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Lake Toba / Berastagi / Bukit Lawang

Posted by Sawf35 on 27/3/2012 at 18:23

Hi all,

A mate and I are arriving in Medan at about 17:00 on June 21st and flying out again at 8:00 on July 1st, giving us 9 full days.

We will obviously have to stay in Medan the night before we leave, due to the early flight, but we were wondering whether it is too ambitious to make it to all of Lake Toba, Berastagi and Bukit Lawang in that time?

If we have to skip one of those places, I'm leaning towards missing out on Berastagi based on the research I've done, but I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

Also, it looks like we would have to go back to Medan in order to get to Bukit Lawang if we went to Lake Toba first - could this be done in a day?

Thanks in advance, any advice / recommendations will be most appreciated!


#1 Sawf35 has been a member since 15/2/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 3
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Posted by mooball on 27/3/2012 at 20:51 TF writer

I think it's a good amount of time for those 3 places. Berastagi is only a one-day stop and the other two you can take as long or short as you like. It's possible to get from Toba to bukit lawang in one day. It's just that there are quite a few different buses involved unless you take a shuttle bus which sometimes operates if there are enough customers.

If you've never climbed up a volcano before, I'd say berastagi is worth it.

#2 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 435
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Posted by pPamela on 11/6/2012 at 03:14

Yes, you can take all day to get from Bukit Lawang to Prapat Lake Toba and there is a good chance you might miss the ferry over to Samosir Island.
If that happens spend the night in the so so Prapat.
Here is some recent info from another forum about a hotel to stay in at Prapat.
"There are plenty of hotels and eating places in Parapat if you end up overnighting there, and places stay open till pretty late. I stayed in the Hotel Sedayu on the main road, halfway up/down the hill, which was clean, fine for a night and has wi-fi in the reception area. There's also a hotel right in the terminal area itself, but most of the accommodation is closer to the lake and ferry berths (and souvenir shops). The bus terminal is at the top of the hill and central Parapet is basically a one street town with all the ATMs, rumah makan and shops running down from there.
You can walk down from the bus station, or alternatively, arriving by minibus they'll drop you anywhere on the main street that you like.
There's a turn-off to the port area down by the water on the right just as you enter town by the big yellow Polisi sign, another by the first garage on the right, further up the hill, and another near the bus station.
Everywhere's walkable as long as you don't have too much gear, or take local transport.
Just be aware that there is more than one actual port in Parapat, depending on your destination on Samosir. Boats for Tomok leave every 55 minutes.
Hope this info' will be of help to future travellers to the area.

#3 pPamela has been a member since 3/5/2011. Location: Australia. Posts: 16
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Posted by jghaines on 7/12/2012 at 08:34

For others following this thread:
There are air conditioned tourist mini-buses that go between these three locations. They can be booked from most guesthouses in Bukit Lawang.

The bus from Bukit Lawang to Parapat on Lake Toba leaves at 08:30 and takes 7-8 hours meaning you'll get there in time for the last ferry to Tuktuk at 18:00. The ticket is 150'000rp and the ferry ticket is included in the price.

#4 jghaines has been a member since 30/11/2009. Posts: 1

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