Sumatra


Sumatra_Island

Sumatra

Sumatra (Indonesian: Sumatera), is an island in western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is entirely in Indonesia (another two larger islands, Borneo and New Guinea (Indonesian: Papua), are shared between Indonesia and other countries) and the sixth largest island in the world at 480,847.74 km2 (including adjacent islands such as the Riau Islands and Bangka Belitung Islands), with a current population of over 50 million (54 million administratively, as Riau Islands and Bangka–Belitung Islands are included). The island belong to 10 provinces of Indonesia: Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Jambi, Riau, Riau Islands, BengkuluSouth Sumatra, Bangka-Belitung, and Lampung. The island is home to 22% of Indonesian population where 87% of Sumatrans are thought to be Muslim.

Settler colonies began arriving in Sumatra around 500 BC, and several significant kingdoms flourished there. I Ching, a Chinese Buddhist monk, studied Sanskrit and spent four years of his life working in Palembang, South Sumatra. The explorer Marco Polo visited Sumatra in 1292 and Ibn Battuta visited twice during 1345–1346

The interior of the island is dominated by two geographical regions: in the west, Bukit Barisan Mountains  which contain several active volcanoes (Mount Kerinci as the highest point at 3,805 m), form the backbone of the island and in the east are outlying lowlands with swamps, mangrove and complex river systems. The equator crosses the island at its center on West Sumatra and Riau provinces. The climate of the island is tropical, hot and humid with lush tropical rain forest originally dominating the landscape.The volcanic activity of this region endowed the region with fertile land and beautiful sceneries, for instance around Mount Marapi, Mount Kerinci, Lake Toba, Lake Maninjau, etc.

To the southeast of Sumatra is Java, separated by the Sunda Strait. To the north is the Malay Peninsula, separated by the Malacca Strait. To the east is Borneo, across the Karimata Strait. West of the island is the Indian Ocean.

Despite almost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years, Sumatra are still the paradise for nature lover since it has a huge range of plant and animal species. Sumatra supports a wide range of vegetation types which are home to a rich variety of species, including 17 endemic genera of plants. Unique species include the Sumatran Pine which dominates the Sumatran tropical pine forests of the higher mountainsides in the north of the island and rainforest plants such as Rafflesia arnoldii (the world’s largest individual flower), and the Titan Arum (the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence). The island is home to 201 mammal species and 580 bird species. There are 9 endemic mammal species on mainland Sumatra and 14 more endemic to the nearby Mentawai Islands. The species present include: Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran Striped Rabbit, Dhole, Dayak Fruit Bat, Malayan Tapir, Malayan Sun Bear, Sunda Clouded Leopard, Black Leopard, etc. There are about 300 freshwater fish species in Sumatra.

Some of the remaining species are endangered. The Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhino, and Sumatran Orangutan are all Critically Endangered, indicating the highest level of threat to their survival. In October 2008, the Indonesian government announced a plan to protect Sumatra’s remaining forests. Now intensive program to conserve the existing damage are held from many fields include tourism with its sustainable program.

The island includes more than 10 National Parks, including 3 which are listed as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage SiteGunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The Berbak National Park is one of three national parks in Indonesia listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Sumatra also spoiling the adventure lover with many challenging activities such as trekking in the heart of Sumatra rainforest where you could still find the shaman life in a few places as well as their unique endemic flora & fauna. Rafting also provide you many chalenging white water stream to be explored. Some best surfing spot are located on the island and surround, combination between beach, waves, and include Bono (river wave) waiting for the adventurer. Other adventuring activities will give a different nuance if held here, such as diving, paragliding, off-road, etc.

Beside the hospitality and the kindness of people, cultural diversity of tribe and language also become a unique interest when people visit Sumatra.