Thursday, April 12, 2012

Orangutans in Bukit Lawang

Today we are going to continue about our Sumatra trip.
Bukit Lawang is one of the last places on earth where you have an opportunity to see orangutans in their natural habitat, so basically wild orangutans. This is the only place like this in Sumatra and there are only two in Indonesia.

Fun fact: Orangutan is derived from Indonesian orang hutan what means “forest person”. Indonesians really like to joke about it and when you ask if they like orangutans they will most likely say “no, no! I like orangkuta!” what means a city person.

Everything in Bukti Lawang is quite impressive. The main village is situated on one side of a very nice river. On the other side of the river is a rainforest with many jumping monkeys and very lively wildlife. It’s very peaceful and tourist friendly. The problem is that after some time living in Indonesia you will learn not to like tourists a lot. You yourself are a tourist but you don’t like meeting other tourists. That was a big problem in Bukit Lawang and don’t get me wrong it wasn’t “packed” with tourists, but they were there.

Because of that prices for accommodation and food are higher than normal what was a bit annoying, but after we told them we are poor students we bargained a good price.

 Rooms were beautiful with view of the forest, with monkeys jumping around the roofs and balconies and the sound of nature surrounding us.

Because we were in a hurry we had only one night in Bukit Lawang so after taking our stuff to our rooms we went directly to orangutan feedings which are held twice a day. On the way to the feeding station we met countless numbers of monkeys literally 10cm from us. We were lucky and two orangutans came for the feeding; mother and a child. They were magnificent and after half an hour of taking pictures we went back. After we came back there was a massive storm after which electricity blackout in whole Bukit Lawang occurred. Fortunately our Slovakian friends brought Slovakian alcohol so at least I had something to do!

Bukit Lawang is a must see place in Sumatra. It was one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Sumatra and I recommend it to everyone who is planning to travel around this crazy island. I regret we had so little time and couldn’t spend more time there. I would go back immediately if I had an opportunity.

Next destination for us was Lake Toba what is the deepest and biggest volcanic lake in the world.

Stay tuned!


  1. Looks like so much fun! Orangutans are fascinating animals.

    I wanted to ask... did you feel the Indonesia earthquakes yesterday? If so, you should do a post on them!

    1. yeah we did feel it. only the second one because we were on a bike during the first one. we are pretty high so tsunami is not a threat but we have an active volcano right above us and it could trigger it and blow up. and that ladies and gentlemen is very very scary

    2. Earthquakes? Wow.

  2. Scary as hell! But great pictures, love that colors of true and wild nature.

  3. I experienced a earthquake in Nepal a couple months ago. It's awful, you can't hang on to anything since everything is shaking! Please sign this, by the way:

  4. Well as long as they don't throw poop at you they're alright I guess.