World Largest Volcano Lake – Lake Toba , Samosir Island

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After saying goodbye to Abdy  and Mery , with sleepy face headed to our next destination from Berastagi  to the world largest volcano lake – Lake Toba . The road journey seems to be even longer than what I got from Google Map which was 4 hours + rather than 3 hours + showed in map. Lesson learnt , never underestimate the traffic and also the bumpy road condition.

Pass through a village, saw a crowd where few ladies were climbing up a pole struggle to reach the top and plug down the sort of fruits that hung there . I asked what’s festival is this ? ” Untuk Hari Kemerdekaan (For Independent day )? ”  Well , it just for fun to see the lady compete each other ” driver Liber answered .    

 

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After two hours journey drove, we reached another  region fishing village of Togging for detouring the famous Si Piso Piso waterfall. Well , basically nothing much impressive for this little waterfall that flow out from the small hole . The highlight or special of this spot as the water flowed out from Lake Toba itself . We didn’t walk down for closer view as it will be taking around 2 hours for round way walk !    

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The scenery that really caught our eyes was at the Simarjarujung side where we walked further down to another side ! I was like … YES it’s just exactly the same as what I viewed from Google image ! The Lake Toba was blue and static like photoshoped . It seem to be a piece of art gallery that hung there . Definitely the best spot for some lake picture .The narrow and small road beside the lake was the road to go Parapat , Samosir Island . Even it might look near from here , yet geographical wise it took us another 2 hours time to reach that area . 

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To cure our hunger for failed to hunt food in Togging area of Sipiso Piso as most of the food were visited by “flies” . We bought bbq corns somewhere else at the rest stop that surprisingly taste yummy  !  Hmm, maybe we were just too hungry .  Then realised that we were scammed by the local stall seller for buying more expensive corns . Nearly RM3 for one corn 

Lesson learnt – ask for price before buying , corn can be expensive too #LOL  DSCF0817_副本_副本

It started to get drizzle when we reached the Jetty , we got on the 6 pm ferry direct to Jetty Tuk Tuk , the nearest ferry for our booked homestay Horas Family Home   (last boat – 7pm ). Ferry ticket  6000 IDR per pax.

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Samosir Island with Horas Family Home 

Basically there are so many choices  of cheap homestay or chalet in Samosir Island range around RM10 – RM30  (3 USD – 7 USD )per night for a basic room  . Same time the mid range to more expensive range around RM45 -RM180 (15 USD – 54 USD ) per night which you can expect with western bathroom and more well equip like normal hotel . Tripadvisor is always useful to check out those reviews.

I booked Horas Indah with Berend (Owner of Horas Family Home ) through email as the lake view house was occupied . Horas Indah fit 6 us well in a house with full furnished kitchen and big bathroom attached. Definitely suit family and a group of friend who wish to stay together for party night ! DSCF0841 DSCF0843

 

Horas Family Home – ” We have anything , we will get what you want ” ?

We were welcomed by Mark ( The Manager of Haras Family Home ) to brief about our room and all the free facilities available in Horas. Their concept is ” we will get what you want ” . We laughed at his bombastic words . Fact that Horas truly has a lot of facilities and activities to do. Most important it’s all free ! We did kayak , fishing (with fishing rod and bait prepare for us !) ,playing with the rabbit , plucked their vegetable for our breakfast and playing with their doggies ! 

There was a night where we craved for ice-cream at the time around 10pm . We walked to several shops /restaurant and non of them are selling . With disappointment back to Horas . No idea whose idea poped out to ask ice cream from the staffs since they said ” we can get what you want ” . Surprisingly , they answer .”  Ada ” . We were surprised with joyful mood !

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What can I do in this Island that bigger than Singapore ?   

I got few feedback from people around said that nothing to do in Samosir Island besides looking and swim in the lake …  Seriously this Island is even bigger than Singapore ! What can you do is rent a scooter and explore it .

Transport

Initially , we rented bicycles as it is cheaper (30000 IDR/ RM8 /2 USD per day) and more user friendly ( ok…I admit I don’t know how to ride motorcycle/scooter ). It was really bad idea when we started to cycle and noticed that the rugged with sloppy path made our cycle condition became challenging  . For the sake of relaxation , we changed our mind by renting 3 scooters  (85000 IDR per day with full tank petrol / RM24/7 USD). We were struggled as 4 out of 6 of us don’t really know to ride a scooter . Lastly, Chin Ling was nominated as she had one time experience of riding scooter for maybe 1km ? The passenger will be me and I give my full trust to her . (#LOL I had no choice) . Initially the speed was 20km/h ~30km/h as she really scared of making both us crash to no where. After an afternoon of training, everything was fine ! We didn’t crash ! Both of us started to enjoy the faster speed breeze.    

