The Magical Landscape of Sumatra, Indonesia

Sites of interest in Sumatra

St. Peter’s Cathedral Lake Toba Sultan’s Palace Great Mosque Sarcophagus of King Sidabutar Loeser National Park Orangutan Rehabilitation Center Bukit Barisan Mountains

This site contains Sumatra attractions – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Sumatra, where to go, and where are the popular and interesting places in Sumatra.

St. Peter’s Cathedral

St. Peter's Cathedral (photo)

St. Peter’s Cathedral is a Catholic church in the city of Bandung. This cathedral is the cathedral for the city diocese. The Dutch architect Charles Wolf Schaemaker designed the new neo-Gothic church in 1906, but it was not until February 19, 1922 that the cathedral was illuminated.

Ten years later, the Holy See established the Apostolic Prefecture of Bandung and this church became the cathedral of the city’s Catholic structure.

At first glance, the neo-Gothic design may seem very standard, but closer inspection reveals subtle touches of Art Deco. One of the most outstanding features of St. Peter’s Cathedral is the stunning stained-glass window above the altar.

The cathedral is surrounded by skyscrapers that interfere with the perception of its austere beauty. The expansion of modern architecture is now the main problem of the city.

Coordinates : -6.91480200,107.61066600

Lake Toba

Lake Toba (photo)

Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world, formed approximately 75,000 years ago by the eruption of a volcano of the same name. Lake Toba is located on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, its shores are very picturesque, as they are overgrown with tropical pine forests, so a walk on the water by ferry or boat always leaves a lot of positive impressions for tourists.

Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia, with a maximum depth of 505 meters. In its water there are different species of fish, such as guppies, carps known to many, as well as Asian pike, spotted gourami, rasbora, and so on.

Water of the lake is clean and clear, which allows you to see sometimes rising to the surface of fish, and even take pictures of them.

Coordinates: 2.68457400,98.87565300

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Sultan’s Palace

Sultan's Palace (photo)

Istana Maimun (Sultan’s Palace) is located in Medan, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Like the Masjid Raya (the great mosque) it is a popular attraction for tourists and explorers, as well as an architectural and historical landmark of the city. The palace was built in the Italian rococo style in 1888.

The palace is considered the most pompous architectural structure of Medan and is a representative building of the colonial era. It is well preserved and periodically restored, so it has not only historical but also aesthetic value as a carrier of the combination of elements of different cultures.

In the souvenir shop of the palace – a wide selection of jewelry from local manufacturers, where each visitor can choose a piece of jewelry that conveys all the richness of the local color. The costume jewelry is made in the traditional Indonesian style and can be a nice souvenir of your visit to Medan.

Coordinates : 3.60936600,98.67487300

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Great Mosque

The Great Mosque (photo)

The Great Mosque or Masjid Raya Mosque is located in Medan, on the island of Sumatra in Hindonesia. On a par with Istana Maimun, the Sultan’s palace, it is one of the city’s main attractions and a major architectural and historical monument. Both buildings are the brightest representatives of Dutch colonial architecture and are maintained in almost perfect condition.

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The Masjid Raya Mosque was built in 1907 by a Dutch architect in the Moroccan style and is today the principal religious building in Medan. The mosque building combines colonial and Mughal Indian influences and is similar to the Tuban Raya Mosque in East Java.

This mosque has great symbolic significance for the people of the province as a symbol of religion and culture. The fact that it survived the devastating tsunami of 2004 adds particular reverence to this building.

Coordinates : 3.60936600,98.67487300

Sarcophagus of King Sidabutar

The sarcophagus of King Sidaboutar (photo)

On the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, near the town of Tomoka where the ferries dock, the tomb of King Sidabutar of Batak rests behind the market stalls, surrounded by his relatives. This tomb is more than 200 years old and all these years, its interesting structure and unusual decoration, which conveys the national Indonesian color, attracts tourists.

It is believed that all Batak are descended from Si Raja Batak – King Batak, so the genealogical tree almost any islander will gladly show you, because they are all happy to tell you that they descended from the King. For the same reason, they have great respect for the tombs of their kings, as the graves of their direct ancestors.

