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Indonesia - Sumatra - Details on get around Medan

Travel Forums Asia Indonesia - Sumatra - Details on get around Medan

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1. Posted by Andreas1981 (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I am going to travel to Indonesia for about 4 weeks with my girl-friend in March, the bit in Sumatra will last for about 10-14 days. We are about 30 and I did some trips to SEAs during the last years - but so far never to Indonesia.

Here`s my set of questions :-)
_I) Medan to Bukit Lawang_
We are arriving by plane in Medan (from SIN) at 4 pm or so. I am not so confident about customs and immigration procedures. - So, will there be any chance to catch a transport to Bukit Lawang?
In the LP I checked out that the latest one might leave about 5 pm (quite tight schedulre isn`t it)?
Is there a viable option to go privately that day - what option would that be and how much is it? (Taxi, Mini-Bus, ...)

_II) Medan to Berastagi and Lake Toba_
After getting a glimse of Orang-Utans we are planning to visit Berastagi. Can you do it in a day from Bukit Lawang or is that an issue of beeing desperate?! :-)
As I understand, there is at least a chance to make it from Berastagi to Lake Toba - any experience?

_III) Lake Toba to Padang_
It is said that this trip is long and hard - and that flying is a prefereable option. Well, I rather like to see a country by travelling through it not over it, in general. And I would have hoped that the new highway softens the travel a bit, or at least makes travelling quicker.
Does anyone have current experience?
Not to bother you with more details of the trip - from Padang we will head by plane to Yokyakarta, which seems to require switching planes unfortunately.


2. Posted by tinavratilova (Budding Member 16 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Glad to know you've planned to visit Indonesia, especially Sumatera at this time.

I'm from Berastagi, so If you'd like to show around with me or go to Mount Sibayak, we could meet. I also could help you to find nice accomodation here and food also!

My English isn't too bad actually.
I don't think it's possibly for you to reach Berastagi at the same time you leave Bukit Lawang, since the distance is over 8hours trip.


[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]

3. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1839 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

The best thing in Medan is the road out. Last time I took a bus to Lake Toba and it was packed. The island is quiet and nice and cool. I stayed at the Carolinas.

I took a bus from there to Padang (book a few days before). Take the air con bus as it is a lot better than the other one. The route starts off a bit hectic with lots of twists and ups and downs but is not bad. It's how you see the country. A new highway will certainly help things.

I went overland to Yogyakarta (inc ferry). It was interesting. You see little of a country from 6 miles up.

I changed up currency at the airport, and some more along the way (not too many places).