Sumatra is part of Indonesia and the sixth largest island in the world with around 52 million inhabitants. The island is around 1,710 kilometers long and around 365 kilometers wide at its widest point. The equator crosses Sumatra almost in the middle.

The largest cities in Sumatra include Medan, Palembang, Padang, Bandar Lampung, Pekanbaru, Banda Aceh, Jambi and Parapat.

Sumatra used to be almost completely covered by tropical rainforest, which has largely given way to countless palm plantations over the course of modern times. The island has always been a very earthquake-prone area, where severe earthquakes regularly occur. The highest point in Sumatra is Gunung Kerinci at 3,805 meters.

Almost 86% of the population profess the Muslim faith and almost 60 different languages are spoken on the island, with the Malay language dominating.

Sumatra has significant petroleum reserves and therefore generates approximately 73% of all export earnings for all of Indonesia. Mining plays another important role in the economy, including gold, bauxite, coal and tin. Sumatra is now the second largest palm oil producer in the world. Other agricultural products such as pepper, tobacco, coffee and rubber are also grown and exported.

The island of Sumatra is known as the origin of the most expensive coffee in the world. Each individual coffee bean was first eaten by the Indonesian civet and later excreted again. The noble and rare beans are then processed into premium coffee.

In May 2018 I visited the island of Sumatra for the only time so far. For two days I flew with Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Palembang, the second largest city in Sumatra. Palembang is the capital of South Sumatra Province with around 1.5 million inhabitants. The city's most important sights include the Ampera Bridge, the Great Mosque of Palembang, the landmark Benteng Kuto Besak, the Amanzi Water Park, the Monpera Statue, the Cheng Ho Mosque, the Bird Park, as well as the new Palembang Metro - which was only opened on the occasion Built for the 2018 Asian Games and runs from the airport to the Musi River.

After a city tour of the city's few attractions, my day's stay in Sumatra was over and my journey continued to Borneo.