Getting Around Sumatra
|Getting around Sumatra is
very easy and very cheap but at times not the most comfortable. A lot of the bus
services are small mini vans. Some are dedicated to tourists and charge a
bit more or you can be brave and get the local buses and enjoy a ride with
an overload of Sumatrans. I once caught a bus from Bukit Lawang to Medan.
The bus was mini van was big enough to sit 12 adults comfortably. We had 28
people on board and some extras sitting on the roof. That was an interesting
Airports are located at Medan,
Padang and Pekanbaru.
Organising a flight in
Sumatra is cheap
and easy. Flights between cities can be irregular so booking
ahead can avoid travel delays.
You can book bus tickets in all the hotels. All hotel operators get a commission for booking your ticket. Some will charge the same amount as if you book at the bus station but others put a markup on the ticket. Remember these people are just trying to make a living and when you convert how much extra they are putting on it's usually only 50c or a $1 more so don't stress out about it.
You can flag buses down as you are walking along. If they have room they will stop and collect you.
Here's a general guide to the bus fares around Sumatra:
Medan to Lake Toba 40,000Rp
Medan to Brastagi 28000Rp
Medan to Bukit Lawang 32000Rp
Bukit Lawang to Lake Toba 60000Rp
Bukit Lawang to Brastagi 45000Rp
Brastagi to Lake Toba 40000Rp
Lake Toba to Bukit Tinggi 110000Rp - A 12 hour bumpy trip! This goes via the Equator with a quick stop off to take a pic and buy a tshirt!
These are popular tourist bus routes so they are scheduled daily.
The train network is very small in Sumatra due to its mountainous nature. You can catch trains from Medan to Pematangsiantar, Tanjung Balai and Rantauparapat. Also in the south you can catch a train from Bandarlampung to Pelembang and then on to Lubuklinggau.
There are a number of ferry services with the Sumatra on rivers and Lake Toba. Majority of the ferry services are to get the islands of the coasts of Sumatra.
Last updated 20th July 2008
English - Indonesian translator/dictionary
© 2009 Sumatra Travel
Other Travel sites:
Sumatra * Aceh * Batam * Berastagi * Bukit Lawang * Bukittinggi * Lake Maninjau * Lake Toba
* Medan * Padang * Pekanbaru * Pulau Banyak * Pulau Nias * Pulau Weh * Tangkahan
* Bali * Kuta * Seminyak * Sanur * Nusa Dua * Nusa Lembongan * Lovina * Pulau Menjangan * Ubud
* Java * Jakarta * Jogjakarta * Semarang * Surabaya * Bandung * Malang * Bogor * Cirebon * Solo
* Kalimantan * Banjarmasin * Palangkaraya * Pangkalanbun * Pontianak * Balikpapan * Samarinda
* Sulawesi * Manado * Makassar * Palu * Kendari
* Gili Islands * Lombok * Flores * Komodo * Maluku
* West Papua * West Timor
* Malaysia * Kuala Lumpur * Ipoh * Penang * Melaka * Mersing * Johor Bahru * Kota Kinabalu * Langkawi Island
* Kuching * Tioman lsland * Redang Island * Perhentian Islands * Pangkor Island * Sibu Island * Sipadan Island
Australia * Sydney Travel Guide * Sydney Restaurant Guide * Sydney Luxury Hotels * Sydney Budget Hotels
* Sydney Tours * Parramatta Travel Guide * Parramatta Hotel Guide * Parramatta Restaurant Guide