Today you arrive for Sumatra island overland tour in Medan, the main city in northern Sumatra. Then you drive about 1,5 to the centre of Medan. Depending on your arrival time you will get a city tour here. You will visit the Maimun palace built in 1888 in Malayan and Middle-East style and belonging the sultan of Deli. Visit the grand mosque Almashum built in the same period of the Maimun palace. Last visit is the colorful Chinese temple, vihara Gunung Timur. After city tour, drive about 3 hours to Bukit Lawang, a small tourist village situated on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park. It is the most accessible place to spot the Orangutans in the park. And the park is one of the largest national park in the world containing over 800,000 ha of virgin rainforest and home to an impressive number of mammal species like tigers, Orangutans, gibbons, elephants and rhino’s. Most of the view en-route to Bukit Lawang are oilpalm plantation, rubber and also occasional market set near the road. The rest of the afternoon is free. Enjoy the scenery from the veranda of your hotel room.
Accommodation at ECO LODGE / RINDU ALAM, simple accommodation but nicely located by the river side on the outskirts of the park. The rooms comes up with traditional Indonesia shower with only cold water.
First you will visit the feeding platform of orangutans. The platform was built to help the orangutans that have been released to the wild after their rehabilitation. As they are semi-wild, they are sometimes having trouble finding food on their own in the wild. Then they can come to the feeding platform for some milk and bananas. Wild orangutan occasionally come to the platform too. So the feeding platform is meant as the first place for the orangutans come to for help rather than plantations or village where conflicts can occur. When the orangutans are getting enough food on their own, they will not come to the platform because the food they find in the wild is more exciting than just milk and bananas! So although it is a marvelous sight to see the orangutans at the platform, it is also good news when they do not show up, as this means they are surviving well in the wild without help. From the platform you will follow a 2-3 hours jungle walk to experience the rainforest. It is not a flat walk but involves some ups and downs. A bit hard but in return you get a very nice experience. You have a big chance to see gibbons, thomas leaf monkeys, longtail and pigtail macagues, flying squirrels, Sumatra peacocks and hornbills. A wild Orangutans might cross your way. Return to Bukit Lawang and short rest. Then departure about 5 hours to Berastagi (1300m), a hill town flanked by two active volcanoes Sinabung (2417m) and Sibayak (2172m). It is the homeland of the Batak Karo, one of the six Batak tribes that inhabit the province of North Sumatra.
Accomodation at GRAND MUTIARA / SIBAYAK HOTEL
- The program in Bukit Lawang may be reversed, jungle trek first then visit the feedings.
- Those bringing camera/video camera into the park will be charged Rp 50,000/150,000
- WHAT TO BRING! Shoes with good profile, rain coat & dry bag for wallet, mobile etc to protect from waters, insects repellant & drinking water.
- A nice option you can do after trekking is tubing, floating down the river on car tubes (cost at personal account)
Scenic drive to lake Toba, one of the deepest and largest crater lake in the world with stop at Dokan, a small Batak Karo village with a number of traditional houses still inhabited by eight families each. Proceed to Sipiso piso waterfall and Rumah Bolon, the long house of king Batak Simalungun. From this site you will continue following the lake and arrive in Parapat somewhere afternoon. Parapat is a small town on shore of lake Toba. From here you will cross the lake ± 45 minutes to Samosir island using public boat. It is enjoyable trip. Upon arrival direct transfer to your hotel and relax.
Accomodation at TOLEDO INN / TABO COTTAGE, simple accomodation but clean and nicely located by the lake side
Explore the natural beauty and cultural aspects of Batak Toba by visiting Ambarita village where the remnant megalithic culture of Batak Toba lies in front of traditional houses. Continue to Simanindo to see folkdance performed by the villagers. Here you also can visit a museum built in typical Batak style. On returning to your hotel, stop at Tomok village to see a very old but nicely decorated sarchopagus.
Notice: Samosir tour made by car for max 5 paxs while 6 up by boat
Across back to Parapat by public boat and drive up to Sipirok with view of marching mountains Bukit Barisan, a long but beautiful trip. First stop will be at a typical Batak village Jangga Dolok/Lumban Binanga. Next stop at colourful market place in Balige and sulphur hotspring in Sipoholon.
Accomodation at TORSIBOHI HOTEL, nicely located on top of a hill. The cottages are spacious and offer enough comfort but still are SIMPLE accommodation.
The journey today is rather long but worthwhile to exhibits the inner part of Sumatra. The scenery of mountains, rivers, valleys and traditional villages will relieve you from weariness. Enroute stop at Sijornih waterfall and Sihepeng to see a small herb garden where several kinds of herbs are grown (kardemon, ginger, vanille etc). Here, often there is also a short tailed monkey present who are specially trained to collect coconuts. Next stop at moslem school. See how moslem children go to school and live nearby in very small wooden houses and finally in the late afternoon across the equator. From the equator it takes another 1,5 hours to reach the higland town of Bukittinggi (literally “a high hill). It is the heart of the Minangkabau tribe that inhabits the province of West Sumatra. The specialty of the Minangkabau is their matriarchal and matrilineal society.
Accommodation at THE HILLS / GRAND ROCKY HOTEL
Drive about 1,5 hours to Harau, a nature and wildlife reserve surrounded by 100-200 meters high cliffs that like a giant wall. In the bottom of cliffs stretches vast paddy fields and green forests. Very scenic landscape! Here the atmosphere is quiet, unpolluted, and beauty as far as eyes could see. Besides cliffs, forest and paddy field, Harau also has several waterfalls with swimming pool beneath. Visit one of them before returning to Bukittinggi. Before/after Harau, we bring you for Bukittinggi citytour visiting the clock tower Jam Gadang which overlooks the colourful market Pasar Atas, the remains of Dutch fort called De Kock & Ngarai Sianok valley.
To those who like walking, Harau has a wonderful walk. It is a light walk that takes about 3 hours. The walk is around the valley through rice field paths, village and some paved roads between giant cliffs as background. During the walk you could see people working on rice fields, rainforest and would sometimes hear the calling of the black Siamang and gibbon. The walk ends at waterfall with swimming pool beneath. Take a swim before returning to Bukittinggi. The cost at personal account
Day 8 : Bukittinggi – Padang Airport
Free to relax until time to leave for airport. The trip takes about 2 hours passing by the greenery of Anai park. If time permits you may get a chance to stop at Anai waterfall. End of tours