The province of North Sumatra stretches across the island of Sumatra between the Indian Ocean and the Strait Malacca. It borders Aceh province on the northwest and Riau and West Sumatra provinces in the southeast. It has an area of 72,981 km². The province contains a broad, low plain along the Strait of Malacca on which the provincial capital, Medan, is located. In the south and west, the land rises to the mountain range that runs the length of Sumatra, the mountains here are dominated by Lake Toba, formed from the caldera of an ancient volcano. Several large islands in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra are currently part of North Sumatra, most notably Nias Island and the Batu Islands.
North Sumatra is a multi-ethnic province. The Malaqqan peoples are regarded as the native people of this province. The Javanese resides around Deli Serdang Regency, including Medan, while the West coast of province is mainly inhabited the Pakpak, Mandailing and Minangkabau peoples. The central region around Lake Toba, is predominantly inhabited by the Batak peoples. The Nias people reside mostly in Nias Island and the surrounding islands. With the opening of tobacco plantations in East Sumatra during the Dutch East India era, the colonial government employed many contract laborers for plantations. The newcomers were Chinese refugees, who were welcomed in Sumatra.
North Sumatra considered as one of top tourism activities in Sumatra Island, just below Riau Islands. According to Ministry of Tourism, North Sumatra is included on top 10 visited province in Indonesia. There are various kind of tourism place that could be found throughout the province, Berastagi is the best known as hilly place with a cooler temperature as the whole province is in tropical region. Lake Toba also the hilly area included a largest volcanic lake with an island in the center. Nias Island and other several islands nearby named Batu Islands is the best place for surfing cause a good sea waves. The capital itself, Medan, has many places of interest, mainly on historical tourism. The city also known for its great and various cuisine.
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