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Travel Guide to Sumatra

stone chair huta siallagan samosir toba
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General Information About Indonesia

Sumatera - the westernmost and second largest island of Indonesia (approximately 473,970 sqm) is fringed with smaller islands off its western and eastern coasts. With 1,790 km in length and 435 km in width, the island has Bukit Barisan – a volcanic mountain range with more than 30 active volcanoes, traverses its length reaching 12,467 feet at Mount Kerinci.

Sumatra has something for everyone to explore – lush rainforests inhabited by exotic flora and fauna, cascading rivers, sparkling crater lakes, beautiful white sandy beaches, impressive volcanoes, limestone caves and an incredible diverse array of traditional ethnic groups who inhabit some of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes of the world.

Explore the legendary charm and highlights of North and West Sumatra where vast rainforests are inhabited by exotic wildlife, towering volcanoes dominate the skyline and scenic waterfalls gush down into verdant valleys by driving overland.

Lake Toba is one of the most awesome natural wonders of the world – a crater lake with the mystical island of Samosir at its centre and home to the Toba Batak; one of the ethnic groups predominantly found in North Sumatra including the Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Angkola and Mandailing; groups with distinct - albeit related - languages and customs. Toba Batak are known traditionally for their weaving, wood carving and especially ornate stone tombs. The area surrounding Lake Toba is home to many fascinating villages; each one the setting for performances of ancient dances.

Bukit Lawang, also in north sumatra is home to rainforests inhabited by exotic wildlife, framed by towering volcanoes and waterfalls cascading down into verdant valleys. In the village of Tangkahan, a team of elephants and their mahouts work together to maintain a fledgling national park, where visitors can join these gentle giants at work and play in the pristine rivers and jungle paths of the region. Just upriver, the village of Bukit Lawang is the perfect place to see orangutan in the wild. The apes here have grown used to human interaction, so expect some up close and personal encounters.

Aceh was dessimated by an earthquake and tsunami in December 2004, Aceh has since recovered, thanks to international aid and the indomitable spirit of the Acehnese themselves.  Today, the region has been rebuilt and regenerated, and is emerging as one of Indonesia’s most rewarding new tourism destinations. Visitors can witness many poignant and dramatic relics of the disaster, from the area’s Tsunami Museum, to fishing boats on rooftops and a 12,000-ton trawler beached inland. Aside from tangible reminders of the disaster, Aceh is home to jungles teeming with wildlife, misty mountain peaks and endless swathes of empty beach, beyond which a heavenly halo of coral gardens is beckoning.

Pulau Weh, or Weh Island is kilometre zero for Indonesia; the westernmost outpost of the archipelago, with an otherworldy beauty befitting its remote location. Weh is home to white sandy beaches and breathtakingly blue ocean, framed by the curving arches of palm trees and bathed in warm sunshine. For those who love snorkelling, diving, or simply enjoying the picture-perfect escapism of a signature tropical island, Weh is the way to go.

Sports Played in Indonesia

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About Basketball Game

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Indonesia Culture and History

Culture Indonesia has about 300 ethnic groups, each with cultural identities developed over centuries, and influenced by Indian, Arabic, Chinese, and European sources. Traditional Javanese and Balinese dances, for example, contain aspects of Hindu culture and mythology, as do wayang kulit (shadow puppet) performances. Textiles such as batik, ikat, ulos and songket are created across Indonesia in styles that vary by region. The Indonesian film industry'spopularity peaked in the 1980s and dominated cinemas in Indonesia, although it declined significantly in the early 1990s. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Indonesian films released each year has steadily increased. Indonesia holds 6 items UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage

History

Pre-historical era

Fossils and the remains of tools show that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus, popularly known as "Java Man", between 1.5 million years ago and as recently as 35,000 years ago. Homo sapiens reached the region by around 45,000 years ago. In 2011 evidence was uncovered in neighbouring East Timor showing that 42,000 years ago these early settlers were catching and consuming large numbers of big deep sea fish such as tuna, and that they had the technology needed to make ocean crossings to reach Australia and other islands. Austronesian peoples, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to South East Asia from Taiwan. They arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, pushed the indigenous Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions. Ideal agricultural conditions, and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the 8th century BCE, allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the 1st century CE. Indonesia's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including links with Indian kingdoms and China, which were established several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history. In the mid first millennium A.D, Indonesian trader ships to Madagascar as well as eastern coast of Africa.

Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms era

Expansion of Srivijayan empire, started in Palembang in 7th century, expanding throughout Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Java, Cambodia, and receded as Dharmasraya in the 13th century.
Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism arrived in Indonesia in the 4th and 5th century, as trade with India intensified under the southern Indian Pallava dynasty. This is evidenced in the Kutai, Tarumanagara, and Kantoli kingdoms of the period. From the 7th century to early 11th, the powerful Srivijaya naval kingdom become a hegemon in Southeast Asia and flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that were imported with it. Srivijaya's main foreign interest was nurturing lucrative trade agreements with China which continued from the Tang dynasty to the Song dynasty. Srivijaya had religious, cultural and trade links with the Buddhist Pala Empire of Bengal, as well as with the Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East. The necessity to maintain its trade monopoly had led the empire to launch naval military expeditions against rival ports in Southeast Asia and to absorb them into Srivijaya's sphere of influence. The port of Malayu in Jambi, Kota Kapur in Bangka island, Tarumanagara and the port of Sunda in West Java, Kalingga in Central Java, the port of Kedah and Chaiya in Malay peninsula are among the regional ports that were absorbed within Srivijayan sphere of influence. A series of Javan-Srivijaya raids on the ports of Champa and Cambodia was also part of its effort to maintain its monopoly in the region by sacking its rival ports. After the invasion by Rajendra Chola I the king of the Chola Empire from Koromandel, authority of Srivijaya over the islands of Sumatera and the Malay Peninsula weakened. Some time later came a new dynasty that took over the role of Sailendra Dynasty, called by the name of Mauli dynasty. Mauli dynasty of Malay kings that rules Dharmasraya kingdom, centred in Batanghari river system. In later period of the kingdom's capital shifted inland upstream of Batanghari to Dharmasraya and later moved further inland toPagaruyung. Between the 8th and 10th centuries, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of Indonesia. The founder of the Majapahit, Kertarajasa, was the son-in-law of the ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, also based in Java. After Singhasari drove Srivijaya out of Java in 1290, the rising power of Singhasari came to the attention of Kublai Khanin China and he sent emissaries demanding tribute. Kertanagara, ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, refused to pay tribute and the Khan sent a punitive expedition which arrived off the coast of Java in 1293. By that time, a rebel from Kediri, Jayakatwang, had killed Kertanagara. The Majapahit founder allied himself with the Mongols against Jayakatwang and, once the Singhasari kingdom was destroyed, turned and forced his Mongol allies to withdraw in confusion. After its peak in the 14th century, Majapahit power began to decline and was unable to control the rising power of the Sultanate of Malacca. Dates for the end of the Majapahit kingdom range from 1478 to 1520. A large number of courtiers, artisans, priests, and members of the royal family moved east to the island of Bali at the end of Majapahit power.

Indonesian Nightlife

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Popular Bars in Indonesia

L’Open Café
17, Rue des Archives - 75004 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 42 72 26 18
Bliss Kfé
30, Rue du Roi de Sicile - 75004 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 42 78 49 36
L’Oiseau bariolé
16, Rue Sainte Croix Bretonnerie - 75004 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 6 10 38 46 51
Le Cox
15, Rue des Archives - 75004 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 42 72 26 18

Famous Clubs in Paris

Six-Seven
65-67, Rue Pierre Charron - 75008 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 58 56 20 50
VIP room
76, Avenue des Champs-Elysées - 75008 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 56 69 16 66
Le Baron
6, Avenue Marceau - 75008 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 47 20 04 01
Le Latina Café
114, Avenue des Champs Elysées- 75008 Paris Tel. : +33 (0) 1 42 89 98 89

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situmurun waterfall toba samosir

Explore North Sumatra 01 Jan 1970

per person$0.00
Lake Toba, in north sumatra is the ancestral home of the Batak tribes. The word Batak is a collective term
batak traditional house
per person$735.00
Explore Sumatra toba tour representing the highlight of the wonderful place in Sumatra, the largest island in Indonesia and the
batak traditional house

Medan City tour 07 Apr 2018 - 31 Dec 9999

per person$55.00
Medan City tour Visit the Royal Palace of Sultan Deli, known as Maimoon Palace, built in 1888 and the architecture
toba lake samosir island north sumatra tours

North Sumatra 24 Nov 2015 - 31 Dec 9999

per person$658.00
  • Samosir island tour
  • Boat trip on Toba lake
  • Trekking in Bukit lawang to see Orangutan
  • Enjoy Sumatera culture