Lake Toba was on the map as a party destination for backpackers a long time ago. These days, this has changed. This gigantic lake is a nice place to relax, to cruise around on your scooter and especially to enjoy the nature and peace around you. And believe it or not, they even have frikadellen, one of the best Dutch snacks!
HOW DO I GET THERE?
⌲ From Bukit Lawang you can drive to Parapat in about 5 to 6 hours by minibus. From this port you have to take the ferry to Samosir.
⌲ From Medan you drive in five hours by local bus to Parapat or slightly shorter with a minivan.
Lake Toba, with its 450 meters, is the deepest lake in the world and the largest lake in South-East Asia. What makes this place extra special is that the lake lies in the crater of an active volcano.
We were here in the low season. Bushfires continued to spread further north, causing fog, making the lake almost invisible. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful place to relax, take (normally) beautiful pictures or do various water activities. Its’ good to know that It’s a lot cooler here than the rest of Sumatra.
Samosir is an island almost the size of Singapore, in the middle of Lake Toba. On the island you can take a nice scooter drive and see some beautiful things. The tourist village of Tuk Tuk looks like it can be really cozy in high season, especially when the sky is blue and all the restaurants are open. Now it was more of a ghost village, but one with frikadellen.
Incidentally, bitterballen are offered in more places in Tuk Tuk, but the place to be is Janssen Pondok Bulu Restaurant. Obviously not as tasty as at home, but after 1.5 years without it’s more than fine!
SLEEP ON SAMOSIR
As mentioned earlier, Tuk Tuk is the “tourist village” of the island. This is the best place to stay overnight. There is a wide range on booking.com, where we have chosen Bagus Bay. This accommodation is also the first stop when you arrive by ferry. In addition to the extensive breakfast / lunch / dinner menu, Bagus Bay has evening entertainment and scooter / water sports rentals.
The Batak is an ethnic group in North Sumatra with about 6 million people. The Toba Batak group lives on Samosir with their own language, costumes and architecture. The latter is clearly visible in the pointed roofs of the Batak houses and many other buildings. You can also visit the Batak museum on Samosir.