The fourth largest city in Indonesia, Medan is one of the most diverse areas in the country, with people from almost all kinds of Asian ethnicities, including Chinese, Javanese, different Indonesian tribes, Southern Indians, and Northern Indians. This diversity has led to a vibrant culture, making Medan a must-visit for any tourist wishing to explore Indonesia.
Usually, Medan is overlooked by tourists as a mere transition point to Malaysia or other Indonesian cities, the island of Penang or the beautiful Lake Toba, but the city in itself has plenty to offer in terms of culture, food and sights. Medan is a cultural mix of many ethnicities and religions, so its landscape is dotted with Dutch buildings, mosques, Hindu and Buddhist temples, churches and many other places of worship.
With sprawling lawns, old government buildings, the heavy traffic and glistening new malls, Medan also offers an interesting contrast between old and new. Each ethnic group contributes to Medan's wide variety of food, making it an excellent place for food tourism, and a must visit for foodies and connoisseurs alike. Thus, despite its relatively unknown status, Medan is great for a weekend's worth of immersion in the diversity of Indonesia.
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