"The Wild and Marvelous Land of Sumatra" Sumatra by adriansyah

Sumatra Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 103 photos

Sumatra in general

Sumatra is the world’s sixth-largest island (pop., 2000 including adjoining islands: 43,309,707). It is in western Indonesia, one of the Greater Sunda Islands and the second largest island of Indonesia. Stretching 1,706 km (1,060 mi) long, from Banda Aceh in the north to Bakauheni in the south and covering an area of 473,606 sq km, almost the size of Spain. Sumatra is divided in two by the equator, and the Bukit Barisan range is the island’s backbone. An ocean of green topography dominates the island. Malay cultures and languages predominate in the island. Muslims and Christians can get along most of time.

Sumatra has 15 active volcanoes; the tallest is Mt. Kerinci (3805m) in Jambi province. Sumatran rain forests are homes to endangered species such as the massive Rafflesia Arnoldii, the massive Kibut/Titan Arum, two-horned Sumatran rhino, the orangutan, the honey bear, the Sumatran elephant and the Sumatran tiger. Furthermore, Sumatra has many fine beaches with good surf.

Best parts of Sumatra

Relaxing a few days on the cool shores of impressive blue Lake Toba in North Sumatra province. Lake Toba is the largest lake in Southeast Asia, covering an area of 1707 sq km.

Retreating for few days in small tourist town of Bukit Lawang that offers great orangutan-viewing center and hiking around the cool hill town of Berastagi – North Sumatra.

Mentawai – West Sumatra, offers awesome surfing safari. The season peaks between April and October. Great surfs make the area one of the great isolated surf meccas of the world.

Cruising around the paddy fields in the green countryside around the cool hill town of Bukittinggi would be a great experience.

Seeing the massive Rafflesia arnoldii, the world’s largest flower, and Amorphophallus titanium (locally known as Kibut or Titan Arum), the world’s tallest flower. These massive flowers can be found in Tebat Monok, Kepahiang - Bengkulu province. Plus, don’t miss to check out the Sumatran elephant training center that operates in Sebelat – Bengkulu province.

Visiting Way Kambas national park in the east coast of Lampung province. This national park is home to endangered species of elephants, rhinos and tigers. This park also offers great jungle treks.

Brief history of Sumatra

First the Portuguese, then English and the Dutch established forts there beginning in the 16th century. It was occupied by Japan in World War II and in 1945 became part of the Republic of Indonesia. Its exports include coffee, rubber, tobacco, pepper, and timber products; mineral reserves include petroleum and coal.

Most of the island is part of a geologically unstable and volcanically active island arc. On December 26th 2004, a large tsunami generated by a massive earthquake (magnitude 9.4 the world’s second-largest recorded earthquake) off the west coast of Sumatra caused widespread death and destruction in coastal areas bordering the Indian Ocean. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was among the deadliest natural disasters in human history with over 170,000 people killed in Sumatra.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The inhabitants are friendly, the island is very scenic
  • Cons:Bus services are far from efficient or comfortable.
  • In a nutshell:One of the world’s richest ecosystems
  • Intro Updated Apr 12, 2012
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Reviews (12)

Comments (1)

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    Goog information that is helping me to prepare our next travel
    Thank you !!!

    • adriansyah's Profile Photo
      Jan 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Thanks for stopping by my Sumatra page. Hope you have a great travel.

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