photo credit: a_rabin
I came to read this article that says Medan (capital of North Sumatra) is the worst city in the world from Twitter. Eyebrows were raised reading it, disturbing but at the end I found myself laughing.
Disturbing, because as much as I have this love-hate affair with my own country, it always pull a few nationalism nerves on me when I read others write badly about Indonesia. Funny, because it sounds like that piece of crap – yes it is crap – article came out of an amateur bitter tourist.
Let’s analyze it a bit, will you.
You’re slim pickin’s for hotels, you don’t seem to boast a single, decent restaurant and from what I’ve heard, you’ve got no real nightlife
Last I heard they do have 5 stars hotels there such as the Marriott. Maybe next time you need to consult Mr. Google or better yet a travel agent! As for nightlife ‘activities’…what kind of nightlife are you expecting? It’s not Jakarta or New York City!
Okay, I admit, there’s a personal element to this. See, I got robbed in one of your hotels.
It wasn’t a very nice hotel. It promotes itself as a four star hotel when in actual fact it’s closer to a two. But that’s fine. I don’t need luxury and it cost less than $100 a night.
Except, in the end, it actually cost a couple of grand. Because while I was out one night scouring the streets for a decent meal – in vain, of course – someone broke into my room and stole a giant wad of company cash from my suitcase.
Okay…number 1 rules of travelers are: NEVER EVER EVER leave your money – especially couple of grand like you said in your hotel room! That’s what the hotel’s safety deposit box at the Front Office is for! Common sense…not that hard. You know you’re staying in an ‘average’ hotel with several grand in your suitcase, isn’t exactly the smartest move! The guy said the hotel doesn’t have safe deposit…well, tough luck then you shouldn’t even stay in that measly hotel in the first place!
Needless to say I moved to a different hotel for my final night. I woke up the next morning in blood-stained sheets. Mozzies never take any interest in me but your Medan mozzies made quite a frenzied exception.
I didn’t get malaria. But I did get spectacularly, violently sick about a week later from an intestinal parasite, which I’m certain I picked up from you, Medan. I just know it.
See the pattern here people…cheap hotels? Wait, maybe all the 5 stars ones were booked? Could possibly be…but intestinal parasite? Maybe this guy just ate something that’s not cooked right or ate street foods that his weak stomach can’t hold. Oh and he said he lives in Jakarta too? Interesting isn’t?
Personally, I haven’t been to Medan but knowing how poorly some of Indonesians infrastructures are outside of Jakarta, it is possible that the roads are bad, their public transportation are inadequate but to call it the worst city in the world? I think that’s a tad too far!
I understand some tourists will have digestive problems when they first got here because let’s face it, in Indonesia hygiene issues are still questionable. You most certainly cannot drink straight out of the tap like in some other countries. That’s why if you consider coming to Indonesia for a visit I strongly advise you to bring some pepto-bismol (or anything like that) and just take it religiously everyday for at least a week and always drinks bottled water and avoid ice in your drinks if you’re in a place where the hygiene may be questionable.
Indonesia is an acquired taste…that’s for sure but when you are a tourist, try to explore the country with an open mind. Keep in mind that Indonesia is still a developing country and also a country with such vast cultures so chances are things will be different than back home.
Granted, I haven’t seen all the cities in the world but Medan is certainly not the worst one.
Do you have any bad experience in a city that you considered calling them the worst city in the world? Share away.