Saturday 30 March 2013

Medan Travel Part 1: Travelling Around Medan City

There's really nothing much in Medan. It's just a city you will have to travel through to get to places like Lake Toba and Berastagi. This is my second trip and I'm taking the opportunity to visit  a few places I haven't been to. (My first trip here was 3 decades ago)
An aerial view of Medan city taken from the plane.
Getting around Medan is easy but stressful at the same time. "Easy" as public transport is in abundance and the whole city is swarmed with them. Photo above shows the non-motorised and motorised trishaws or becaks as they are locally called. It costs about IDR5000 to IDR10000 depending on the distance to take these becaks. 
I took this photo while sitting in a becak. We were going to "Zulaikha" to buy some layer cakes. Surprisingly, this little becak sits 3.
Another public transport you can take are the angkots which are either mini-vans or mini covered but open-air trucks. It costs about IDR3000 per trip per person to get on this. The angkots come in vibrant colours and designs.
There are also the blue bird taxis, the normal taxis  and the public buses. Taxi fare within the city is around IDR25000 to IDR30000. Transportation is still relatively cheap in Medan.
Most of the time we travel on this  bus as I have booked a tour with Narasindo, a local travel agent here.
The stressful part of Medan travelling is the massive and never-ending traffic jam.
This congestion is due mainly to the angkots and becaks traversing the  street in big numbers and with many defying the traffic system.
Seen here are secondary school students crossing the road during the rush hour. Life must be pretty stressful in Medan.

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