There are many valid reasons why North Sumatra is the island’s most visited area. The diverse landscape caters to those eager to embark on challenging treks through the forest as well as to those looking for a laid-back encounter with tribal cultures. Batak people are known for their unique architecture and lively music culture; you can enjoy sleeping under a boat-shaped roof and joining a traditional dance as you say Horas (hello in the local language) to the villagers passing by! The architectural journey includes Medan, where near the city centre you can find Islamic religious monuments and mansions, colonial buildings and Tjong A Fire, a majestic Chinese merchant’s palace featuring remarkable paintings and carvings.
Gate to Gunung Leuser National Park, Bukit Lawang is a pleasant hill village and popular tourist destination. Besides trekking in the park, a drink on the riverside, a nap on a hammock or, for the more active, a tubing experience, are the most common activities. Visit the orangutan rehabilitation centre to learn about these intelligent endangered primates, but don’t be surprised to be amongst a crowd of people, especially on weekends. Nearby, Tangkahan is the ultimate destination for trekking and elephant sighting, and you will discover one waterfalls after the next, restore in the hot springs and cross wooden suspension bridges. On the way to Lake Toba, take some time to climb Mount Berastagi or Mount Sibayak, one of Indonesia’s easiest volcano treks; you will pass through traditional Batak villages and breath the fresh area of the green volcanic hills. End your tour with a deserved rest on Samosir island to enjoy Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcanic lake. It’s a lovely place for a swim, a laid back excursion in the beautiful countryside or just to kick back in and relax.