Is there some kind of public transportation going from Medan (Indonesia) to Bukit Lawang (Indonesia)?

I heard of "tourist buses" but I'm wondering if there is no other ways to do that journey for a better price & mingle a bit more with the locals.

  • that "how much" is something I'd like to also clarify with this question – Adrien Be Jun 2 '15 at 14:23
  • I mentioned public transportation. Isn't it specific enough? – Adrien Be Jun 2 '15 at 14:35

This info is from May 2015.

Public bus

It is possible to take a public bus from Medan's Pinang Baris bus station.

The price is of maximum 40'000 IDR per person.

The journey takes circa 3h45min.

Tourist bus

You can take a tourist bus.

The price is of circa 100'000 idr per person.

The journey takes circa 3h.

Arrange the tourist bus directly with your hotel/guesthouse in Burkit Lawang or with a tourist agency (they call them "tourist information offices"!) in Burkit Lawang.

Tourist bus vs public bus

Public buses are usually small vans type legendary VW, with circa 12 seats but welcoming up to circa 16 people (or more?).

Tourist buses are usually quite modern Toyota car.

These are the pros & cons I can see, then it's just a matter of taste really.

Tourist bus pros: comfortable, aircon, no stops during journey, usually safer driving style, safer vehicle (they even have belts!), faster, may meet tourists giving you good tips

Tourist bus cons: only tourists inside

Public bus pros: travel like a local, pay less, mingle with the local, simply more fun

Public bus cons: a bit slower, reckless driving style, usually not very comfortable, no seat belts





  • 1
    Care to add a map/more information on where to take the bus, the bus name, etc? – JoErNanO Jun 2 '15 at 16:00
  • 1
    @JoErNanO here you go sir :) – Adrien Be Jun 11 '15 at 6:21
  • FYI I paid 10,000 Rp from Pinang Bus Station to Bukit Lawang in 2008 (not relevant, I know) – greg121 Jun 11 '15 at 6:53
  • @greg121 thanks for your input. Yeah I heard & also read that public buses prices have been increasing dramatically. I am not sure why it increased so much really, but I believe this increase is not "just" for tourists (no special tourist "tax"), locals seem to pay the same price (just insist on paying what others pay in the bus). – Adrien Be Jun 11 '15 at 7:00

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