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Lake Toba

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Lake Toba (Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in the world and is in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Samosir island within the lake is an island within the island of Sumatra.


Lake Toba

Lake Toba is an immense volcanic lake covering an area of 1,707 km² (1,000 km² bigger than Singapore) with an island in its centre. Actually, Lake Toba is located in Prapat area in North Sumatra.

Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is probably the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Some studies say it might have been associated with causing previous ice age/climate change and the largest human population bottleneck ever. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand individuals that survived its catastrophic eruption.

Today Lake Toba is on the way to get a UNESCO Geopark Certification. This means, that the whole area has to be protected and a Ecotourism has will be developed. But still some big environment destroying international companies like Aquafarms and pulp industries are operating. The President himself installed now an Authority (BODT) to develop a sustainable Tourism around Lake Toba. Lake Toba apply for a credit of the Wolrd Bank to create the Geopark.

The island in the middle - Pulau Samosir - was joined to the caldera wall by a narrow isthmus, which was cut through to enable boats to pass; a road bridge crosses the cutting. Samosir island is the cultural centre of the Batak tribe who are now mostly Christians. The Batak Culture has a lot of Rituals and Parties. You can visit them also, eat there and by the dancing you can contribute then with some money for the wedding or the funeral.

Lake Toba was perhaps once more popular than it is nowadays, but for many it remains a firm fixture on the Banana Pancake Trail. Tuktuk is a great laid back place to chill out for a few days after jungle trekking etc. The location is very popular with Chinese tourists around Chinese New Year, when availability drops dramatically and accommodation costs sky rocket.

And Lake Toba has much more than only Tuktuk. The Lake Toba Area is divided in seven Regencies (Kapupaten): -Karo in the north with Berastagi and the Volcanoes Sinabung and Sibayak -Simalungun with Sipisopiso Waterfall and Parapat -Toba Samosir with Balige, Laguboti -Tapanuli Utara with the International Airport Silangit, Tarutung with the hot springs, Muara and Sipadan island -Humbang Hasundutan with the Bakkara Valley, the Sipangnolu Spring, the kings house of Sisingamangaraja XII, the famous coffee area of Linton, -Samosir with Tuktuk, Pangururan with the hotsprings, Sianjur Mula Mula valley and the View point Tele -Dairy with a lot of primary jungle around Merek and the 5 star Resort, and the cofee area of Sidikalang

Ecotourism & Fish Farms: The Government has undertaken to promote the development of several Fish Farms, using dugout lakes, far from Lake Toba, to prevent contamination of Lake Toba. One of these new farms, "World Heritage minimini", located 10 km from Lake Toba, uses a unique sustainable development technique, using the surplus of plankton to fertilize the 5,000 fruit trees planted around the 26 dugout lakes. Also around the lakes, have been laid out sites of Camping, B&B, Gardens, Golf 19-20, Badminton, Mölkky, Geocaching, Heliport, World Heritage Replicas, etc. All this without cutting the pre-existing trees in this valley.


Indonesian, known as Bahasa Indonesia. There are also local people who live in Toba region called Batak; they speak the local language Batak. Just say for the whole greetings "Horas" means welcome, good morning, farewell, etc. You can say "Mauliate" for thank you and they will reply with the same word.

Get in[edit]

Most visitors fly to Medan Kuala Namu International Airport and then travel onwards by land to Parapat, the town by Lake Toba. Parapat is about 4 hr by car from Medan or 4-6 hr by public bus. Also there is a new International Airport in Siborongborong. The Name Silangit (DTB), its nested on the East of Toba Lake, only take 30 minutes to the East side of Toba Lake or Balige city. In the moment there are 2 flights to Medan and 5 to Jakarta a day. And there are 5 flights to Kuala Lumpur a week with Air Asia.

By air[edit]

From Medan Kualanamu airport you can fly directly to Silangit with Wings air or Garuda Indonesia daily.

Also there are several flights from Jakarta to Silangit. And there is a direct flight 5 times a week from Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia to Silangit. Transportation options from Silangit airport are based on taxis. There is in front of the airport a booth of all the providers; From Silangit Airport to Parapat is 2 hr drive. To Silangit airport from Parapat there are many transport providers available around the ferry terminal area. Costs to/from Silangit and Parapat should cost around Rp 400,000 each way per vehicle. However, the airport is very close to guesthouses at Balige and Muara, towns that hug the southern rim of the lake and would save considerable travel time for those destinations. From Balige also you can use the boat to Onan Runggu at 2 pm and charter a car in Onan Runggu for 300.000. Best option to reach Tuk tuk.

