It’s my third day here I Lake Toba and I would have to say it is has been one of the nicest places I have been in Asia. I heard that it was a more popular place for backpackers in the 1990s, but most of those backpackers are now heading to the full moon party’s of Thailand. Probably a shame for the tourist industry here, but it only makes Lake Toba a more pleasant place to stay.
Lots of cheap restaurants and nice hotels. Most of the hotels are right on the lake. The lake sits in a dormant volcano and in the center of the lake is Samosir Island. Most of the hotels are located in the town called Tuk-Tuk.
Around the island you have waterfalls, jungles, traditional batak houses and rice paddies. The mountains above the lake are often shrouded in mist.
The weather during the day is warm, but not hot. Hot enough at least to swim in the lake. The nights are cool enough not to need air-conditioning. Last night at my hotel they had traditional batak dancing and singing. The batak people were once cannibals until German missionaries converted them to Christianity, which means no mosques waking you up through the night. They also celebrate Christmas, so there are plenty of Christmas tress and decorations.
The people are super-friendly and even though all of the hotels are restaurants are quiet, you don’t have people out the front trying to get you to come in. The batak people also have lots of interesting stories and myths about nature and the world, somewhat similar to the Australian aboriginal dreamtime.
I think many people come here planning just to stay a day or two and that can easily turn into a week or month…
Traditional Batak house.
View from my hotel room.