Medan is the North Sumatra’s major metropolis and Indonesia’s third-largest city, with a population of around 2 million people, right after Jakarta
. Much like the rest of Indonesia, Medan has a fantastic diversity of ethnicities and cultures: Chinese, Javanese, Toba-Batak, Minangkabau, Mandailing Batak, Karo Batak, Southern Indians, Northern Indians, and many more ethnic minorities. Most of the ethnic groups exist have comparably-sized populations, so Medan has no single ethnic group forming a majority.
Medan suffers from poor geography: it's not on the coast, there's no mountain backdrop or even a grand river. But it's a city with real Indonesian urban character and it perks up in the evening with backstreet food stalls. So get over the culture shock, give Medan a bit of time and discover an amenity-filled, modern city with more than a hint of crumbling Dutch-colonial-era charm and a couple of worthwhile museums.