Enjoying Lake Toba from the island of Samosir
Lake Toba is one of the most beautiful lake in Indonesia. Located in North Sumatra, the lake is about 62 miles long, 19 miles wide, and approximately 1,657 ft deep. You can see the beauty of the Lake almost from any angle, either from Parapat, Tongging, or from the island of Samosir.
This time I’ll show you the Lake from the island of Samosir.
Medan to Lake Toba
The most common route is through Parapat city, it is located on the edge of Lake Toba. From Medan, you can reach the city in about five-hour journey overland.
You can use public transportation. Minivans (Mitsubishi L-300) are available at Pinang Baris Terminal, Medan.
“My advice; choose the best good looking minivans. It’s not going to be a short trip, it will take a couple hours to arrive and the roads are quite bumpy.”
Along the way, especially when it is near Parapat, you can begin to enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Toba on the right side of the road.
Welcome to Parapat, the gateway to the beauty of the island of Samosir!
The Island covers approximately 630 square miles, it is located in the middle of Lake Toba. You can get to the Island via two ports: Ajibata and Balige. As the largest ports, Ajibata provides Ferry Ships capable of transporting cars, trucks and other vehicles.
You can cross from Ajibata to Tomok-Samosir in about 40 minutes and it will cost you around $3-$5. You can also take the upper deck of the ferry to enjoy the scenery.
“If you see some kids swim around the ship, throw your coins, they will dive to take it.”
You can also directly across from Parapat to the inn by boat. Traveling by boat is faster than Ferries, and it will directly take you to your destination. The cost is around $5 per person, but maybe more – use your bargaining skill.
Tomok and Tuk tuk
Tomok is a harbor village that became a place of transit from Sumatra. This place is crowded with traditional markets and food stalls. In Tomok, you can see the Tomb of King Sidabutar. Tuktuk is about 45 minutes walks from Tomok – the tourist center on the island. If you don’t want to walk in the sun, you can take public transportation instead.
As the center of tourism in Samosir, Tuktuk provides various facilities, including accommodation, restaurants, shops, bicycle and motorcycle rental, souvenir shops, travel agencies, as well as several bars.
Some lodgings to choose from, among others; Hotel Carolina – one of the largest and most famous in Samosir. Tabo Cottages – famous for its vegetarian dishes and homemade breads and cakes.
If you prefer a calmer place, perhaps Horas Family House is the right choice. In addition, there are also hotels like; Silintong, Thyesza, Toledo and Samosir Inn and Cottages. It will cost you around 10-30 dollars a night, depending on your accommodation facilities.
If you decide to stay in Tuktuk, certainly you don’t want to spend all your time in that place alone. Bicycles and motorcycles rental is a popular choice to enjoy the beauty of Lake Toba and Samosir Island. Rental costs typically range between $7-$8. Also, don’t miss the Toba Batak culture.
Ambarita, Simanindo, and Pangururan
In a trip around the island of Samosir, you can enjoy a great panoramic views of green hills, stretching grain fields, as well as the views of the lake. All this may be rare in your home country.
In addition, the activity of the villagers would be a very interesting sight – they usually seen around the field, drying their grain and transporting it to their house.
Ambarita village can be reached with a one hour walk from Tuktuk, or about 20 minutes by boat. The village is interesting because the native Toba Batak of the past still adhered to cannibalism. Now, all that remains is lined stone chairs where the elders held a meeting to decide the fate of captured enemy.
In Simanindo, you have the opportunity to see the relics of the king’s house. Now, it has been converted into a museum with a replica of the surrounding villages. In the corner there is also well maintained tomb of the kings of Batak Toba.
From the shores of Lake Toba in Simanindo, you can also see a small island called Tao. If you ride a motorcycle, you can enjoy the beauty of Tao and Lake Toba from the edge of the pier.
Meanwhile, Pangururan is about 90 minutes by motorbike from Tuktuk or Tomok. Famous attractions in Pangururan is Aek Rangat or hot water baths originating from Mount Pusuk Buhit. This place is perfect to relax after a day trip around the island of Samosir.