Sumatra Is A Tropical Paradise In Indonesia.
What the first thought that comes to your mind when thinking about Sumatra? Many of us will associate Sumatra with events from a few years ago: the Tsunami in 2004, the earthquake in 2009 which rattled Padang really heavily, some volcanic eruptions and also a few bad plane crashes. Yes, all these things happened (and some of them still do) but Sumatra still has so much to offer for interested travellers.
Mountains In Sumatra.
Gunung Kerinci is an active volcano and with 3.805 meters it’s also the highest mountain yet still (more or less) easy accessible. With the occasional eruptions, the walk through the rainforest is incredible because the flora there is so rich and beautiful.
National Parks In Sumatra.
Gunung Leuser National Park is still a true virgin rainforest – thanks to the difficult terrain. The park is a world heritage site since 2004 and a great choice for trekking or watching the wildlife. Bukit Lawang was the most famous Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center, which adjacent to Gunung Leuser National Park, but since a torrential flash flood swept through the valley in 2003 (a few tourists and about 250 locals died & the entire village was destroyed) the Orang Utan (translates: Orang = person, Utan = forest) Center was relocated to Bukit Tigah Puluh National Park. This park is about 200 km East of Padang, where you can even see the rare Sumatran Tiger. This National Park is not so well known and a good way away from the beaten path so therefore everything is much more authentic and a bit more difficult to access. Unfortunately Sumatra is not spared from deforestation (of course). It is threatening the entire area around these wonderful National Parks. The land is cleared for planting oil palms (elaeis guinneensis) and teak.
Lakes In Sumatra.
Sumatra also offers you some really beautiful lakes: the most famous one is Danau (= lake) Toba with a very large island in the middle. Lots of guest-houses wait for exhausted travellers and it’s a a really nice area to rest for a couple of days. We visited Danau Singkarak on our last trip to Sumatra. We drove around by motorbike along the rice paddies – it was an easy ride yet we still got to see some wonderful impressions. For example we drive through a couple of villages where thousands of fish were dried along the road (I guess these lakes still contain a lot of fish).
Culture In Sumatra.
Sumatra is rich in culture and tribal heritage. People still use local methods for all kind of their daily routine. For example: to make yoghurt you simply need fresh bamboo, cut it in pieces and fill it up with fresh cow milk. Let it stand for a couple of hours (in the warm climate) and you get the best yoghurt. It was the best one we’ve eaten throughout our southeast Asia trip! Milk products are one of the few things that we really miss during our travels, so this is a good recipe.
Beaches In Sumatra.
And then of course there are the beaches … lots of wonderful tropical beaches. We’ve seen many many amazing beaches during our years of travelling but Sumatra’s coast (plus the Mentawai Islands) truly is one of the best places for a beach adventure – without breaking your budget. The surf is abundant and one of the best surf spots in the world (Nias) can be found on these islands.
You should be a bit adventurous, flexible and curious to explore this part of the world because it is still not an area for a package tourist. Get in touch with us for further information and travel tips :)