Blogs from Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba March 21st 2015

75,000 years ago the explosion must have caused something like a nuclear winter if not a mini ice age. It is believed to be the largest explosion on earth over the last 25 million years and deposited some 6 to 9 m of ash over parts of Asia and Africa. The world and Sumatra would have been very different then. What remains now is the largest crater lake in the world (Danau Toba) filled with a high sided island (Samosir) larger than Singapore. We climbed up on the windy Trans Sumatran Highway from Medan slowly at first and then with increasing recklessness and speed as the driver calculated we could make the 4pm ferry from Parapat to the island. We dropped down into the caldera winding along the lake edge which sits at 900m. Tourists at ... read more
The door to our room was not more than a metre high
Traditional Batak houses at a museum complex
The hearth was traditionally in the centre of the house

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba March 10th 2015

So after having a good nights kip and a bit of a lay in I headed off for a walk around Tuk Tuk ( a small peninsula on the island of Samosir - which is the size of Singapore - so pretty big.) Tuk Tuk is the area where visitors tend to go to as its the only part that the public ferry drops people off at. It being full of guesthouses, hotels, cafes selling you magic mushrooms ( advertised everywhere!) to have while you get your laundry washed and sipping on a hot tea! Took only about an hr until I was back at the guesthouse, passing on the way rice fields, a catholic church and a school. The locals all seemed friendly all saying hello, and the atmosphere of the island feels nice. It ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba September 17th 2014

Snad hlavním zastavením na Cestě banánové palačinky na Sumatře je jezero Toba. Baťůžkáře i další cestovatele sem přitahuje rozlehlé jezero s obrovským ostrovem Samosir uprostřed, kde je levné ubytování, mírné klima, malebné okolí a lážo plážo život (tedy aspoň pro turisty). Všude kolem žijí hlavně Batakové, národ původně animistického, ale nyní křesťanského založení, staví velmi zajímavé domy s vyřezávanými štíty a zahnutými hřbety (podle mnoha pozorovatelů připomínající buvolí rohy), a pěstují zeleninu, rýži a kávu. Jezero je ale unikátní hlavně svým původem. Před asi 73 tisíci lety se probudil místní supervulkán a došlo k největší erupci, jakou Země zažila během posledních desítky milionů let. Pozůstatek po této katastrofě, šišatá stokilometrová kaldera je nyní zaplavena vodou, jen uprost... read more
Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuk

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba August 20th 2014

Bukit Lawang Endlich angekommen. Im Regen. Wie es hier aussieht, wissen wir noch nicht wirklich. Jedenfalls ist alles recht feucht, vor allem das Toilettenpapier im Openair-Bad. Und auf der anderen Seite vom Fluss - wir mussten eine Hängebrücke überqueren zu unserer Unterkunft - findet eine Hochzeitsparty statt, mit laut hämmernden Bässen. Soviel zur Vorfreude, endlich wieder in den Dschungel zu kommen. Udin ist unser Guide für morgen und hat uns in Empfang genommen. Netterweise hat er auch unsere Taschen über den Fluss getragen, während wir nur den Schirm halten mussten und die Balance auf der schwingenden Brücke. Die Fahrt von Medan hierher sollte vier Stunden dauern. Gebraucht haben wir 5 1/2. Am Anfang war alles noch sehr spannend. So viele Eindrücke! Nach dem sehr entspannten Malaysia, war man hier voll im Chaos. Hier wird wieder gehupt, ... read more
Sunday fun
The short way home
Relaxing at Mega Inn, Tangkahan

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba August 2nd 2014

Medan ist eine heiße, laute und schmutzige Stadt und ich hatte es eilig, zu meinem nächsten Ziel, dem Tobasee zu kommen. Der Tobasee ist der größte Kratersee der Welt und mehr als dreimal so groß wie der Bodensee. Er liegt in einem gewaltigen ehemaligen Vulkankrater und ist vor etwa 70.000 Jahren bei einer gewaltigen Eruption entstanden. Heutzutage bietet der Krater keine Gefahr mehr, sondern eine idyllische Landschaft inmitten von Bergketten, freundliche Menschen, gute Luft und Ruhe (weitgehend). Die Anreise gestaltete sich jedoch als eine recht langwierige Angelegenheit. Zwar waren die Straßen nicht nur für südostasiatische Verhältnisse in einem guten Zustand, jedoch war durch den islamischen Feiertag Idulfitri (in Deutschland nach dem türkischen Begriff als "Zuckerfest" bekannt) die Straßen derart verstopft, dass schon in der ersten halben Stund... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 11th 2014

