Medan, Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang, I seem to remember translates into « Door to the Mountain », is a National Park, which offers treks through the Northern Sumatran jungle and a unique opportunity to see rehabilitated Orangutans. The treks go from half a day to 7 days, we contented ourselves with 2 weekend days. .

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Essentials:

  • How to get there: Direct flight from Singapore to Medan.
  • Travel time from SG: 1h30 (Direct Flight) + 3h drive
  • Website: http://www.bukitlawang.com/
  • Who to contact ? We contacted this guy called Anwar – His number is +62-813-7682-7858. You can Whatsapp him and he will organise the full weekend for you.
  • Price:  approx 130 SGD
  • What to take: a torch, repellent, leggings, a very thin sleeping bag, good waterproof walking shoes

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We had had the contact through another traveler. We just contacted Anwar, told him when we wanted to come, how many people we would be and that was more or less it… no payment was required before arrival, nor nothing much else. Only thing we knew is that he wanted to be paid in Euros. In the end, everything turned out to be fine.

So, what’s the drill here ? From the moment they pick you up from the airport to the moment they bring you back, everything was organised for us. After a first stop to have dinner and 2 more hours of driving, we arrived at Ecolodge, which would be our place for the night.

The place was really nice, the breakfast was amazing and these bathrooms… I want the same one in my house when I grow up !!!

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Day 1

We left around 10 on the Saturday on there we began the trek through the latex plantations or rather where they cultivate it, we walked through the leeches, fought against some steeling monkey, cursed to our unfit conditions (when the guides of course do it, cig in one hand, talky-walky in the other, jumping around like little macaques), held onto some roots to avoid falling  in the abysses of the steep jungle and of course saw what we had come here for, Orangutans!

Bukit Lawang is actually a place used to reintroduce these Humans of the Jungle to their natural habitat. So it’s actually pretty easy for them to spot them, since they have GPS chips, which more or less guarantees you to see some.

Surprisingly and unlike any other place I have been to in Indonesia, the food was good ! From the lunch in banana tree leafs to the morning royal breakfast ! That for sure kept us going !

We arrived after which felt like 20 hours, but was actually only 8 km, to our camp around 5. It was very rudimentary, not electricity of course, no bathroom nor toilet, but we were really in the middle of the nature, just next to a small stream and the perfect waterfall after a day of walking. Had food, a swim, food again, played some games with the guides and left it there for the night.

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Day 2

Waking up in these places is always a tremendous pleasure. Little macaques were surrounding us in the trees, some waiting for the opportunity to steel some food, others just looking for gold in the stream. We also had the company of a large varan, which the monkeys didn’t seem too happy about.

Had our royal never ending breakfast, went for a (very very steep) walk around, or I should rather say above our camp, came back. We left around 12.30 to go back to the lodge tubing. It only took us 15 min to get back (so we were really quite close to the lodge), but it was a lot of fun and the scenery in the middle of the mountains was gorgeous.

Got back to the lodge, had some food and were escorted back to the airport shortly after.

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So, the weekend in a couple of words would be: a bit though, rudimentary, great food, muddy, rainy, but saw quite a few of our monkey cousins and overall had a great time.

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