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“Long drive but nice destination”
Review of Lake Toba

Lake Toba
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$70.00*
and up
Private Tour: Karo Highlands and Lake Toba from Medan
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
200 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Long drive but nice destination”
Reviewed September 1, 2013

A pleasant diversion. But considering it takes 4-5 hours to get there from Medan, you have to allow for an overnight stay in one of Parapat's hotels. The locals love their lake - it's high altitude and Samosir island provides a nice visual break and occupies a large part of the lake center. If you're after cool air, peace and quiet, then just being in Parapat beside the lake is good enough. But you can add a bit of spice by taking a 2 hour break to go to Samosir in one of the pump boats available for rent. Be warned though that the boat trip takes just a bit under an hour so the whole round trip takes a full half day. Parapat and Samosir are peopled by a distinctive Christian-converted tribe called the Bataks, which is pretty ironic considering their previous cannibalistic ways.

At Samosir, there's very few things to do though - take snapshots of the traditional houses and the totem pole, visit the royal burial site and listen to the history of the royal family, and check out the very modest Batak Museum.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank JGR001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Malaysia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The magnificent view of Toba Lake”
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Great view, cheap shopping, enjoy very much the boat riding to Samoser Island..I like the food which we called it Minang food. I stayed in one of the small hotel near to the lake in Parapat, we can hear the sound of small wave from Lake Toba. From the hotel, we can rent a small boat (goose boat) which is very cheap for one hour and row over the lake. However, the climate was a bit warm due to dry season. The temperature was around 24 celcius. I really love to be there especially shopping in Samoser Island.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank fadzilah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medan, Indonesia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Lake Toba”
Reviewed August 25, 2013

on 4th august 2013, we went to Parapat, Lake Toba North Sumatera by rental car from Medan. We stayed at Niagara Hotel. The hotel is comfort, and have beautiful scenery of Lake Toba at behind . This time is very memorable because i saw double rainbow appear after the rain is stopped, so awsome...!

From Lake Toba, we visit one of Samosir island which is called Tomok by Ferry / boat. At Tomok, we visited king tombs, and ancient house of Batak tribe. After satisfied round the place, took some photos, we went back to Parapat, stayed for night.

In Parapat, we ate chinese foods at Singgalang restaurant. The food taste is suitable for our tounge.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank julin r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Quite disappointing ...”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

I might be of a totally different opinion than most of the evaluators here, but having been to Lake Toba for 4 days in July 2013 I feel I need to put all the appraisal in some perspective.

Of course, Lake Toba is impressive, but it's by no means THE most spectacular lake that I have seen, not even in Sumatra. Taking into consideration the hazzle of getting there, I sometimes thought is it worth it? The way from the city of Medan to Lake Toba is neither a pleasant nor an easy one, and Lake Toba didn't give me that thrilling experience that so many talk about.
If you ever have the chance, try a different area of Sumatra - Western Sumatra. Take a plane into Padang (rather than riding the bus for 20 hours from Medan to Padang) and then enjoy an easy two-hour-ride to Bukittinggi. From there you can do wonderful tours into the area around that town, visiting as beautiful lakes as Lake Maninjau which is a stunningly located crater lake from which you may even see the Indian Ocean. If you are interested, read my review about Bukittinggi area.

What I missed about Lake Toba was that there were no guides available that would go hiking or trekking. I would have been interested in learning more about the Batak culture, but that simply was not possible because of the lack of guides. Different in Bukittinggi area, where I got an excellent guide who would take me around and offer many different options, ranging from one-day tours to three-day tours with overnight stays with locals (called Minangkabau).

All in all, I do highly recommend to re-think twice whether a visit to Lake Toba is such a must when travelling in Sumatra.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank Bernhard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medan, Indonesia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Samosir witness dumb from history relic times megaliths batak in the land”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Indonesia known by a multiplicity of evidence a relic history, one of them is located on the island of samosir. island samosir is original dwelling place society was known friendly and easy to get along. Society was famous iikes love songs theme jovial and full of feeling. Pulau samosir not only famous for its existence which floats in the middle of toba lake and also be in the island of sumatra course, but the island samosir storing diverse beauty, ranging from natural scenery local culture until a relic and the story of history that is pulled to traced. Went around the island samosir, you ' ll find some will object village was loaded with cultural and historical tourist who had invited decak griped and curiosity.
Island samosir having a relic ancient times in form of a sepulchral stone and villages traditional evidence in samosir island there are komplek funeral stone king sidabutar and seats trial stone kampung king sialagan. Komplek funeral stone king sidabutar located in village tomok, while trial of stone raja sialagan located in village ambarita, in administrative village tomok and villages ambarita belong to the sub-districts simanindo, regency samosir, sumatera province north.