Also the Government Bus Company DAMRI now offers direct connections from Silangit to Parapat and also to Pangururan and Onan Runggu.

HELIPORT:: An Heliport is available in "World Heritage minimini" in Lumbanrang, North Sionggang, Lumbanjulu, Toba Samosir, 12 km from Parapat in the direction of Balige.

By car[edit]

From the airport in Medan they built in the moment a Tol Road to Lake Toba. The first 50 km are already ready and this save already more than 1 hour time. Still the ride takes around 4 hours. At public holidays it can take much more time, because of the traffic jams. You follow to Pematang Siantar and then to Parapat.

You can go from Medan also via Berastagi, Sidikalang and Tele down to Pangururan. The road gives you a wonderful view.

It is also possible to go to Parapat from Dumai by mini-van, leaving in the afternoon. The trip takes around 11 hr and costs Rp 150,000.

By Private Car[edit]

There are tour agencies that offer transport to Lake Toba. Some of them offer car rental and driver for 3 to 5 days.

By bus[edit]

From Medan airport To get to Lake Toba is entirely possible by public transport, if you wish. You leave the airport to the right side. There is the booth of "Paradep". They operate a bus and shared taxis to Siantar for 55.000 Rp. You let you bring to "Simpang Dua" in Siantar. From there you can continue with shared taxis or buses easy to Lake Toba.

From Amplas terminal You can get a public bus to Parapat for Rp 45,000 (February 2019) . Unfortunately in Indonesia people smoke on the bus; that can make a very unpleasant journey on a public pus. And then get a ferry out to Samosir island for Rp 15000/person. The boat drops you at your hotel in Tuktuk. You have also ferry from Ajibata for Rp 12.000/person, but drops you in Tomok-about 5 km from Tuk-Tuk.

From Berastagi: please see the Berastagi wikitravel article; this involves 3 transfers to reach Parapat or take minivan

To Padang / Bukittinggi: see the Parapat article. Book the bus a day ahead to get a seat.

From Silangit Airport (DTB) DAMRI buses connect with flights. Look out for uniformed staff as you exit the terminal. Journey times to Tiga Raja port is around 150 mins. Cost IDR 20000. From Tiga Raja, return buses go at 06.00 and 08.00. Call the driver the night before to book. They speak good English and will happily give you the number.

By train[edit]

Actually, no train transportation connected directly to Parapat. You should take your train transportation from Stasiun Kereta Api Medan and stop to the train station of Siantar. You can continue by bus or travel transportation to Parapat within 2 hours.

By Boat[edit]

Boats from Parapat to Tuktuk Parapat is connected to Tuk Tuk on the Samosir Island by a boats that runs every hour for Rp 15,000 (motorbikes Rp15,000 extra, as of March 2019), running on the half-hour except the last one at 19:00. The place to catch the ferry to Tuk Tuk is called "Tiga Raja" harbour/jetty. The ferry man will drop you at the place you're staying at in Tuk Tuk. Tuk Tuk is the main place to stay on Samosir. They will drop you directly at your Tuk Tuk resort.

The boat ride over is fantastic, just truly peaceful, apart from the car radios playing, the ladies selling peanuts, bottled water, noodles or pretty much anything else. Normally some of the passengers and vendors will be able to speak English. Landing at the other end of the 1 hour ferry journey is daunting, but again, behave like everyone else in Indonesia and just push, ever so politely, but firmly and eventually you will get off the ferry and onto the main road. Alternatively use the boat service but watch out for the guys that ask for the fee before you embark — they do not work for the operators, you pay on the boat.

Return trips leave from various places in Tuk Tuk on the hour, but sometimes 15 minutes earlier/later. Wave down the ferry to ensure it comes to your dock.

Boats from Parapat to Tomok From the same jetty "Tiga Raja" also leaves the wooden boats to Tomok. The same kind of boats. Also you can take a Motorbike there. The price is 12000 per person and 10.000 Rp. for a motorbike to Tomok. The boats also operates each hour.

Boats from Parapat/Ajibata to Tomok The harbour is just 500 m away from Tiga Raja. This is the local harbor for the people going to Samosir. The boats are bigger and have strong Sound Systems. The price for the boats are 12.000 per person and 12.000 Rp for a Motorbike. The last boat to Samosir leaves at 8.30 pm.

Car Ferry from Adjibata to Ambarita A new car ferry was established in 2018 from the Government. It operates 4 times a day. The name is IHAN BATAK

Car Ferry from Ajibata to Tomok The ferry operates at the minimum 5 times a day. The last one leaves at 9.00 pm. from Ajibata. The ferry harbor is around 500 m behind the boat harbor.Often the ferry is full and you have to wait for the next one. In public holiday the waiting time for the ferry can be up to more then 12 hours. Don't come with your own car to Samosir!

