This is the largest and one of the deepest lakes in the world.


North Sumatra is home to the largest volcanic lake in the world – Lake Toba. The sheer size of the eruption is clear when you visit the caldera that remains. You are effectively standing where the supervolcano blew itself to pieces, at the sight of the most cataclysmic natural disaster in human history. An event that changed the course of human history forever.


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Lake Toba is an extraordinary natural wonder of the world. This enormous crater lake consists of an island almost the size of Singapore in its center. At over 1,145 square km, and a depth of 450 meters, Lake Toba is more like an ocean. This is the largest lake in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest lakes in the world.

A comforting escapade

Toba is a place to sit back, relax, and absorb some beautiful pristine scenery. As you sit and take in the view of the picturesque mountains set against the cool clear lake, you will feel the worries of the world melt away. As the lake sits 900 meters above sea level, therefore the climate here is cooler which gives a well-needed break from the heat, humidity, and pollution of the city.

How to get around

Feel the wind in your hair and do as the locals do by hiring a motorbike to explore this beautiful part of the world. If you’re on Samosir Island, take the day to explore by taking a drive on the road running around the edge of the island.

Although rough and unpaved in places, this road offers some spectacular views of the lake from the highest points on the island. If you’re staying in the popular village of Tuk Tuk on Samosir, the best way to get around is to walk or wander, down the main street at a leisurely pace.


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Located on the island of Samosir, the traditional village is protected by surrounding barriers of earthen ramparts with bamboo fencing and trees. The village also dwells in many unique and authentic traditional houses, especially from Tomok, which consists of a row of massive wooden houses with striking saddle-shaped thatch roofs made of sugar palm fiber (called ijuk).

The Batak people are widely known for their festive culture. Among others, Tor-Tor Dance is considered to be the most elegant one. This traditional dance is usually performed in celebrations such as harvest time or a wedding ceremony. However, according to history, Tor-Tor Dance is used in a ritual to invoke spirit and ‘walk’ them into the stone statues, which are erected as a symbol of the ancestors.


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Also, there is a wooden puppet called Sigale-gale, which has become a tourist attraction in Samosir Island because of the mystical value within the myth and belief surrounding the puppet itself. The locals believed that Sigale-gale can wail and dance by itself without music.

Some also said that Sigale-gale can only be placed in a coffin. This statue is also commonly used in family death ceremonies in the Samosir area because the Sigale-gale dance is believed by residents to deliver the spirit of the deceased to the afterlife.

Those of you who are looking for souvenirs might want to take a look at Ulos, a meticulously handwoven textile that not only functions as clothing, but also is a significant status symbol, serves as a precious heirloom, or can be a ceremonial gift during a human’s life cycle from birth and wedding to death. 

There are also authentic wood carvings that you can get in the souvenir shops. Don’t forget to also buy the delightful Arabica coffee beans called Sumatra Mandheling for all of you coffee-aficionado.


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