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For such a centrally located province, Jambi is not easy to reach and sees few foreign visitors. The province occupies a 53,435-sq-km slice of central Sumatra, stretching from the highest peaks of the Bukit Barisan range in the west to the coastal swamps facing the Strait of Melaka in the east.
The eastern lowlands are mainly rubber and palm-oil plantations. Timber is also big business, as is oil; Jambi’s main field is southeast of the capital (Jambi) on the South Sumatran border.
In the western portion of the province is the Kerinci Seblat National Park, home to Sumatra’s highest peak, Gunung Kerinci (3805m), Sumatran tigers (Jambi’s faunal mascot) and rhinos. The park is best reached from Padang.
Most of the province is sparsely populated, and many locals are migrants from Java and Bali. In the province’s fast disappearing forests, the Orang Rimba are an endangered hunter-gatherer tribe.