Boats from Ajibata to Onan Runggu There are 4 scheduled connections each day. The boats also leave also from the boat harbor. The price is 20.000 per person. They have a price list on board for all other things to transport: like Motorbikes, or pigs, or buffalo. This is an old traditional connection from Samosir to the mainland. Also you can ask the boat to make a deviation to Silimalombu, when you arrive late in Parapat. But the price need to bargained.

Boats from Ajibata to Silimalombu At 1 pm there is a boat directly from Ajibata to Silimalombu. In the morning at 9.00 am there are boats back to Ajibata. In Ajibata you ask for the Shop of Mama Edo. She exactly know when and where the boats go. Sometimes they go back later, because they have to wait for somebody. Price is 15.000 Rp for persons and for motorbikes.

Boats from Balige to Onan Runggu Daily one trip: At 9 am from Onan Runggu on Samosir Island, to Balige. At 2 pm the boat leaves from Balige to Onan Runggu, Samosir Island and the price for 1 person or one motorbike is 20.000 Rp. The boat is very useable to have a connection from Samosir to the new airport in Silangit. When you arrive in the morning at the airport, you have enough time to go the 30 minutes down to Balige. From there you have the nice boat ride to Onan Runggu. In Onan Runggu you charter a car for appr. 300.000 to go to Tuktuk. The car will go over the hills of Samosir. No traffic and a wonderful view. The best option in the moment to reach Tuktuk or Silimalombu.

Boat from Naingolan to Balige The boat leaves Naingolan in the morning and goes back in the afternoon.

Car ferry from Simanindo to Tigaras A good working service to connect Samosir to Brastagi. There are around 5 connections a day.

Get around[edit]

It may be obvious but just remember there are no taxis around Tuk Tuk. Sure you can walk the small part of the island in an hour or so but if you are heading out for the night, plan ahead on how you will get back home. The locals are very friendly people who will go out of their way to help. However, some corners of the island are very quiet at night and you may find yourself on a long long walk.

By boat[edit]

Local transportation around the lake takes the form of boats; cheaper, school boats with limited schedules and more expensive public boats that operate throughout the day).

Public Boats from Parapat and surrounding areas sail from either Ajibata or Tigaraja to Tuktuk or Tomok at Samosir Island. The fee is Rp 15,000 per trip.

There is also bigger ship which transports Cars and Busses sailing between Tigaraja and Tomok.

By Angkot (public minivan)[edit]

For small-sized individuals, it's possible to walk 1-2km to the main road and flag down an angkot to head up to Ambarita/Simanindo/Pangururan or down south to Tomok. Fares are around Rp5.000-Rp25.000. Large-sized individuals should avoid this mode as it can be too cramped and uncomfortable. Also, you'll be taking up space that locals need. Angkots run hourly from about 7am to 5pm.

See[edit][add listing]

  • There are hot springs on the western side of the island just across the causeway from Pangururan. The water is hot. Locals usually use their hands to get some water out of the pool. But the pools are really nice to go inside and stay there for around 20 minutes. It are sulfur springs and the nice smell stay at your skin for the next 3 days. You als feel so clean afterwards, that you even in the next morning don´t have the feeling, that you have to wash you yourself again.

The fee to enter to the surroundings is Rp 2,000. The pools are free, there's some special foreigner pool for Rp 10,000.

  • In the town of Balige on the south side of the lake there is a mausoleum to Raja Sisimangaraja XII and a large museum to Batak culture at the TB Silahali Center.
  • Botanical Garden Silimalombu (12 km south of Tomok following the coast line), 081260858209, also Whatsapp, [2]. 9am-6pm. 80.000 adult incl. meal. (,""Silimalombu"") editIn the 500 year old Mangoforest, the origin of the "Mangga Toba" the Gultom Clan established in 2019 a Botanical garden. It is built on the principles of Permaculture. A lot of Fruit trees, vegetabels and herbs you will find there. The focus is on the health effects of all the plants. There are interactive descriptions. Please bring your smartphones and your kids can scan and learn. Out of the garden you will collect the plants, you will eat for your meal. Good to send a message before, that the people have time for you.


  • Samosir - Many Big Statues as Cemeteries for Batak people ancestors
  • Samosir, Simanindo - Batak Museum with traditional dance performed twice daily at 10.30 am and 11.45 am. Sunday only 11.45 am.
  • Samosir, Ambarita - Stone chairs used for judgement and executions
  • Samosir, Tomok - Good place for locals and foreigners to shop for souvenirs, vegetable and fruits. There's a tomb for you to visit as well.
  • Just on the other side of Samosir, near Pangururan are hot springs
  • From Tuk tuk you can see a waterfall up the mountain behind you. It's a great walk with a rewarding fresh swim.
  • Tele - ascend an old tower to get an awesome view over the lake; ask in Pangururan, about 20km from there, up the mountain road
  • Sipisopiso waterfall. Beautiful 100m falls, a mini-Angel falls, feeding into the northern end of Danau Toba. Devote a full 7 hours to reach and return. Motorbike to Simanindo on the NE corner of Samosir 20min from Tuktuk; take ferry to Tigaras. Then motor north with beautiful lake views to Merek, and ask for the turnoff to the waterfalls (signage only exists coming from northern direction). Return on same ferry, or via Parapat (further, but nicer road, so same time)
  • Pagar Batu, Samosir, at the road from Tomok to Silimalombu(~9km behind Tomok) An old Batak mystic place. A hidden place, nearly forgotten from the Batak. After the Dutch colonialists (Scientists say with the support of the German missioners) killed the last Batak priest king the Sisingamangaraja XII in 1907, nobody should remember the old culture anymore. But this was the place, where the Bataks elect their priest king, where was the judge, where have been the important meetings and where the young boys meet the woman in full moon nights to process the rice. There is the big rock, where all the people around the area went to feel safe down under, when the dutch army came. There is a flying stone, the people could fly with before the Christianize (believe or not!) There is a cave from the lake up to the hills of Samosir. It should be dangerous to enter. And a lot of more stories. But the most people forgot this place. At the village down under, there are some people, they can show you the place, they also clean the paths that you can walk around. But everything is overgrown with already huge trees. It is a wonderful place to discover it. The people take care of the place and you should not go alone up. Ask somebody there, who go with you up and then afterwards give them around 50.000 Rp. that they are happy and take more care of the place.
  • SilimalombuMango Forest. Up to 500 years old Mango trees staying there. Nobody planted them. They are on the way to make an Ecovillage there. They process the mango to wine, vinegar, jam, chutney. Also there is a restaurant and guesthouse there, where you can eat all the food out of the organic farm. From Tomok you follow the coastline to the south to Lottung and then until the end of the road. The road is partly full new asphalted and partly waiting for renovation.

Do[edit][add listing]

Kick back and relax after the frenetic atmosphere of Indonesia. Swim in the volcanically warmed waters of the lake or arrange an overnight 'party' boat out on the lake if you can get enough volunteers together. A beautiful place to do nothing at all. Plenty of second hand book shops to stock up on reading material. Traditional Batak Dance in Restaurant Bagus Bay every Wednesday and Saturday from 20:15 onwards. After the dance, sit back and enjoy the folk songs done by a group of men.

Nice to go around with a bicycle or a Motorbike. With the Motorbike it is nice to go to the hotsprings in Pangururan or up the mountain behind Tomok. Up there are a lot of coffee fields, where you can help the farmer by harvesting. The view over the lake is fantastic. In Huta Hotang there is a nice Restaurant which is built at a viewpoint. Good food there. With a bicycle it is nice to follow the coastline after Tomok to the south to the Ecovillage Silimalombu. The road now is alraedy the half way asphalted. But there is nearly now traffic and you have a wonderful view over the rice fields with a lot of tombs in between. In Silimalombu you have a Restaurant, where the people cook things out of the own garden.

Tours around Samosir

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Ulos, in Tomok, many merchants sells woven clothes, such as sarung, scarf like cloth and many traditional Bataknese handicrafts. One notable item is the Batak Ulos, a traditional woven blanket. This beautiful cloth is still being used on traditional events and given as a special present e.g. for wedding parties. The price varies depending on the size, age and quality from around Rp40,000 to Rp500,000/pcs.

Basar and Market in Ambarita. The traditional market in Ambarita is on Thursdays from 7.00 until 15.00. Fruits, veggetables, clothes, blankets, household and farming tools are sold and you can get in touch with people from the country side trading their products. Try some traditional food on the local food stalls.

Market in Pangururan. The weekly market is on Wednesdays and it is the biggest market on the island. Even goats and buffaloes are traded here. Farmers and Grocires from the whole area come here and traffic can be very heavy on market days.

Market in Sipira. This small market is on Wednesdays and it is the event of the week for people in this remote scenic area.

