Once upon a time, I was chatting with a man that I knew on Twitter. I asked him, “Do you know Lake Toba?”
I was so sad when the man from Amsterdam said “no”. He said,he knows Indonesia but only know Bali. It’s okay. It not a must that people know Lake Toba, that is fair answer. I did not blame him for lack of knowledge as travel blogger. Or, even though he is a travel blogger, there is no rule that he must know Lake Toba.
I just want to tell that Indonesia is large country with many islands.
So, Indonesia is not just Bali.
Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia even in Southeast Asia. The lake is in North Sumatra. As I quoted from Wikipedia, Lake Toba occupying the caldera of a super volcano. It is about 100 kilometers long, 30 kilometers wide,and up to 505 meters deep.
Lake Toba is one of the ten main development tourism destinations in Indonesia beside Tanjung Kelayang at Bangka Belitung island, Tanjung Lesung at Banten, Kepulauan Seribu at Jakarta, Borobudur at Middle Java,Bromo Tengger Semeru at East Java, Mandalika at Nusa Tenggara Barat, LabuanBajo at Nusa Tenggara Timur, Wakatobi at South East Sulawesi and Morotai di North Maluku.
The ten destinations named “The Ten New Bali”.
How to get there?
There are two airports in North Sumatra as the main gate to Lake Toba. One, International Kualanamu Airport at Deliserdang district and theother is Silangit International Airport at Humbang Hasundutan district which closer to Lake Toba. The main departure is Jakarta, which has regular flight to Kualanamu and Silangit airport every day.
What to see?
There are so many places to visit around Lake Toba. If you start your journey from Silangit, you may traveling around to see amazing views of Lake Toba. Come to Bakara, then continued to Sipinsur, Bulbul Beach at Balige, go to Parapat, Samosir and Simalem. I promise you will get great pictures with your camera.
What to do?
While in Humbang Hasundutan, you may visit coffee farm. North Sumatra is famous with coffee. Do you know Blue Toba coffee sale on Starbucks? Or, thetasty and famous Lintong coffee? This is the place of the coffee grown.
Go to Bulbul Beach at Balige and enjoy the beach. Not enough yet? Go to Tomok in Samosir and attract with local artist showing traditional Sigale-gale dance. After that, you may rent motorcycle to moving around the lake and talk to local people.
Where to stay?
There are many place to stay around Lake Toba. You may choose hotel, home-stay or cottage. It depends on your budget and the atmosphere that youlike. If you want to see the comparison, you may check on TripAdvisor to check price and room facilities that you need.
What to eat?
Indonesian foods. Local foods like fish, pork with traditional sauce or lobster caught from the lake. Western foods also available in some local restaurants.
What to buy?
If you want something unique and authentic, you can buy traditional Batak souvenir made from wood or bamboo, Bataknese traditional cloth weaving called Ulos.