Bukit Lawang is a forest area famous for its rushing and clear streams of the river as well as a place of observation of Sumatran orangutans. Located in the district of Bahorok, Langkat, it is about 3 hours from Medan. To see it on the map, click here.
The orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of two species of orangutans in Indonesia, which only live on the island of Sumatra. Trekking the jungle is the primary activity at Bukit Lawang because it is the gateway to the protected forest of Mount Leuser National Park. During the trekking, visitors can also see other animals, such as birds, monkeys, and gibbons. One of the interesting species is the Thomas Leaf Monkey. They have mohawk-style hair. If you are lucky, you can also see the Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos, and honey bears. Another favorite activity is tubing, i.e., using inflated truck tubes to float in the river. You can also visit the bat cave and enjoy the waterfall while playing or swimming in the river.
What to Enjoy
Bukit Lawang is an orangutan rehabilitation site that has been established since 1973, and a Sumatran orangutan observation site since 1991. It is not surprising that when visiting there, many orangutans live freely in the wild (i.e. their natural habitat).
- Hiking in the Bukit Lawang
If you want to enjoy the most of Bukit Lawang, join a trekking tour to see orangutans in their wildlife. However, you must prepare your stamina so you don’t get tired easily. This is because you will walk up and down through the forest. During the trekking, keep a safe distance if you meet orangutans.
- Entering the Bat Cave
The cave is not far from the entrance to Bukit Lawang. You only need to walk about 15 minutes to reach it. Just as the name suggests, the cave is the habitat of thousands of bats. It also offers an interesting view of the inside of the cave. To see it, you need the help of a flashlight. There, you will find several large stalactites that are hundreds of years old.
- Down the Bahorok River
Bukit Lawang has a river called Bahorok. When the water level is high, you can cruise it using rubber tires. Although it sounds tacky, this activity is fun. You will definitely see monkeys in forest along the river. There are also many durian sellers who will offer you the fruit at a bargain. This is a must eat item if you are in Bahorok.
What to Expect
Orangutans are wild animals. So, you must refrain from physical contact with them. Getting too close increases the risk of disease and viral infections, and jeopardizes their survival. They will not approach you unless you offer them food. Do not feed animals without guide directions.
Lodging, restaurants, cafes, and souvenirs are available at the entrance to the jungle. Entrance fee is Rp 25,000 ($2).
What Visitors Say
“So far it’s been pretty fun, being able to see the orangutans directly, entering the forest,…” Sri Puja (Source)
“Bukit Lawang, which is very famous, provides a variety of inns, but unfortunately the inn which should be priced according to what has been determined by the owner, even there are many brokers who make the price double.” Agung Kurniawan (Source)
“Love it here. The water is cold, suitable for rafting. Be careful if you bring children because the current is a bit swift. Suitable for family holidays.” Beby Meilani (Source)
“Such a memorable experience! Even though after that my backpain persisted for 2 weeks lol. I was curious to try trekking in Tangkahan, the other side of TNGL where there are elephants and Nicholas Saputra’s favorite place. Hopefully there will be time to come back again~” Miraafianti (Source)
“Tourists who come to this place, more who choose to stay. In this tourist area, lodging facilities are available, such as hotels, cottages, and others. for food needs there are also several restaurants or restaurants. Souvenirs from Bukit Lawang itself are also very widely known outside the area because of the uniqueness and unspoiled natural image of Bukit Lawang.” Rinimubarrak (Source)
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