Market in Onan Runggu every Monday from 7 am to 12 pm. You can buy traditional or souvenir in Onan runggu come in see and you can travel to Balige course in Onan runggu have ferry every Monday and Friday every week time on firry is 8.30 am to Balige and come back from Balige 5 pm welcome to you all

  • Ecovillage Silimalombu (Silimalombu), (Road from Tomok at the beach for 12 km to the south), +6281260858209, [3]. Ratnauli Gultom starts to develop products out of the land of her Grandfather, the king of Silimalombu. There are up to 500 year old natural grown Mango Trees. The origin of the "Mangga Toba" She made out of the fallen down Mango: Mango Wine, Sherry, Vinegar, Jam. Also she started to make tea and tea blends out of Graviola, which also getting exported to America to the webshop . She is producing fresh Cinnamon, Clove, Coffee and Chocolate.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

The main road around Tuktuk is lined with small restaurants of varying quality. Also on offer is magic mushroom and various "happy herb" pizzas if you want that.

  • Cotney Restaurant, (by the Samosir resort). Rendangs, curries. Internet is available at a reasonable local price.  edit
  • Jenny's Restaurant, (There is only one or two roads so simply ask for Jenny's.). Restaurant with view of Lake Toba. Curries, fresh lake-fish, steamed or grilled, western food such as schnitzel (breaded pork or chicken chop pan fried). Desserts include fresh papaya that grows in the back-yard or a golden-brown banana pancake with chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of coconut. Once all the guests in the small place with only about 5 tables are fed and happy, Rinto will take the guitar from the wall and entertain his patrons  edit
  • Parhallo Restaurant, Jl Lingkar Samosir Sigarantung. Restaurant with view of Lake Toba. Curries, fresh lake-fish, steamed or grilled, western food such as schnitzel (breaded pork or chicken chop pan fried). Desserts include fresh papaya that grows in the back-yard or a golden-brown banana pancake with chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of coconut. Once all the guests in the small place with only about 5 tables are fed and happy, Rinto will take the guitar from the wall and entertain his patrons  edit
  • Joe's, (about 2 km from Tuk Tuk towards Ambarita). A family restaurant with a kind, friendly owner. Chicken à la batak Rp 25,000, banana chocolate cake Rp 80,000 (for a whole cake). Also has fresh vanilla for sale (Rp 70,000 for 100 grams) and motorbike rental.  edit
  • Marco Polo, Close to the northern tip of Tuk Tuk (Walk north past most restaurants, about 15 min from Carolina). Views and reasonably priced food. Make sure to try the avocado sandwich for Rp 10,000, the avocado tree can be seen from the balcony. The owners are extremely nice and helpful but don't seem to get many customers as they are past the main tourist area.  edit
  • Maruba Restaurant, Tuk-tuk (In between Ambaroba Hotel and Rodeo Accommodation). Traditional Batak and Indonesian food and a variety of Western meals such as schnitzels, real homemade burgers, pasta and roast chicken with fresh herb stuffing. Brown bread, burger buns and baguettes baked most days. English breakfast with smoked bacon is delicious. You can order a Batak feast one day (or less)in advance. Some choices are boneless fish curry, ikan na neura (very fresh raw fish marinated with candlenuts, spices & lime juice), napi nadir (a Batak style curry made with grilled chicken), saksang (chopped pork cooked with Batak spices and fresh pig's blood (blood is optional). Also available to order..delicious Lake Toba freshwater lobster (crayfish) at a very reasonable price.  edit
  • Orari Restaurant, Tuk-Tuk (Next to Anju), +62 625 451093. Restaurant with traditional Batak, Indonesian and European cuisine. Spaghetti bolognese, nasi goreng 'special', beef rendang, BBQ fish. Restaurant has a view of the lake. Motorbike rentals also available. .  edit
  • Popys Restaurant, Tuk-Tuk Siadong (Between Orari Restaurant and Hariara Guesthouse), +62 821 1651 88 223. Named after owner's daughter, the restaurant offers nice view, delicious Indonesian and western food, and fresh fish caught directly from the lake (Rp 30.000). They have a few decent rooms by the lake from Rp. 100.000. You can also rent or trade books if you wish.  edit
  • Today's cafe, Tuk-tuk (2mins walk from Samosir Villa), [4]. The owner of this small cafe, juliet is the friendliest host in the island! Pay her a visit and you will visit again for sure! Mains from Rp 20,000-35,000 Wi-Fi available for Rp 10,000 per hour. Comment 16Dec2013: Today internet has stopped working due to roadworks round Tuk-Tuk. Rumour is that wifi at hotels and restaurants will start working early next year (2014Jan). Please note that internet through mobile networks still works fine.  edit
  • Shrugary, Tuk-tuk (near Roy's pub). Western and Indonesian cuisine, family owned and maintained. Friendly staff and tasty food. Open minimum to 01:00, but if you are there having fun, they will not kick you out. They are making their own yoghurt. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner.  edit
  • Leo's Restaurant, Tuk-tuk (towards Toledo Inn, above the street). Batak Cuisine, owned by a young family and very reasonably priced. In the land of Bataks eat Batak food. Fresh fish from the lake is BBQed with local spices. Their own 'saus' (chilli sauce) is different from all other you have tasted. Friendly, tables made of a huge tree trunk. If plastic plates don't bother you, this is the place to go. Don't expect a long list of dishes, but everything they have is freshly prepared. The place with most guests on one Monday evening in low season. Free WiFi. Large Bintang 35.000 Rp (April 2016).  edit
  • Ecovillage Silimalombu (Restaurant and Homestay), Silimalombu (12 km south of Tomok at the Beach), and WA+6281260858209, [5]. 7-21. After Tomok following the Beach Road to the south until the end. The Restaurant offers things fresh cooked out of the garden. You can choose, what you want to eat and how you want it to prepare. It is an open kitchen at a 4 m long table, where is getting cooked and eaten. Also you can help and learn to cook. Around 80 % of the ingredients come from fresh out of the garden or the lake. Fresh juice from the own fruits is getting made. You can choose between vegan or vegetarian, fish, lobster and also pizza, homemade noodles, cinnamon roll and a lot more can be done. Also you can try the self made Mango Sherry from the up to 500 old Mango Trees of Silimalombu. After your meal you choose you self, how much you want to pay. The money is getting used for new projects to create the Ecovillage! Please send a message per HP or WA when you want to come.  edit
  • Hot Chilli Restaurant & Bar and Homestay, Tuk-Tuk Siadong (Near by the Catholic Church), +6281362860896. 08.00-22.00. Restaurant with traditional batak food,thai food and european food.Fresh lake toba fish,Pizza with batak herbs”Special”. Price "From IDR 20-120k" you can also rent bike or car if you wish.  edit
  • Rahmat Restaurant, (At the north end of Tuk-Tuk, next to Reggae bar). Simple nice indonesian restaurant with view of the lake. Great seafood for IDR 25-45k.  edit
  • Lenny Cafe & Resto, Jl. Justin DI Panjaitan (Ajibata Harbor), +6281396723310. 24/7. A nice Restaurant on the second floor at the harbor of Ajibata. You can see down to the Lake Toba. You are out of the dust and dirt of traffic and have a nice view. The menu offers a wide range of Batak, Indonesian and western food. Also you can have a good coffee and they mix also coctail and of course also you can have a cold beer here. Every evening there is live music with accoustic guitar and Batak Singers. Also you can have Ice cream deserts here. the place is new opened for Christmas 2019.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