Not far from the tombs of the kings, there are Batak houses, where a festival of marionettes is held every year: an amazing and unusual spectacle that always gathers many spectators. On the island there is a small Batak museum, where there are unique carved statues, which are several decades old. Here in the museum you can also take a photo in the traditional Batak attire.

Coordinates: 2.33257700,98.72853500

Löser National Park

Loeser National Park (photo)

Gunung Loeser is a national park in Indonesia, named after Mount Loeser, which is located on its territory. The park itself stretches along the border of two Indonesian provinces for 150 kilometers. Since its inception, this park has attracted a large number of tourists because it includes many ecosystems, such as the Bukit Lavang Orangutan Reserve.

Gunung Leuser National Park, together with Bukit Barisan-Setalan and Kerinci-Seblat, forms a unique natural complex called the Pristine Rainforests of Sumatra. It is a World Heritage Site.

Tourists and researchers from all over the world are also attracted here by the fact that Gunung Leuser is one of the habitats of the Sumatran orangutans, and there are two such places on the planet. In addition to these rare animals the park is also home to the Zambar, the Sumatran Rhino, the Sumatran Elephant, the Sumatran Tiger, the Siamang, the Sumatran Serau and the Bengal Cat.

Coordinates : 3.90535900,97.60782600

Orangutan Rehabilitation Center

Orangutan Rehabilitation Center (photo)

The Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center is a national sanctuary located on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, created to preserve and increase the population of orangutans. Established in 1973 near the small village of Bukit Lawang, Bohorok is one of the few places in the world where you can still see wild orangutans. There are more than 5,000 of these monkeys in the reserve.

The main task of the reserve is to train domesticated orangutans to survive in the wild. Orangutans used to be extremely popular as pets in Indonesia, but in the late twentieth century their population plummeted, and now the rehabilitation center staff is trying to increase it. To do this, the reserve buys animals from their owners and gradually adapts them to life in the wild.

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Bohorok is an extremely popular place among tourists. Here you can observe wild orangutans up close, while feeding, or go on an excursion into the jungle to see the monkeys in their natural habitat. The reserve itself is a true rainforest, a very picturesque place, ideal for eco-tourism.

Coordinates : 3.68333300,97.650000

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Bukit Barisan Mountains

Bukit Barisan Mountains (photo)

Bukit Barisan is a dense jungle-covered mountain range that stretches across the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia. The mountains are 1,700 kilometers long. Bukit Barisan also includes three national reserves, which are included in the list of world heritage compiled by UNESCO.

Bukit Barisan means “row of hills” in Russian. In fact, it is a huge mountain range, which includes many volcanoes (of which more than 35 are active). Also in the Bukit Barisan Mountains is Kerinci Peak – the highest peak of Indonesia, whose height is 3,800 meters.

This region is rich in scenic alpine lakes, the most famous of which is Lake Toba, located in the caldera of an ancient supervolcano.

The Bukit Barisan mountain range is a very beautiful place. It is thousands of kilometers of pristine rainforests, high mountains and beautiful lakes. Although it is not a question of comfortable admiration of nature, Bukit Barrisan mountain range still attracts many eco-tourists from all over the world.

Coordinates: -3.62307100,102.70960200

The most popular attractions in Sumatra with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Sumatra on our website.

More attractions in Sumatra

Srivijaya Kingdom Archaeological Park, Sumatra, Indonesia Minangkabau International Airport, Sumatra, Indonesia Polonia International Airport, Medan, Indonesia Virgin Mary Church, Medan, Indonesia Bukit Lawang Village, Medan, Indonesia Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Pakanbaru, Indonesia

Where is Sumatra on the world map

Sumatra is an island in Indonesia, interesting not only for its nature: impassable jungle and mountainous landscapes, but also for its sights.

The capital of Sumatra is the city of Medan. It is home to 1.5 million people. This place is a major industrial center and is famous for its amazing cultural heritage.

The island of Sumatra belongs to the Zod Archipelago and is the fifth largest of all the islands in the world. It is not far from the Malacca Peninsula, from which it is separated by a strait.

