88 Travel | Lampung 1 Just across the water from Java and the bright lights of Jakarta, Bandar Lampung may not be well-known to international visitors, but that’s part of its attraction. The capital of Lampung province is the perfect starting point for an exploration of Indonesia’s oldest national park, where you can meet elephants, tigers, and Sumatran rhinoceros in their natural habitat. Bandar Lampung lies on a bay shaped like half an ellipse. The eastern part would join with Java if there was no Sunda Strait to divide the two islands. Travelling from the port of Merak (in Banten, Java) to Bakauheni port in Sumatra takes only an hour by ship, and travellers can visit the tiny white-sand islands such as Sindu and Sakepol, stopping off at the magnificent Siger Tower or at Tanjung Tua, the southernmost tip of Sumatra. “Bandar Lampung is actually the result of two cities becoming one: Telukbetung and Tanjungkarang,” explains Salsabila Taher, a local friend who accompanies me to climb Klutum Hill, a grassy observation point from which we enjoy a panorama across the city. With more than a million residents, the multicultural diversity of Bandar Lampung is obvious from the presence of houses of worship for various religions. In the afternoons people like to gather around Al Furqon Grand Mosque, striking with its tall tower, the mosque is a great source of civic pride among its residents. Churches are plentiful, and there is also an attractive monastery built in 1850. The architecture of the monastery, which is called Thay Hin Bio, is still original, with distinctive detailing and ornamental work up to the ceiling. The building withstood the devastating eruption of The morning landscape in Ketapang Port, Lampung. Dozens of boats prepare to take the tourists who want to cross to Pahawang Island. The Rafflesia Arnoldi that grows in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna.