In September 2006 I visited a very special place called Tangkahan in Northern Sumatra. See below a cut and paste from Thorn Tree with the information I just posted today.
Posted: 23 Oct 2006
visiting the jungle in Sumatra
I just wanted to let everyone know that the best place to really experience Sumatran jungle is Tangkahan, which is in Gunung Leuser, north of Medan. You can get there on a motorbike from Bukit Lawang or on a bus (four hour trip) from Medan. There are two great places to stay in Tangkahan: one is a resort run by an Englishwoman called Jane and her Indonesian husband. I stayed there for a week, it was great, incredible views of all kinds of wildlife, amazing walks, right by the river (stunning butterflies), gorgeous monkeys, elephants, and all that at a reasonable price with very good food.
Don't miss it if you are visiting Sumatra. It's much more of the real thing than Bukit Lawang.
Posted: 23 Oct 2006
Tangkahan via motorbike from Bukit Lawang? Which way did you go? Via Maureke (spelling?). How was the road - I imagine quite a bumpy journey? I agree that Tangkahan is an amazing place. Very beautiful and natural. It's just a shame it's been hard very hard to access. I hope the road has improved.
Posted: 23 Oct 2006
I'm thinking of visiting Sumatra in December/January. Can you give some suggestions of other places to go to fill a 2 week trip?
Posted: 07 Dec 2006
Wow, someone else who has just recenty been to Tangkahan.
I, too, engaged an ojek to take me from Bukit Lawang to Tangkahan for 5 days in late September.
Arranged it all through Kevin at Nora's Homestay in Gotong Royong not far from Bukit Lawang.
The trip cost 100,000 one way and was over a very bumpy road, poster#1 not sure of the name of which way I went.
But for me the bumpy road trip just added to the adventure of getting to Tangkahan.
On my return I came back with another great motor bike person Darwis from Tangkahan.
By the way left my big backpack at Nora's homestay ( something she does for travellers) and only took a small day pack with enough clothes for 5 days.
I stayed at Jungle Lodge with Sylvia a German woman and her Indonesian husband Alex Sitepu who used to be a guide at Bukit Lawang and their delightful 14 month old daughter Elena.
Checked out Bamboo River, but was not keen on the rooms there- wanted a more natural experience which I found at Jungle Lodge. Plus Jungle Lodge's position so close to the hot springs/ river for an evening mandi was perfect for me.
I too, checked out the elephants- one can do a special 3 day course and learn everything about them, all the commands etc.
I spent an hour on the back of the one of the elephants while he ate and learnt a couple of the commands so he would take bananas from me. Also scrubbed him in the river. 3 hr Jungle treks on the back of elephants are available also for about 160,000 rupiah.
I stayed in the very first dwelling built on the property- a small bedroom/mandi 20 ' above the river bank- 50,000/night- what a paradise. Thomas leaf monkeys would go crash through the Jungle every afternoon at about 5 pm- what a sight- mothers and babies moving at lightening speed- very difficult to photograph.
I did some river trekking with Sylvia to some of her favourite spots where I also swam, spent many times laying in the hot springs just across from their place, was massaged by small waterfalls and went tubing down the big river with my guide Darwin and two of his friends. Such fantastic memories.
A few of the guides in Bukit Lawang are trying to get together a tour or two to Tangkahan, namely Romi and also Uddin.
Will hunt through my notes when I get back to Oz ( fly 7.12) and put up the links to one of the new websites, being created for Romi.
Sylvia and Alex have the best located restaurant one could imagine looking up the river- very special..
This is where I had my breakfast every morning for 5 days- thought I was in heaven.
View from Restaurant - www.junglelodge.net/overview.html
Sylvia and Alex also have a small website still in process.