Sumatra is a natural wonderland of luxuriant forests, fast-flowing rivers, vast swamps, cool highland lakes and imposing volcanoes. It encompasses a panoply of trees, flowers, mammals, birds, reptiles and insects to satisfy the most demanding naturalist - among them the world's largest flower, the 'Rafflesia', the orang-utan, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and tiger, the sunbear, three species of gibbon, ten species of hornbill and the (occasionally) man-eating estuarine crocodile. But the island's fascination lies in its interplay of nature and culture. Strikingly beautiful, Sumatra is also home to an array of cultures that have maintained their identity even in the face of Jakarta's modernizing tendencies
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