Sumatra is as tropical as it gets. With its Amazon-like rivers moving sluggishly through canopies of natural rainforests, muddy mangrove estuaries, steamy interiors, brilliantly gaudy flora and weird and wonderful fauna, Sumatra is a place and a half for a boat trip.
Despite its wealth of natural resources, Sumatra is struggling with a failing economy. The northern province of Aceh is at the epicentre of religious violence between Christians and Muslims and the area has been hit by devastating earthquakes.
Even during periods of relative political calm, the economic situation remains uncertain and the economic situation dire. If you are considering travelling to Sumatra in the near future, you are advised to contact your embassy and get the latest update on the security situation.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track