Padang, Sumatra island (Indonesia)
According to Educationvv.com, Padang is the capital of the western part of Sumatra, the third largest city on the island. Padang is the gateway to Sumatra because it is connected by ferry to Jakarta and has an international airport.
The old town, with its docks and Chinatown to the north, is a good place for leisurely strolls. Fading colonial architecture sits alongside traditional houses, shops and temples. There are several good beaches
around Padang. 20 km south is Pantai Bungus, which remains popular despite a plywood factory nearby. The best beach north of Padang – Pasir Jambak. But the best places with white sand and clear water are located on small islands off the coast, one-day tours to which are organized by hotels and travel agencies on the coast. Lembah Anai Nature Reserve is located
50 km north of Padang. Due to abundant rains and fertile volcanic soils, the vegetation here is very rich. The park is known for its waterfalls, wild-growing orchids and the giant rafflesia flower. If you move further into the mountains towards the city of Bukittinggi, which is located 89 km from Padang
and is one of the main centers of ecotourism in Sumatra, you can enjoy beautiful views of the rice terraces with traditional Minangkabau houses with peaked roofs scattered here and there, with the backdrop of the Marapi and Singgalangvolcanoes.
From Bukittinggi you can go on a two-day hike to the beautiful volcanic lake Maninjau (Maninjau lake), the path there passes through the jungle, villages and rice fields, although you can also take a bus; or climb the active volcano Marapi.
In the vicinity of Bukittinggi you can see a rare rafflesia flower. It can be up to a meter in diameter and weigh up to 10 kg. A rafflesia bud develops for 9 months and blooms for only 3 days. During flowering, it exudes the smell of rotten meat, which attracts many insects that carry its pollen.
Sibolga, Sumatra island (Indonesia)
Sibolga is located on the west coast of the island of Sumatra. From here, a ferry leaves for the resort island of Nias, located 125 km from the coast.
11 km north of Sibolga, in the villages of Pantai Pandan and Pantai Kalangan, there are two beaches where you can spend time while waiting for the ferry. On weekends, these beaches are crowded.
Medan, Sumatra island (Indonesia)
Medan is located in the northern part of the island of Sumatra. It is the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya and the largest city on the island of Sumatra. Its population today is approximately 2.5 million people.
Medan began to develop actively after 1860, when the Dutch colonists began to arrange tobacco plantations on the adjacent lands. Thereafter, Medan quickly became the commercial and government center of the western region of Indonesia. In 1915 it became the official capital of North Sumatra.
The city is known as the birthplace of the Batak people, whose places of residence are now scattered throughout North Sumatra. There is also a large Javanese ethnic community living here, descendants of those who were resettled by the government in an attempt to reduce the chronic overpopulation of the island of Java. Medan has a large ethnic Chinese population that controls a large business sector. And finally, there is a large community of Tamils, who are called keling. The Tamil market or Kampung Keling is very well known. Many buildings of Dutch architecture have been preserved in Medan. This is the old City Hall, the central Post Office, the Water Tower, which is the symbol of Medan, and Titi Gantung – a bridge over the railway. The city also has several historical sites, such as the Maimun Palace (Istana Maimun), and the Grand Mosque (Masjid Raya) of Medan, built in 1906.
Medan is the transportation hub for North Sumatra and is connected by air to Jakarta, the main cities of Sumatra and Singapore. By itself, the city of Medan is of almost no interest to tourists, the traffic here is very dense, due to constant traffic jams, the air is heavily polluted, the ecology of the city is very bad. But 100 km away to the northwest is the huge Leuser National Park, one of the few places in the world where you can still see orangutans in their natural habitat. A kind of gateway to the park is the village of Bukitlawang, where several simple hotels are located, from which two or three-day hiking trips to Leuser National Park are organized.
The village of Bukitlavan was almost completely destroyed by a mudflow that came down in 2003, but at the moment it has been completely rebuilt and nothing reminds of those destructions. The village can be reached from Medan by taxi or bus. The whole journey will take about 4 hours, because the road there passes through palm plantations, from the fruits of which palm oil is extracted. It is used by heavy trucks and is in very poor condition.