Asia, Indonesia

The Jungle Trek in Sumatra

Asia Indonesia

Before even leaving for my trip to Asia, I had already planned most of it. But after the first month of solo traveling, I decided to leave my plans and go with the flow. So, I spontaneously booked a flight from Malaysia to Sumatra (Indonesia) to make one of my biggest childhood dreams come true; seeing a wild orangutan.

After having a horrible first day in Medan (to me, it was just a big and dirty city), and a horrible bus ride (I took the very cheap local bus), I arrived in Bukit Lawang. Since I had nothing planned, and I had just booked a random guesthouse on that looked nice, I was a bit nervous when I arrived all by myself in this little jungle town.

But, it turned out I had booked the perfect spot to call “base camp” for my jungle tour. I stayed at Junia’s Guesthouse, which is just across the bridge, up the river. It was not expensive at all and I had my own nice little cabin made from bamboo with a hammock in front. Also, the food was incredible! Since the guesthouse is in the quieter part of the town, a little monkey greeted me from my porch when I woke up from my first siesta in the hammock.

View from my hammock in Junia’s guesthouse

The staff at Junia’s was super nice and every night, we sat together to play on the guitar, sing some songs and drink some beer. I decided to not look any further (since there are a lot of tour agencies) and go on a 2-day jungle trek with 2 guides from the guesthouse and some people who were also staying there.

This jungle trek was really the highlight of my 2 month-trip through Asia. The hike itself was tough, due to the heat and some very steep and slippery mountains, but it was so worth it. We saw our first orangutans, a mum with her baby, already in the first hour after entering the Gunung Leuser National Park.

The tour guides were amazing; they treated the nature and animals with respect and took good care of everyone. The fruit salads they made us were honestly the best I had ever had.

Not only did we see orangutans, we also saw a lot of other monkeys and animals. For example, this funny guy that came to share a coffee with me at 6 in the morning.

It was such an amazing experience that will stay with me forever. I can highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Asia/Indonesia and wants to go off the beaten track, have a unique experience and discover one of the most beautiful rain forests on this earth with its inhabitants. To anyone who loves adventure, this really is the place to be.


Contributed by Alicia Koppenol