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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Medan Travel Part 10: The Beauty of Lake Toba and Samosir Island


Lake Toba measuring about 100km long, 30 km wide and 505 metres deep is the largest volcanic lake in the world. It was formed after a massive volcanic eruption that happened approx. 75000 years ago. Samosir Island (which is bigger than Singapore) is an island in the midst of this lake. Even though the lake and the island are about 900m (2953ft) above sea level, the weather was hot, albeit less humid compared to Medan.
Lake Toba and Samosir Island seen from Parapat.
We were going to stay in Toledo Inn in Samosir Island. The boat ride from Parapat to our hotel took about 40 minutes.
Samosir is home to the Batak people. Most striking when visiting this island are the traditional Batak houses with saddle-shaped roofs. 
Many hotels such as this are built real close to the edge of the lake.
Another lakeside hotel.
Samosir is a hilly island. Notice the hills behind the village.
Seen here are the more modern houses. Obviously the artistic beauty of traditional Batak houses with their distinct curved roofs are unmatched here.
Fish breeding activities seen here.
 Lake Toba looks its best when the water is calm.
Seen here is a barge transporting vehicles from Parapat to Samosir Island.
It was tough cycling around the villages as the land is undulating. On many stretches of road where the gradient was steep, I had to get down to push the bicycle. Lost many calories that evening.
A Batak woman bathing in the lake. 
This photo was taken at about 5.30pm. The lake was very choppy and a group of Batak children were seen having fun in the lake. They are excellent divers and swimmers.
The art of balancing things on the head is displayed by this Batak woman who was walking to the lake to do her laundry.
A quiet village behind the hotel I stayed.
The land must be fertile as the avocado fruits are XL size.
The Batak honour their ancestors by choosing choice location for their tombs. This tomb is beautifully located behind a village house by the edge of the lake.
Guess what I saw. A village library!
A shop selling local handicrafts.
This village is quiet with little business activities. 


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