Not Silangit, but Kualanamu

KNO is the code for Kualanamu International Airport which is established by IATA. Like CGK for Soetta, KUL for KLIA and SIN for Changi.

In the past, when I thought of Medan (before I actually visited it) then the first place which I imagined was Toba Lake….Even though, Toba Lake is in Simalungun Regency, while Medan is 190 km at north of lake.

Perception changed again when Indonesia airport optimization era was promoted throughout the country. When I hear the word “Medan”, then I automatically imagine Kualanamu. How not, Kualanamu had set a record in as a pioneer in using of airport train to downtown in Indonesia.

1. Arrival Hall

Conveyor belt area.

Sriwijaya Air SJ 010 with its very economical ticket meritorious for landing me at Kualanamu International Airport (KNIA). As always, airport exploration is a must for me. I decided to invest my first hour in North Sumatera to explore each side of Kualanamu.

Main Arrival Hall.

The temperature of Medan had only moved to 28 Celsius degrees, so it wasn’t as hot as I imagined. Therefore I feel relaxed when stood a little long in plane parking lot while waiting for shuttle bus apron to picked me up right under the plane.

Maimun Palace Replica, Medan tourism icon.

Entering the airport which has meaning of the name i.e “Meeting Place”, situation became noisy because many passengers were running around and even willing to queued to take pictures with Mr. Jokowi who was pedaling a bicycle or just to captured theirself in KNO yellow signboard spot.

2. Departure Hall

That is check-in area.

After exploring Arrrival Hall and understanding a dozen directions to several airport facilities, I made time to go up to 2nd floor to see Departure Hall. This became a necessity because I was aware that I would back to Jakarta from Minangkabau International Airport in Padang Pariaman.

They were busy to leave Medan.

Only situation of plane’s waiting room wasn’t caught on my camera because I didn’t have a ticket to enter it. Exploration at Departure Hall must finally end here.

The departure gate after you check-in.

3. Other Facilities

Down from 2nd floor through escalator, I returned to Arrival Hall to see available other facilities .

Tourists must come here if they want to find information about North Sumatera tourism.

I talked for a long time with “The Beautiful Hijab” on duty at Tourist Information Center. Her aura made me feel comfort and smoothly issued as many questions as possible just to be able to admire her beauty longer….Hihihi.

Information Center at Arrival Hall.

Leaving Arrival Hall and hold many brochures as result of my conversation with her. Combined with an itinerary which I composed, my exploration focus for North Sumatera Province this time are in Medan, Toba Lake and Pematang Siantar. Because I would pass all this three places.

Exit gate of airport main building.

4. Airport Train Access

Yuhuii….I was excited because in an instant I would directly see “The Blue Sky” which is already famous throughout my country as the first airport train in Indonesia.

Look at the sign board. How easy it is to find it.

This South Korean-made train sells its tickets for USD 7.4 for one way trip from airport station to downtown or vice versa.

Gate to airport train station.
Ticketing counter and information desk.
Automatic Ticket Vending Machine.

But sorry, gaes….I couldn’t show the train interior, because I wasn’t ride it to downtown. Its price is too expensive for me. There is other transportation mode which are more affordable with my wallet.

That is the airport train….

5. Airport Bus Access

Yes, I chose to use DAMRI bus to go to downtown. Its ticket price which is only USD 1.1 really made it as first choice and suddenly appeared in my backpacker instinct. Not bad anyway, the price gap about USD 6.3 can be made for four time meals…. So this savings started from DAMRI airport bus….Hahaha.

Let’s buy a DAMRI ticket and then head to downtown.

I was satisfied after successfully collecting one airport which is belonged to my country and would be stored in my journey history.

See the airport’s inside: https://youtu.be/9XkLfmzCuqA

Thank you Kualanamu….Welcome Medan.