Bukit Lawang is one of the top destinations in Sumatra, Bukit Lawang is a small village on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park located in North Sumatra. Bukit Lawang means Gateway to the Hills. Bukit Lawang is famous for the Bohorok Rehabilitation Centre now known as the Orangutan Centre.
The Gunung Leuser National Park is home to Orangutan, Thomas Leaf monkeys, Black Gibbons, White Handed Gibbons, the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran elephants, clouded leopards, marbled cat, crocodile, sun bear and the Sumatran Rhinoceros.
Bukit Lawang is 68 km from Medan. A bus trip will take around 3 – 4 hours. The road from Binjai to Bukit Lawang is the worst it has been in 10 years. The good news is that in Dec 2008 they started extensive repairs to the road, resurfacing it in many places.
At the top of the village of Bukit Lawang is the Bohorok Rehabilitation Centre which has not operated since the flood. They still have a few orangutan in their care but no new animals are brought in for rehabilitation. There are 2 feeding sessions each day (8am and 3pm) open to the public where you have a good chance of the seeing some the orangutan that have been released to the wild. They often come back for an easy feed. You will need to get a permit to enter the National Park. Ask in your hotel as they can arrange the permit, you can arrange it yourself at the PHPA office at the beginning of Bukit Lawang or you can pay for your permit when you cross the river at the Orangutan Centre. Permit costs 20,000Rp plus you have to pay an extra 50,000Rp for a camera permit or 150,000Rp for a professional video camera.