There is one discotheque on Fri and Sat nights - expect the latest 80s music. Better to drink at your guest house generally.

Saturday night is often the highlight on the local calendar. You can hear a chorus of parties going around the Tuk Tuk area.

  • Samosir Cottages will provide a wonderful local Batak performance that is a mixture of traditional dances and fantastic drinking songs.

There are a number of fine spots around the Tuk Tuk area to catch a sunset beer.

  • Reggae Bar is perched high up looking over the lake.
  • Hibiscus Bar on main street is hosted by two wonderful local girls and plays cool tunes with a little encouragement.

This area is in a depressed tourist state but is actual a wonderful gem that should be on the world stage. So while some places may look like not much is going on- just go in - and the momentum will build into a fun filled night with new friends.

  • Roy's Pub, Tuk-Tuk (At the northern end of Tuk-Tuk peninsula.). Midday until 1am.. Roy's is the local live music venue. On Tues, Thurs, and Sat Roy's son and his band play the western-orientated classics (think Eagles/GnR etc) beloved by Batak guitarists. It seems to draw pretty much all the post-23:00 crowd any day of the week, though Saturday is the main night.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are numerous hotels and guest houses, mainly in Tuk Tuk but with a few scattered in other small towns around the island. During Chinese New Year (end of Jan/early Feb), many Indonesians come for vacation and will pay generously for their rooms (about triple the rate). To accommodate these guests, some guest house owners may ask their existing guests to vacate their rooms, but only giving them very short notice. Therefore, when arriving before Chinese New Year, check with the guest house owner to ensure your stay will not be interrupted.

