Bukit lawang is small tourist village which known as the place for rehabilitation Orangutans as well as the access point to the Gunung Lauser National Park. It is located in the bank of Bahorok River in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Bukit Lawang rehabilitation orangutans founded in 1973 and now occupy around 5000 Sumatran Orangutans. Most of Orangutans lived in Gunung Lauser National Park is wild but there is almost 20 orangutans is originally from rehabilitation which capture by human and then released back to the jungle.
It was my 3 day and 2 night holiday in Bukit Lawang. The journey which i will never forget as I have learn and experience lot things. Start from beginning of the journey until i am back to my hometown , I had learned how not to be scared and be independent trust people.Well, it was my solo trip after such long time and be able to do and enjoy it was something for me. I also known many people from my solo adventure. Everything was good for me but of of course it was only my opinion. As for the nature and tourist attraction maybe you can imagine how was jungle it is. Orang Utan, river, a lot of tree and of course a lot guest house and surround by monkey and other animal.
The journey from Medan to Bukit Lawang took 3 hours drive.As for the transportation, visitor/tourist can either rent a car, took taxi or shuttle bus from Medan or Kuala Namu (Medan International Airport) to Bukit Lawang. Other choice is the local public transportation although it was little bit complicated but it was nice to try as you also will experience how the local culture and people. The taxi or shuttle bus cost are around Rp. 400.000 – Rp.650.000. As for me, this time I had decided to use public transport from Medan. I took Bus Trans Mebidang (public transport like Bus Trans Jakarta) in Jl.Gatot Subroto (near Plaza Medan fair/Carefour) to Binjai. The bus stop in few halte , I decide to took from Plaza Medan fair stop. Bus Mebidang serve other route beside Binjai so, please be aware from which halte you can took the bus to Binjai / Bukit Lawang.The bus is quite comfortable and save compare to thr angkot (Medan public transport) and the price is only Rp.6.000.
The last stop of this bus Mebidang is Binjai (Tugu) and from there i am continue my journey with other public transport to Bukit Lawang. Exactly in front of Tugu stop, there is bus called Pembangunan Semesta (Mitsubishi L 300) which final destination is Bukit Lawang (pekan gotong royong). Then from Bukit lawang stop, i am continue with becak to my accommodation. The price for the bus from Binjai to Bukit Lawang is around Rp.20.000. As I mention early, the journey from Medan to Bukit Lawang took 3 hours but all depends to the rood conditions and drivers!
After quite long journey, finally I arrived in Bukit Lawang. In Bukit lawang there is many accommodation such as hotel and guest house type which quite comfortable but don’t expect for complete facilities. You can check the accommodation in website like booking.com. To be honest it is not my first journey to Bukit Lawang. In the past, I had stayed in the village for almost more than 1 year. I had spent my childhood in this area so it is good to be back after more than 20 years. As the result, I also see there is a lot changes in Bukit Lawang start from the river, development of village and environment compare to the past. The local village had told me that there is a big changes after the flash flood hit Bukit Lawang on 2 November 2003. The environment is changes especially for the river and orangutans. Before the flash flood the river is clean and orangutans like to play near the accommodation or the village.
On my second day trip in Bukit Lawang, I try to do tracking see the Orangutans. There is so many option of tracking service they provide. Start from 3 hours tracking, 6 hours, one day, 3 days and 7 to 8 days. All is depends on the tourist, as for me i decided to took 3 hours tracking. We left the accommodation at 9 am, then go to tracking to the jungle. We need to do hiking through the steep and go inside the jungle and after few hours finally we saw orangutans and peacock. The local guide had told me that we quite lucky because can see orangutans fast without going through deep into jungle. In the past, exactly 5 months ago in bukit lawang there is place where you able to see orangutans been feeding every morning and afternoon but now it is gone. Beside orangutan, if you lucky you also be able to see other animal such as honey bear, other type of monkey, peacock, giant ants as well as other plants such as rubber three, cacao three, pine etc.
It is really challenging for me to do this tracking but finally i am able to do it. After saw the orangutans i decide to go back to the village. Now, it is time for me to do some food hunting (kuliner) ^-^. Well, there is no special food in Bukit Lawang, what they sold here is almost same like the food you found in Medan or other place in Indonesia. But after i check it out, i founded that they fish dishes is fresh. If you come to Bukit Lawang try the Bamboo restaurant (near the ecolodge hotel) the fried fish (Ikan goreng) is quite good. Although the restaurant quite expensive compare to the others in the area but they offer quite nice and comfortable place to relax, lay down and enjoy the nature. Other food you can try is chicken curry, sweet and sour vegetable, pattaya fried rice, vegetable fried rice, potato omelet, pineapple pancake and etc. Also don’t forget to try the taco in Junia Restaurant which offer quite nice foods. Most the guest house also will provide jungle parties or music at the night in the restaurants. Some guides will sing and show their music ability like playing guitar and drums. Tourist can join singing or just enjoy it while have they dinner or drink some beer.
It is my last day in Bukit lawang and before i am leaving, I decided to go to Bat Cave. There is two Bat Cave in Bukit Lawang. Firstly is Bat Cave called Gua Kampret and the others is Ship Cave. The Bat Cave is located 2km from the village or exactly the trail starts from the Ecolodge hotel. Before you arrive in this cave you will pass and saw many plant such as passion fruit tree, pineapple plant, cacao tree, rubber tree, durian tree and etc. If you use the local guide the price can be variate depends on bargains. However, usually the price around Rp.45.000 to Rp.80.000 and if you come alone to the cave then the entrance fee is only Rp.25.000. The Bat Cave Gua Kampret is divided into 3 alley which continue between one to other and inside the cave there is bat, swallow (Burung Walet), stone and even small fish. It quite challenging for me to go pass all the three alley as the road in not easy but it is nice to try. So if you come to Bukit Lawang after tracking see the orangutans then try to go to bat Cave.
After saw the Bat, it is time for me to leave the Bukit Lawang and back to Medan. It is my 3 days 2 night holiday as solo traveler. I did enjoy it and experience a lot things. So, if you looking for the next destination for holiday maybe you can check out Bukit Lawang ! Please free to leave me comment and ask me questions.
Note : It was my trip to Bukit Lawang on April 2016 so, some prices mention above maybe had change.
***As recommendation for the people or solo traveler looking for next destination for holiday can check it out my friends blog : http://theimaginationtrail.com/ Enjoy!!^-^