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Sumatra, Indonesia Travel Information

According to historyaah, Sumatra (Indonesian: Sumatera) is an island in the Indian Ocean (Asia) that is part of Indonesia. Sumatra is one of the five largest islands in the world. The largest city of Sumatra is Medan. A number of other cities in Sumatra are: Palembang, Bengkuli, Jambi, Bandar Lampung, Pekanbaru and Padang.

Sumatra is a vast mountainous island. The landscape of Sumatra is largely determined by the Barisan Mountains and large swamp plains. There is still a lot of tropical rainforest on Sumatra, but not nearly as much as there once was. Logging and industry have destroyed large areas. This destruction has also affected wildlife. At the moment there are still elephants, orangutans, rhinoceroses and tigers. But these species are also under great pressure. There are also many extensive plantations on the island of coffee, tea, tobacco and rubber. Many different groups live on Sumatra and therefore many different traditions, customs and clothing are encountered. In addition, a few tribes still live in the densely forested areas. See allcitycodes for area codes of countries in Asia.

Where is Sumatra located?

Travel information of Sumatra

Official name: Sumatra
Continent: Asia
Area: 470,000 km²
Capital: Medan (largest city)
Country code: ID, IDN
Population: 57,000,000 inhabitants (2018)
Form of government: Republic
Highest point: 3,805 m (Kerinci)
Distance (Amsterdam – Medan): 9,950 km
Flight time: approximately 13 hours

Travel advice
Current status: Be aware of safety risks.
Current color code: Yellow.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be (temporary) measures in place in Sumatra that you as a tourist may have to deal with. For the most up-to-date corona travel advice, please refer to our special coronavirus travel advice page. For the number of current corona infections, number of deaths and various corona-related graphs of Sumatra, please visit Countryaah.

Travel offer
On our travel offer page you will find an overview of reliable travel organizations that offer complete trips and holidays to Sumatra. In addition, you will find an overview of separate travel components (hotels and airline tickets) with which you can compile your ideal trip yourself.

Travel guides and maps
Are you looking for a travel guide, map, walking map, cycling map, book or DVD about Sumatra?

Weather and climate
Sumatra has a tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures are around 30 degrees all year round. Sumatra regularly experiences earthquakes and floods.
The current weather (weather forecast) and a weather forecast for Sumatra can be found on our extensive weather page.
Extensive information about the climate of Sumatra can be found at Climate info.

Best time
June, July and August are the best months to travel to Sumatra. This avoids the prolonged rainy season.

Indonesian is the official language in Sumatra. Malaysian is the most spoken language in Sumatra. In addition, there are about 50 other languages.
Would you like to translate from or into Indonesian for free? Use the Google translator for this.

Travel documents
You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon departure from Sumatra.
A visa is not required if you stay less than 30 days and arrive through an airport, port or country border on this list. If you arrive in another way or are staying in Sumatra for more than 30 days, you can personally apply for a visa at the Embassy of Indonesia in The Hague.

Embassies and consulates
Below is an overview of relevant diplomatic representations, including addresses and contact details.
Netherlands Embassy in Indonesia:
Dutch consulate on Sumatra:
Indonesian Embassy in the Netherlands:
For urgent assistance, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 on +31247247247.

Vaccination (inoculation)
Vaccination against yellow fever is compulsory in Sumatra if you have visited a yellow fever country in the seven days before you visit Sumatra. In addition, it is advisable to get one or more vaccinations.
For extensive vaccination advice and to make a vaccination appointment at home, please visit You can also see here whether your health insurance reimburses the vaccination(s).

There is malaria in Sumatra. Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by malaria mosquitoes. This infectious disease can lead to death if not treated in time and/or incorrectly.
For prevention and control of malaria, please visit our malaria page.

Money and Currency
In Sumatra, payment is made with the Indonesian rupiah (rupiah) (IDR).
The current position of this currency (currency, currency) can be found on our exchange rate page.
An overview of all ATMs in Sumatra can be found on our ATMs page.

Price level
The prices on Sumatra are a lot lower than in the Netherlands. The price difference with the Netherlands is -50% on average. Some examples are: restaurants (77% cheaper), food (21% cheaper), imported beer in catering (5% cheaper), cigarettes (79% cheaper) and public transport (90% cheaper). Please note that the price difference in tourist areas, especially during high season, may vary.