The island gets its name from the word sumatai, which translates as “behind the water”. The island of Sumatra is washed on all sides by numerous bays, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

History of Sumatra

Archaeologists have been conducting excavations for several years, which have shown that the first people came here around the 2nd century BC. It is also found that for a long time the island was inhabited by representatives of three different cultures.

Since the 2nd century AD, the first states began to appear in Sumatra. The most famous is the state of Srivijaya, the modern capital of which is located in Palembang. Srivijaya waged regular wars, which resulted in the annexation of Java and the Malacca Peninsula.

After the 10th century, the island of Sumatra began to be referred to in documents as “the Island of Gold. The reason is that at that time the first gold mines appeared here.

After a few centuries, the kingdom fell into decline. It was caused by feuds among the influential statesmen. Srivijaya split up into several principalities amongst which only Pasai was able to grow economically.

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At the end of the 13th century Sumara was visited by the famous Marco Polo. The beauty and uniqueness of the island made an indelible impression on him. Some time later, Dutch missionaries and traders arrived in Sumatra and founded numerous villages on the coast.

During World War I, Sumatra was spared, as the Dutch government was on the neutral side, but during World War II, the island did not escape occupation by the Japanese. After the liberation, Sumatra declared the independence of Indonesia, of which it is a part.

Weather in Sumatra

The location of the island in relation to the equator plays a major role in shaping the climate. The climate is equatorial, it is moderately hot and humid.

There are no particular temperature variations. It ranges from +25 to +27 degrees.

All precipitations fall in the form of short showers.

The population of the island

Currently, the population of the island is 50.6 million people, which makes Sumatra the 4th most populous place in the world. Nationally, there are most of the Indonesians, who are divided into smaller nationalities. In addition, the island is home to many Chinese, Thais, Indians and Vietnamese. Indonesian or Malay is recognized as a state language in the whole territory of Sumatra.

The local population leads an active way of life and is engaged in agriculture and different kinds of industries: textile, processing.

Among the larger cities, Medan stands out, with more than 2 million people.

Flora and fauna

More than 30% of the island is covered by tropical forests. Palms, ficuses, bamboos and vines grow here. Climbing higher, evergreens and laurel trees appear in the forests. Maples, oaks, and chestnuts can also be found. Alang-alang, an endemic of Sumatra, grows on flat surfaces.

The island’s animal life is as diverse as its plant life. There are over 190 different species of mammals. There are also a lot of reptiles (250), tropical fish (270) and more than 450 species of birds. Among this rich fauna there are endemic forms that live only on the island of Sumatra.

Tourism and Recreation

Tourism in Sumatra was started by the authorities relatively recently. The climate and other natural conditions of the island are ideal for creating a variety of tourist sites.

Almost the entire coast is covered with sand, which is washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean. Because of volcanic activity, it has acquired a pleasant brownish hue.

Many places on the island, where there are coral reefs. This creates ideal conditions for diving and snorkeling. On the beaches, sheltered from strong winds, in recent years, there are a lot of fans of windsurfing.

For lovers of natural beauty created a huge number of eco-tours, leading deep into the equatorial forests.

And how can you do without the sights. On the island of Sumatra a lot of monuments. We will take a little excursion to the most interesting of them.

Lake Toba

This is the largest lake in Indonesia. It was formed more than 70 thousand years ago and is of volcanic origin. Its coast has an unusual view, as it is almost completely overgrown with conifers.

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Tourists are always offered a boat ride on the lake, and no one ever refuses. Water here is crystal clear and transparent. If you look closely, you can see fish swimming somewhere in the depths.

Lösser National Park

Lösser National Park gets its name from the mountain of the same name on its territory. The park itself stretches for 150 kilometers through two regions of Indonesia. Since its inception, this place has attracted travelers and scientists from all over the world. This is due to the fact that the entire area of the park is divided into several ecosystems.

Because of its uniqueness Lösser Park was included in the World Heritage List. Numerous tourists come here not only for the beauty of the equatorial rainforest but also to see the Sumatran orangutan population. It is also home to rhinos, elephants, tigers, and a Bengal cat.

Bukit Lawang Village

This small village is located in the park of Lössem. Bukit Lavang is the best place for active tourism. Almost every day here you can see holidaymakers from different countries. On holidays locals come here to take a break from the city.

