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A place to stop off between Lake toba and Bukitingi, Sumatra

Travel Forums Asia A place to stop off between Lake toba and Bukitingi, Sumatra

1. Posted by bpilgrim6 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

Im in Bukittinggi and after a few days exploration round here i want to go to lake toba...but the 17 hour bus ride is gunna kill me!! Can anyone recommend a nice place to stop off between here and lake toba?

Any suggestions welcome,

Many thanks


2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1851 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

17 hours? I remembered it being long with a few stops in the day time to stretch our legs and sleeping overnight but not that long. There is nothing really in between other than some tiny villages and such.

Make sure you get the air conditioned bus, rather than the non-AC one. I stayed at the Carolina hotel on Lake Toba. It's been many years since I was last there. The island is thankfully cooler than the mainland.

3. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Beth,

If I remember correctly there isn't anywhere for you to stop off for a day and break the journey. There is Bonjol where the equator line passes through but I am not sure if there is accomodation in the area for back packers.
I would just do the 17 hr bus trip.
Just remember the best bus company to travel with is ANS not ALS.
ANS have the most mechanically sound buses and your trip should be no more than 17 hrs. I have known travellers who have been on ALS buses and
taken much longer to get to Prapat Lake Toba.
ANS buses are air conditioned too and although they cost a bit more they are reasonably comfortable. And yes there are meal breaks and prayer breaks along the way so you do get the chance to stretch your legs and move around a bit.

Did you get down to Lake Maninjau - there is a wonderful trek from Bukittinggi to Lake Maninjau staying overnight in the Anas Homestay huts high up in the jungle- such an experience.

Fabulous place to stay at Samosir Island Lake Toba is Romlan. Here are some photos of Romlan
And Jenny's restaurant is a great place to eat. See photos of Jenny and Rinto in the link above. Rinto was my guide in Jan 2004 and he will be able to help you with what to do there. Say hi to him from Pamela from Australia.

In Medan if you wish to spend a night Blue Angel on the main drag is where most back packers stay these days.
Also check out that website as it has loads of accomnodation options all around Sumatra.

Are you heading off to Bukit Lawang
and Tangkahan?
If so and need any information- just send me a PM or ask here.
I check every day.
Pamela who wishes she was in Sumatra now.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Sep-2010, at 16:40 by pPamela ]

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by Jemma D (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


Yeah in my experience there isn't really much in between Lake Toba and Bukitingi unfortunately apart from a place called Bonjol which is situated along the equator.

You could maybe see if you could stop off at Pulau Nias along the way down to break up the journey a bit more?

6. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jemma,
A trip to Pulau Nias requires a plane trip or an overnight ferry - not just an overnight stay.

7. Posted by molceonly (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

for my fellow traveller from abroad... safety tips

the driver use meth when driving...

if you love your life and wish to travel longer, just simply follow my tips.

have fun and enjoy indonesia.... ;)

8. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Molceonly,

If you do not recommend ALS then who do you recommend to get from Bukittinggi to Lake Toba.

I can tell everyone.

The best bus company to get is ANS note ANS they have the best mechanically sound buses and great drivers. I was told about ANS in 1997 and have been travelling with them ever since.
Price is more expensive but I do not mind as I would like to arrive safe and sound.