Perceptive readers may have picked up on my affection for Indonesian Sumatra.
Rather than link to previous posts, which is difficult for my big bule (foreigner) fingers on the mobile phone I’m using now, I will simply pose the questions.
Who couldn’t love one of the world’s most impressive animals, the Sumatran Tiger?
Who couldn’t appreciate the architectural beauty of one of Indonesia’s iconic bridges, sweeping over the Musi River in Palembang? And Palembang itself, home of Srivijaya, one of the greatest football teams and maritime empires in history? Palembang’s rank as being perhaps the most polluted city in Indonesia is no small achievement either.
Who could deny the strength of Acehnese affinity for Islam, such that the region is considered serambi Mekkah (Mecca’s verandah) in anchoring local culture to Islam’s Saudi origins?
Whose breath could not be taken away flying over Toba Lake, picture below, when realising this vast body of water merely fills the one of the largest volcanic craters ever found on the planet?
No matter how hard your heart, it is difficult not to be touched by the pictures here of Sumatran orangutans being cared for and nursed back to health before their release in North Sumatra. How cute is the one below?
And who could not smile thinking about Sumatran food (or grimace depending on your tolerance for heat)? Padang food, so beloved by the Minangkabau of West Sumatra, is HOT. A wonderful song (in English and Indonesian) about the food is here.
Speaking of the Minangkabau, who could deny their striking architectural style gifts them some of the most unique and attractive homes and mosques in Indonesia?
Finally, because this post could continue forever, Sumatra is where you will find at least half of the most beautiful women in Indonesia.
Sumatra must truly be among the greatest islands of the world on every measure.