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Saturday, 25 November 2017

Discovering Sumatra | Fashion Aid Travels

I am a typical girly girl I'm not going to lie (at the best of times anyway) so when Martijn mentioned adding a jungle trek into our travel plans I was slightly apprehensive. Flying from modern Singapore to Medan airport was a culture shock to say the least but a good one! I am usually on my phone when I have a few minutes to myself never mind a five hour car journey but from the second we got our private car to the time we arrived to Bukit Lawang I did not take my eyes from the car window, it was just incredible to see the way the locals lived their lives which was so different to home.

Bukit Lawang

When we arrived to Medan airport we had a driver arranged to pick us up from arrivals (we organised this with The Jungle Inn staff online). Our driver was so nice and got us eventually to The Jungle Inn after a long five hour journey (the traffic and the road are crazy). When we first arrived to Bukit Lawang we were greeted by staff from our accommodation who assisted us with our bags as we actually had a 15/20 minute walk from the car to The Jungle Inn. Just a little tip, always try and tip locals when you can, they are on such little money so giving them anything at all will make their day.

Our accommodation was the definition of the jungle experience and we absolutely loved it! Bukit Lawang isn't where you go for a glam few days spent sipping champaign and going to and from the spa it has adventure written all over it.

  • The staff at The Jungle Inn were amazing during our stay in Bukit Lawang, they knew the area inside out and helped us with whatever we needed...nothing was too much to ask.
  • We organised a one day jungle trek with our accommodation and this was not only a highlight of Sumatra but our entire summer! We saw not one but three orangutans in their natural habitat and at the end of the day, we rafted back to our hotel which was a lot of fun!
  • On our second night in Bukit Lawang we came across an amazing restaurant which you will see more of over on the Fashion Aid YouTube channel. The restaurant was part of the Ecolodge and we ended up having dinner here twice....100% recommend it.
  • Despite the fact it took a lot of persuading from Martijn we did a tour of a bat cave just 10/15 minutes walk from the Ecolodge which was really cool, I can't believe I am even saying that :) 

We once again organised a private driver with our accommodation in Bukit Lawang to bring us all the way to Parapat, Lake Toba. Once we arrived after a 7 hour car journey we got dropped off at the ferry. The ferry brings you over to Samosir island in around 30 minutes. The ferry stops off at each of the accommodations which is really handy.

I am not going to lie this part of Sumatra didn't go to plan as much as I thought it would which was down to illness. On our second day I began to get very sick with my stomach and then the next day Martijn got food poisoning which was not good! So despite the fact, we got to see lots of the island we didn't do as much as you would do in five days.
  • We booked The Lekjon Cottages for five nights in advance back when we decided to go to Sumatra and they were perfect for us. The view from our cottage was incredible and the staff once again were so friendly and assisted us with whatever we needed. As travelling students for over 10 weeks we didn't have a big budget but this was perfect for us in terms of location and price. One thing I would say about the cottages is the noise so if your looking for somewhere very quiet I wouldn't book it however we are all about getting out and exploring so for the time we weren't sick we didn't find it a problem at all.
  • Samosir does not have a lot of tourists which was a real treat and something we loved about the island just like Bukit Lawang. The locals are all so friendly and when we were both sick they couldn't have been any more helpful with medication, finding a doctor etc.
  • We came across the Tabo Cottages when we were out for breakfast one morning and we were so impressed! We ended up having a couple of meals here over the five days and if you do have a bigger budget I couldn't recommend it enough! It is actually amazing value for what you get. 

When we were leaving the island we were collected by the ferry at our accommodation and brought back to Parapat, from there we booked a private driver who brought us all the way to Medan airport which concluded the Sumatra part of our trip.

I really hope this post helped any of you guys planning a trip to Sumatra. 
I also have my Sumatra Adventures video live over on my channel showing you exactly what we got up to.

Have a fab weekend,

√Čadaoin xoxo

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