Lontong Sayur, Medan’s popular dish

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Thinking what is one dish that you must try in Medan town? Ask anyone from Medan and you’ll probably get just one answer: Lontong Sayur.

This traditional Indonesian dish is, in fact, a combination of two different dishes – Lontong and Sayur. It is so versatile that you can have it as a breakfast item, while it can also be served as your main dish for lunch or can even be treated as a snack.

What is it ?

Lontong Sayur, just like most other popular Indonesian dishes, has rice as its base. Lontong is simply a kind of rice cake that is prepared by boiling rice until it is partially cooked. It is, then, rolled tightly with banana leaves and secured with a wooden needle, made from the central rib of a coconut leaf, locally known as lidi semat. Finally, it is kept in boiled water until cooked. Once it is cooled, Lontong is cut into small pieces and served as staple food. It is a common substitute for steamed rice dishes.

Lontong is usually served with a coconut milk soup called Sayur lodeh — hence, the dish is commonly known as ‘Lontong Sayur’. Along with shredded coconut, some of the other ingredients used in Sayur include tempeh, tofu, hard-boiled egg, sambal.

Ketupat Sayur is another variant of this delectable paired dish, commonly seen in other parts of Indonesia. In Malaysia, Lontong Sayur is known by the name, ‘Nasi Himpit,’ which simply means pressed rice.

Lontong Sayur
Lontong Sayur

If you’re travelling in Medan, get a local tour guide with Locaguide to guide you through this culinary journey. The advantage of having a local guide is, he can guide you to the best food stall or restaurant serving the most authentic version of Lontong Sayur in town.

The taste, coupled with the ease of making this Indonesian delicacy in larger quantities, makes Lontong Sayur one of the favourites at wedding receptions too. So, if you’re planning a tour to Medan or nearby regions of Indonesia, don’t forget to get a taste of this lip-smacking delicacy at least once.


The Royal Maimoon Palace of Medan

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Along with the raw natural beauty of the islands, Indonesia also holds a complex history and culture. If Indonesian history is what eagers you then the Maimoon palace in Medan is a great place to feed your curiosity.

The magnificent palace exudes the aura of one of Indonesia’s most spectacular architectural specimen and is a treasure trove of stories from the past.

Where is it located ?

Maimoon Palace is located at Jalan Brigadier General Katamso, Sukaraja village in downtown Medan. You can hire a cab and get to the palace. But if you want to get adventurous, you can also experience the local pedicab service.

Built in the 1890s by the Sultan Makmun Al-Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah, the Maimoon Palace serves as an ‘Istana’ or a royal house for the Sultanate of Deli. Its unique architecture and interior designs are influenced by Mughal, Malay, and Italian styles. This palace is believed to be designed by an unknown Italian architect commissioned by the Sultan. Hence, unlike the other monuments, the Italian attributes, fused with the traditional Mughal and Malay designs, make the monument one of the most incredible places in Indonesia.

Maimoon Palace
Maimoon Palace

Though only the main room of the palace is open for tourists, the lavish inauguration throne and the lush green gardens are definitely worth visiting. Take a look at the amazing collection of the ceremonial kerises (the unique Indonesian daggers) and get to know more about the kingdom through the photo gallery in the main room. A local guide who understands the Indonesian culture and history could explain the importance of everything that is displayed in this palace. If you want, you could even dress up in the traditional Malay costume as a king or a queen and get pictures clicked in those attires.

Since Deli Sultanate continues to be the only kingdom in Medan, the heritage and the aura of the kingdom is priceless. Occasionally, traditional music performances also take place in the palace vicinity. So, a complete guided tour around the palace with Locaguide will give you a good look at the past and present of traditional Indonesian culture.


Sibolangit Waterfall near Medan

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To explore the natural beauty of Sumatra, the multicultural city of Medan makes a great starting point. You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about when you visit the Sibolangit waterfall ! A visit to this place could be a soothing experience to your soul, as you can, quite literally, taste the fresh air and enjoy the serene beauty of the landscape here.

Also known as Two Colors Waterfalls, the Sibolangit Waterfalls is situated at the core of a dense forest near the Durin Sirugun village at the foot of Mount Sibayak, a few kilometres from Medan.

How to get there 

You can reach the site through land routes across Sibolangit campgrounds, which is just an hour’s drive from Medan city. As you near the waterfalls, the view becomes simply stupefying.

To reach the waterfall, you have to either hike or walk leisurely for a couple of hours. If you’re with a local tour guide, it would be quite easy to find the forest paths. A walk through the unspoiled mountain roads can be a bit challenging, but once you reach the waterfalls, you’ll find yourself lost in the lap of nature. A guide from Locaguide can ensure that you reach the best spots at the right times of the day to make the most out of this experience. Another advantage of having a local guide with you along the trail is that you can listen to local folktales about this mystical place, making your trip even more interesting!

Sibolangit Waterfall
Greenery on the mountains

A Photographers dream

The river starts from Mount Sibayak and meanders across a pristine landscape until it falls from a height of 100 meters at Sibolangit. The water, as the name of the falls suggests, appears in two distinct colors — light blue and grayish white. The light blue colour is because of the phosphor content, while the greyish white colour is due to the presence of sulfur in the water. That’s why you’re not supposed to drink water from this particular waterfalls. However, the same bright colours of this waterfalls open a wide scope for photographers and nature lovers to capture the essence of the trip on camera.