Popular Tourist Destinations in North Sumatra: Some of the Great Options

Sumatra has its own unique places and locations, and some of the hidden jewels can be found in the northern area of Sumatra. So, what are they?

Popular Tourist Destinations in North Sumatra: Some of the Great Options

What are the popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra? You probably think that the area doesn’t have any interesting spots, but you are wrong. The area may not be as popular as other places, especially when compared to Java, Bali, and Lombok. But keep in mind that Sumatra has its own unique places and locations, and some of the hidden jewels can be found in the northern area of Sumatra. So, what are they?

The first spot for the popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra is the Weh Island. It is not exactly located in the northern area but it is more to the northwest area in Sumatra. The Weh Island is pretty unique. It was connected to the mainland of Sumatra once but when there was a volcano’s eruption, the island was separated from the mainland. For the local people, Weh Island is considered as the hidden jewel. It is a well kept secret, far away from the swarm of tourists and travelers. If you are into diving, this is the best location to visit. You can find more than twenty different spots. They are mostly accessible by boat from Banda Aceh, the capital city of the Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, which is the westernmost province in Sumatra.

Weh Island

Weh Island (by https://www.indonesia.biz.id)

Another popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra is Lake Toba, which is one of the biggest lakes in Indonesia. So far, it has been stated as the biggest volcanic lake within the world, formed by the super volcanic eruption happening more than 75,000 years ago. Another unique thing about this lake is the fact that it has a unique island, right in the middle of the lake. Samosir Island is the unique small island located right in the middle. Some of the locals are still afraid of the fact that this is a volcanic lake but you won’t have to worry about a thing when you come to this place. If you want to learn about the cultural heritage, Samosir Island is the place. You can see the traditional and old-fashioned wooden Batak houses as well as learning the traditional handicrafts, such as weaving.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba (by https://www.triip.me)

If you are into the nature – in terms that you love fauna and flora diversity, you should come to Bukit Lawang or Lawang Hill. It is located in Mount Leuser Forest Conservation that is set up as the research, breeding, and protection center for various different species, especially Sumatran elephants and orangutans. If you like to have a bit of adventure, you can take part in the trekking activity, which vary from day hiking or longer treks. In the latter one, you may have to set up the camp right in the middle of the wood. In the event that you don’t like trekking back to Bukit Lawang, you can always go for the river tubing so you won’t have to break a sweat. This is one of the major reasons why Bukit Lawang is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra.

Orangutans at Lawang Hill

Orangutans at Lawang Hill

If you come to North Sumatra, it is most likely that you will stay in Medan, the capital city. As the third biggest city in Indonesia, it is a place with a lot of entertainment factors and interesting spots. As one of the popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra, there are a lot of things to enjoy and explore while in Medan, such as the culinary elements, such as Nasi Padang or Soto Medan. If you like historical value, you may like going to Istana Maimum or Maimoon Palace, the regal house of Sultan. You can learn about the royal family’s history. Want to dress up and take pictures? Feel free to do do there. You can also enjy the beautiful view of Raya Mosque or coming to Tjong A Fie Mansion. After all, it takes only five hours from Medan to Lake Toba, so it is quite ideal to stay in Medan and then explore the area around, including to Lake Toba.

Berastagi town is another popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra that isn’t far from Medan, it is only located a few hours away in the higher altitude. This place is ideal for growing veggies and fruits, and most of them are sold in Berastagi. If you want to enjoy one of the tourist attractions, you can visit the fruit fruits and then directly pick your fruits from the tree.  Berastagi is the home of the local Karo people. If you want to learn more about the architecture as well as the local culture, this is a place to visit. Not far from the location, there is Gunung Sibayak or Sibayak Mountain. This is one of the most popular volcanoes in the mainland of Sumatra but it is dormant. It is one of the easiest mountains to climb. This volcano is unique in terms that you can find hot springs there, believed to have medicinal properties because of the volcanic minerals. This mountain still has smoke and gas erupting from the soil. If you want to hike to the mountain, it takes around 3 hours or 7 kilometers away. Despite the easiness, you should trek with a guide, especially if this is your first time. No wonder if this place is included as one of the most popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra.

Maimoon Palace at North Sumatera

Maimoon Palace at North Sumatera

Sibayak Mountain at Berastagi

Sibayak Mountain at Berastagi

There are also other popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra that you can check, such as:

  • Not many people know that Nias is an ideal place to surf. It is less crowded with challenging and exciting waves
  • Merdeka Walk. This is basically the Sumatran version of Malioboro from Yogyakarta. It is a place with historical buildings and street food area.
  • Sipiso-piso waterfall. It is located in Sipiso-piso Mountain in Berastagi. The waterfall height is around 120 meters. You can also see the amazing view of Lake Toba
  • Lumbini Pagoda Natural Park. This is the replica from the Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda.
Merdeka Walk

Merdeka Walk at Medan

Lumbini Pagoda Natural Park

Lumbini Pagoda Natural Park

As you can see, North Sumatra is packed with its natural beauty and amazing view. There are some popular tourist destinations in North Sumatra that are worth visiting so you can a different exploration.

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