The Stunning Samosir Island
The island of Samosir is situated in the huge crater lake of Toba. It is the heart of the Toba Batak culture. A visit to Lake Toba is not complete without a stay on Samosir with its many traditional villages along its shoreline. On the east side of the island, the land rises steeply from a narrow strip of flat land along the lake’s water edge climbing to a central plateau that towers some 780 meters above the waters. From this height one can have a wonderful panoramic view on this magnificent blue lake.
As you step down the ferry at Tomok you will be greeted by a row of souvenir stalls selling an array of Batak handicraft, from the traditional hand-woven ulos cloths to Batak bamboo calendars and all kinds of knick-knacks. Further north of Tomok is a small peninsula, known as Tuktuk Siadong, or simply Tuktuk, best loved for its sandy beaches and beautiful lush scenery. Here the soft lapping blue waters of lake Toba blend with the green pastures. Although offering beaches and opportunities for watersports, yet the air here is cool as it is located high in the mountains. Therefore, Tuktuk become a favorite with tourists, so here you will find a plethora of small hotels and homestays, restaurants and handicrafts galore.
The town of Parapat is around four to five hours from Medan by private car or rented vehicles. You can also take the train that serves Medan-Pematang Siantar, then board a bus from here to Parapat, which takes around 2 hours.
Tourist buses also take passengers from Medan to Parapit via Lubuk Pakam, Tebing Tinggi, to Pematang Siantar. Along the route enjoy the panorama of palm oil and rubber tree plantations. From Parapat, ferries take passengers to Tuktuk to the pier located near major hotels.