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Thursday, 26 May 2016

City of Ancient Tradition. Our 7 Days 6 Nights Trip in Lake Toba & Samosir Island (Part 2)

In September 2015, myself and Camel took a trip to the Sumatran region after a meeting in Medan to enjoy the stunning scenery and to explore the lush rainforests, waterfalls, mountains and lakes in this mysterious island (Pulau Samosir). The last time I visited Medan was back in 2010 with my colleagues for an exhibition fair. 

I arrived at Kualanamu International Airport, Medan 2 days ahead of Camel. Medan is the capital city of North Sumatra and the largest city on the island of Sumatra. With a population of around 2 million people, Medan is also the third largest city in all of Indonesia, right after Jakarta and Surabaya. 

Medan Parapat Samosir Island (Tuk Tuk)
On 30 Sept 2015 afternoon, we made our journey to Parapat from Medan, where the ride took us more than 4-5 hour(s) of a bumpy road with an additional 1-hour ferry ride from Parapat to Samosir Island - Tuk Tuk (total 5-6 hours journey!) to stay for 2 nights and to enjoy the magnificent views of Lake Toba.   
The ferry that took us to Samosir Island (Lake Toba)
On that afternoon, we were whisked to a waiting van by our local guide at our hotel (in Medan) for a four-hour drive to Danau Toba (Parapat). Even though the road distance from Medan to Lake Toba is a mere 180 km, it took us more than 5 hours via winding and bumpy road to reach the small town Parapat on the edge of Lake Toba. Parapat is connected to the main towns of Tomok and Tuk Tuk on the Samosir Island (where we planned for our 2 nights stay) by ferries that run every 1-2 hours or whenever the ferry has sufficient passengers. The ferry ride is about an hour and cost about Rp. 7,000 one way. 
Hazy Lake Toba
Hazy Lake Toba
Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia and also the Largest Volcanic Lake in the world
Danau Toba (also known as Lake Toba) is a natural caldera lake formed some 70,000 years as a result of Mount Toba’s great eruption. In the middle of this vast lake lies the idyllic Pulau Samosir, an island almost the size of Singapore, and to get there, we had to board a ferry from the jetty at Parapat, on the mainland.
Lake Toba is located in North Sumatra of Indonesia
 Lake Toba, deepest lake on the mountain
Batak Toba traditional houses around Samosir Island

A traditional house of the Batak tribe in North Sumatra, Indonesia
Samosir is a sleepy backwater town where people lead a simple life, untouched by the onslaught of modern development. It is also home to the Batak people who have a unique, interesting culture and are mostly Christian. Resorts of this secluded island are mainly Batak-styled cottages. As the sun set, we proceeded to our resort, Samosir Cottage located in Tuk Tuk, Samosir’s main town. 

Samosir Island (Pulau Samosir
Ambarita Stone Chair Tribal Village
Samosir Island is also known as Batak Country
One for our album
Traditional Batak house with traditional cosmic serpent decorative carvings
Traditional Batak Dance Performance
Myself wearing the traditional Batak textiles
A magic book used by Guru (wizards) of Toba Batak people in spiritual beliefs in North Sumatera, Indonesia
A Batak script and calendar to determine auspicious and inauspicious days (parhalaan)
Traditional Stone Carved Face Part Of Toba Batak Culture
We started our day in Samosir Island bright and early with a visit to Siallagan Stone Chair in Ambarita Village. Here, we were given a guided tour of this ancient village, which was ruled by King Siallagan hundred years ago. The village has retained much of its historical charm, where rows of traditional Batak houses, the batu persidangan (trial room) and an execution site can still be seen.  There, we also experienced traditional Batak dance and song. The highlight of the dance was the entertaining Sigale Gale wooden puppet performance. 
Batak style Catholic church with Batak painted carving, Pangururan, Samosir Island, Sumatra 
Batak carving or sculpture is traditional, usually located on the outer wall and the front portion of the Batak traditional houses
Along the way to Tomok Village, we made a stop at Catholic Church of Inkunturatif at Pangururan for a short visit. We then moved on to King Sidabutar’s Tomb in Tomok Village. Those in his lineage are also laid to rest here and the various tombstones are built in the traditional Batak house design accompanied by a humble cross reflecting the co-existence of animistic beliefs and Christianity within the Batak community. Our last stop for the day was Sigaruntung. 
Tomb of King Sidabutar in Tomok 
Tomb of the Sidabutar Kings: Batak King Tomb
View of a detail of a Batak house ornament in Lake Toba
Day 1: 27 Sept 2015 (Sun) Penang Medan
Morning: Depart from Penang (PEN) International Airport Medan  Kualanamu (KNO) Airport
Afternoon: Free & Easy
Check-in: Madani Hotel Medan

Day 2: 28 Sept 2015 (Mon) Medan
Morning: Free & Easy
Afternoon: Mesjid Raya (Grand Mosque) Shop for Bolu Meranti Yuki Simpang Raya Mall (Shopping) Sun Plaza Mall (Shopping)
Check-in: Madani Hotel Medan

Day 3: 29 Sept 2015 (Tue) Medan
Morning: Free & Easy
Afternoon: Maimoon Palace Marian Shrine of Annai Velangkanni Tjong A Fie’s Mansion
Check-in: Madani Hotel Medan 

