Sumatra is an elongated landmass spanning a diagonal northwest-southeast axis. The Indian Ocean borders the west, northwest, and southwest sides of Sumatra with the island chain of Simeulue, Nias and Mentawai bordering the southwestern coast. On the northeast side the narrow Strait of Malacca separates the island from the Malay Peninsula, an extension of the Eurasian continent. On the southeast the narrow Sunda Strait separates Sumatra from Java. The northern tip of Sumatra borders the Andaman Islands, while on the lower eastern side are the islands of Bangka and Belitung, Karimata Strait and the Java Sea. The Bukit Barisan mountains, which contain several active volcanoes, form the backbone of the island, while the northeast sides are outlying lowlands with swamps, mangrove and complex river systems. The equator crosses the island at its center on West Sumatra and Riau provinces. The climate of the island is tropical, hot and humid with lush tropical rain forest once dominating the landscape.
Sumatra has a wide range of plant and animal species but has lost almost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years, and many species are critically endangered such as the Sumatran Ground-cuckoo, Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Sumatran orangutan. Deforestation on the island has also resulted in serious haze over neighbouring countries, such as the 2013 Southeast Asian haze causing considerable tensions with affected countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.
Sumatra was known in ancient times by the Sanskrit names of Swarnadwīpa ("Island of Gold") and Swarnabhūmi ("Land of Gold"), because of the gold deposits of the island's highland. The first word mentioning the name of Sumatra was the name of Srivijayan Haji (king) Sumatrabhumi ("King of the land of Sumatra"), who sent an envoy to China in 1017. Arab geographers referred to the island as Lamri (Lamuri, Lambri or Ramni) in the tenth through thirteenth centuries, in reference to a kingdom near modern-day Banda Aceh which was the first landfall for traders.
Late in the 14th century the name Sumatra became popular in reference to the kingdom of Samudra Pasai, which was a rising power until it was replaced by Sultanate of Aceh. Sultan Alauddin Shah of Aceh, on letters written in 1602 addressed to Queen Elizabeth I of England, referred to himself as "king of Aceh and Samudra". The word itself is from Sanskrit "Samudra", (समुद्र), meaning "gathering together of waters, sea or ocean".
European writers in the 19th century found that the indigenous inhabitants did not have a name for the island
The longest axis of the island runs approximately 1,790 km (1,110 mi) northwest–southeast, crossing the equator near the centre. At its widest point, the island spans 435 km (270 mi). The interior of the island is dominated by two geographical regions: the Barisan Mountains in the west and swampy plains in the east. Sumatra is the closest Indonesian island to mainland Asia.
To the southeast is Java, separated by the Sunda Strait. To the north is the Malay Peninsula (located on the Asian mainland), separated by the Strait of Malacca. To the east is Borneo, across the Karimata Strait. West of the island is the Indian Ocean.
The backbone of the island is the Barisan Mountain chain, with the active volcano Mount Kerinci as the highest point at 3,805 m (12,467 ft), located at about the midpoint of the range. The volcanic activity of this region endowed the region with fertile land and beautiful sceneries, for instance around Lake Toba. It also contains deposits of coal and gold. The volcanic activity stems from Sumatra's location on the Pacific Ring of Fire—which is also the reason why Sumatra has had some of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded: in 1797, 1833, 1861, 2004, 2005, and 2007.
The Great Sumatran fault (a strike-slip fault), and the Sunda megathrust (a subduction zone), run the entire length of the island along its west coast. On 26 December 2004, the western coast and islands of Sumatra, particularly Aceh province, were struck by a tsunami following the Indian Ocean earthquake. More than 170,000 Indonesians were killed, primarily in Aceh. Other recent earthquakes to strike Sumatra include the 2005 Sumatra earthquake and the October 2010 Sumatra earthquake.
To the east, big rivers carry silt from the mountains, forming the vast lowland interspersed by swamps. Even if mostly unsuitable for farming, the area is currently of great economic importance for Indonesia. It produces oil from both above and below the soil – palm oil and petroleum.
Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee. Small-holders grow Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) in the highlands, while Robusta (Coffea canephora) is found in the lowlands. Arabica coffee from the regions of Gayo, Lintong and Sidikilang is typically processed using the Giling Basah (wet hulling) technique, which gives it a heavy body and low acidity.
Most of Sumatra used to be covered by tropical rainforest, but economic development coupled with corruption and illegal logging has severely threatened its existence. Even designated conservation areas have not been spared from this destruction.
The island is the world's fifth highest island, and the third highest in the Indonesian archipelago.
Batang Hari River is the longest river in the island with its source in the Minangkabau Highlands, stretching around 800 kilometres eastward to its
Flora and fauna
Sumatra supports a wide range of vegetation types which are home to a rich variety of species, including 17 endemic genera of plants. Unique species include the Sumatran Pine which dominates the Sumatran tropical pine forests of the higher mountainsides in the north of the island and rainforest plants such as Rafflesia arnoldii (the world's largest individual flower), and the Titan Arum (the world's largest unbranched inflorescence).
The island is home to 201 mammal species and 580 bird species, such as the Sumatran Ground-Cuckoo. There are 9 endemic mammal species on mainland Sumatra and 14 more endemic to the nearby Mentawai Islands. There are about 300 freshwater fish species in Sumatra.
The Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran Ground-Cuckoo, and Sumatran Orangutan are all Critically Endangered, indicating the highest level of threat to their survival. In October 2008, the Indonesian government announced a plan to protect Sumatra's remaining forests.
The island includes more than 10 national parks, including 3 which are listed as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage Site – Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The Berbak National Park is one of three national parks in Indonesia listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
The people of Sumatra are multi-lingual, multi-diverse and multi-religious. There are over 52 languages spoken, all of them belong to Austronesian language family (except Chinese and Indians). Most of these groups share many similar traditions and the different tongues are closely related. Ethnic Malays dominate most of the eastern coast in the provinces of Riau, Bangka-Belitung, South Sumatra, Riau Islands, northern parts of Lampung and Bengkulu and in the easternmost parts of North Sumatra and Aceh, while people in the southern and central interior speak languages related to Malay, such as Lembak (that speak Col language), Kerinci (that speak Kerinci language) and Minangkabau people (that speak Minangkabau). The highlands of northern Sumatra is inhabited by the Bataknese, the northernmost coast is dominated by the Acehnese, while southernmost coast is dominated by Ethnic Javanese. Chinese and Tamil minorities are present in urban centres.
All Languages of Sumatra belongs to Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian sub-branch of Malayo-Polynesian in which in turn a branch of Austronesian language family. Within Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian, they were divided into several sub-branches that is Chamic (which are represented by Acehnese in which its closest relatives are languages spoken by Ethnic Chams in Cambodia and Vietnam), Malayic (Malay, Minangkabau and other closely related languages), Northwest Sumatran (Batak languages, Gayo and others), Lampungic (includes Proper Lampung and Komering) and Bornean (represented by Rejang in which its closest linguistic relatives are Bukar Sadong and Land Dayak spoken in West Kalimantan and Sarawak (Malaysia)). Northwest Sumatran and Lampungic branches are endemic to the island. Like all parts of Indonesia, Indonesian (which was based on Riau Malay) is the official language and the main Lingua franca. Although Sumatra has its own local Lingua franca, variants of Malay like Medan Malay and Palembang Malay are popular in North and South Sumatra, especially in urban areas. Minangkabau (Padang dialect) is popular in West Sumatra, some parts of North Sumatra, Bengkulu, Jambi and Riau (especially in Pekanbaru and areas bordered with West Sumatra). While Acehnese are also use as an inter-ethnic communication in some parts of Aceh
A majority of people in Sumatra are Muslims (87%), while 10% are Christians, 2% are Buddhist and 1% are Hindu. Most central Bataks are Protestant Christians, a religion introduced by the German Rhenish Missionary Society.
