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Sumatra

Sumatra holidays

Sumatra, in western Indonesia, is the largest in the archipelago that is entirely Indonesian territory, with a population of more than 50 million and a land area almost twice that of the UK. The island stretches from Banda Aceh on the north-west tip, hit heavily by the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, to Bandar Lampung on the south-east coast, a short ferry ride from Jakarta on Java.

Sumatra, in western Indonesia, is the largest in the archipelago that is entirely Indonesian territory, with a population of more than 50 million and a land area almost twice that of the UK. The island stretches from Banda Aceh on the north-west tip, hit heavily by the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, to Bandar Lampung on the south-east coast, a short ferry ride from Jakarta on Java. Most visits concentrate on the jungles near Medan, beginning with a visit to the Bohorok Orangutan Centre at nearby Bukit Lawang. Previously a successful rehabilitation centre, thanks to the centre's work the surrounding jungles are now home to a stable population of orang utans, making for rewarding nature walks. The west cost of Sumatra is characterised by the Bukit Barisan mountain range, home of the stunning Lake Toba and many indigenous ethnic groups, in particular Samosir Island in Lake Toba and the town of Parapet on the lakeshore. The lake itself is a beautiful and relaxing place to visit. In western Sumatra, the town of Bukittinggi is the bastion of the matrilineal Minang group, and also a base for exploring the Kerinci Seblat National Park. The park is one of the last remaining refuges for Sumatran tigers and rhinoceros, but viewings are rare. The park's rich birdlife is more easily spotted, including sunda laughingthrushes, barred eagle-owls and Sumatran treepies

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