When it comes to holidaying in Indonesia, Medan might not be the most popular destination among tourists. For most Malaysians, we’re only familiar with destinations such as Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Yogyakarta, and most recently, Lombok. Not everyone knows that Medan is actually home to a host of exciting attractions and picturesque landscapes. We’ve narrowed down the best five hidden treasures of Medan that you might want to travel to one day.
#1 Lake Toba
Image: Nautica Magazine
This famous lake in Medan is surrounded by stunning green hills and is also the home to the world’s largest volcanic lake in Sumatra. Also known as "Danau Toba" by the locals, the lake is located at the caldera of a super volcano caused by a violent eruption that took place 77,000 years ago. Due to the eruption, a small island called Samosir was formed in the middle of the lake. Although the active volcanoes may be a concern for some tourists, other thrill-seekers are secretly hoping to witness the eruption of the volcanoes.
#2 Tinggi Raja
Image: Suwandi Chandra
If you’ve seen people bathing in cyan-blue waters surrounded by crystal-like formation and snow, you’d probably know by now that such place exists in Pammukale, Turkey. Well the good news is, you don’t really have to endure a long flight to experience it as a similar pool can be found in Medan. Tinggi Raja is one of Medan’s well-kept secrets that not many people know of. The pool is actually a natural hot spring and due to the calcium carbonate deposits, the place looks like its covered in snow. Word of caution though, the water is too hot unlike in Turkey, so visitors are not allowed to swim in it.
#3 Sipisopiso Waterfall
Image: Ronald Tagra
The tallest waterfall in Indonesia, Sipisopiso Waterfall, stands at a majestic height of approximately 120m and 800m above sea level. The waterfall’s name derived from the word “Piso” which means “blade”. Locals named the waterfall after it because of the heavy flow of water gushing down the hill like a sharp blade.
#4 Sibolangit Waterfall
Image: Best Indonesia Tourism
Image: Wily Sudrajat/Flickr
Get ready to be transported to an enchanted world! Sibolangit Waterfall looks like something that was taken out of Alice in Wonderland and will definitely leave you speechless. The waterfall is also known as Two Colour Waterfall located at the village of Durin Sugun, near the foot of Mount Sibayak. Cascading white water can be seen falling down into an azure blue pool. The white water is said to be caused by the rich sulfur from Mount Sibayak. Plus, if you’re lucky enough, you might spot some orang utans while trekking to the waterfall!
#5 Brastagi Highland
Image: Trip Advisor
Brastagi would most probably be Medan’s version of our Cameron Highlands. You can expect fresh, clean air and never-ending supplies of freshly picked vegetables and fruits. Not only that, you can also enjoy the scenic view of both Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung. This rural retreat is the perfect escapade for busy city dwellers who wish for a calm, tranquil trip.