DAY 01. ARRIVAL IN MEDAN (Tiara Hotel/Asean Int Hotel) (B)
Upon arrival at Polonia airport pick up by our tour guide and then Transfer to hotel, afternoon free at own leisure.
DAY 02. MEDAN – BUKIT LAWANG (Bukit Lawang Cottage/Rindu Alam Htl) (B)
After breakfast drive to Bukit Lawang on the way stop at Palm oil and rubber plantation, upon arrival at Bukit Lawang check in to hotel.
DAY 03. BUKIT LAWANG – VISIT ORANG UTAN–BRASTAGI (Grand Mutiara/Sinabung) (B)
After breakfast walking to the jungle to see the Orang Utan by crossing the river with traditional canoe and the tracking to the feeding site to see the Orang Utan on their feeding time return back to hotel and then continue drive to Brastagi.with stop at Sembahe river and After breakfast drive to Brastagi with stop at Sembahe river, arrival at Brastagi visiting fruit market, and Gundaling Hill. Afternoon check in to hotel.
DAY 04. BRASTAGI – SAMOSIR (Silintong/Tabo Cottage/Toledo Inn) (B)
After breakfast drive to Parapat on the way visit Sipiso-piso waterfall, Rumah Bolon ( Long house ) the old palace of Batak Simalungun Kings and Simarjarunjung to see the view of Lake Toba, upon arrival at Parapat crossing to Samosir Island by ferry boat arriavl at Samosir check in to hotel.
DAY 05. SAMOSIR EXCURSION (B)
After breakfast excursion on Lake Toba by car or ferry boat and visiting several Batak Toba traditional villages :
- Tomok : to see the old tomb of Sidabutar Kings.
- Ambarita : to see stone chair and table the excution place of Sialagan Kings.
- Simanindo : to see Batak Toba traditional dance ( Tor-Tor ) and museum. Afternoon return back to hotel.
DAY 06.SAMOSIR – SIPIROK (Tor Sibohi Htl) (B)
After breakfast crossing back to Parapat and arrival at Parapat drive to Sipirok, on the way stop at Pineapple, clove, and coffee plantation and visiting traditional market at Balige Sigur-gur and Sipoholon Hot Springs. Before arrival at Sipirok the day enjoy the nature by walking at the bank of Sarulla river, the rice terrace and arrival at Sipirok check in to hotel.
DAY 07.SIPIROK – BUKITTINGGI (Pusako / Royal Denai Htl) (B)
Leave Sipirok for Bukittinggi by passing rain tropical forest of Rimba Panti and stop will be made to see the attraction of monkey picking up the coconut. Visit pepper, vanilla, cardamon and cinnamon garden, and crossing the equator line at Bonjol, afternoon arrival at Bukittinggi the charming towns of Minangkabau directly check in to hotel.
DAY 08.BUKITTINGGI – MINANGKABAU TOUR. (B)
After breakfast drive to Batu Sangkar via Tabek Patah, on the way stop at Rao-Rao to visit Minangkabau traditional village and stop to see traditional village and stop to see traditional coffee milling, arrival at Batu Sangkar drive to Pagaruyung to visit the Palace of Minangkabau Kingdom, afternoon return to Bukittinggi via Padang Panjang and visit Pandai Sikat village to see Minangkabau traditional hand weaving and wood carving.
DAY 09.BUKITTINGGI –KERSIK TUO (Subandi/Paiman Guest House) (B)
After breakfast drive to Kersik Tuo via Singkarak Lake and Sitinjau Laut, on the way passing twin Lake called Danau Diatas and Danau Dibawah, visit Minangkabau traditional village called “ Seribu Rumah Gadang(Thousand of Traditional house”, then visit Telun berasap waterfall at Letter W, and then passing Tea Plantation at Kayu Aro. Afternoon arrival at Kersik Tuo check in to simple home stay.
