Indonesia // Sumatra //

Colonial architecture

Jalan Brig Jend A Yani, at the northern end of Jalan Pemuda, was the centre of colonial Medan, and a few early twentieth-century buildings still remain. The weathered Mansion of Tjong A Fie at no. 105 is a beautiful, green-shuttered, two-storey house that was built for the head of the Chinese community in Medan ( It’s closed to the public, but the dragon-topped gateway is magnificent, with the inner walls featuring some (very faded) portraits of Chinese gods.

The fine 1920s Harrison-Crossfield Building (now labelled “London, Sumatra, Indonesia TBK”), at the road’s northern end, was the former headquarters of a rubber exporter. Continuing north along Jalan Balai Kota and taking a left, you reach the grand, dazzlingly white headquarters of PT Perkebunan IX (a government-run tobacco company), on narrow Jalan Tembakau Deli, 200m north of the Natour Dharma Deli hotel, which was commissioned by Jacob Nienhuys in 1869.

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