Untitled-3Among the five largest islands in the archi­pelago, Sumatra is considered as one of the Indonesia’s new region with vast natural resources and tremendous potential tourist. Lampung, at the southern end, connecting Java by the Sunda Strait.

By : Nia S. Amira
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There are many ways head­ing to Lampung; you may catch the aircon bus from every bus terminal in Ja­karta going to Sumatra and passing Lampung. Arriving at Merak harbor, you can board a long­boat for one-and-a-half hour trip to Lampung. Along the way,you can enjoy the amazing view of the vol­cano, Krakatau, in Sunda Strait and feeling the fresh air as you depart Banten province. The boat stops at Bakauheni harbor in Lampung be­fore proceeding to Tanjung Karang where you can spend the night at a nice resort.

The next day destination is Way Kanan, long enough to drive from Tanjung Karang so you have to leave the hotel earlier, at 5 am. Way Kan­an is a national park where you will find the beast, including elephants and rhinoceros and a wide variety of birds. A beautiful national park but rather difficult to explore if you donot have thecourage to board on a small 40 hp Yamaha boat, whilst be­ing watched by the river lizards, The beast can be seen on the banks of the river while others lurk in the river.

A three kilometer tour is guided by a young man who at the park and the journey takes 45 minutes and it is quite a challenge.

Way Kambas is the next trip, a famous area for its school for elephants. You may hear the wild elephants trumpet when your car passes through the forest, or you may experience an encoun­ter with a herd of the giant animals. They will peer at you inside the car before they disappear into the jun­gle.

The great attraction at Way Kambas is riding elephant where the local elephant school adopt Thai “curriculum”, an unforgettable mo­ment and it will take a great deal of courage!.

Take along your little foamy pil­low is recommended when you ride an elephant and to find the experi­ence more comfortable and relaxing. Normally, a mahout will accompany you on the same animal.

After giving his prod and few rules onhow to control the beast, the mahout allows you to ride alone throughout the rest of the tour that takes place on a coffee plantation.

Under the shade of a leafy Ban­yan tree stands a Hindu temple, simi­lar to those found in Bali. The area is the home to some 40 Balinese families who preserve their indigenous tradition while they mingle with local and transmigrants from other islands.

Metro is a small town for the next stop, where you can have chicken soup for dinner. Go to the market and you will find famous ikat cloth­ing typical from Lampun, known as Kain Tapis. It is traditionally made of woven fabrics, incorporating with natural dye and golden thread and is occasionally tied at the end with old colonial coins. The motifs are usually of the local flora but now the weavers use their own designs, which include Arabic calligraphy. The combination of floral motifs and well marked col­ors are bril­liant.

L a m ­p u n g is not j u s t a b o u t b o a t tours, el­ephants ride or tapis. It also has remarkable tradi­tional architectural style called Rumah Sesat. This stilled long­house-type which can accommodate up to 25 families, is a gathering place for extended families in times of hardship.

Spend two nights away and you will, without a doubt, have a memorable time in Lam­pung.