In the core of North Sumatra, Lake Toba is the biggest lake in Indonesia and Southeast Asia and the largest volcanic lake in the world, spanning over 1,100 square kilometers. But wait, there is more. At a thickness of less or more than 500m, it is also one of the deepest lakes in the world. Ironically, Lake Toba was naturally constructed by the devastating eruption of Mount Toba roughly 70,000 years back. Now, Lake Toba Caldera is one of Indonesia’s nineteen geoparks, featuring a wide array of fauna and flora and a rich legacy embodied by the ethnic groups, particularly the Batak group. Whether natural or cultural, Lake Toba has a lot to offer tourists, making it one of the major tourist destinations in the area. Here are merely some of the many things to do and places to see in and around Lake Toba.
- Samosir Island
Samosir Island is a volcanic island, almost the size of Singapore, Situated in the middle of Lake Toba. Thousands of years back, after the destructive eruption of Mount Toba, the island emerged from the devastation. It is currently the world’s biggest island within an island and one of the world’s biggest lake islands. Six of the eight districts of Samosir Regency are located on Samosir Island. Samosir Island can be reached by ferry from Parapat’s port into the eastern part of the island, particularly Tuktuk, Tomok, and Ambarita Village. The island is connected to the mainland around the western part via Pangururan around the island and Tele on the continent. Offering not just natural allure and magnificent viewpoints, the island is also somewhere to immerse in culture and history since it’s the center of Batak tradition, specifically the Toba Batak. Below are a few of the tourist places around Samosir Island.
- Ambarita Village
In addition, there are souvenir stores here, but the popular attraction is the ancient village, Huta Siallagan. Upon entering the narrow rock entry passage, a row of traditional Toba Batak houses will greet you on your left, including the former home of this Siallagan king. The Siallagans are direct descendants of the King of Batak throughout King Naimbaton. Aside from the standard houses, other interesting sites are the two sets of stone seats and tables – the Stones for Meetings and much more. While here, you may also meet the current chieftain, Gading J. Siallagan, also a descendant of the Siallagan King.
- Huta Ginjang
Sitting at an altitude of over 1500 meters above sea level, Huta Ginjang is one of the best places to see Lake Toba. The viewpoint can be found on the southern shores of Lake Toba. Feast your eyes on the bucolic tableau of rolling hills and calm waters of this vast lake. During the ideal season, this site becomes a jumping-off point for paragliding and other air sports. There are tables and chairs and a line of stores and stalls selling food, beverages, and a few souvenirs. Don’t neglect to bring jackets as it can get freezing up there.
- Tomok Village
That is a location where you can find Batak Museum and the old grave of King Sidabutar, stated to be the first to set foot on the island. Tomok is also where you can shop for souvenirs like Batak food and products.
- Tuktuk Village
This village is easily the most developed place on the island, mainly for tourism functions. This is close to Tomok Village along with Ambarita Village. Here you will find the majority of the accommodations and food areas. Additionally, there are beaches close to the village.
Are you planning to visit Lake Toba soon? Find out more about Lake Toba and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.