1.HOW TO GET TO BUKIT LAWANG?
First you have to fly to Medan,Northern Sumatera,Indonesia
(KNO - KUALA NAMU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT MEDAN ).
Bukit Lawang is located 120 km north-west of Medan.
From here we can organize a private pick-up for you.This is the easiest and most comfortable way.
The cheapest way to get to Bukit Lawang from Medan Airport is to take the public bus.This option will take longer and the bus will stop a lot of times.
You first need to take the big ALS bus (Antar Lintas Sumatera) from Medan Airport to a city named Binjai ( between Medan and Bukit Lawang ).It should cost around 30.000IDR.
From Binjai take a second minibus to Bukit Lawang, for 25.0000IDR.You have to change the bus station in Binjai which is easy,just take a tuk-tuk/rickshaw ( called becak in Indonesia,10.000IDR).
You can also take the train from Medan Airport to Binjai ( 80.000IDR) and from Binjai a minibus to Bukit Lawang ( 25.000IDR ).You have to change the bus station in Binjai which is easy,just take a tuk-tuk/rickshaw ( called becak in Indonesia,10.000IDR).
You can check the trains timetable here:
If you are allready in Medan, and want to travel by public transports to Bukit Lawang,you have to take a taxi/rickshaw or mini bus to the PINANG BARIS bus station in Medan from where small minibusses leaving directly to Bukit Lawang.
By the time you arrive at the local bus station in Bukit Lawang, we are happy to wait for your arrival, pick you up here and bring you to your guesthouse
(There will be probably jungle men and boys in the bus seeking to sell jungle trekkings to you...just let them know that you will be picked up by us.)
Depending on how many people you are, it would be more cheaper to book a private pick up with us or to share a car / take a shared tourist bus ( please contact us before so we can check shared car options ).
2.WHAT TO BRING?
The climate here is hot and humid so it’s best to wear loose fitting, cotton clothing.
If you do jungle trekking you don’t really need special clothing or equipment but there are a few useful things to have especially if you’re camping in the jungle overnight such as a headtorch and sleeping bag liner etc.
Indonesia's tourist visa policy is as follows:
- The validity of your passport should be 6 months from the date of arrival in Indonesia.
- Citizens of ASEAN countries, plus Hong Kong, Macau, Morocco, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, get a free 30-day, non-extendable visa-free entry at ANY port in Indonesia.
- Tourists from 75 countries (notably excluding Brazil and Australia - full list) can get a 30-day visa-free entry permit on arrival, at Riau islands ferry ports, or at Medan, Jakarta, Surabaya, Batam or Bali airports. This permit cannot be extended. A new permit can be obtained if you exit and re-enter Indonesia. The visa-free entry permit may only be used for tourism purposes, not for visiting family or business trips.As of September 2015, it is now possible to EXIT Indonesia via a non-free-entry point, while holding a free-entry permit.
- Citizens of all the above countries, plus Andorra, Australia, Brazil and Libya, can purchase a $35 visa at most airports and seaports in Indonesia (whereas the visa-free permit is only available at a handful of ports). The $35 visa is extendable, and is available for tourism, family and business visits.
- Citizens of countries not eligible either for either visa-free entry permit, or for visa-on-arrival, must obtain a 60-day tourist visa, from an Indonesian embassy, prior to entering Indonesia. The cost is $50 or local equivalent. Certain countries, namely Israel, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan and Somalia, require special approval and a visa application takes several months. Otherwise the process normally only takes a two or three days. The 60-day tourist visa is available to citizens of all nations, and is the preferred option for those wanting to stay between 31 and 60 days in Indonesia.
- Those with family/friends in Indonesia have the option of obtaining a social/cultural visa. This is similar to the tourist visa, also costing $50, but it must be sponsored by an Indonesian-citizen friend or family member. If sponsored by an Indonesian spouse or parent, the social/cultural visa can be converted within Indonesia to a KITAS, or temporary residence permit.The social/cultural visa is extendable, one month at a time, up to four times (total stay of six months).
- The visa validity counts from the first day of arrival. Therefore, if you arrive in Indonesia on 12th July, for example, your visa will expire on 10th August. There is a daily overstay fee of 300,000rp, for staying beyond the expiry of your visa. For short overstays this is a formality (albeit increasingly expensive), however it is best not to overstay. Beyond sixty days of overstay it is a criminal matter.
The airport departure tax, formerly payable in cash, has now (for tickets bought after 9th February 2015, or 25th February 2015 for Air Asia) been included in the cost of the ticket, so you no longer need cash when leaving the airport.
The free entry permit is NON-EXTENDABLE.
The $35 visa on-arrival is extendable at an immigration office in Medan or other big city at a cost of 300,000rp. This requires two trips on separate days, one to make the application, and one to receive the passport. Arrive at immigration before noon (on a week day, not a public holiday), and wearing smart clothes (no shorts, no flip-flops).
A simpler approach is to fly from Medan to Penang and then back to Medan. This will cost around $60 return, and then obtain a new entry permit. If you are flying to another part of Indonesia, such as Bali, Sulawesi or Lombok, you can choose to fly from Medan to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore and then onwards to your destination within Indonesia. The cost of flying via Singapore/KL is potentially cheaper than going via Jakarta, and by leaving the country you can acquire a new free entry permit.
If you are staying more than 30 days it's a good idea to apply in advance for a 60-day tourist or social /cultural visa. This can be obtained from your local Indonesian embassy (including embassies not in your home country), the cost is $50 in theory, but local exchange rates apply. Please apply when in advance of travel. The 60-day tourist visa may be extendable, but you will require a local Indonesian sponsor (e.g., a visa agent). A social/cultural visa, with pre-existing Indonesian sponsor, will be easier to extend.
More information in English and German language you can get online at www.indonesian-embassy.de.
Please check out your countries websites of the embacies for exact information and to be prepared.
The purchase of travel and medical insurance is strongly recommended for all overseas travel. Please confirm with your insurer that your policy meets your needs and has good medical cover.
Before you start your trip,you should check with your doctor or a travel clinic what vaccinations are recommended for Indonesia (especially for typhoid,hepatitis A and B,tetanus,polio and malaria prophylaxis).
In Sumatra there are only two seasons, a dry (from april to october) and rainy (from november to march)season.
It is usually hot and humid.
The heaviest rainfall is usually recorded in December and January each year.
It tends to rain every few days, but normally not for a very long time,also in the rainy season.