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Interesting Places in Sumatera

Lake Toba
Lake Toba is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest in the world. It was formed by a monumental volcanic eruption. Its one of the highest (900m) and deepest (450m) lakes on earth. Enclosed by pine-covered mountains slopes & cliffs, the climate is cool but not too cold and sometimes rainy but rarely saturated.  
The best place to experience Toba’s spell is Samosir Island, a 1,000 sq km island that floats near the centre of the lake. Boats depart daily to Samosir taking dozens of visitors to Batak’s traditional villages. Ambarita is one of the traditional villages where there are three megalithic complexes with stone seats and tables, including the flat stone slab upon which prisoners were executed.


A cool hill town, Brastagi is a good base from which to explore Karo Batak villages, climb volcanoes or sample jungle trekking in Gunung Leuser National Park. The park is one of the largest national park in Asia. It covers more than 7750 sq km and protects more than 100 different animals, including rhinoceros, elephant, tiger & orangutan and at least 300 species of birds.

Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Station
Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Station offers a virtually guaranteed sighting of young and mature orangutans. These orangutans are taught how to survive before they are released into the remote areas of the Gunung Leuser National Park. The eastern fringes of the park can be visited from Brastagi, but for naturalists and trekkers, the best entry point is the town of Kutacane

Nias Islands

This island lies off West Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. The villages of Bawomataluo and Hilisimae are curious places to visit, where visitors can see performances of traditional war-dances and thrilling high- jump sports, i.e. people making dangerous leaps over 2 meter-high stones. Typical scenes are dancers clad in traditional costumes with bird feathers on their heads, a hall for the Chief-of Tribe built on wooden logs with stone chairs weighing up to 18 tons.

Mentawai Islands
Four islands make up the Mentawai cluster off the West Sumatra coast: Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan. The people of these islands still live in comparative isolation, maintaining their age-old ways. Siberut is well known for its untouched forests, a part of a nature reserve inhabited by a number of animal species not found anywhere else, among them some rare monkey species. Beautiful coral reefs are found offshore.

The Musi River
By Javanese standards the Musi river is both very broad as well as long, comparable to those found on the big island of Kalimantan, formerly Borneo. The river flows right through the city, cutting it in two halves called the Ulu bank and the Ilir bank and linked by a bridge of considerable size and length, called the Ampera Bridge. If visitors do not care to make an interesting or unique boat trip down the river, they could still take a walk halfway over the bridge to see the vast panorama surrounding them, rare to any other place in Indonesia. Down below they will see unbelievable traffic of boats, big and small, crisscrossing water lines without accidents as if steered by the most able navigators. From the same spot both halves of the city are clearly visible as well. And if the time is right, sunrises and sunsets as witnessed from the bridge would be an unforgettable sight of beauty. Worthwhile noticing are the floating restaurants and shops on both sides of the river, and other curious scenes of daily habits of the city's inhabitants.

The delightful hill town, Bukittinggi nestled amid mountain greenery at 920 m above sea level is the capital of the Minangkabau (victorious buffalo) people. Bukittinggi meaning ‘high hill’ is stunningly located with views over fertile valleys to low volcanoes, Mt Merapi and Mt Singgalang. It is laid out in tiers down the steep hillside, each level connected to the next by precipitous stone steps and passageways. The central landmark in Bukittinggi is the clock tower, with its stylized roof, standing in the town square. Geographically, the town’s highest point is the Rumah Adat Baandjuang Museum. It is a 140 years old classic rumah adat (clan house). Its exhibit include wedding and dance costumes, headdresses, musical instruments, village crafts and historic weaponry. Panorama Park has spectacular views over the Sianok and Ngarai canyons.To the west of Bukittinggi, LakeMeninjau is a crater lake renowned for its scenerity and remote beauty. Visitors can rent canoes and motorboats at the lake shore.To the east of Padangpanjang, Batusangkar you can see the splendidly restored palace, with its wonderful carved and painted facades. Balimbing village has many traditional Minang houses.Harau canyon, near Payakumbuh is a deep canyon with beautiful waterfall and many butterflies. Near Lake Meninjau, Batang Palapuh a sanctuary, giant rafflesia flowers are sometimes found.

The Capital of West Sumatra, Padang is a properous city awith major ports which has retained the atmosphere of a market town, It is the third largest city of Indonesia with a population of more than 300,000. Padang’s museum has fine exhibits of Minangkabau artifacts. Adityawarman Museum is built in traditional Minang style, with rice barns at the front. Taman Budaya is an arts institute which often stages Minang dance and pencak silat (martial arts) performances. South of Padang, the massive Kerinci-Selat Nature Reserve, is Indonesia’s largest national park sprawled across a 345 sq km stretch of jungle mountain dominated by the volcanic core of Gunung Kerinci which is Sumatra’s highest mountain.

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