To reach Bukit Lawang from Medan city or Medan airport, we offer a private, air-con car from this website at £40, one-way, taking around 3.5 hours from the airport, and 3 hours from the city. Please see our trekking page for more information about our services. We can also arrange pickup from other locations.
Bukit Lawang Bus Station (Gotong Royong)
The Bukit Lawang bus station and weekly market (Fridays) is located in the village of Gotong Royong, about 1.5km from Bukit Lawang itself. Although private cars (including the air con tourist buses) and motorbikes can enter Bukit Lawang (although cars cannot get past the entrance area), public buses from Medan/Binjai run only as far as the bus station.
You may be approached by a guide, either at the bus station in Gotong Royong, or on arrival in Bukit Lawang. Their goal is to sell jungle treks. If you don't intend to book a trek with them, then it's best to advise them that you have already booked a trek, and don't require assistance finding accommodation, transport, etc., so they will not waste their time.
To reach Bukit Lawang from the bus station, you can take a becak (rickshaw). Drivers ask tourist a fare of 10,000idr, or 15,000idr if you can squeeze two people in a single becak. It's not necessarily to haggle with becak drivers as these fares are standard. Everyone is going the same place, except visitors to Rindu Alam, Batu Mandi and Ecolodge, who can be dropped off a little closer to their hotel if they tell the becak driver where they are going. When the becak drops you off in Bukit Lawang itself you will have a walk of 2 to 30 minutes to reach your guesthouse, depending on where you are staying.
If you prefer to walk instead of taking a becak, the best walking route is not to go along the main road, but instead to head out the back of the bus station, and then turn right, head across the field, and then along the irrigation canal towards Bukit Lawang.
From Medan Kuala Namu airport via Binjai
The airport for Medan, Kuala Namu, opened on July 24 2013. Unlike the now closed Polonia airport, which was in central Medan, the new airport is located around 30km beyond Medan (so further from Bukit Lawang).
The simplest public transport option from the airport is the ALS (Antar Lintas Sumatera) bus to Binjai, a city just beyond Medan on the road to Bukit Lawang. The fare from the airport is 50,000rp by (large, air con) ALS bus. This bus takes 2 hours and runs every 45 minutes between around 3am and 10pm. In the other direction the buses are exactly every 45 minutes from 6am to 6pm.
From Binjai Supermall to Bukit Lawang
Airport Buses to Binjai terminate on the east (Medan) side of the city, across the road from the Binjai Supermall.
To continue your journey from Binjai to Bukit Lawang, you should catch a 'P.S' (Pembangunan Semesta) minibus, hailing the bus from directly outside the Supermall, as they pass by on the journey between Medan and Bukit Lawang. The fare is 15,000IDR payable on arrival in Bukit Lawang, not before!
From Binjai Tanah Lapang to Bukit Lawang
If you take the airport bus, you might be encouraged to take a becak (rickshaw) to Tanah Lapang, which is 2km further west, and is just a junction where buses from Medan to Bukit Lawang stop to pickup passengers
In general this is to be avoided, as there are 'preman' (local smalltime mafia), who hang around at Tanah Lapang. These preman try to control the flow of tourists from Tanah Lapang to Bukit Lawang by demanding excessive fares, often in excess of 100,000IDR per person. They also have connections with drivers returning from Medan airport and if you have missed the last bus (sometime before 7pm typically), they will arrange for them to pick you up - at inflated cost. You may wish to head to Tanah Lapang if you are late arriving in Binjai (after 6pm or so) as there is some small chances you can catch a later bus there. Note that the rickshaw fare to Tanah Lapang from the Supermall/train station/bus station should be around 10,000rp, but they may ask much more.
From Kuala Namu airport via Medan city
If you wish to spend a night in Medan (this isn't necessary if you use our private transport as we can pickup any time, and note there are also hotels near the airport, which is more convenient if you just want to stay overnight), DAMRI buses run about every fifteen minutes. These run to Medan Fair Mall on Jalan Gatot Subroto, about 6km short of the bus station for Bukit Lawang, and also to Amplas bus station (for Lake Toba). Fares are 20,000rp to Medan Fair Mall, and 15,000rp to Amplas.
A train service runs from the airport to Medan city. The official 'Raillink' site offers tickets for 50,000rp, but booking closes around 1 hour before travel. Otherwisew the price at the airport train station is 100,000IDR. This is rather expensive, and for two people a taxi will cost a similar amount. From Medan city train station you can potentially continue to Binjai on a separate train, but the ALS bus is a far better option in this case.
The Binjai train station is located close to the terminus for the airport bus, so see above for onward transport.