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).
Since 2023, there is a new bus type available, going from Medan airport straight to Bukit Lawang. The company´s name is Amasar and their ticket sales office is inside Medan airport. The busses are orange and should cost around 80.000 rp, the journey takes about 5 hours and the busses are with aircondition. Sometimes they drive via Medan and let you change the bus there.
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 in Bukit Lawang called Gotong Royong local bus station ( sometimes you also get dropped off at the entrance of the village riverside walk ), we are happy to wait for your arrival, pick you up here and bring you to your guesthouse. Most guesthouses are located next to the river and can only be reached by foot. So we will pick you up and drop you off to your guesthouse ( luggage can be transported by motorbike ).
(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:
- We do not guarantee for the following informations as we are not an official visa agency and highly advice to check the newest regulations for your country.
- The validity of your passport should be 6 months from the date of arrival in Indonesia.
- citizens of most countrys can get a tourist visa upon arrival in Indonesia which is vaild for 30 days and can be extented one time into 60 days, the VOA is not free anymore and costs 500.000 IDR ( the extension again 500.000 IDR, arrange the application to extend your visa at leats 14 days prior the expiry date ! ). It is only for tourism purposes.
- since november 2022, most nationalities can also apply for your visa in advance and online, its the eVOA, payable with credit card, and great to avoid long queues at Jakarta and Bali airport ( only these two airports so far ! )
- Citizens of countries not eligible for visa-on-arrival, must obtain a 60-day tourist visa, from an Indonesian embassy, prior to entering Indonesia. It costs 2 mio IDR. 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 ( B 211 visa ) is the preferred option for those wanting to stay between 31 and 60-180 days in Indonesia. It costs about 2 mio IDR and can be extented twice for 60 days again ( 2 mio IDR again ) so in maximum you can stay 180 days.
- Those with family/friends in Indonesia have the option of obtaining a social/ cultural visa. This is similar to the tourist visa, 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, 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.
- You are not allowed to work on the tourist, social or cultural visas !
- 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 normal 30 days-visa-on-arrival is extendable at an immigration office in Medan or other big city ( 500.000 IDR ). 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 2 mio IDR. 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 also check out your countries websites of the embacies for exact and newest 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 which vaccinations are recommended for Indonesia (especially for typhoid, hepatitis A and B, tetanus, polio and malaria prophylaxis). Bukit Lawang is not malaria risk area but we have had cases of dengue fever.
In Sumatra there are only two seasons, a dry one (from april to october) and rainy one (from november to march).
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.