Indonesia, Sumatra: Lake Toba – World´s Largest Volcanic Lake
A four hour drive from Medan you will find this lake, one of the most attractive destinations in Sumatra. The lake is really huge! It is over 100 km long and 30 km wide. At its highest point, it is up to 450 meters deep.
To get to the island of Samosir, you must first arrive at the port in the small town of Parapat. The boat runs every 30 minutes and the ticket will cost you CZK 12. A wooden two-story boat will take you to the island in forty minutes. You can land in the village of Tuk Tuk or Tomok, depending on where you want to stay. Tuk Tuk is a well-known tourist village that offers a wide range of accommodation.
On the island you can enjoy untouched nature, meet friendly locals and soak up the atmosphere of carefree life. The shores of the lake are an ideal place to rest, relax and swim. The island of Samosir and its surroundings is home to some breathtaking waterfalls. The most impressive is the 120-meter waterfall Sipiso Piso, from the hills of which you will have a wonderful view of the lake. You can find it on the mainland outside the town of Merek. Traveling by motorcycle is the best way to explore the island perfectly. Motorbikes can be rented at most hotels. However, road conditions are not the best, drive carefully and wear a helmet. If you do not dare to drive, but still want to explore the island, you can board a public boat or rent a bike.
You can visit the lake all year round. The best time to visit is May, when the weather changes from slightly cold to warm. The heat continues until the summer, but it is also unpredictable, expect rainfall in the winter months. Don't forget to get dressed, the island is colder all year round than on the mainland.
Bataks - Former Cannibals
The area around Lake Toba is inhabited by Bataks who practiced cannibalism until the early 19th century. This ethnic group has its own language, music and dance. Don't forget to admire the local architecture. One of the characteristic features of this culture are traditional houses with a curved pointed roof with a carved facade. To learn more about their culture, don't miss the traditional batak dance at the Simaninda Cultural Center and visit the Batak Museum, tucked away in the traditional house where King Sidabutar used to live.
Traveling to the Indonesian island of Sumatra would not be complete without visiting this lake, do you think?
Text and photos: Andrea Meluzínová
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