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Darjeeling it’s not, but at 1500m, surrounded by tea plantations and dominated by the massive cone of Gunung Kerinci (3805m), Kersik Tua makes a pleasant base for exploring the northern end of Kerinci Seblat.
The town sprawls along one side of the main road, with tea plantations and the mountain on the other. The national park turn-off is indicated by a harimau (Sumatran tiger) statue.
Trekking gear, supplies, guides and transport can all be arranged here. There’s a market on Saturday and a BNI ATM. The village is 52km north of Sungai Penuh on the road to Padang and can be reached by any Padang–Kerinci bus. Minibuses (5000Rp, one hour) trundle from Sungai Penuh to Kersik Tua between 8am and 5pm.
There are several basic homestays. Subandi Homestay, just south of the statue, is the best base camp in the village. Subandi is a trove of local knowledge and can organise mountain, jungle and wildlife treks of varying difficulty and duration.
Other homestays include Home Stay Paiman, 200m south of Subandi (near the ATM), and Home Stay B Darmin, 300m north of the statue.