  • Bagus Bay, Bagus Bay, +62 625 451287, [6]. Next to the lake. A dark wood and bamboo bar/restaurant gives the place a relaxed feel. The staff are super friendly and speak good English. Great free wifi, hot showers, free kayak, volleyball court, pool table and a bunch of other cool free stuff. The resturant is cheap and delicious! Traditional dancing every Saturday and Wednesday night. Rp 50,000-175,000.  edit
  • Barbara`s Guesthouse, Ambarita, +62 625 700 0230 (), [7]. Small quite relaxing place a few km from Tuk Tuk with lovely scenery and good swimming. Rooms are clean and located in several houses. Western and Indonesian style food is served in the restaurant or on the terrace. Tourist information and good tips about Sumatra. From Rp 70,000.  edit
  • Hotel Carolina, Tuk-tuk, +62 625 451210 (), [8]. 49 rooms set in a beautiful tropical garden. It has a restaurant with a verandah overlooking the lake. Staff are very helpful. Small Batak style cottages up the hill have cold water only. Luxury rooms on the lake shore come with hot water, a bath tub and a fridge. They have a lake area for swimming with a diving board and pontoon to relax. The hotel can organise travel, trips and motorbike rental. Computer room and free Wi-Fi in the restaurant area, though the speed can be very slow. Rp 55,000-150,000+10%.  edit
  • Ebikel's Homestay, (just next to Hotel Carolina). Homestay with a decent room and affordable price. The owner Ebikel is a helpful and willing guide to Samosir Island.  edit
  • Liberta Homestay, Sosor Galung, +62 625 451035. It has quiet private cabins on the lake or rooms with hot shower in lovely traditional Batak houses. Relaxing laid back atmosphere. Friendly owner Mr Moon will sing, cook, and go out of his way for you. He also provides a herbal blend against diarrhoea. Rp 40,000 to 90,000.  edit
  • Mas Cottages, (about 2 km from Tuk Tuk towards Ambarita). Closer to the ancient ceremonial stone chairs than downtown Tuk-Tuk. Variety of accommodation options all directly on the lake including suites and traditional Batak houses. Prices are reasonable for this secluded location. A gal named Lita (+62 818 6027 2673) in the ferry area, (car drop off) will meet you and arrange for your rooms with a better price than booking on-line. Rooms with hot water, but sometimes the hot water is unreliable. Good breakfast and dinners, excellent swimming (plus a rope swing), and friendly staff. Being slightly out of Tuk-Tuk, the restaurant also tends to generate a very open, communal atmosphere with traditional Batak guitars and singing. Motorbike rentals are avaialable at a fair price.. varies.  edit
  • Romlan, ""Tromol, +62 625 451386 (), [9]. Small guesthouse with 12 rooms including 2 batak cottages in both a single and a 2 storey building. The rooms are clean and comfortable with attached bathroom. All rooms have a direct lake view. Good for swimming and relaxing. Local and indonesian food including some German meals. Free Wifi. Private boat dock. Cottages Rp 40,000, rooms Rp 100,000.  edit
  • Samosir Cottages, Tuk-tuk, +62 625 451170 (), [10]. Good for those who arrive late in Parapat, there is usually a representative to take them to the cottages. The waterfront is clean, and the large restaurant food and drinks. Batak music provided every Wed and Sat night. If you walk outside the hotel you can use a local cafe which may offer some more variety and cheaper prices. They also own Samorsir Villa Resort 5 min drive away. It and its sister resort has new rooms, free Wi-Fi, a pool table, diving boards and a restaurant providing food and drinks. From Rp 100,000.  edit
  • Tabo Cottages, Tuk-tuk, +62 625 451 318 (), [11]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Rooms are clean and either traditional in old wooden houses or quite modern by Sumatran standards. Free Wi_Fi. Western-style and local style food served in the restaurant is very good. German bakery makes brown bread and pastries. Great breakfast buffet at 99,000 Rp and on Saturday nights Buffet dinner with live [email protected] 99.000. Tabo Cottages also roast their own Lake Toba-grown coffee on-site for sale and served in their own cafe. (Blends, peaberry, Arabica). Swimming pool. From Rp 300.000.  edit
  • Tony's Guest House, (ask any local). Nice people and nice double room. Vegetable taco for Rp 21,000. From Rp 25,000.  edit
  • Sibayak Guest House, Tuktuk Siadong - Samosir Island - North Sumatra - 22395 - Indonesia, +62 625 451161 / +62 812 65686890 (), [12]. checkout: 12.00 pm. Very quiet Guest House located directly on the lake, access the lake directly from your room. With good long stay pricing and a friendly atmosphere. Free Wi-Fi. From Rp 40,000 - 70,000.  edit
