North Sumatra

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Sumatra North Sumatra



North Sumatra (Sumatera Utara) is famous for its strong culture, unique cuisine, white sand beaches, and typical Indonesian friendliness. North Sumatra is also known as the home of Batak tribe, a tribe that is famous for its strong culture. Medan is the capital of this province and is the third largest city in Indonesia, and one of the major gateways to Indonesia from Singapore and Malaysia.

North Sumatra has seven indigenous tribe: Batak Toba, Batak Karo, Batak Simalungun, Mandailing, Pak Pak, Melayu (Malay), and Nias.




Sights and Activities

There are lots of attractions in North Sumatera, including natural sights, malls, nursery exhibitions, white sand beaches, 20-feet high rip, Megalithicum buildings and crocodile conservation.

Here are some of those:

  • Surfing at Teluk Dalam, Nias
  • Watch war dance at Bawomataluwo, Nias
  • Crocodile conservation at Medan
  • Orangutans, rafting and rice fields in Bukit Lawang
  • Hot spring resort at Berastagi
  • White sand beaches at Sibolga
  • Lake Toba
  • Sigale-gale puppet dance at Samosir, an island in Lake Toba




North Sumatra, like most other Indonesian areas has tropical, humid weather throughout the year, with a rainy season from October to March, and a dry season between April and September. Temperatures at Medan are usually around 35 °C during the day and about 28 °C at night.

Around June and July, storms in the strait between Sibolga and Nias are common, so it's dangerous to travel by ferry during these months. But it's good news for surfers, because there are 20-feet high rips at Teluk Dalam.



Getting There

There are a few ways to get to North Sumatra, and a few gateways as well.

By Plane

There are daily direct flights both domestically (from Bandung, Jakarta, Pekanbaru, etc) and internationally (Singapore and Malaysia) to Medan's Polonia International Airport

By Train

There are some train routes in North Sumatra whether its intercity in North Sumatra or inter-province.

By Car

There is a road chain that call Jalan Lintas Sumatra (Cross-Sumatra road) that span from South Sumatra to Aceh, so it's quite easy to get to North Sumatra by car.




North Sumatra, like other major Indonesia cities, is famous for its local culinary.

The most famous food from North Sumatera is saksang (pork dish with hot taste and pig blood as its condiment), BPK (Babi Panggang Karo - Karo Grilled Pork), Naniura (Toba's traditional gold fish dish), Roti Ganda (big sandwich from Siantar).
Saksang is available at Lapo for around Rp10,000 per portion (included rice)

BPK is available at Lapo for Rp12,000 per portion (included) or around Rp50,000 per kilogram (excluded rice)

Besides traditional food, there are also wide variety of European, Indian, and other kind of foods.




Tuak and Nira are the most well known traditional drinks in North Sumatra. Some tuak are made from rice and contain alcohol, while Nira is made from sugar palm juice and doesn't contain alcohol. Those drinks (and also those local foods) will be found easily at local traditional shop or Lapo (North Sumatra traditional restaurant).

The price for a jerrycan of tuak is around Rp15,000.

Nira is available for around Rp5,000 per glass (300ml glass).





as well as Hien (9%), Sam I Am (3%)

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This is version 9. Last edited at 11:00 on Aug 17, 16 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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