Sumatra is an island on the west side of Indonesia. Not many people travel to Sumatra much, because it is very religious, especially Aceh. It also takes a long time to get anywhere, due to the lack of roads and infrastructure. However, this only means that there are plenty of untouched land and water in Sumatra. Here are some off the tourist tracks in Sumatra!
- Western Java: Jakarta, Bandung, Palau Macan
- Central Java: Yogyakarta, Kebumen
- Eastern Java: Mt Bromo, Mt Ijen
- East Nusa Tenggara: Flores Island
- West Papua: Raja Ampat
- Sumatra: Aceh, Lake Toba Belitung Island
- Bali: Bali, Gili, Lombok
Pulau Weh, Aceh (Diving)
Aceh is usually not a place people would recommend. But it is truly beautiful with clear blue sparkling water and beachfronts. Pulau Weh is an off the tourist tracks destination.
Fly to Banda Aceh and take a short ferry to Pulau Weh. This is a great site for scuba diving and quiet island to rest and chill. Check out Lumba Lumba diving resort. They providing diving and accommodation at a very reasonable rate. Food is not the best, but that’s how it is in remote parts of the world.
Amazing video I found on YouTube.
Cultural Note on Aceh
Aceh is known for being very conservative, so just be careful. If you are not married, stay in different rooms in the hotels and do not kiss in public. For females, do NOT wear revealing and tight clothes. That includes skinny jeans. Wear those elephant print baggy pants and loose t-shirts instead.
Lake Toba (Volcano hiking)
Located in North Sumatra, Lake Toba is home to a few of the largest volcanic lake in the world.
To get there, fly into Medan. Lake Toba is a 3-4 hours drive from Medan. Some people also visit Berastagi, which is 3 hours drive away from Toba. Do use a private transport or shared taxi instead of a public bus, because that will take significantly longer. Getting to Toba directly from the airport, you can do a shared taxi. That costs about 100,000 Repiah (US$10), if there is enough people. From Lake Toba, you will be at the port town of Parapat. Take a 45min ferry ride to the main part of Lake Toba, Samosir Island.
Little history on why Lake Toba is so amazing! Fun fact, some volcanos from Lake Toba landed in Belitung island (see below) on the beaches. That’s more than 1,500km away. The stones were shot from 1,500km away. Can you imagine the sheer size of the eruption?
To do in Lake Toba
- Check out the viewpoints of Lake Toba itself
- Scooter ride along Samosir Island
- Waterfalls of Sipiso-piso (northern end)
- Hike Mt. Sibayak before sunrise
- Check out the ghost towns of Mt Sinabung, an active volcano. The village is destroyed by the eruption
- There’s also a hippie community by the locals, so if you are into that, that’s wonderful
Belitung Island (Islands)
A paradise from bustling cities like Singapore and Jakarta, Belitung Island is a short flight away. Belitung is known as one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia due to its pristine white sand beaches and turquoise sea. A quiet and peaceful island, it is a perfect getaway vacation.
It’s a great place for a 4-days getaway. You definitely have to do island hopping trips. Belitung is a quiet island with nature to offer. Spend your time snorkeling or chilling on the beach. It is a simple island, so do not expect too much. Here are 9 places to visit in Belitung:
Where to stay in Belitung
- Biliton Hotel & Klub: This hotel has a beautiful design and friendly staff. The staff goes out of their way to help customers, exactly what customer service is all about. The interesting thing about the hotel is the treasure in it. They will tell you about their history and story of the humble beginnings.
- Green Tropical Village: This hotel is near the city with a huge room, great for families. You can enjoy the city and you have tons of local restaurants nearby.
- BW Suite Belitung: This is a popular hotel for local Indonesians traveling. You also get to enjoy the stunning view of the sea from the hotel.
Resources on Belitung island
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.