Occupying a stunning location in the hills overlooking Lampung Bay, from where you can see as far as Krakatau on a clear day, Bandar Lampung is an amalgamation of Teluk Betung, the traditional port, and Tanjung Karang, the administrative centre on the hills behind. Local people continue to talk about Teluk Betung and Tanjung Karang, and when you’re coming here from other parts of Sumatra your destination will usually be referred to as Rajabasa, the name of the bus terminal.
Travellers rarely stay long in Lampung, instead heading south for the ferry to Java or heading into long-haul buses to the north. However, adventurers may enjoy Lampung’s handful of largely unexplored attractions, among them jungle trekking through swampy Way Kambas, river trips in Way Kanan, boat charters to check out dolphins in Kiluan Bay and the white sandy beaches and frontal views of Krakatau in Sebuku and Sebesi islands. Meanwhile, surfers may want to head straight to Krui on the west coast, one of the best year-round surf spots around.Read More
Indonesian ferries have a record of poor safety, with more than four hundred perishing in the Java Sea in 2006 after a ferry capsized. The inter-island ferries that ply the Melacca Straits between Sumatra and Malaysia are often overcrowded and sent out from Dumai to Pulau Batam in poor weather. Most recently the Dumai 10 Expres sank after being battered by huge waves on 22 November 2009, which resulted in 29 deaths. The same day the Dumai Expres 15 ran aground on a neighbouring island. Further tarnishing Indonesian ferries’ safety record, in January 2011 a fire broke out on another ferry just outside the port of Merak, killing 11 people. While Indonesian ferries always carry some risk, safety may be maximized by sticking to Pelni boats and checking the weather forecast before heading out to sea.