Bukit Lawang - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang

The little village of Bukit Lawang is situated on the eastern banks of the pretty Bahorok River facing one of the grandest forest areas in South East Asia, the Mount Leuser National Park. With its restful and pleasant setting, it was once one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Sumatra, the town existing primarily to cater to the tourist trade, with guides, restaurants and a variety of delightful guesthouses strung along the river. Since November 2003, however, Bukit Lawang has struggled to recover from the massive flash flood that wiped out most of its infrastructure, taking a huge dip in tourism that once formed the backbone of its economy. The charm is still there though, and its major attraction, the Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre across the river welcomes visitors more enthusiastically than ever. The Rehabilitation Centre was set up to help orphaned orang-utans that had been displaced because of land clearing or rescued from captivity, and teaching them the necessary skills to be able to survive in the wild. Visitors have an opportunity to view the apes twice daily when they come swinging through the trees to collect the bananas and milk left on feeding platforms in the forest, providing visitors with one of the more memorable experiences in Indonesia. Jungle trekking and tubing down the river are other popular activities.

Information & Facts

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, but many dialects are spoken. English is widely understood in Jakarta and tourist resorts.

Rupiah (IDR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, hotels and money changers in major tourist destinations; US dollars is the most accepted currency. Cash often yields a better exchange rate than travellers cheques, which are not always accepted. It is recommended that travellers cheques also be in US dollars. Most major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and stores catering to the tourist trade. ATMs are available in main centres. Small change is often unavailable so keep small denomination notes and coins for items like bus fares, temple donations and cool drinks.

Indonesia spans three time zones. GMT +7 (West, including Java and Sumatra), GMT +8 (Central, including Bali, Sulawesi and Lombok), GMT +9 (East, including Irian Jaya).
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