The gateway to this exotic region, Medan is a bustling port town, replete with movie-style crowded market, seedy bars and shady characters, but also broad avenues, first-class hotels and restaurants - the fruits of Sumatra's broad-based economic development. From humble beginnings as a small kingdom on the Deli River delta, Medan became the capital of a powerful sultanate in the late 1800s, then developed into booming plantation town during the early 1900s as Sumatra's tobacco, rubber, palm oil and tea fetched high price on the world markets.
Each successive era has left its mark on the city's architecture. The grandeur of Sultanate of Deli celebrate in the Maimoon Palace, an intriguing melange of Oriental Middle Eastern and Western architectural styles designed by an Italian in 1888. The classically Malay Grand Mosque stands opposite.
Along the length of this province crosses the Bukit Barisan mountains with peaks of numerous volcanoes. In between are several lakes, one among them is the famous Toba Lake. The land has thick virgin forests, lush vegetation, rice fields, mountain streams, rivers, waterfalls and sandy beaches.
It has a rich flora and fauna. An abundance of birds, butterflies, buffaloes, deer, mouse deer, orang utans and many other export commodities make North Sumatra one of the richest provinces in Indonesia, as it produces more than 30 % of Indonesia's exports. The province offers the visitors, especially nature lovers, beautiful tropical panoramas, terraced rice fields, blue mountains, jungle covered hills, white sandy beaches, music, dance and folk arts.