Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tourism in Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia

Lampung has a large number of exotic mountains and seaside tourist destinations. Most of them are pristine because they have not been exploited for tourism. Some of the mountain and seaside tourist sites in Lampung are:

Mount Krakatau

This mountain is located in the middle of the sea in the Sunda Strait and had a major eruption in 1883. Today, Mount Krakatau consists of two peaks, namely Rakata Besar (Big Rakata) 813 meters above sea level and Anak Krakatau (Little Krakatau) 280 meters above sea level. Both peaks emerged between the years of 1927 and 1928 following the destruction of its three craters in the 1883 eruption. Rakata Besar and Anak Krakatau grow taller by five centimeters per day.

A visit to Krakatau via Lampung is much cheaper than from anywhere else. Moreover, traveling to Krakatau through Lampung gives tourists a chance to enjoy the beautiful sight of Krakatau's spilling lava at night. It also lends to the beauty of seaside tourist sites such as Laguna Helau Beach, Pasir Putih Beach, which is famous for its white sand, Kalianda Resort, Merak Belantung Beach, Marina Beach, Wartawan Beach.

An easy route to reach Anak Krakatau is through Canti village, Kalianda, and South Lampung. If you are coming from the direction of Jakarta, you need to travel through Merak, Banten. From Merak Harbor you can take a ferry to Bakauheni Harbor, Lampung. The ferry trip takes two to three hours. There is also a fast boat that takes only 45 minutes. However, the fast boats are too small to take cars.

Karang Imb0r Beach

The high waves of Karangimbur Beach, Wayteluk, Biha on the southern side of West Lampung makes it an ideal site for surfing. Traveling distance from Bandar Lampung to Biha is about 350 kilometers. In order to get to this stunning location, tourists have to travel along lots of winding roads.

Karangimbur Beach is one of those untouched beaches. However, in the last few years tourists have come from all over the world to surf here. In fact, at one time this beach was the location for a surfing competition for surfers from all over the world.

Karangimbur Hotel, which is owned by an American surfer, is located conveniently near Karangimbur Beach for tourists to stay at. Another feature of Karangimbur Beach is that its waves follow two opposite wind directions.

Kiluan Bay dolphins

Unlike seaside tourist sites in West Lampung, most tourist sites in Tanggamus, Lampung, are not for surfing. On the other hand, all seaside tourist sites Tanggamus remain untouched. An interesting seaside site other than Terbaya Beach is Kiluan Bay.

In Kiluan Bay, tourists can play with the hundreds of dolphins that instantaneously come and dance in the air whenever a boat filled with tourists approaches. Tourists can rent a motorboat for Rp 150,000 to go around the bay. Local fishermen act as tour guides for tourists when interacting with dolphins.

Other features of Kiluan Bay include a white sandy beach, waterfalls, and an amazing surfing spot. Tourists can also set up camp to watch turtles lay their eggs in the sand.

There are two types of dolphins in Kiluan Bay. The first type is the bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the second is the long nosed spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris). Traits that differentiate the two types of dolphins is their behavior and character. The first type, which also has a round head and a longer neck, are often calm in nature and swims in slow up and down movements. The dolphins' movements could not be described as playful. Nevertheless, they still enjoy following fishermen's boats.

In contrast to bottle-nosed dolphins, the spinner dolphins often mesmerize people by leaping into the air and approach boats without fear.

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