Day 5 – Medan to Singapore
Our flight this morning was 11.45 am. So we were prepared to get up early in the morning. It was early enough to catch the sunrise from our room windows. Since our windows were facing east, we had a direct view of the sunrise over Medan.
The dark sky over Centre Point Mall soon received shades of orange. A tiny orange ball then appeared. As this little ball of light climbed higher, it started to expand in size and brightness. A zoomed in view revealed a pretty bright white ball emanating an orange glow of light around it. With the still dark background and some clouds as backdrop, this sunrise view was beautiful and fascinating to watch.
As time went by, the awakening of Medan had begun. The sky soon turned brighter with hues of pink and Centre Point Mall and surrounding buildings could be clearly seen. With the sun getting brighter, the sunrise show was over.
We made our way to the second floor restaurant to have a quick breakfast. The restaurant wasn’t crowded this morning as we were rather early. We didn’t have the luxury of time to enjoy our breakfast slowly as we had a train to catch and a flight out of Medan later in the morning. So after breakfast, we went back to our room to brush up, pack up and were soon on our way to the hotel lobby.
Check out wasn’t time consuming as we were quite early. Having settled our outstanding bill, we went back to the restaurant to collect our box of cakes we purchased the night before. Then we proceeded to concierge where we had already booked our shuttle bus ride to the train station.
The vehicle came and we went on board with all our belongings and went on our way to the train station. In under five minutes, we reached the train station. After thanking the driver, we made our way into the station to purchase our train tickets. The queue wasn’t long and soon we paid 150,000 IDR for two train tickets.
We waited for a short while with other passengers before we were told to proceed to the platform across a bridge to wait for the arriving train. The train arrived and we went on board and found our seats. The train was very new and modern in design. The seats were comfortable too.
After about five minutes, the train set off for the airport. There wasn’t much to see during the train ride as we passed through old houses on both sides and once out of the city limit, fields and farms were the expected scenery. Within forty minutes, we arrived at Kuala Namu International Airport.
Exiting the train and leaving the train station, the airport departure hall was just right ahead. We managed to find the Jetstar counter without any trouble and joined the short queue to collect our boarding passes. It was over in less than ten minutes and we were free to roam this new airport.
Renovation works were still on going at the airport and about half the shops were still not open for business. We did some window shopping with whatever shops and restaurants that were already opened. The airport was so new and these shops were modern in design like those in new shopping malls.
After that, we cleared custom and immigration to enter the secured area of the departure hall to wait for our flight. Not long after that, we boarded our flight and were on our way to Singapore.
The short flight of under an hour soon brought us back to Changi Airport. The familiar airport was a welcome sight. We didn’t buy any more stuff at the airport. We were in a hurry to get home with the box of cakes with us. So having cleared immigration, we boarded a cab and were homeward bound.
As our holiday in Medan and Lake Toba came to an end, we had mixed feelings. Twenty three years ago, Medan and Lake Toba were very different. We didn’t come away from Lake Toba with an awe-inspiring experience. It was just a good place to spend some time to do nothing and enjoy the scenery of Lake Toba. Notwithstanding, the journey to Lake Toba was time consuming and a little expensive while the accommodation on Samosir Island was considerably cheap.
However, Medan had changed quite a lot with new malls sprouting up in the city over the years during our absence. Kuala Namu International Airport had just started operation very recently and with the new Airport Railink Service offering another more convenient option for visitors to get to the city centre quickly avoiding heavy traffic jams around the city, no doubt, more visitors would soon be arriving to visit Medan.
In fact, we enjoyed our stay at Grand Aston City Hall Hotel so much that we went back for a weekend break in June. The air ticket was even cheaper costing only S$62 per person for a pair of return tickets excluding airport tax from Medan. Though shopping in Medan was not comparable to Jakarta, we enjoyed our stay nonetheless. So Medan, apart from Jakarta and Penang, would be just a quick getaway weekend break for us whenever cheap air tickets become available.