Travelling from Kualanamu Airport (Medan) to Bukit Lawang by bus is relatively easy with the exception of the locals trying to rip you off.
There’s something special about visiting Sumatra. The journey is worth it to see orangutans in Gunung Leuser National Park.
Kualanamu Airport to Bukit Lawang
Go to the airport bus stop (it’s right outside and you’ll see signs).
Get on the bus going to Binjai, 40,000 IDR. There will be signs on the bus and the stop sign saying Binjai. The price is written on the bus stop so you shouldn’t get ripped off. I didn’t.
The bus ride from Kualanamu Airport to Binjai will take 1.5 to 2 hours. My bus was empty. There were only 3 passengers and 2 crew. The bus had a capacity of about 40 people. The engine was loud as a rock concert.
When the bus drops you off at Binjai, it won’t be a bus terminal, just some run-down area. You’ll have to take a tuk tuk to the bus going to Bukit Lawang (at least this is what I had to do).
There will be tuk tuk drivers offering their services to go the Bukit Lawang buses. They tried to charge me 50,000 IDR for a 10-minute taxi ride. I ended up paying 25,000 IDR but the real price should be 10,000 or 15,000 IDR.
The price of the bus to Bukit Lawang is 25,000 IDR. I tried to get on the bus for 25,000 IDR but the fuckers working at the bus stop would only let me on the bus for 50,000 IDR. Pricks.
The bus ride from Binjai to Bukit Lawang takes 2 to 3 hours. It’s rough and bumpy. The bus is a microbus and is usually crammed with not much legroom. During the ride, you’ll notice the deforestation of the rainforest with thousands of aligned palm oil trees.
The bus to Bukit Lawang will drop you off at the market, which is also the bus terminal. You can take a tuk tuk to your accommodation for 10,000 IDR.
The bus was better than paying 500,000 IDR for a private transfer.