Day 4: 30 Sept 2015 (Wed) Medan Paparat Samosir Island (Tuk Tuk)
Morning: Free & Easy
Afternoon: Medan Parapat (Lake Toba) Approx. 4-5 hours drive + Ferry ride to Tuk Tuk (Samosir Island) Approx. 45 minutes – 1 hour ride (**last ferry ride from Parapat to Samosir Island --Tuk Tuk/Tomok is at 7.00p.m.) 
Check-in: Samosir Cottage

Day 5: 1 Oct 2015 (Thurs) Samosir Island (Lake Toba)
Morning: Ambarita Village Raja Siallagen Anceint Court Raja Siallagan Stone Chair  & Batak Dance Catholic Church of Inkunturatif  (Paroki St Mikhael Pangururan)
Afternoon: King Sidabutar’s Tomb in Tomok Village Samosir Villa Resort  Sigaruntung Panoramic View
Check-in: Samosir Cottage
Day 6: 2 Oct (Fri) Samosir Island Berastagi Medan
Morning: Samosir Island (Lake Toba) Berastagi Simarnanjung Hill (for bandrek) - Tongging Hill Waterfall Sipiso-Piso
Afternoon: Berastagi Town and Fruit Market Gundaling Hill Pematang Purba (Batak’s King Palace) Taman Alam Lumbini
Check-in: Hotel Deli River and Restaurant Omlandia

Day 7: 3 Oct 2015 (Sat) Medan Penang
Morning: Medan  Kualanamu Airport (KNO) Penang International Airport (PEN)
Check-out: Hotel Deli River and Restaurant Omlandia 

Entrance Fee(s):
◊Mesjid Raya (Grand Mosque): FOC
◊Yuki Simpang Raya Mall: FOC
◊Sun Plaza Mall: FOC
◊Maimoon Palace: IDR5K
◊Marian Shrine of Annai Velangkanni: FOC
◊Tjong A Fie’s Mansion: IDR35K
◊Ambarita Village (Raja Siallagen Anceint Court): IDR4K
◊Catholic Church of Inkunturatif  (Paroki St Mikhael Pangururan): FOC
◊King Sidabutar’s Tomb in Tomok Village: FOC
◊Sigaruntung: FOC
◊Simarnanjung Hill (for bandrek):IDR32K
◊Tongging Hill: FOC
◊Waterfall Sipiso-Piso: FOC
◊Berastagi Town and Fruit Market: FOC
◊Gundaling Hill: FOC
◊Batak’s King Palace: IDR7K
◊Raja Taksi from Medan to Samosir Island (Lake Toba) : IDR 2,700,000
◊Boat to Parapat : IDR 30K 
◊Water Sipiso-Piso : IDR 12K
◊Gundaling Hill : IDR 20K
◊Donation at Taman Alam Lumbini (Free Entrance) : IDR 20K

(i)   Madani Hotel Medan
Address: Jalan Sisingamangaraja/Amaliun No. 1 Medan, North Sumatera, Indonesia
Contact: (061) 7358000  
Fax: (060) 7367779 
Room Type: Superior room (Rp. 388.000/nett/room/night with 2 breakfast) 

(ii)   Samosir Cottage
Address: Tuk Tuk Lake Toba, 22395 Tuk Tuk, Indonesia
Contact: +62625451170 
Room Type: Deluxe Double (Rp. 800,000/nett/room/2nights with 2 breakfast)

(iii)Hotel Deli River and Restaurant Omlandia
Address: Jl. Raya Namorambe No. 129, Deli Serdang, Medan, Indonesia
e-mail: contact@hotel-deliriver.com
Room Type: New Deluxe Cottage (MYR 208.89/nett/room/night with breakfast) 

Recommended Restaurant(s):
◊ Orari Restaurant & HomeStay (Samosir Island)
What to order: Barbecue fish with salad and chips, Chicken / Pork Rendang, Avocado juice with chocolate milk 

Local Transportation:  
Contact Person: Bloom
Telephone / WhatsApp: +62 813 7584 4395
Rate: Rp. 2,700,000 inclusive of petrol fuel, driver chargers and ferry charges (From Medan Samosir Island (via ferry ride) Medan)

Air Itinerary Detail(s):
AirAsia: Penang International Airport (PEN) – Medan  Kualanamu Airport (KNO) / Medan  Kualanamu Airport (KNO) – Penang International Airport (PEN)
From                         To                         Flight           Date              Dep        Arr
Penang (PEN)        Medan (KNO)         QZ 107          27 Sept        1310      1300
Medan (KNO)         Penang (PEN)        QZ 106          3 Oct            1100     1245
Return Flight Ticket(s): 199.44 MYR/pax (inclusive of Airport Tax, GST and Processing Fee)

Read more about our travel experiences @ North Sumatra:
Medan (Part 1
Parapat & Berastagi (Part 3)

Note: All entrance / transportation fees and accommodation rates/charges listed on this post are based on our (chengywong.blogspot.com) travel dates (2015) and therefore subject to change(s). ©chengywong.blogspot.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows us to share our past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. We often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time we plan for our travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  We hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within our blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading our post(s). If you find this blog worth a read, please feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo Both Chengy & Camel are passionate travelers who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact them if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey
 - Be inspired but more importantly be inspiring –
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience - Francis Bacon


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