1. (Komplex funeral sidabutar ofstone king)
Here we can see up close funeral sidabutar, king the tomok in the village. In samosir batak, and residents sidabutar very famous story about the king. Supposedly, sidabutar is king, under which sakti divine power comes from his hair long and gimbal.If his hair trimmed so simultaneously magic would be lost king sidabutar also considered was the first man to set foot on tomok. His lifetime, king sidabutar has prepared by calling his tomb repairmen chisel samosir is on the island. Making tomb begins with special ceremony. if funeral elsewhere, only the beauty of tomb unlike funeral king sidabutar. At his tomb guiler engraving having a special meaning. A carved head emblematize sidabutar, great king while a carved head in end only with smaller size, indicating empress gril damanik. While engraving man who is under a king is pangl.
While engraving man who was in the lower head of a king is panglima teacher, saung lang meraji. Sidabutar, in addition to the king makam it has become a resort the offspring and the adjutant the king. The cemetery, orderly very neat a red color, black and white to the chief ornament from which coloring almost all parts of complex. Any person or tourists who will enter complex should wear ulos. The ways is to held up in one of our shoulders down. The tomb was so well tuned is guarded by a few people. There is no harm to contribute voluntarily to local management to komplek this funeral remain well maintained.

2. (The seat of the trial a rock village sialagan king)
It was named ambarita, a village noted for objects megaliths a relic of the times. As an ancient, was ambarita keep the story that is still alive until now, with we relic of the days of megaliths as a witness mute of the history of whom coloring the sustainability village. Ambarita, when he entered you will be welcomed with a gate in, from the entrance of this there are of large stone statues that supposedly is believed to be the keeper and repellent an evil spirit shall enter into village. The statue is called pangulubalang. village this is the ghetto erst built by the family marga siallagan which are then pre-sighted and presided over by the king siallagan. In this, huta (village) you will find a lot of historical sites that should not be escaped from the visits in village. You can see the house was, traditional customs traditional houses is still guarded and thought to have was hundreds of years
Besides relic of customary batak that is inherited, in an hereditary manner in this huta guiler site anthropology laden will story. This site of chairs stone used as a the conduct proceeding by the elders of the day, village to prosecute those guilty. Seats and table trial society former times made from natural stone was more than 200 years hence, this website called or known as the site of the trial. This website is evidence relic terdapatnya law in ancient history batak huta siallagan. Near the trial is located a stone was the first convict decapitation execution punishment for dead. In that moment told that the practice was doing cannibalism.
Convict dead already beheading his head this later excreted the liver and his heart. The heart of the felon the liver and stored in a cup then chopped up to then edible together by the elders and all who are present in there. Will be drunk with the blood in those days local people still adhered to the original, confidence was namely parmalim.


Samosir island is believed as place of origin people was. The problem is that on this island precisely in pusuk buhit sianjur sub-district mulamula lends itself to the man was. Pusuk buhit is the hills with a height of more than 1,800 metres above the surface of toba lake. Hills this is believed to be the universe or � mulajadi nabolon � ( god the almighty ) appeared. In sub-district this is the village of sianjur mulamula that is the first group of people was.
Island samosir stores a diverse beauty ranging from natural scenery, local culture until relics and story curious historical for exploring. Samosir storing relic history especially about the batak interesting. Funeral king sidabutar and stone trial sialagan is witness dumb relic history in the days of megaliths batak on the ground.
Island samosir is totally having value important to uncover history and cultural values contained in it. To achieve this goal, the need for business maximally and real in handling and prevention for lestarinya relic the and if this was left then slowly all relic history in land batak be lost and missing swallowed epoch.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Rio039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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