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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"[The most inspirational moment was] when we finally arrived at the childhood home of my mother at Katerri Falls, south of Ooty in the beautiful Nilgri Hills tea plantation country. We now understand why she missed Southern India so much when she returned to England in the 1930s.
Mrs Charmian Bourne"
"We would like to express our warmest gratitude for the Princely Tour of India that we have just experienced, and especially your care and attention supplied throughout the tour by representatives on your behalf.
John and Pamela Phelby"
"We’re just back from our trip to India, and it was fabulous. Our many thanks to you and everyone at Cox & Kings who made the trip smooth sailing and very enjoyable.
"The medieval walled city of Khiva and desert fortresses visited en route [were inspirational].
Dr Keith Curtis"
"The whole holiday was a superb experience and now a fantastic memory. We are currently planning our next trip and without a shadow of a doubt it will be with Cox & Kings again.
"We have recently returned from our honeymoon in Japan and just wanted to let you know what an absolutely fantastic time we had! Our guide was fantastic, the accommodation in Tokyo and Kyoto was first class and the ryokan on Miyajima Island was an amazing experience.
Angela and Adrian Turner"
"The whole organisation worked incredibly well and we had a most informative and enjoyable visit. Yoshie Matsumoto must be the most outstanding guide in Japan. She was absolutely superb and added a great deal to our enjoyment.
"Walking in the snow at the bottom of the mid Atlantic Ridge, with the Eur-Asian tectonic plate on one side and the American plate on the other side of the valley. Also seeing the Northern Lights was an absolutely amazing, primeval experience, which ranked with seeing Wolves, Bears and Buffaloes in the wild in Yellowstone on a different adventure. Always wanted to do this, along with walking through a real Arctic storm, which we did.
Mr Philip Butler"
"As on any tour, the guides are vital to the smooth running and harmony of the tour. I don’t believe these holidays have highlights, they are all highlights from start to finish. Thanks for a great holiday.
"The guide was the most impressive of all. She always responded to our individual needs and made the journey and tour very comfortable and enjoyable. She was a guide, a singer, a dancer, and above all a friend.
Dr Muhammad Rahman"
"[What was inspirational was ] the sheer range of experiences from the vibrant city of Cape Town to the vistas of the wineries around Franschhoek and Stellendosch and the drive through the mountains to Sanbona in the Little Karroo. Seeing white rhino and elephants at sunset and then the amazing fynbos at Grootbos near Walker Bay. Every day brought something new and fresh.
Mrs Lindsey Riley"
"Our holiday was all we hoped it would be and more - the standard of hotels and itinerary were superb and a credit to Cox & Kings. Your staff in this country were also most helpful and courteous, so again congratulations.
"This was a fabulous trip from beginning to end with charming and attentive local guides throughout and wonderful accommodation. The dawn balloon ride over Bagan was particularly magical as was the opportunity to get very close to the fishermen on Inle Lake – a photographer's dream!
Mr Peter Bradbrook"
"Difficult to choose! Seeing the beautiful colonial buildings, some beautifully retsored and others, often still inhabited, crumbling around us. Also, visiting the Monumento Ernesto Che Guervara and hearing the passion in our guide's voice as she explained about the battle of Santa Clara. My husband would say the old cars!
Mrs Jane Jowitt"