After 8 days in Sumatra, Indonesia, I have barely scratched the surface of the vast island. I however have gotten a slight feel for a few of the wonderful things it has to offer.
Most people are extremely kind and friendly. Flying into the city of Medan I was greeted by numerous men and women at the Pondok Wisata Angel Guest House. Many were extremely kind in telling me where to eat, how to get to other destinations, and what to do. Coming back to Medan a few times I have been graciously greeted by about 20 highly friendly people who had previously seen me.
In Sumatra I have been able to go orangutan jungle trekking in Bukit Lawang, and relax at the giant volcanic Lake Toba (the largest volcanic crater lake in the world). Both places were equally amazing natural environments, not overrun by tourism (blog articles on both places to come).
Despite hearing that the food was unparalleled to the Malaysian cuisine, I have discovered Nasi Campur which is quite equal in intensely deliciousness. Nasi Campur, similar to my Edible Perfection in Malaysia, is a plate of various curries, spiced vegetables, saute’s, and sauces, drowning a couple scoops of rice. Accompanied by some sambal (powerful hot chili sauce) and Nasi Campur is truly satisfaction at its greatest.
Though it took some getting use to, $1 US is equal to about 10,000 Indonesian Rupiahs. A plate of fried rice with an egg on the top runs roughly 7000. A night in a bungalow on the gorgeous shores of Lake Danau Toba was a true steal at 15,000 or $1.50 per night. Cities can be slightly more expensive in relative terms.
One thing I can safely say is that Indonesia is a magnificently beautiful and diverse country to explore. There are countless opportunities and experiences on Sumatra alone, and the country comprises of over 17,000 islands.
Pictures and articles on specific Sumatra to come in a few days, keep yourself posted!
For more information on Lake Toba check out what James Clark has to say at itravelnet.