Sunday, 11th May 2014 The 3 of us spent the earlier part of our day taking in the beauty of the morning skies as the sun rose over the horizon of Lake Toba. The lake presented itself as the perfect antidote of peace and quiet - a travel wishlist for city dwellers like us. Our idyllic breakfast consisted of both Indonesian and Western favourites. These were served at 7.30am at the balcony of our room. Every breakfast set we ordered came with a nice serving of fruit platter to start our day on a healthy footing. While waiting for the rest of the folks to join us in the afternoon, 3 of us went through a long trek around Tuk Tuk Town. The full circuit took a good 3 hours to complete under the hot sun. ... read more
Healthy breakfast for the day
Holiday chalets, Batak styles
From the top

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 10th 2014

Saturday, 10th May 2014 We were missing out on 1 passenger as our Valuair Flight, VF281 made her final descend at the modern Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan. WX had unfortunately missed her flight this morning and it was decided that she would be travelling together with CC & HQ on the following day. So it was left with the 3 of us on day 1 of our programme as we started our long journey from Singapore to Lake Loba. After what must have been more than 40 minutes delay at the Medan customs, we hopped onto the car which would bring us to our destination in about 5 hours. An hour on the road later, our driver dropped us at Restoran Bahagia for our delicious Nasi Padang lunch. The various dishes were neatly laid ... read more
Lunch at Restoran Bahagia
The Kwan Im Temple at Siantar
Our lovely homestay, the Horas Indah

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba July 19th 2013

Horas ! The chaos in the baggage claim area of Medan airport gave us a taste of things to come in Sumatra. We exited to a barrage of locals, taxi drivers and tour operators offering to 'help'; and for once we were really glad to have arranged for a driver to meet us to take us directly down south towards Danau Toba. We were escorted through the crowds and spent the next hour and a half in grid locked traffic on the outskirts of Medan. Eventually we reached countryside but were still caught in a stream of traffic of cars, lorries, motorcycles and becaks all the way down to the shores of Danau Toba. Our driver seemed to enjoy weaving in and out of the motorbikes and overtaking on sharp bends, blasting away at his horn ... read more
Dokan Village, near Berastagi
Gunung Leuser National Park
Reef off Gapang, Pulau Weh

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba June 21st 2013

"You might find it difficult to leave." So said LP, about Lake Toba, my next destination. Having already travelled my fair share and compared notes against LP and Wikitravel's sometimes overly-generous hyperboles, you couldn't blame me for initially being somewhat skeptical. In any case, there was first the small matter of a 20h bus-ride-from-hell to deal with, crossing from Bukittingi in West Sumatra to Parapat in the North. I normally try to break up such crazy bus rides, but it seemed there weren't any particular places of note that would have been natural stopping points in between, while a domestic flight would have entailed much back-trekking, and ultimately maybe even more time (and of course, money). And this trans-Sumatran journey seemed to be part of the whole backpackers' experience, so I gritted my teeth and just ... read more
Traditional Batak Song & Dance
Wow, wow, wow...
Brutal Bus Ride from Bukittingi to Parapat

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba October 21st 2012

After weeks of frantic preparation, my World Tour Number 3 was underway. Leaving friends and family behind once again to explore far flung countries, climb mountains, discover exotic foods and hack through jungles with my trusty machete. And not forgetting the less glamorous side of squat toilets, sunburn and mosquito bites. In the week prior to my departure, my preparation had mainly consisted of eating all the food and drink I would be missing on my travels. My last Roast Dinner. My last Bacon Sandwich. My last pint of English Ale (actually, i had quite a few "last ones" of those). Each meal was eaten with great ceremony and reverence, although it was actually just an excuse for a week of gluttony. By the end I was like a fat little seal with an extra layer ... read more
The biggest Mosque in Medan
Zena and The Pavement of Doom
Room with a view

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