Ah now, I wanna share to you about my trip to go to Lake Toba.
Do you know Lake Toba? If I could quoted from Wikipedia, Lake Toba is an immense volcanic lake covering an area of 1,707 km² – it’s 1,000 km² bigger than Singapore – can you imagine that?!
There is an island in the centre called Samosir. Samosir island is the cultural centre of the Batak tribe who are now mostly Christians.
Lake Toba formed by a gigantic volcanic eruptions some 70,000 years ago, it is probably the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Some studies say it might have been associated with causing previous ice age and the largest human population bottleneck ever! With all this terrific story, I can’t believe that not so many tourist coming to here. This amazing place has less of reputation as the destination to go rather than Bali or other places in Indonesia.
If you go to this place, you will not only able to see such an amazing proof of Earth process, but also you will not believe that this huge place is ONLY a lake! Not even a sea or ocean! As far as your eyes can see, all water and it’s simply freshwater!
I grasped my breathe when I stand in the land of Samosir island and look through my eyes how beautiful and amazing this place. All the natural treasure here are just still becoming a simple beautiful scenery without human intervention to make it beautiful. Lake Toba simply beautiful, that’s that.
Now you might already feel interest to go there, so next question is, how to go there?
Since our flight from KL (yes, I was coming from KL because I visite Melaka for a while and meet my friend there) arrived in Kuala Namu International Airport around 6 pm, so we decided to take Damri Bus (it’s an airport bus – cheap and good seats). To find this bus, you need to go to the exit gate and once you are in the airport’s lobby, go to the right side. Near to the corner, there are lots of bus and some men who try to offer you taxi. Keep walking and find Damri Bus (usually in grey color) and take one which bring you to the city center (there are lots of destination – for us, we took one to Sun Plaza). We paid 20.000 IDR/person for the bus ticket – pay inside of the bus.
We booked one night in a cheap hotel we found on internet. It called House of Zaza and Zizi, but the thing is, when we asked the address to people around us, they don’t really know where is it. Seems it’s not so famous hotel. But finally, we meet a kind lady which really did such an effort to find the way to go to the place and even she gave me some trips. I can feel, people in Medan are so nice and helpful.
Finally after we stopped in Sun Plaza, we need to walk a bit (or not a bit for us, cause we need to carry our stuff – and my friend needs to pull her suitcase along the broken roads, poor her – but honestly I am so proud of her over all the trip, she really took the challenges and enjoy the journey. Travel can be such a double-edged sword for the friendship. The one who you like to talk everyday, possibility can be someone who is good to travel with or not. Many friendship also ruined after one trip together – because you probably find out that person is not so click to you anymore. But with her, I can find out we both enjoyed this trip a lot, hehe.
We had a surprise! After passing a strange alley in dark, we finally arrived in nice hotel! It looks like one shinning place in that gloomy area. Now we know that we are in Kampung Keling. House of Zaza Zizi is located in Jalan Muara Takus No. 16, Medan. Now I can recommend this place for you. It was cheap, only IDR 175,000/night for two person, no hot water but there is Air Con (cause Medan is hot city), wifi strong only in lobby/cafe – so first floor is cafe and their kitchen, second floor and above are the hotel. But the price is such a deal because it is including very delicious breakfast! Only the problem, they don’t have elevator, so be happy if you get the 3rd floor like us – you can exercise your legs for free, haha!
Our breakfast from the hotel. And, wait.. that’s my earrings 😀
In the morning, we planned to go to Amplas Terminal from our hotel – there is bus to go to Parapat from Amplas terminal (bus ticket cost around IDR 40,000/person, but we have to spend few bucks again for Betor (a rickshaw with machine)). But another great idea came from the hotel crew, they told us that better we take a taxi (means a private car becomes public car – so can be 6-7 passengers). It cost IDR 100,000/person for 5 hours driving from Medan to Parapat. It was sound such a great deal! So we took it.
Bagus Taxi : Jl. H.M Jhoni No. 11 – Medan. Phone : 081375256895 or you can call that driver above : Pak (Mr) Napitu 085358614988, he’s such a good guy 🙂
Then came a brand new car picked us up in the hotel. One friendly guy greeted us and later on, we were such a lucky passengers (but pity for the taxi company) because after waiting for around 30 minutes, no other passengers show up to go with us to Parapat. So the whole car only, me, my friend and the driver – guess what, it’s definitely feel like a private car! The driver also such a good and chatty man, so I enjoyed some of stories from him about Batak land and all the family root’s stories (yeah Batak people is having a complex family member line since ancient times ago.. It’s like which one is our brother, which one is our sister, etc etc, even tho’ in reality we don’t really know them – only just because the same family name or same “brother and sister” in past life.
Near to Parapat, there is a certain place where lots of wild Monkeys standing near the street to get food from people.
Arrived in Tiga Raja, Parapat. We took the public boat to crossing the lake to arrive in Tuk-tuk. There are some area to stay but I heard Tuktuk is more prominent place than the others. Since we arrived during Chinese New Year – the price of guesthouse can be so higher. Don’t forget to bargain! This is the unusual thing in such a tourism place like Toba. They don’t have such a fixed price for the hotel – they will make it up and down as the season. Bargaining is acceptable, but because the nature style of Batak people is having loud voice, don’t be so scare if they talk to you in strong words – they don’t mean it as rude, but just how the way their being.
We pay IDR 15,000/person for boat’s ticket and we finally manage to get Batak’s house in Hiras’s for IDR 400,000/night. I know it sounds so expensive. But the house is so big, in traditional wooden house and can fit for 4-5 person. So it wasn’t such a big deal eventually. Plus, the view is so awesome. We did lots of pictures there, haha. If you wanna stay here, you can contact the owner’s Facebook. She is a chatty and friendly woman that love to laugh and make a joke.
To eat in Tuktuk is very easy and cheap! So many restaurants serve either traditional or western food – some Muslim restaurants also can be found easily. So don’t worry about food. My suggestion is to go to Romlan’s restaurant. It’s owned by Batak man with a German wife. Their food is really delicious, perfectly served but you need a bit patience because it comes a bit long time. Why? Because they cook it directly when you order. All is fresh and excellent! Plus cheap and big portion! They also have place to sleep if you wanna stay here.
What are you waiting for? Go book a flight to go to Lake Toba 😉
This is how I celebrated my holiday! How about yours? 😉