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“Beautiful lake!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Toba

Lake Toba
Sumatera Utara | Indonesia, Indonesia
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Type: Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Attraction details
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful lake!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

It was a wonderful journey to Lake Toba. I went there for family vacation with a tourist guide. Totally recommended to everybody who are interested in beautiful scenery.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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339 reviews from our community

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Excellent trip with TobaTransporter!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

I booked a tour package with TobaTransporter from the 9th May to the 14th May of 2014. Ricky the coordinator was exceptionally patient and obliging to my every question and request. As it was my first time in Medan, I was uncertain about the environment and etiquette there and Ricky was graceful enough to reply to each and every one of them.

We took an less travelled route to Lake Toba through a domestic flight to Silangit Airport and was expecting possible complications with communication but surprisingly, everything went as smooth as butter.

Upon reaching, we met up with our guide, Pak Jojo. Pak Jojo is a very experienced driver and knows the terrain well. He maintains very good relationship with the locals and are able to get us just about anywhere we requested. Prior to arriving, I drafted a schedule for Pak Jojo to follow and he made sure we visited every attraction that we wanted even though it was not included in the tour package. He even brought us to some of the less visited spots like the beach on Samosir Island.

On one of the days, my friend had an upset tummy and Pak Jojo specially bought local medicine. The medicine helped to suppress the aches and the rest of the trip went on smoothly and with complications.

Lake Toba is an excellent place with breathtaking scenery, TobaTransporter made it even more enjoyable. Two thumbs up for Tobatransporter and 5 stars for Pak Jojo!

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Spicy tea at Lake Toba”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Medan and its roads out of it, were packed with traffic and its attractions had a neglected air (Tjong Afie mansion was permanently closed, and the only museum had irregular opening hours at its caretaker's whims). Lake Toba - born after a super volcanic eruption 70,000 years ago - was interesting. The view of the 100km-long volcanic caldera lake from the Brastagi highlands was pretty and the Batak tribal villages showed a long-gone way of life. The most awesome experience was the herbal tea served at this crumbling tea-house at Simarjarunjung, Brastagi. Known as Teh Bandrek, it was brewed from so many spices like ginger, lemon grass, star anise, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom! Sweetened with brown sugar molasses, it gave a calming effect in my tummy. Wish i had bought some home.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful lake but highly recommend private transport”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

I went from Medan to Lake Toba (Samosir Island) on May 18, 2014. I was staying at d'primahotel right above Medan's Train Station. From there to Loket Bus Amplas (bus terminal) the bechak ride cost IDR 30,000 and took about 30 minutes. That was the beginning of my exposure to noxious fumes in north Sumatra. Upon arrival at the very basic "bus terminal" which didn't have paved parking, there was Sejehtera bus waiting. Fare to Parapat was IDR 32,000 and isn't negotiable (the ticket office guy showed me other passengers' receipts and said stingy customers can opt to change buses in Siantar). We left at 1:11pm and arrived at Tiga Raja Harbour right at 6pm, just in time to jump on the departing ferry for Samosir Island. If you have asthma or cannot stand cigarette smoke, going by public bus is a big no no. Almost every male I saw in north Sumatra on my five-day trip smokes, and that applies to males on public buses, shared vans, hotel lobbies, restaurants and even at fuel stations where there are signs prohibiting smoking! Am I glad I didn't have my elderly parents traveling with me…they have asthma and would have perished with all the smokers on the non-air conditioned bus. On the way back to Medan, I took a shared van, paying IDR 75,000. Again, the local males smoked, including the driver. We departed Parapat at 9:30am and I arrived at my hotel at 3:30pm. That's six long hours in an uncomfortable van with at least two people smoking! I felt so sick during and after the ride. It took several days for my lungs and throat to recover from all the smoke in north Sumatra, for even the hotels permit smoking inside. If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely pay the IDR 450,000 fee to take a private car and stipulate that the driver cannot smoke inside the car. If you cannot spare that much money, perhaps you'll get lucky if nobody smokes in the shared van, which can usually pick you up at your hotel and drop you off directly at the ferry terminal. I highly recommend staying away from the public bus.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“One of the last authentic places”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

We did not have much time to plan this trio so we relied on Tobatransporter who recommended 3 days in Samosir in Brastagi on the way back. Communicatiins with Ricky the owner of Tobatransporter was excellent. Our driver JoJo picked us up at Me dan airport. He was excellent, driving very carefully always respecting speed limits. On Samosir Island I had made the mistake.of requesting to stay at Liberta Homestay which was a bit too basic so we moved quickly to Tabo Cottages where the setting and the food were excellent. Samosir Island is a jewel and we explored it fully. Then Brastagi was a wonderful stay as we climbed up a volcano still active and finished the day soaking in hot springs. All in all a very very good experience. Batak people are very welcoming and friendly, we always felt safe.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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