Bukit Lawang is a small tourist village at the bank of Bahorok River, situated approximately 86 km north-west of Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Bukit Lawang is known for the largest animal sanctuary of Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), around 5 000 orangutans and also the main access point from the east side to the Gunung Leuser National Park, which is one of the richest tropical-forest ecosystems in the world, covering 7,927 km2. Park is named after Mount Leuser (3 119 m, third-highest peak on the Leuser Range). Highest point in the park is Puncak Tak Punya Nama (The peak with no name – 3,466 m), the second-highest peak in Sumatra after Mount Kerinci (3,805 m).The NP is a part of provencie North Sumatra (25 %) and provencie Aceh (75%), 150 km long, over 100 km wide. This region is billed as the largest wilderness area in Southeast Asia, and offers wonderful trekking. Around 12% of the park, in the lower southern half, is below 600 m above sea level. Eleven peaks are over 2,700 m.
Bukit Lawang is most famous for being a site to easily spot semi-wild orangutans near convenient tourism facilities and it became one of the most popular destinations in Sumatra.
Seeing the orangutan in the wild may be one of the best experiences you will have in your life.
It is not permitted to go unaccompanied into the jungle, is easy to get lost. All trekking packages inside Gunung Leuser National Park are following the regulation of Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and HPI-Indonesia Tourist Guide Association of Bukit Lawang.
Getting too close or touch to an orangutan increases the risk of passing on disease and viral infection, which jeopardizes the orangutan’s chances of survival and in turn the health and survival of the wild orangutan population in the entire area. All guests should keep at least 8 meters away and move away if an orangutan approaches. The motto of any jungle adventure should be take only pictures, leave only footprints. Some guides feed the orang-utans with normal, human food during a trek just to coax the wild animals for the tourist, and as a consequence orangutans have become sick or even die. You should not support that !!!
Even though sightings of the orangutan and other wildlife can NEVER be GUARANTEED, when following the instructions of your guide the chances are favorable.
If you want to go on a multiple day trek make sure you are fit and in good condition. The humidity coupled with the intensity of grade of the hills makes for some hard work.
During the trek the guides always provide you nice Indonesian traditional meals and exotic fruits! You can stop at bank of rivers, where you have the chance to relax and swim!
What are you waiting for, finish reading this page, pack your bags and get on your way for your jungle adventure !
During the wet season, October to February, expect rain at least daily, towards the late afternoon (after 4 pm). Rains fall all year round, with 200 days of rainfall a year around 4000 mm of rain Intensity varies, but invariably the monsoonal rains always arrive. Climate is always very humid, the temperature every day reach 30°C, so pack a lot of drinking water if you are trekking.
The best option to go from/to the airport is a car rental service (thats mean you rent a private car with the driver).
The drive from the Medan-Kualanamu International Airport to Bukit Lawang (137 Km), will take around 4 hours with the private car. These service run 24 hours (doesn’t matter though you arrived in midnight).
Transport from Kualanamu International Airport to Bukit Lawang costs 650.000 IDR for a car (1-4 passengers) and 1 000 000 IDR for a big car (5-10 passengers).
The pick up from your Medan Hotel will costs you 600 000 IDR and 950 000 for a big car.
If you need car rental service, you can contact us via contact form here and we will arrange for you.
More information about transportation in here.
Internet and Telephony
In Bukit Lawang are several places to access the internet, called Warnet (around 4000 IDR per hour). You might prefer to use mobile internet with a Telkomsel SIM card (The best-Simpati). SIM cards are widely available throughout in Indonesia, including in Bukit Lawang. Internet is sold in pakets. Not all sellers of phone know, how to sell a paket, so you may need to ask around. If you access internet without buying paket, it will be extremely expensive.
In Bukit Lawang are several small shops that sell the locally made coconut necklaces. Also there is a small shop selling bamboo souvenirs, like key chains, picture frames, etc. There are also a few shops that sell wood carvings and at the beginning is Genta’s batik shop, selling traditional batik paintings. Each Friday its possible visit the Local Market in Gotong Royong (2Km from Bukit Lawang) or on Sunday in Bohorok, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, fish, clothes.. In many places is no problem getting a beer also. The cost start from 30 000 IDR for a large bottle-Bir Bintang or small bottle Guinness. Otherwise you can find a limited selection of wine, imported spirits in Medan, on Jalan Gatot Subroto (the road to Bukit Lawang) just before Berastagi supermarket, at around km 2.5, at Simpang Barat, the shop is known as Kedai Opong (whisky-150 000/700ml, vodka-175 000/750ml, wine-250 000).
While there is a ATM machine 11 km from Bukit Lawang in village Bohorok. They have 3 ATM´s. From ATM with notes 50 000 IDR, you can withdraw up to 1 250 000 IDR and from ATM with notes 100 000 IDR, there you can withdraw up to 2 500 000 IDR in one transaction. Western Union transfers can be received in Bohorok Post Office. If you carry foreign currency it’s easy to exchange it in Bukit Lawang Money changers, but the rates are slightly lower than in Medan.
Citizens of 169 countries get a free 30-days visa ( includes Czech Republic ).
See the actual list of countries here and entry/exit ports here
These free 30-days visa are not extendable !!!
The 60 days tourist visa must obtain from a Indonesian embassy, prior to entering Indonesia.
All visa validity are counts from the first day of arrival !!!
Bring with you
Mosquito repellents – are also available in shops in Bukit Lawang ( brands – Autan and Soffell ).
Sun lotion– it’s not available locally.
Swimsuit – locals don’t really use them, so don’t think about trying to buy one locally. For women it’s best to avoid bikinis.
Shoes – the best choice are CROCS, hiking sandals or trail shoes, that gets wet easily and dries easily. Not recommend heavy hiking boots !
Light-weight clothing – which dries quicker.
Flashlight – powercuts occur several times a week.
Plug adapters – Indonesia used same as in mainland Europe (220 V). Visitors from the UK, US, Canada and Australia,will require adapaters.
You also may wish to bring all your medicine for allergies and basic first aid supplies. Locally there is limited medical care. In pharmacies you can buy basic antibiotics, painkillers, bandages and other low-cost medicines.For anything more serious you have to visit Medan hospitals-Rumah Sakit Elizabeth or Rumah Sakit Columbia Asia, which are both fully equipped general hospitals.