mayor, Dr. H. Abdillah Ak, MBA (appointed for the period 2005-2010).However, Abdillah and his vice mayor were caught by Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission in 2008.Syamsul Arifin, the Governor of North Sumatra Province, then appointed Affifudin Lubis to become the acting mayor.In 2009, Affifudin Lubis resigned as mayor, and the Governor then appointed Rahudman Harahap to become the mayor.Because Rahudman wanted to be a candidate in the 2010 mayor election, he resigned as mayor.Then Syamsul Arifin became the acting mayor.In the 2010 mayor election, Rahudman Harahap is elected mayor.Medan is divided into 21 districts (kecamatan) and 151 subdistricts (kelurahan).

Medan started as a village called Kampung Medan (Medan Village).Kampung Medan was founded by Guru Patimpus around the 1590s. Because Kampung Medan sits on Tanah Deli (Land of Deli), Kampung Medan is also referred as Medan-Deli.The original location of Kampung Medan is an area where the Deli River meets the Babura River.Based on the diary of the Portuguese merchant in early 16th century, it stated that the name of Medan was actually derived from Medina which is actually a holy city in the western of Saudi Arabia.However, other sources indicated that the name of Medan actually came from Indian Hindi language word "Maidan" meaning "ground" or "land"(like in Pragati Maidan in Delhi).One of the Karo-Indonesia dictionary written by Darwin Prinst SH published in 2002 wrote that Medan could also be defined as "recover" or "be better".

The first inhabitants of Medan came from the Malay community.It was not until the Sultan of Aceh, Sultan Iskandar Muda, sent his warlord, Gocah Pahlawan Laksamana Khoja Bintan, to be the Sultanate of Aceh's representative in Tanah Deli, that the Sultanate of Deli started to grow.This growth stimulated growth in both the population and culture of Medan.In the second year reign of Sultan Deli (between 1669–1698), there was a cavalry battle in Medan.Medan did not experience significant development until the 1860s, when the Dutch colonialists began clearing the land for tobacco plantations.Medan quickly became a center of government and commercial activity, dominating development of Indonesia's western region.The Dutch governed Tanah Deli from 1658, after Sultan Ismail, ruler of the Kingdom of Siak Sri Indrapura, yielded some of his once-ruled land, Deli, Langkat, and Serdang. In 1915 Medan officially became the capital of North Sumatra Province, and officially a city in 1918.

Under the Koppen climate classification, Medan features a tropical rainforest climate with no real dry season. Medan does have noticeably wetter and drier months, with its driest month (February) on average seeing about one third of the precipitation of its wettest month (October).Temperatures in the city average approximately 27 degrees Celsius throughout the course of the year.Annual precipitation in the Medan is around 1800 mm.There are many old buildings in Medan that still retain their Dutch architecture.These include the old City Hall, the central Post Office, the Tirtanadi Water Tower, which is Medan City's icon, and Titi Gantung (a bridge over the railway).There are several historic places such as Maimun Palace (Istana Maimun) built in years 1887–1891, where the Sultan of Deli still lives (the Sultan no longer holds any official power), and the Great Mosque (Masjid Raya) of Medan built in 1906 in the Moroccan style by the Dutch architect Dingemans.

How to Reach

By Air

Polonia International Airport is located in the heart of the city, because of its close proximity to the city center, the government is currently imposing a ban on constructing high rise buildings.Kuala Namu International Airport is a new airport under construction and is due to replace Polonia in mid-2012.

By Train

Medan is connected by rail to other conurbations on the eastern coast of Sumatra, such as Tanjungbalai, Rantauprapat, Siantar and Binjai. Executive, business and economy class trains are available, but if your budget allows, take the better class trains, which are faster and more comfortable.Tickets cost between Rp 9,000 (economy) to Rp 70,000 (executive).

By Bus

The central station for all larger buses in Medan is Amplas Station Central (not located in the center of the city though).This is where a lot of the smaller minivans go as well, and where travellers need to go to make connecting buses to further cities.Many of the large air-conditioned buses perform overnight routes.Larger, non air-conditioned buses and large luxury buses (often Mercedes) that are air-conditioned (some have toilets on board, though they are squatting toilets that are difficult to use when the buses are moving, given driving habits and road conditions throughout Sumatra).

By Ferries

Medan is not located by the sea but nearby Belawan is a major port with domestic and international boat and ferry services. Belawan is listed as a visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry point.Pelni boats link Belawan with various ports in Sumatra and other Indonesian islands.The comfortable MV Kelud departs from Belawan every Tuesday.

Key places to visit
Istana Maimun Palace, Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni, Masjid Raya Mosque, Bukit Barisan Military Museum, The Great Mosque


Places to Visit

Istana Maimun Palace

Is a well-known landmark at Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra.Built by the Kesultanan of Deli (Sultan of Deli), Sultan Makmun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah in years 1887–1891, the palace covers 2,772 m2 and has 30 rooms.The Palace has become a tourist destination not solely because of age but also because of the unique interior design of the palace, mixing elements of Malay cultural heritage, Islam, Spanish, Indian, and Italian style.

Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

Since 2005, a catholic temple, in Indo-Mogul style, devoted to Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni (Our Lady of Good Health), is built in Medan, Indonesia.This particular Saint knows its origin with an apparition in the 17th century in India.The temple is an imposing building, of two storeys and a small tower of seven storeys in Indonesian style, that already attracts attention from the main road (it is situated in the small road Jl. Sakura III besides Jl. Simatupang).It is already the second most important pilgrimage in Asia.

Masjid Raya Mosque

On Penyengant island is located outside Tanjung Pinang on Bintan island, Indonesia.The mosque was built in 1844 and is today one of Tanjung Pinang's most popular attractions for visitors.The old culture at the Penyengat Island was leading and powerful in the areas past. Is was the royal seat of the Malayan Kingdom and it is famous for its viceroys of Riau during the 18th century conflict period. Penyengat still bears the traces of its illustrious and mystic past. Ruins, abandoned for almost 70 years, are recently restored. The old ruler's palace and royal tombs, among them the grave of the respected Sultan Haji, who also was creator and author of the first Malay Language grammar book, are among the legacies left by the Riau sultanate. Still in use is the old vice-royal mosque, the Mesjid Raya.

Bukit Barisan Military Museum

Brigade General Leo Lopulisa this museum opened on June 21, 1971.This museum was located in H. Zainul Arifin Street 8, Medan.This museum Kept Several historic military weapons include the weapon That was utilized in the struggle for independence and the revolt in North Sumatra During 1958.In this museum Could We see Several Motives / painting of the revolt against the Netherlands. This museum is open on Monday - Friday (08:00 to 14:30) and closed on Thursday - Sunday.

The Great Mosque

This Great mosque was one of the Sultan of Deli in North Sumatra Legacies other than the Maimoon Palace.This mosque was still utilized by the Muslim community to pray every day. Some of the building materials were the resource persons for this mosque decoration made in Italy.Foreign tourists visit this mosque from Various countries all over the World.This Great mosque is the most beautiful and Biggest mosque in North Sumatra.Sultan Ma'mun Al Rashid built this mosque in 1906. Great This mosque is located only 200 m from Maimoon Palace.

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