There are several hotels built near the full-flowing river. Most of the rooms have free access to the river, and there is a mesmerizing view of the surrounding landscape.

Great Mosque in Medan

Located in the city of Medan is the Great Mosque. It is considered the main attraction of the island as well as a famous monument of antiquity. The shrine was founded during the Dutch colonization. Until today, it is maintained in its original form.

Another name for the mosque is Masjid Raina. It was built in 1907 by a Dutch architect in the Muslim style.

This place is still considered to be the main religious structure in the city. The inhabitants of the province attach special importance to this place and consider it a symbol of religious culture. After the devastating tsunami in 2004, it was even more revered because it managed to survive.

Tomok Bologna Village

Discover the traditions and customs of the Toba Tobac tribe in the island’s many villages. The most colorful is considered the village Tomok Bologna. It consists of huge wooden houses with roofs covered with thatch. All the dwellings are set on small hills that help avoid flooding. In front of each of them stands a barn with grain. Its size is so huge that the barn is often used as a bedroom.

The most beautiful place in the village is considered to be the public house. It is decorated with unusual, beautiful ornaments, combining red, black and white colors. An invariable attribute of this place are buffalo horns.

The houses of the locals were traditionally divided into three areas: a pen for livestock, a large living room and a sanctuary where family relics were kept.

Over time, the connection with the past is gradually lost. With the advent of modern infrastructure, the appearance of the village is changing. And no one can say for sure that after the next natural disaster the houses will be restored to their original form.

Orangutan Rehabilitation Center

This national sanctuary was created to protect and increase the population of orangutans. It was founded in 1973. This is one of the few places in the world where you can still see wild orangutans. In total, there are more than 5,000 individuals in the reserve.

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The main task of the rehabilitation center is to accustom the animals to life in the wild. For many years orangutans were domestic animals in Indonesia, but by the end of the 20th century their population had drastically declined. And now the staff of the reserve seeks to increase the number of orangutans and adapt them to live independently in the wild.

There are excursions to the tropics, where you can not only see these amazing animals, but also admire the surrounding beauty.

Sultan’s Palace

Sultan’s Palace or Istana Maimun is located in Medan. The palace was built during the colonization period and today is a striking representative of that era. Thanks to frequent restorations, the architects have managed to keep it almost in pristine condition.

Near Istana Maimun running a souvenir shop, which presents a huge selection of jewelry by Indonesian craftsmen. All of it is created with the traditions and customs of the Indonesians and is considered a great reminder of the color of the country.

Sipiso Piso Falls on Lake Toba

Sipiso Piso is located on the Lake Toba. This huge waterfall (120 m) is a spectacular sight, capable of surprising any tourist. Sipiso Piso is unique in that its waters are taken from an underground river flowing just under the plateau.

There is a legend that the waterfall was formed during the battle of the underground dragon with the spirits of the lake. You can admire the beauty of falling water from several landscaped viewing platforms.

Sarcophagus of King Sidabutar

The tomb is located near the village of Tomoka, just behind the market. This is where the Batak king himself and his relatives are buried. This place goes back more than 200 years.

The tomb has an unusual finish and is decorated with beautiful expensive ornaments. Numerous tourists constantly come here to touch the antiquity and feel the special atmosphere of this place.

Not far from the tomb of Sidabutar are Batak houses, where every year a festival of marionettes is held. This festival is very popular among local people and tourists.

Aceh Museum

This is one of the oldest museums in Indonesia. It has a large collection of ancient objects found in the area of Aceh. Much of it is privately owned by the scholar Friedrich Stameshaus. Until 1933 he held the post of curator of the museum and after his retirement he sold half of the collection to the Amsterdam Institute.

After the declaration of independence, the museum became state property. Some of the rooms were restored and a new additional building was built, where conferences and exhibitions are held today.

Polonia Airport

It is the very first airport on the island with international connections. It takes its name from the place where the Polish baron lived. At the end of the 19th century, this man received permission to establish a tobacco plantation in Medan.

In 1924 the first plane landed here. At the steering wheel sat a test pilot who made the flight from Holland. It was at this moment that the first runway appeared in Polonii. After that, the city authorities allocated money to complete the airport.

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