Besides Jakarta, Java and Bali, Sumatra is the most visited destination of Indonesia. This tropical island has a rich collection of flora and fauna. The dense vegetation and the abundant wildlife of the island are comparable to the African wilderness.
Arriving in Sumatra
Medan, the capital of Sumatra is well connected by air, sea and land routes. Domestic flights connect Medan to the Indonesian cities of Jakarta, Aceh, Padang and Palemburg. There is a direct flight connecting Medan to Singapore. Ships, cruises and boats regularly ply between Jakarta and the ports of Sumatra. The roads of Sumatra are quite good for traveling around. You can drive around the island on four wheelers or bikes. However, the slow speed and the poor train services, does not make it a popular mean of exploring Sumatra.
The Equator cutting across Sumatra, divides the island into two climatic zones. The northern part of the island receives maximum rainfall between October and April. However from December to February is the monsoon season in the southern part of Sumatra. Travelers can avoid visiting the island during the peak monsoon season. September to October is the best time to visit the island.
Attractions of Sumatra
Medan the capital city of Sumatra is noted for its Dutch architectural buildings. The popular attractions of this former empire of Sultanate of Achin include the Palace of the Sultan Deli and the Masjid Besar.
70km away from Medan is located the picturesque town of Berastagi. This home of the Karo Batak tribe is flanked by two volcanoes –Gunung Sinabung and Gunung Sibayak. The Gunung Leuser National Park is a treasure house of the tropical wildlife.
Lake Toba, located 175km away from Medan, is the largest lake in Southeast Asia and deepest lake in the world. Parapat is a resort town located on the shore of the lake. You will find several hotels, villas and bungalows overlooking Lake Toba. This is a popular water-sporting venue. There are facilities for swimming, water skiing, and fishing, boating and playing golf.
Aceh is home to country’s tallest men. Its Orangutan rehabilitation is a popular attraction.