Helmet  might look a little bit dumb but is definitely a must to wear on during the ride . Not because the police there will give you a summon for not obeying the rule but for your sake of safety . According to the local , 2 out 5 tourist who rides scooter/motorcycle in in the island will have high chance to crash into accident due to sandy road condition and also the local who used to drive brutal .  

One of my favourite road in Tuk Tuk region that surrounded by mountain and paddy rice  

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There are also some hill to hike in the island where you can view the spectacular scenery of lake. The air was so fresh. The chill windy has reduced some sun heat  . 

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Discover the Batak Culture 

The local there are know as Batak ethnic . Majority of them are either Christian or Protrusion. Therefore , church can commonly be found and  seen around this island . Some of them eat “dog” but they do buy dog as pet as well. Which ever mix breed or maybe even no breed dogs we saw around that running freely in the island surely isn’t a stray dog . To own a dog  (ignore the motive.. to rear or hmm to eat them), they need to buy from certain dog providers / agents in the island .

Mini , one of the Horas Family’s puppy that so much fun to play aroundDSCF0882_副本     

The secondary , primary and kindergarten seem to locate in sort of same area due to small amount of students. Most of them go out of island for better education after complete their primary level .  DSCF0910_副本DSCF0888_副本

As usual,  the lake water  is widely used for household there for variety purpose . Cloth washing , bathing and ….. their playground heavenDSCF0946_副本

Satisfaction after a chill bath.

I asked the kid in Bahasa ” Sejuk ? ” . With shaky voice ” ya “DSCF0958_副本DSCF0959_副本

  
Attraction away from Tuk Tuk

There are few well known attraction that common tourist will go. With a print map guide, we went the Batak Museum in Simanindo.  Entrance fee was about 3000IDR per person. To be honest , nothing much to see . Luckily there was a culture TV show program on air . We managed to enjoy few minutes of Batak Tradisional dance performance.DSCF1945_副本DSCF0920_副本

 The natural poser Batak’s kid . The expression when she saw the lens is up . So cute ! 
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Somehow, we just got lost while going to Tomok area for Tomb of King Sidabutar . There wasn’t any significant landmark or signboard show the entrance . After realised we were riding somewhere too far away then only we started to ask the local for help. Indeed , it’s just located at a small path in between those shop lots . 

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There were variety of souvenir selling along the path towards the end of Tomb of King Sidabutar. In the end , we just spent couple of minutes visiting the Tomb then the souvenir mode turned on . After checking the price, made us so regret for buying the key chain in Sipiso Piso area as we thought those was cheap… and guess things in Tomok is even cheaper ! What we did was bargain hard again !

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Food in Island

Basically food in island has not much choices . Is either Western cuisine or Indonesia cuisine .Maybe Batak dish .  Fair price I would say for some place .  

Super late lunch meal for 6 at Jenny’s Restaurant . Two lake fish , one Chicken and Pork Satay.

Cost around RM 15 (5 USD) per pax DSCF0953_副本

Thanks to Benson “catch of the day” ! we got 2 fish to eat ! The host Mia helped us to slaughter and cook the fish for FREE ! She even cooked us fresh vegetable that planted from Horas’s garden for FREE ! Not to forget the super AWESOME sambal ! Literally the dinner is FOC .

Simple yet contented .. DSCF1010_副本

Last day ,we decide to try on Horas’s breakfast menu even it slight pricey compare to store out there .However it was super worth value with what we paid . With RM10 / 3 USD per pax and we were served like a boss to our room ! (There were some coffee and tea that not inside the picture )  What can you ask for more ?
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Overall Budget , How would I plan and suggest if I go again ?   

1.I will spend at least 2 full day in the island deduct the travel time . It’s so relax and 2 to 3 days is ideally to explore some hidden gem of the island which we were not manage to do so due to limit time !

2. Sunblock is a MUST as it maybe chill weather but the sun is very strong there. All of us got sunburn due to not applying any sun screen protection. 

 

3.If you travel as couple Chalet will much suitable as in term of budget.

4.If you wish to explore more 5 days shall be ideal an Itinerary for this short escapee .

Through out the 4 days exploration from Medan –> Berastagi –> Parapat (Samosir Island)–> Medan again. We spent around RM450 – RM380 (120 USD ~ 150 USD )per pax with everything include.     
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If budget is your travel restriction , come to North Sumatra can never goes wrong ! =)

Have to been Samosir Island  or Sumatera ?  

Where would you wish to go?

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