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Lake Toba, Visiting One of Beautiful Lake in North Sumatra

Lake Toba is one of popular lake in North Sumatra, Indonesia. For Indonesian, it is strange if you never heard its lake. With beautiful scenery and fresh air, you will enjoy every second by exploring the lake. Early morning is the best time if you want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Toba. Cool and freezing air will accompany you but that is the beginning of your journey to explore one of beautiful lake in Sumatra Island.
Initially, you can climb the rock to reach the peak of mountain to watch Lake Toba from distance. At the foot of the hill, you will see an extraordinary panorama. You will have immense view there because you can see the stretch of blue water and buildings in the city. It is hard to imagine if there is a perfect spot like this unless you visit Lake Toba.
Lake Toba is located at North Sumatra and categorized as volcanic lake with 1.145 km2. Actually, its lake is more resemble to ocean than a lake. And when you come there, you can visit the only one island that is situated in the center of lake named Samosir Island that has elevate 1.000 meters above sea water and estimated formed by the explode of Toba Mountain around 73.000 – 75.000 years ago. Because of its beauty, some people agree if the lake become one of treasure for North Sumatra because visitors can enjoy the group of hills and comfortable atmosphere.
If you start your adventure to Lake Toba from Jakarta – Medan, it takes 1 hour 45 minutes. Then, you have to continue your way to Parapat by a car for 4 hours till you arrive to the lake. Along the lakeside, you will see so many motel or guesthouse and restaurants. Those restaurants provide you local dishes along the street. Most of them using clan’s name based on where they come from. Actually Batak ethnic has many clans, such as Batak Angola, Batak Pakpak, batak Karo, batak Simalungun, Batak Mandailing, and Batak Toba. The tastes of those dishes is resemble to Padang food, rich of flavor, cooked by coconut milk, and spicy.
Visiting Toba Lake is not complete if you don’t go to Samosir Island. Samosir Island is just like a magnet and enamor for tourists. You have to cross the lake to Samosir to visit Tuktuk and Tomok. Those are subdistrict and become a popular tourist destination. Actually, there are many ways to reach its island. Firstly, you can take a boat with Rp5.000 or 50 cents for 30 minutes or by ferry. But, ferry will be available only twice a day, 08.30 and 12.00 local time. If you take a boat you will be entertained by music. When you arrive at Tomok port at Samosir Island, you will be welcomed by car’s owner and public transportation.
Hiring a car is the best choice because you can travel around the island. But, you have bargain because sometime they will charge you more expensive. For 3 hours, you can bargain IDR120.000 or US$14. In Tomok, you have to go to 3 places, Batak Museum, Tomb of King Sidabutar, and Si Gale-gale Puppet. The performance of puppet will be showed together by tor-tor dancing and it will be performed by children with music instrument. You have to pay IDR80.000 or US$9. According to the legend, Si Gale-gale puppet made to memorize son of King Harahap named Si Manggale. This puppets was made in order to make the king did not desperate and sad. Long time ago, Batak ethnic considered a son as golden boy because he would continue the family clan.
The next destination is visiting Tomb of King Sidabutar. What is the uniqueness of its place? This tomb is made from big rocks and carved with the shape resemble to the king’s face, included his long hair. There, most of tourist takes the picture because few tombs are made with this condition. After you feel enough with the tomb, next you can explore Batak Museum. The building adopted traditional house of Batak ethnic with red to black color and featured by Batak’s carving style. Inside the museum, you can see traditional clothes, traditional weapons, daily utensils, and traditional calendar. The atmosphere is rather dark and it describes the uniqueness of Batak Museum.
After satisfied visiting Tomok, you can go straight to Tuktuk. Tuktuk is dominated by guesthouses which is offers you tranquility. There, you will see an art village that has beautiful view direct to Lake Toba. You will pass rice field and villages that sell handy craft. If you want to spend the night there, you have to pay IDR350.000 – IDR500.000 or US$35 – US$50. You can stop by and strolling to take the picture with the background of Lake Toba.
By speed boat, you can try to go to other sides of its lake. This time, you will see pieces of big rock which is hanging on the high cliffs. The magic impression will appear around the Batu Gantung (Hanging Rock). When you come to this spot, maybe you will see lot of kids on their boat waiting the visitors. Do you think what are they doing? Try to throw your coins and you will see the next because they will jump into water, diving and take the coins. Is it sounds simple for you? Surely it is not because the depth of Lake Toba is 900 meters. It would be not easy to take the coins. Lot of tourist enjoy to watch those boys diving and that is why they doing it.
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