Sumatra is the pace to go if you want adventure - guaranteed. While it is true you won’t be met with the pointed spears of scantily clad natives who have a mind to serve you up for dinner, as the explorers of yesteryear were, and it’s also true that the lush rainforest is but a showdown of its former self, there is still adventure to be had – in abundance.
Sumatra is much larger than Japan – it’s about the size of Spain, and is divided into the ten provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Bengkulu, Riau, Riau Islands, Jambi, South Sumatra, Lampung, and Bangka-Belitung Islands.
Within its borders you will find the Sumatran rhinoceros – one of the most endangered animals in the word, the Sumatran Orangutan – also on the verge of extinction, and the Sumatran tiger – it too is in peril.
You will encounter Bataks - formerly a very fierce cannibalistic people - who have always had a sophisticated culture. Don’t worry! Cannibalism has been out of vogue for 200 years, so do come and enjoy their architecture, culture, arts, crafts, music, and food.
The Mentawains are another of Sumatra’s ancient peoples. They too had a very sophisticated society which was based to egalitarian ideas. Today, there is still much to behold of this traditional way of life.
Sumatra spans over 2000 km from north to south and from sea level to over 3800 meters. It has volcanoes, hot springs, lakes, rivers, and untamed jungles. It has modern cities and traditional villages. It has a history that is both rich, and tragic. Most importantly, it holds an opportunity – a final opportunity to see what is left of a former world.
Traditional Sumatra is disappearing at an alarming rate. Her rainforests are being destroyed and her native peoples are being assimilated into modern Indonesian society.
The generation reading this page will be the last to witness live, that which out ancestors’ will be left with only books and museum exhibits of – the authentic Sumatra.