In Sumatra it is customary to tip. If this has not already been included in the bill, it is customary to tip approximately 5-10%.

Time difference
During our summer time it is 5 hours later on Sumatra.
During our winter time it is 6 hours later on Sumatra.
Sumatra has no difference between winter time and summer time.
The local time, date and time zone of Sumatra can be found on our time difference page.

Traffic and route
On Sumatra you must drive on the left. You must have an international driver’s license
to drive and/or rent a motor vehicle in Sumatra. The international driver’s license is available at an ANWB shop. With the Google route planner you can compile a route description from, to or within Sumatra.

In Sumatra the same plugs and sockets are used as in the Netherlands.
More information about electricity in Sumatra can be found on our electricity page (look under Indonesia).

Emergency services
If you need help from the police, fire brigade and/or ambulance in an emergency, you can use the emergency numbers below.
– Police: 110
– Fire: 113
– Ambulance: 118

Tap water
It is not recommended to drink water from the tap.
If you are unable to buy bottled water, use a water purifier to purify the water or boil the water for 5 minutes. After this you can safely use it as drinking water and for things like brushing teeth, cleaning lenses and washing vegetables and / or fruit. More information about drinking water and/or the purchase of water purification products can be found on our drinking water page.

News and newspapers
The latest news regarding Sumatra can be found on Google news.
An overview of the newspapers from Sumatra can be found on Abyznewslinks (under Sumatera).

Websites from Sumatra end
Official websites of Sumatra: (West Sumatra) and

The country code (international access number) to call someone in Sumatra is 0062 or +62.
Do you want to call the Netherlands from Sumatra? Then use the Dutch country code 00131.
(If you use a country code, you must omit the first 0 of the number to be called.)
All area codes of Sumatra can be found on Wikipedia.
Company details can be found in the Yellow Pages of Sumatra.

Photos and videos
On Flickr you will find a nice collection of photos of Sumatra.
On Youtube you will find a nice collection of videos from Sumatra.

An overview of all public holidays in Sumatra can be found on

Reviews and travel experiences
On Zoover and TripAdvisor you will find reviews from travelers about accommodations (eg hotels and holiday homes), restaurants and destinations on Sumatra, supplemented with photos, videos and points of interest.

Travel reports
Are you looking for a travel report about Sumatra?
Here you will find travel reports and experiences of travelers who have previously visited Sumatra. It is also possible to keep a free diary of your trip for family and/or friends.

Nature and world heritage
An overview of the protected nature areas (including national parks, reserves and wildlife parks) on Sumatra can be found on Protected Planet.
An overview of the world heritage sites in Sumatra can be found on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Customs rules
Do you want to know how much you are allowed to import and export when traveling to Sumatra? On the IATA website you will find an overview of the maximum quantities of cigarettes, alcohol, money and medicines, among other things. If you stick to these quantities, you don’t have to declare anything to customs. In addition, on this website you will find the laws and regulations regarding the importation of pets and a list of everything that may not be imported and/or exported from Sumatra.

Entrepreneurship and doing business
If you are planning to do business in or with Sumatra, it is wise to prepare well. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency can help you with this. On you will find a large amount of information about Sumatra, including: opportunities, Sudan and export regulations, trade figures, do’s and don’ts, product requirements, business partners and subsidies.

Studying and internship
Are you considering a study, internship or gap year in Sumatra? You are by no means the only one and certainly not the first. To help you on your way, Nuffic (the Dutch organization for internationalization in education) has set up the website. On this website you will find all the information that can help you on your way, such as admission requirements, forms of education, accommodation, scholarships, internships, health insurance, study costs and of course experiences.

Relevant legislation
Below you will find relevant legislation and regulations that you may encounter during your visit to Sumatra.
– Alcohol: Buying and/or drinking from the age of 21.
– Alcohol and traffic: No maximum permitted alcohol content.
– Tobacco: Buying and/or smoking at all ages.
– Smoking ban: In public places.
– Homosexuality: Allowed (with the exception of Aceh province (max. 200 lashes))

Did you know that…
…Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world?
…Sumatra used to be called ‘Swarna Dwipa’?
…Sumatra is regularly hit by earthquakes?
…The majority of Sumatran are Muslim?
…Sumatra is exactly on the equator?

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