Distributed gratis by the Royal Packet Steam Navigation Co. (K.P.M.),
Text on page 143
Sumatra is one of the largest and most important islands of the Dutch Indies, lying to the N.W. of Java and separated from the latter by
the picturesque Sunda Straits. Sumatra MEDAN-DELI llas an area of 167,563 square miles.
Numerous small islands are dotted around it, the more prominent being Banka and Billiton. Communication is maintained by means of the very comfortable K.P.M. steamers, "Rum-phius" and "van Noort," from Batavia and also direct from Singapore, which is situated due east across the Malacca Straits.
The first place of importance on the east coast visited by the K.P.M. is Palembang, on the banks of the Moesi River. The town is very interesting. All the native houses are erected on piles some distance
above the ground, while along the w a t e r-f ront are moored hundreds of raft dwellings, rising and falling with the movements of the tides. The scene on the broad river is full of interest, quaintly shaped canoes passing and repassing, while the bronzed attendants, clad in bright-hued garments, furnish a distinctly eastern colour. Many delightful trips can be made on this fine river through thickly-wooded country. Resuming the voyage, one passes the island of Banka and proceeds northwards through the Straits of Berhala and Doerian. The latter is studded with a number of small richly-wooded islands forming the Lingga Archipelago, through which the steamer ploughs her way. Soon one reaches the port of Bela-wan, the harbour of Medan Deli ; crossing the bar at the mouth of the river, the anchorage of the K.P.M. Company's steamers, adjoining the Railway Station, comes into sight. After passing through the Custom House and crossing the overhead bridge, we reach the station where we entrain for Medan, some 25 miles distant. In about fifty minutes we arrive at the town and secure accommodation at either of the two large hotels, the de Boer or the Medan Hotel. The town itself, situated on the Deli River, is well laid out, and possesses a fine club, several hotels, many handsome buildings, and is in every respect up-to-date. The principal