How to travel Indonesia? Indonesia has 17.508 islands you could possibly visit: Bali, Java, Kalimantan, Lombok, Komodo or Sumatra.
We travelled Sumatra and had a spectacular time here.
Let’s start with some quick facts about Sumatra. First of all, Sumatra is a big island. Whatever you plan to cover on your trip, you will realize fast that it is hard to see all the highlights of Sumatra. We had to skip a lot. It’s not only that the island itself is so big, it is also hard to get around. Compared to other countries in Southeast Asia we think that Indonesia is one of the countries which makes it a little bit harder to get around. There are not many tourist busses like in Thailand or Cambodia (and no open bus tickets like in Vietnam). This is also nice as you will definitely meet and travel with locals. On the other hand it was really hard sometimes to find the right bus terminal and not to end up being scammed. Another quick fact about Sumatra: this island was quite touristy for a while, like 20 years ago, but it is not anymore. There are some main spots like Lake Toba or Bukit Lawang for example. But at places like Bukittinggi, Harau Valley, Lake Maninjau you can be pretty much alone – not seeing (m)any other tourists.
As I said it is hard to cover all the main spots of Sumatra. Here is a list of the places we went to:
1. Medan: huge city, 2 Million people are living here, we tried to leave as quick as possible.
2. Bukit Lawang: The main spot to go. Here you can hike through the jungle spotting wild Orangutans and other species.
3. Bukittinggi: nice small town – not many tourists.
4. Lake Maninjau: a place to relax, swim in the lake, eat some fresh fish or try other Indonesian food.
5. Harau Valley: rock formations, waterfalls and rice fields. Here you can wake up in your guesthouse next to a huge rock, having beakfast on the balcony.
6. Padang: bigger, smelly city, nice hotels, restaurants and malls.
7. Mentawai Islands: beautiful islands, perfect for snorkeling and surfing, really hard to get here on you own, jungle trekking to meet the tribe people.