I don’t update this blog very often (though I still travel a lot) but I really wanted to share this destination, totally off the beaten track and underrated ! The Harau Valley is perfect for a break away from the big city: back to nature and simplicity, with rice paddle fields, jungle, mountain and waterfalls that seem almost unreal, almost no tourists, and an adorable population … only 35 minutes flight from Singapore. Not to mention the possibility of staying next to a waterfall for less than 10 SGD per person!
HOW TO ACCESS THE HARAU VALLEY?
The Harau Valley is “relatively” easy to reach from Singapore. We took a flight to Pekanbaru (100 SGD return). From Pekanbaru, we had asked our host to pick us up by car. The journey takes between 5 to 8 hours (don’t trust what is said on SmartLocal)… because of traffic jams. It includes a few stops on the way to eat or to admire exceptional views.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE HARAU VALLEY?
We stayed at Abdi Homestay, a magical place next to a waterfall. The cottages are clean. Of course, do not expect luxury (cold showers are good for health anyway!), But we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the accommodation. And the best part is the meals: Ikbal’s wife cooking skills are amazing! Best food we had in Sumatra! The 4-person cottage costs Rs 250,000 (equivalent to 20 euros), and includes breakfast.
You can contact Ikbal, the owner on Whatsapp +62 852-6378-1842.
WHAT TO DO IN THE HARAU VALLEY?
Relax, walk in the valley, see the waterfalls. There are some treks, but they were not recommended during our stay because of the rain. So we chose to visit the valley with a scooter and a driver (100,000 Rs per person).
WHICH SEASON SHOULD I GO?
We went in early November: it’s the rainy season, but it makes the landscape even greener and the waterfalls are the most impressive during that season.