Arrived back in Medan yesterday from Lake Toba. It was sad to leave as it is such a beautiful and relaxing place. It was market day in Parapat which is on the mainland, so many of the locals were catching the ferry from the island to the market. It seemed like I had talked to them all at least once.

Most of the guesthouses are in Tuk-tuk and the ferry stops by each guesthouses to pick you up. I med a couple of German guys who have spent every winter for the last five or six years at Lake Toba. They negotiated basic rooms for 20,000 rupiah (US$1.7) a night for two months. I was paying the princely sum of 75,000 (US$6.65), for a big, beautiful clean room with hot water. It was close to Christmas, which is why I had to pay the inflated rate.

Food and beer is also cheap. What more could you want? There aren’t any raging bars, which is probably a good thing. The locals are all super friendly and other travelers get together in the hotel restaurants at night for a beer and a chat. There is traditional batak music and dance nights at a few places, which are also a lot of fun.