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Takengon is a town in Aceh. Lies in the heart of Gayo Highlands, deep in the interior of Aceh, this is coffee country is cool and pleasant all year long. The scenery consists of beautiful Lake Laut Tawar with marvelous mountains covered in mist. Takengon can be used as an alternative route from Banda Aceh to Medan, and vice versa.

Inhabited by Gayo pople, about 250,000 of them, who lived an isolated existence until the advent of modern roads and transports.


Takengon is a remote town in the middle of the north Sumatra highlands. It is famous for its fish and coffee and for being close to the beautiful Laut Tawar Lake, which is well worth a visit. Some people consider the lake being one of the highlights in northern Sumatra with its charming fishing villages and clear mountain water. Also Takengon as a city is a relaxing place to be, consisting of a small but lively city center with a huge market selling all kind of goods. Due to the remote location of the city there are few tourists which means that the standard of the hotels is typcial indonesian.

Notice that Takengon is a part of the partly sharia law governed Aceh-province. Alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

By arriving from south you have to get a minibus in Kutancane with a stopover in Blankenjeren. The buses depart in the early day until about 11:00. Ask at the bus station in Kutancane. In Blankenjeren you might be able to catch the last bus departing further north to Takengon, if not there is a shared taxi service between Blankenjeren to Banda Aceh which makes a stop in Takengon, departing at about 16:00-17:00 every day. Ask at the bus station, in the station house they might not be able to help you as they provide service for their own companies, but the restaurants/shops nearby might help. By arriving from the north you either can go directly from Banda Aceh or from Bireun. There is a shared taxi service departing in the early morning or late evenings from Banda Aceh.

Get around[edit]

By taxi[edit]

There is a taxi service in the city. Most of the taxis are based on motorcykle, they take you basically all over the city very cheap.

By foot[edit]

As the city is fairly small it is very walkable.

By motorcycle[edit]

There is motorbike rental by Remote Sumtatra tour.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Laut Tawar Lake, walk to the lakefront to see the fishing villages. Starting in the morning you can walk all the 25 kilometres to the other end. If you go on a Sundays, you will have company, as the whole region goes to the lake to party and to relax.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Takengon market, a famous place for gathering. It is big and charming, with a wide selection of items available.
  • Coffee places, sit down at a coffee place to watch all the people.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Coffee, the area is famous for the Takengon Sumatra Coffee. You can buy the coffee at the market and in small stores.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Fish from Laut Tawar, you can find small street food restaurants at the bus station. They cook fairly good indonesian food, make sure you eat the fish which is delicious.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Takengon Sumatra Coffee

Sleep[edit][add listing]


Aceh Birder: Birding in Sumatra

Get out[edit]

  • Laut Tawar Lake, ask a driver to bring you to the lake.

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