Avoid the Crowds & Explore Indonesia’s Best Kept Secret!


Bucket List Worthy  

So you want to travel South East Asia, but you’re having a hard time finding an area that hasn’t been hit hard by tourists, and where the culture hasn’t been devoured whole by overpriced tourist activities and day drinking. No problem!


You may have heard of Bali, Indonesia… of course you have! Who doesn’t want to go there? Truth be told, there are so many visitors now a days that it is hard to find yourself in unique cultural experiences while surrounded by other North American and European jet-setters. So where do you go? Bukit Lawang!

Best Time to Travel: August – October. Avoid the sticky humid weather during the earlier months of the year and embrace all that Bukit Lawang has to offer between the months of August to October.

Off the beaten track and a few hours’ drive from Medan, Indonesia in the middle of the jungle, lays a small village of bamboo huts, beer, music and dancing.

Bukit Lawang is a cultural escape from the ordinary. It is a place of serenity, adventure and exploration.

Though Bukit Lawang is relatively unheard of by most tourists, they offer many different excursions and hotels. All at ridiculously low prices, you can get a luxurious bamboo hut along the river’s edge for just $5 a night. Food, drink, hotel, you name it, you will get it cheaper here in Bukit Lawang. Here is just a taste of what you will find in this peaceful abode:

Orangutan Feeding Centre

Known for their work with rehabilitated orangutans, Bukit Lawang offers a centre which helps primates recover from captivity. Feel free to take part in this initiative by joining in on their twice daily feedings.



From two hours to two days, Bukit Lawang offers wonderful guided treks where you explore the Gunung Leuser National Park and sleep peacefully in the jungle. There are often sightings of the rehabilitated orangutans in the wild and neat little jungle animals that come out to say hi every once in a while.


Bat Caves

A wonderful natural landmark of Bukit Lawang is their bat caves. Trek out just 2km from the village and into the forest to experience a true natural wonder. Watch the bats fly out in unison or watch quietly as they are in the comfort of their homes.

River Tubing

Find yourself a tube, rent from a local or rents from one of their sheds along the river and go experience the real Bukit Lawang! The entire village is along the edge of the Sungai Bohorok River where locals play, bathe and tube all day long!

Exploring the Rubber Plantations

There are many rubber plantations across Indonesia and in Bukit Lawang you will find many of these trees situated throughout the Gunung Leuser National Park. Plan a trip through the plantations with a guide or explore it on your own. This is truly a remarkable experience.


Though uncertain as to why this spot has yet to be run down by tourists, it is quite possible that it is only a matter of time. I don’t often share my secret destinations, but Bukit Lawang is too beautiful not to share. Go out and explore some of Indonesia’s destinations which are off the beaten track. Take photos, breath it in and relax for a while!


About the Author: Jenna Davis

I am a 20-something Canadian travel blogger whose home address is as unknown as the next destination I will be visiting. I run my own travel blog at www.giveforgranted.com with a focus on affordable travel and unique experiences. Helping keep our true north strong and free, I have also developed a non-profit organization which supports northern Canadians living in poverty. Give for Granted.

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