  • Aman's Guesthouse, Tuktuk, Samosir Island (Next to Tony's), +62 813 77025605 (), [13]. Family-run guesthouse with 5 rooms. 4 recently renovated Western rooms with hot showers, and 1 traditional Batak house with an Indonesian bathroom, right by the lake with access for swimming. There is a restaurant there with great Western and Indonesian food and free wifi. Their son, Romal, can help organise transfers to and from Parapat, tours round the island and traditional Batak food such as lake fish. It is on the quieter side of Tuktuk, so you get a more authentic feel for real Batak life, but you can walk to the other side in about 15 mins through the rice fields. Very peaceful and relaxing place to stay. About Rp 100,000-250,000 per room per night  edit
  • Parnas Homestay and Bar, Tuktuk Siadong - Samosir Island, Parapat 22395, Indonesien, +62 625 451167. A very chilled out place on the left wing of the peninsula Tuktuk. 4 very spacious and beautifully furnished rooms with bathroom, direct access to the lake and stunning views. There's a huge Bar and restaurant with a communal room. Free Pool Billiard, Table Tennis, Darts. Live Musik, Scooter Rental, BBQ, Laundry. Rooms between Rp 80,000 in low Season and Rp 150,000 in high season (note: confirm the agreed room price in writing! as it may change when you get the bill) (e,) edit
  • Haraira, (Close to Jennys Restaurant). Large very clean rooms with hot water shower. Well maintained garden in front of the rooms towards the Lake. Really nice view, good swimming. Rp 80,000-100,000.  edit
  • Samosir Villas Resort, Tuk Tuk, +62 625 451399, [14]. New villa resort on Samosir island. Rooms with tv, free wifi, hot bath. Swimming pool, gym, ping pong table etc. Breakfast included. Prices from Rp 350,000 ".  edit Visa/MasterCard accepted
  • Saulina Resort, Aek Rangat, +62 626 20810 (). Villa restaurant meeting room on Samosir island. Rooms with TV, free Wi-Fi at restaurant, hot bath. Breakfast included. Mandiri accepted from Rp 250,000.  edit
  • Zoé’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel, Jl Lingkar, Tuktuk, Samosir Island, [15]. checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. Zoé’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel is a boutique hotel run by an Indonesian-Swiss Family. The hotel features tastefully-decorated rooms with fine furniture and a memorable lake view looking out to a beautiful garden and heart-shaped natural swimming pool that is free of chemicals. Rp650,000.  edit
  • Ecovillage Silimalombu (Homestay), Silimalombu (12 km south of Tomok direct at the beach), +6281260858209, [16]. checkin: [email protected]. At the end of the road from Tomok following the coastline to the south. Family farmstay at a traditional Batak farm with water buffalo, pigs, dog, cat, dug, chicken. Around 80 % of the food is self produced. The daily salad come fresh from the garden, also homemade bread is provided. The guest can join everything of the farmwork, can learn, how to process cacao, or cinnamon or mango wine or just relax on the terrace or on the beach. Western and Indonesian food is available. The meals are provided as a buffet at the open kitchen. Also you can help cooking and learn Batak cousine or making bread and pizza. Vegan and vegetarian food and other diets are provided. Additionally price for full board including non alcoholic drinks all time 100.000rp. Price for one person start 140.000 including Buffet Breakfast.  edit
  • Sidabutar Homestay (For a unique experience you can Stay in an old traditional Batak family house), Off the street from Tomok up sto the hill to Parhallow at Sossortolong, +62 81377131503 (). The house is run by a Batak woman. This place is perfect for people who are interested in the Batak way of live. She will introduce you to the dayly life on the farm. She will cook for or with you the fresh harvested fruits and vegetables like freshly harvested fried sweet potatoes. You can join her to a Batak party (wedding, funeral,etc) she will She can speak rudimentary English already and wants to learn more. The 70 year old traditional wooden house is in good condition.You sleep in the cozy room on a mattress under a mosquito net and you can use the new built bathroom with shower and western toilet . 220.000 IDR for one person/night including full board tea, coffee, water all the time.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

The local Batak people are very respectful. Some of the local males may try to turn on the charm too much.

Get out[edit]

Bukittinggi - ALS bus leaves Parapat at 5pm. The journey takes 15 hours and costs 270000 IRD. Do not buy tickets from people approaching to your taxi claiming to be the bus company and asking for a higher price! The road is very hilly, expect to get very little sleep. The transfer to bus station from pier costs 20000 IRD. The ticket can be bought from booking office near pier.

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