Sumatra is one of the largest islands in Indonesia, known for its long beaches with dark sand, the ruins of ancient temple complexes and palaces, and untouched nature. Along the western coast of Sumatra are the Barisan Mountains, the highest peak of which is Mount Kerinchi (3800 m). The eastern part of the island is mostly occupied by a marshy plain. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of Indonesia.
How to get there
Regular flights from Moscow fly to Denpasar (Bali), from there it is easy to get to Medan on domestic flights – the largest city in Sumatra and a convenient transit point on the way to Lake Toba.
The first European to set foot on the land of Sumatra was Marco Polo in 1292. The colonizers appeared on the island later, in 1509, the Portuguese, and in 1596, the Dutch. As a result of clashes with the inhabitants of the island, the commander of the Dutch expedition, Cornelius van Houtman, was killed. A little later, the Portuguese tried to regain control of Sumatra, but the Dutch managed to repulse the attack. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Sultanate of Aceh in Sumatra controlled the pepper trade (as you know, at that time spices were valued no less than gold today), and it was with him that the Dutch East India Company mainly had to fight. At the end of the 18th century the Dutch on the island fought the British, who settled in the Bengkulu fort, and at the end of the 19th century, they unsuccessfully tried to suppress the uprising of the inhabitants of the Aceh Sultanate for a long time.
In 1883, the eruption of the Krakatau volcano near Sumatra, which ended in an explosion, plunged the entire island into the ocean depths.
During the Second World War, the island was occupied by Japan, and after that it became entirely part of Indonesia. Since then, demands for if not independence, then at least a certain amount of autonomy have been regularly heard, which were satisfied in 2001. Wide autonomy gives the island the right to even establish Islamic laws. The infamous tsunami of 2004 caused severe damage to the northern and western coasts of Sumatra.
Entertainment and attractions in Sumatra
There are enough entertainment and attractions on the island, these are natural wonders, and the ruins of temple complexes, and all kinds of outdoor activities. Look for landmarks for a quality holiday in Sumatra below.
Sights of Medan
The Paradise Mosque with black domes (1906) is one of the symbols of Sumatra; Maimun Palace (1888) – the residence of the brother of the current Sultan, only two rooms are open to the public; Military Museum – founded in 1971, a collection of weapons from ancient cannons to guns and machine guns of the 20th century.
The world’s largest lake in the crater of a volcano, which appeared about 75 thousand years ago, attracts tourists from all over the world. The water surface of Lake Toba is frozen in an environment of steep mountains, deep gorges and sandy beaches.
The best resort in Sumatra for lovers of a relaxing holiday. The most popular place is the village of Tuk-Tuk. There are thermal springs on Mount Belirang. In the village of Simanido, you can visit the Huta Bolon Museum and watch the performance of the traditional local dance Toba Batak. In the village of Ambarita, tourists are shown a group of stone thrones, on which to this day elders and judges sit during important events. In the village of Tomok, it is good to buy souvenirs. On the way to the shops, you can look into the museum of Raja Sidabatu with a tomb nearby.
Gunung Luser National Park
On the border of the province of Aceh and North Sumatra, there is the largest national park in Southeast Asia, Gunung Luser, which is inhabited by hundreds of species of exotic birds, gibbons, macaques, orangutans. Endangered Sumatran tigers, leopards, elephants, Sumatran rhinos are also found here, however, you can meet them not so often. There are hiking trails, you can go to conquer the mountains Lucer and Loser (climbing will take at least 10 days) or rafting on the Whampoa River.
Querinsi Seblat National Park
The park was founded in 1982 around the Kerisi volcano. The dense jungle is inhabited by rare animals, and amazing plants are also found here: the largest rafflesia flower on Earth and the highest – amorphophallus. The search for these foul-smelling flowers in the tropics and seeing off curious tourists to them has long been a way of earning money for the local population. Hiking trails in the park include an ascent to the mouth of the volcano (at least two days) and a walk to the high-altitude lake Gunung Tudzhukh. All necessary tourist equipment can be rented in the town of Kersik-Tua.
On the border of the province of Aceh and North Sumatra is the largest national park in Southeast Asia, Gunung Luser.
In this city with a cool climate that allows you to take a break from the sweltering tropical heat, tours around the area with a visit to bullfighting, excursions to the Singkarak and Maninjau lakes, trekking in the mountains and volcanoes are offered. Rafflesia reserve is located 15 km north of the city near the village of Palupu, information about the buds that are about to bloom can be obtained from the tourist office.
Sumatra’s second largest city on the Musi River, which hosts a regatta featuring traditional Indonesian racing boats during the annual Srivijaya Harvest Festival (June 16-20). Attractions: Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Museum, Balaputra Deva Museum, a small zoo with crocodiles, orangutans, elephants and bears.
In 1883, the eruption of the Krakatau volcano, which ended in an explosion, plunged the entire island into the ocean abyss. More than 36 thousand people died under the lava and as a result of the tsunami that hit the shores of neighboring islands. A boat trip to the chain of islands left after the explosion includes a visit to the coral islands of Sebuku and Sebesi and Sertung Beach. The transit point for visiting Krakatoa is the city of Bandarlampung. From here you can also go to the Elephant Training Center in Wai Kambas National Park.
Proximity to Singapore makes Bintan Island one of the most popular in recent times. The resort is positioned as ultra-modern, with good beaches and decent service. Attractions: the ruins of the palace of Raja Ali, his tomb, the ancient mosque of Raya-Sultan-Riau.