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GUNUNG LEUSER NATIONAL PARK-BUKIT LAWANG Sanctuary of Sumatran OrangUtan

October 4, 2010

On this 14th of August ,the next trip was to visit to Bukit Lawang. Bukit Lawang is one of the top destinations in Sumatra, a small village on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park about 68 kms from the heart of Medan city to the North via Binjai. “Bukit Lawang” means “GATEWAY TO THE HILLS”. This place is famous for the Bohorok Rehabilitation Centre now known as the Orangutan Centre.
Pic :1 At the entrance of Leuser National Park
We start in Medan at about 11am,it was cloudy and we got to Bukit Lawang at about 2.30pm, I was really happy knowing that we did not miss the feeding session of the Orang Utan which is only twice a day (9am and 3pm). We could possibly miss it,if we came late at the time.
At the top of the village of Bukit Lawang is the Bohorok Rehabilitation Centre which has not operated since the flood (2 November 2003 which have killed 253 people,and 83 people claimed lost). They still have a few orangutan in their care but no new animals are brought in for rehabilitation. You will need to get a permit to enter the National Park. Ask in your hotel as they can arrange the permit, you can arrange it yourself at the PHPA office at the beginning of Bukit Lawang or you can pay for your permit when you cross the river at the Orangutan Centre. Permit costs approximately 20,000Rp.
Pic:2  The bridge,the river and the village of Bukit Lawang
As soon as we have parked the motorbike,we then took a walk up to a house where people usually buy an entrance tickets,luckily it was closed,we only saw a man were sitting on the chair sleeping and snoring so bad.In this place I call “a house” where we can find/read descriptions of animals we can find in the Leuser Forest. We spend a few minutes in this place. Rain begun to fall. We continued walking to the entrance of Leuser National Park, with firstly have to cross using a cabled-canoe,Rp.5,000- per person.
Pic:3 You have to cross the river with this canoe
A group of “moms” were waiting to cross the river with canoe 🙂
Continue ascending- I have no idea how many stairs-step- to the Orang Utan feeding site, it took about 10 to 15 minutes walking,and then “voilaaaa….” ,wait a few minutes,the “pawang” begun to call out the Orang Utan by striking a piece of bamboo on the hard surface,the sound will give signal to the Orang Utan and let them know that food is ready:). Now sit relax and enjoy the view of “pawang” is feeding  the Orang Utans with  banana and milk.
Pic:4 The feeding of Orang Utan
In the river,locals and foreigners can do a “tubing” as well,beside trekking into the wild of Leuser Natioal Park. However no idea about how much to pay for this activities.
Pic:5 Tubing,and Funnn….!!
How to get to Bukit Lawang

Just a reference for you guys who want to go to Bukit Lawang, I and friends went there with motorbike, however if do not have motorbike , you can also take taxi from the airport and pay approximate Rp.350,000- it depends on how hard you can bargain :). Note that in Medan it is really hard to find a place where you can rent a motorbike.
There are tourist buses leaving from most towns in North Sumatra to Bukit Lawang. In Medan you have the option of catching a local bus, very large, slow and crowded but very cheap, 15,000Rp. It will take 3.5 to 4 hours in the local bus as it also stops many times along the way to drop and pick up locals. You will need to get a becak or taxi to the bus depot in Medan – Pinang Baris. It will cost around 35,000Rp for a becak. A taxi will cost aroun 70,000 – 80,000Rp from the centre of Medan to get to Pinang Baris Bus Terminal (approximately). You can also take a mini-bus from Pinang Baris for 12,000Rp. The mini-buses take around 3 hours to get to Bukit Lawang as they do not stop as many times along the way. The mini-buses do not leave from the main bus terminal. Travel down the road that runs past the bus terminal a few hundred meters and your will find the mini-buses outside the large pastry store (you can’t miss it).
Do not too worry about where to spend the night there, there many accommodation available there starting from budget USD$ 5 – $ 25 /room per night.
Following is a list of accommodation (hotels and guesthouses) in Bukit Lawang including room rates, contact details and hotel reviews from other travelers.
Sam’s Bungalows has 3 rooms. Located right at the top end of Bukit Lawang close to the Orangutan centre. Prices are 80,000Rp, 150,000Rp and 180,000Rp.
Jungle Inn has 9 rooms all with different jungle designs ranging from 70,000Rp – 450,000Rp per night. Prices may go up during the high season (June – August).
http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com/jungleinn.htm

Eco-Lodge is one of the best places to stay in Bukit Lawang with 34 rooms with 5 different styles including their brand new Orangutan rooms. From 155,000Rp – 300,000Rp per night.
http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com/ecolodge.htm
Indra Valley Inn and Restaurant has 2 bungalows and 2 standard rooms. Located at the top end of Bukit Lawang. Prices from 50,000Rp.
http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com/indrainn.htm
Garden Inn and Restaurant has 7 rooms and one house with rooms between 35,000Rp – 50,000Rp and the house for 200,000Rp per night.
http://www.sumatra-indonesia.com/gardeninn.htm

Rainforest Guesthouse, run by the fabulous Nora Rainforest Guesthouse is located just next to the camping ground and opened in April 2008. Room prices from 40,000 .
Nora’s Homestay, also run by the fabulous Nora, is located off the main road running into Bukit Lawang. Prices start from 30,000Rp per night.
Wisma Leuser Sibayak prices starting from 35,000Rp.
Rindu Alam Hotel is located right at the bottom end of Bukit Lawang as you first enter the village. They have 40 standard rooms and 4 family rooms. Room prices start from 250,000Rp.

Yusman Guest House is located on the other side of the river via the large suspension bridge. Prices start from 25,000Rp.
Bukit Lawang Indah Hotel is right next door to Yusman Guest House. Prices start from 30,000Rp.
Finally, we rode back at around 4.30 pm when it started rainy and got to the city about 9pm. I was a tiring trip but fun. Only in Sumatra you can see Orang Utan beside in Borneo,and  you’ll never found this Orang Utan Sumatra anywhere except in Bukit Lawang http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumatran_Orangutan.

So come and see and you won’t regret…!!!!
Tobe continued to the Next Trip
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2010 4:35 am

    Terima kasih 🙂

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