DAY 10.LAKE GUNUNG TUJUH TREKKING. (Subandi / Paiman Guest house) (B, L)
After breakfast, transfer by bus to Lake Mount seven National Park for about 1 hours. Lake Danau Tujuh is a huge-mysterious lake on 1.995 m above sea level and surrounded by primary rainforest and 7 hills. Lunch will be served on the side of the lake. The pristine area around the lake is known as the habitat of Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran Elephants, Primates, endemic birds of Sumatra as well as research area for the “small man” living in the jungle around the lake. Most of the day spent by trekking and explore the surrounding in search for animals, birds and exotic plants
DAY 11. KERSIK TUO– BANGKO (Permata Htl/Similar) (B)
After breakfast city tour by visiting Simerup Hot Spring, Old Historical Mosque with its Giant Drum and Lake Kerinci, then drive to Bangko on the way passing rain tropical forest with its flora and fauna Stop will be made at several interesting places and arrival at Bangko check in to hotel.
DAY 12. EXPLORE KUBU PRIMITIVE TRIBE (B)
After breakfast drive around 2 hours to the village near the jungle then walking to the jungle to explore where the nomadic Kubu people live and witness their daily activity and its traditional and culture, picnic lunch box provide and afternoon return back to hotel.
DAY 13. BANGKO-BENGKULU. (Grage Horison Htl) (B)
After breakfast drive to Bengkulu via Lubuk Linggau and on the way stop at several plantation for rubber, rice field and village, and the possibility to see Raflesia Flower in the jungle, Arrival at Bengkulu Check in to Hotel.
DAY 14. BENGKULU – EXCURSION (B)
Excursion at Bengkulu, visiting Old Soekarno House, Nala Beach, Marlborogh Fort and market, afternoon return back to hotel
DAY 15. BENGKULU – PAGAR ALAM (Wisma Pemda/Wisma Gunung Gare) (B)
After breakfast drive to Pagar Alam on the way visit several traditional market and afternoon arrival at Pagar Alam check in to hotel
DAY 16. PAGAR ALAM EXCURSION – BATU RAJA (Harison Htl/Similar) (B)
After Breakfast explore the megalith stone at Tegur wangi and belumai as well enjoying the fresh weather of Pagar Alam with its tea plantation Dempo Vulcano and then drive to Batu Raja via Kayu Agung, arrival at Batu raja check in to hotel
DAY 17. BATU RAJA- BANDAR LAMPUNG. (Marcopolo Htl/Similar) (B)
Leave Batu Raja for Bandar Lampung via Liwa, on the way stop at several interesting places, afternoon arrival at Bandar Lampung check in to hotel.
DAY 18. BANDAR LAMPUNG – WAY KANAN (Kalpataru Ecolodge) (B)
After breakfast drive to Way Kambas, arrival at Way Kambas check in at Kalpataru Ecolodge, after a short rest drive to Way Kanan and then excursion on the river by speed boat, a long the river the possibility to see some animal which normally coming to the river in the afternoon. Overnight at simple guset house.
DAY 19. WAY KANAN – WAY KAMBAS – B.LAMPUNG. (Marcopolo Htl/Similar) (B)
After breakfast visit Elephant Training camp at Way Kambas and the rest of the day you may take some tracking tour / Optional (Extra Charge for tracking), afternoon return back to Bandar Lampung and check in to hotel
DAY 20.TRANSFER TO AIRPORT OR MERAK HARBOUR (B)
After breakfast transfer to Merak harbor or Airport Bandar Lampung for your onwards flight.
Rate: USD 1.950/person/twin share, Minimum 2 person
- Accommodation in twin sharing room
- Air condition private car
- Daily breakfast
- Tours - Transfer
- Entrance fee
- English speaking tour guide
- Jungle tracking at Bukit Lawang 03 hours
- Full day jungle tracking at Kerinci Seblat
- Visiting Kubu primitive tribe
- Boat trip at Way Kanan
- 3 Meals a day
- Air fare
- Airport taxes
- All personal gratuities.
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