Experience Traditional Local Life (2-Day Tour)
This unique Sumatra EcoTravel tour has it all: yes, it’s an adventure, but also an impressive educational, ecological and cultural experience! The innovative 2-day tour offers you the rare opportunity to sample traditional life in the village of Simpang Mursal Timbangjaya. After an informative round trip by mountain bike or becak in the Bukit Lawang area, EcoTravel guests take part in the local village life. On top of benefiting your hosts by allowing them to provide their own food and accommodation, your stay sponsors the whole community as 5% of its price go to a village fund! Additionally you support a great plant nursery project run by local initiative “Nature For Change”.
Duration: two days
Intensity level: low (medium/high by mountain bike)
Tour price: 89 EUR / per person
Group size: minimum 2 people, maximum 8 people
Start: at 08:30 am – Fridays only
DAY 01: You’ll start off to local villages around Bukit Lawang at 08:30 am, following the irrigation canal built by Dutch colonists in the 18th century. Your first stop will be at the Friday market, a typical weekly market offering local produce in the village of Gotong Royong. That’s where the villagers offer rubber, fruit, vegetables, chicken, fish and all other daily basic supplies. The tour will then take you through recently grown forests, tranquil rice fields, green valleys and farming communities. You will be observing the villagers’ day-to-day work. Time seems to stand still when you watch the farmers cultivating their rice, using techniques handed down for generations.
The area has hardly been touched by tourism and thus retained much of its rural magic. This unique trip will show you the life in villages like Kampung Bukit where people produce brown sugar, tofu and rubber. Watch them skilfully weaving bamboo for their houses. Why not sample the unforgettable taste of brown sugar, Papaya and young coconut, picked right from the tree and offered by the villagers. Later, in the village of Simpang Mursal Timbangjaya, you will have a typical lunch with a local Malay family who will be your hosts for the rest of the day and the night. The afternoon is at your leisurely disposal: just relax on the patio of your homestay, let your eyes browse green rice fields or have a walk around and discover the village. The day is completed by a typical dinner which you prepare together with your homestay family. And chatting away with your hosts will immerse you deeply into the local culture.
DAY 02: In the morning you will enjoy breakfast with you homestay family. Afterwards you will join the local tree nursery project of “Nature For Change” for about two hours. This local initiative is planting fruit trees in the Gunung Leuser National Park “buffer zone” to minimize conflicts between local farmers and wildlife.There are widespread problems caused by wild animals along this buffer zone as most villages bordering the National Park are farming communities. The crops they plant, like Durian, Petai or Jengkol, are also a favourite diet of the animals living in and around Gunung Leuser National Park. Which means that regular “visits” from wild monkeys, orangutans, honey bears, birds or wild boar damage or even destroy the local harvest. Our EcoTravel team supports this innovative project because the more fruits the animals find before they reach farmland, the less damage they cause. Every EcoTravel guest will be equipped with 20 bagged saplings and enough compost to give the plants a good start. A team member of NFC will support you. After a delicious lunch you will have to say goodbye to your homestay hosts. Our team will pick you up and take you back to Bukit Lawang.
Includes: certified English speaking EcoTravel guide, becak, petrol, driver (mountain bike & equipment), fruits, donation to the villagers, one night accommodation in a homestay (private bathroom with mandi), breakfast, 2x lunch and dinner with your homestay family, luggage transportation, local guide by NFC, planting equipment for the tree nursery project, transport back to Bukit Lawang
What to bring: comfortable shoes, daybag, culturally appropriate clothing (long sleeved or ½ arm T-shirt and long trousers), one change of clothes, raincoat, toiletries, towel, mosquito repellent, sun lotion, your personal medication as well as medication for light stomach and bowel irritation while travelling
Note: On this two-day outing you will have enough time to explore the villagers’ life, but please allow for slight changes as you are taking part in the day-to-day routine of hard working farmers whose main priority is to make a living from the land they cultivate. They are not putting up a folkloristic show but will do their best to make you part of their daily business and their family life.
Package options: Our Village Homestay Experience can be combined with our packages Hello Jungle, Orangutans & Elephants, Adventure – Get Active! or The Jungle Book.