How many of you have dreamt about staying in an accommodation overlooking a river? Perhaps very few of you are lucky enough to have such a chance. However, if you stay at the Jungle Inn Lodge, located right by the Bohorok River in Bukit Lawang village, 90 km (56 mi) northwest of Medan (North Sumatra, Indonesia), you will get an experience of more than just being able to view the river.
One of the oldest and the best in the village
This hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Bukit Lawang, which has been operating for two decades. Although it looks like an ordinary house from outside, this is actually one of the best accommodations you can have by the river. You will be surprised by the amenities you will find here, especially the rooms, which are not only spotlessly clean and spacious, but they are also comfortable, artistic (with furniture made of rattan, a tall roof with no ceiling, etc.), and you can’t forget, the gorgeous view of the Bohorok River.
Fabulous nature view
The highlight of this lodge is the gorgeous outdoor view. Not only will you be able to see the ‘Bohorok’ River from your room, but you can also get the chance to go down to the river whenever you wish as it’s just a few steps to reach from your room! It is truly the perfect location to relax while viewing and listening to the surroundings of nature.
Spacious room with gorgeous outdoor views
Although the rooms are without an air conditioner, all rooms are airy due to its large windows and tall roof, and the fact that the hotel is located by the river makes it windy if you open your windows. However, if you are used to sleeping with an AC, it may only take you a night for the adjustment, and the following nights you won’t even miss it.. Each room has a balcony, and it’s nice because you’ll find that each one has a hammock for you to sleep on while being swung by the wind and listening to the sounds of the flowing water! The rate is very affordable for a ‘Waterfall’ room, which is 150,000 IDR (11.56 USD), but it’s the perfect room for you if you like to sleep accompanied with the sound of the small waterfall outside the windows, as well as have cold showers. Book a ‘Jungle View’ room for 400,000 IDR (34.68 USD) if you want a more quiet environment, and opt for the ‘Honeymoon Suite’ (500,000 IDR or 38.53 USD) for a larger room, with hot showers. If you’re wondering if there will be a lot of mosquitos, well… It’s a common question, as it’s inevitable to be mosquito free when in a tropical environment. However, don’t worry as all mattresses are equipped with a mosquito net, to ensure you have a good night’s sleep. The rates include breakfast, and the food is so delicious too. They have fruit juices, and cook mostly Indonesian dishes, such as chicken fried rice and ‘semur’ (sweet and dark beef soup, served with rice). They also have plenty of cold beer in stock.
Each room has a private bathroom, and although there is no hot shower in the waterfall rooms , it shouldn’t be a big deal as Bukit Lawang is a humid village, where cold showers are more refreshing. However, if a cold shower isn’t to your liking, you can always book the honeymoon suit or the jungle view room, as they provide hot water that has been heated with an LPC water heater. It’s an outdoor bathroom, meaning it’s roofless, and you can feel the wind breeze while inside, and also see the moon and stars (on a clear night)!
Monkeys on the balcony
Don’t be surprised when you see some monkeys on the balcony, as you live close to their habitat and they seem to be used to humans. Isn’t it a rare occasion to interact with them, and share a bit of your biscuits with them? However, these macaques are hungry, and the reason for their coming is always food. Don’t leave your door or windows open, and especially don’t leave anything edible on the balcony.
This hotel wouldn’t be the same without the reliable and smiling staff. As you arrive from the airport, you still have to walk for about 20 minutes to get to the hotel, and they will help you carry your luggage whenever needed. Most of the nights they entertain their guests by singing, accompanied by their guitars and ‘gendang’ (a type of tambourine, hit by palms). They are also good at singing English songs, and they will sing some birthday songs in both English and Indonesian when they know one or more guests are having a birthday. Staying at the Jungle Inn will make it hard for you to leave, and will make you consider staying for another day.
Some useful tips
Other amenities include a welcome drink (fruit juice), and free Wi-Fi, which is strongest if you access it from the lobby and restaurant. Most people come here for the jungle trek to meet orangutans, and other creatures, such as gibbons and hornbill birds, enter the batcave, see the exotic giant flower of Rafflesia Arnoldii etc.. Though, you can choose to only stay without taking any of their jungle programs. If you stay here for the jungle adventure, the hotel will set up the trip, as well as provide a knowledgeable local guide who speaks good English. Bukit Lawang is a small village, and it is a good idea if you can go around and meet the locals, who are welcoming and friendly. Many villagers, including the hotel staff, have a large garden with tropical fruits, such as papayas and coconuts. If you happen to make a good friend with one of the staff members, he will take you to his house by motorbike, and they will genuinely welcome you with the fruits taken directly from their garden. The nearest ATM is about 15 km (9.3 mi) away from the hotel, so it’s better to bring enough cash as you may need to buy durians or souvenirs from the locals. I also suggest you bring a flashlight as there are often power cuts during the night. Jungle Inn certainly isn’t the only lodging by the river, but this is one of the hotels that provide decent facilities, and friendly services, where the rates are lower than its neighboring hotels. So, pack up your luggage and have fun!
Get Trip101 in your inbox