Medan is the capital of the North Sumatra province in Indonesia. Located on the northern coast, Medan is the third largest city in Indonesia, and the largest Indonesian city outside Java. As the capital of North Sumatra, Medan has a very strategic position. There are consulates of foreign countries and it is the primary center of activities of northern Sumatra.
The population of Medan consists of diverse ethnic groups: Malay, Java, Batak, Chinese, Aceh, Minangkabau, Tamil, etc. Each ethnic group has its own cultural patterns and different social structures.
Bahasa Indonesia is the national language but English, Mandarin and Hokkian are widely spoken. The ethnic groups also speak various languages and dialects.
Tropical climate with warm weather all year round. Temperatures in the lowlands range from 21ºC (70ºF) to 32ºC (90ºF). The highlands are cooler, where temperatures range between 15°C (59° F) to 25°C (77°F). Annual rainfall varies from 1,000mm to 4,000mm.
The unit of currency is Indonesia Rupiah indicated as IDR. Foreign currency can be converted at banks and money changers.
Dress is normally informal in Indonesia due to the warm, humid climate and clothing of light fabrics are recommended. However, if you are traveling in highland areas such as Brastagi & Lake Toba which is noticeably cooler. A light sweater or jacket can be useful.
Accepted attire for men is a shirt and long pants. A jacket and tie are required for official calls or for more formal occasions. Long sleeved batik (Indonesia traditional shirts) or handwoven shirts are acceptable for evening functions.
For ladies, dresses, blouses, and long pants are appropriate. Shorts, halters or tank tops should only be used at sports facilities or on the beach.