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Sumatra Itinerary help

Posted by savorygal on 13/2/2017 at 22:27

Hi TF peeps,
I am thinking of taking a 2-3 week trip through Sumatra in mid June. Looking through TF & other guides, I'm a bit overwhelmed. Sumatra is so BIG.



I am currently thinking of flying into Aceh, with onward travel to Pulau Weh for some diving. But thats flexible as well.
I would like to include lake Toba and a shortish trek to see the orangutans, but would like to see them in their natural habitat and not at a feeding station. Recommended national parks?

Bukitinggi sounds interesting but seems like a slog to get there. Ideally we would like to end the trip on an island. we were looking at Bintan island, but looks, again like a slog from Sumatra and might be easier from Singapore, but that seems like a hassle as well.

Any suggestions welcome

#1 savorygal has been a member since 16/7/2010. Posts: 176

Posted by Bungkus on 1/6/2017 at 08:06 TF writer

Late answer, but it’s only just June.... I’ve travelled a bit in Sumatra, but only North Sumatra and Aceh. For orangutangs, Ketembe is the place you are most likely to see them in their natural habitat, and the jungle there is magical -- plan a couple of days for basic camping. Lake Toba is sublime -- interesting “island culture” in an island within an island. I’ve only been up though the middle of Aceh -- it’s long travel days between stops, but the landscapes are worth it, and you’ll see very few people (tourists or locals). It’s good to reward yourself with Pulau Weh at the end, although it has been some years since I’ve been there, but it was good in the past. Do be aware that you’ll be hard pushed to find alcohol in Aceh, but they have some the best coffee in the world! Gayo coffee from Takengon is my favourite -- the local green painted cafe opposite the bus terminal serves some of the best coffee anywhere — try the coffee with egg too (kind of like coffee custard).

#2 Bungkus has been a member since 28/8/2015. Posts: 16

Posted by SBE on 1/6/2017 at 11:20

Sorry savorygal, didn't see your post, so late reply from me as well!

If you want to go to Bukitinggi you could always save time by flying to from Medan to Padang.

If you decide to do this, check out Rimba Eco Lodge for the "island" bit at the end of your trip. It's not actually on an island but it feels like one because it's only accessible by boat and it only takes a couple of hours to get there from Padang. The bungalows are quite comfortable if fairly basic .... slightly salty cold water showers and no wifi. Food is pretty good and included in the price together with free tea coffee and water. Lovely private beach backed by virgin jungle but the coral is mostly dead and the visibility wasn't fantastic when I was there. This said, the snorkeling isn't bad... loads of turtles and sometimes sharks, bumphead parrot fish, eagle rays, ghost pipe fish etc. The resort can arrange snorkeling daytrips to other places nearby or even multi day camping trips with local guides to the Mentawai islands if you're feeling adventurous.

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055


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