The huge Lake Toba, – that fabulous, cool crater lake in North Sumatra, the largest in Asia,- is now closer than you think. If previously visitors to Lake Toba must first take a flight to Medan, capital of the province of North Sumatra, and then travel 6 hours overland before reaching the lake, NOW you can take domestic flights from Medan, Jakarta or Batam direct to Lake Toba’s nearest airport of Silangit, a mere one hour distance from your final destination.
Lake Toba, with its photogenic surroundings, has been designated one of Indonesia’s top attraction to be developed into an Eco-tourism Destination. Firstly a total clean-up operation has been undertaken on the waters of the lake itself, so that now visitors can safely enjoy kayaking, swimming and banana boat rides. Silangit airport is modernized and extended to receive aircrafts carrying 50 passengers, while a neighboring airport is being prepared to be able to handle wider international jet planes. Three international airlines, namely SilkAir and Tiger Air are planned to soon fly direct from Singapore to Silangit, while AirAsia will fly from Kuala Lumpur to Lake Toba’s Silangit airport direct.
And, to prepare for an influx of tourists to this fantastic Nature and Cultural Destination, over 1,000 homestays will be built immediately. Together, these will add to more tourist activities which in turn will revitalize this most appealing destination.
1 | Bagus Bay Homestay
Image via bagusbay
This is a small, simple but comfortable homestay with a great view of Lake Toba. With some room options to choose from, it’s best to browse first. A communal area is available to meet up and exchange stories with fellow travelers. Lake gazing, swimming, canoeing, and pool table are among the activities you can enjoy most of the day, besides trekking around the cool countryside and visit the attractive villages. There is Wifi, a large green lawn with chairs to sunbathe in, plus a nice restaurant that serves delicious food, that all will make your stay even more enjoyable.
2 | Liberta Homestay
Image via homestay Liberta
This homestay is owned by a warm-hearted host by the name of Mr.Moon and his family, who will make your stay even more memorable. A basic traditional house as accommodation, it has, nonetheless, a superb vista. They will also rent you a scooter if you wish to take a drive around Samosir Island, the heart of the Toba Batak ethnic group. Another pleasure to enjoy in this homestay is their large shady green gardens that make the atmosphere cool and serene.
3 | Zoes Homestay
Image via zoes.homestay
Here is a wonderful Old Batak house in the village of TukTuk on Samosir island, owned by a most hospitable host who will take you in to experience the Batak way of life. You’ll be excited with the large lawn facing the picturesque waterfront located just a few steps from your comfy bed. Take time to explore this historic island with its many quaint houses, then relax on a hammock and just sink into its soothing surroundings.
4 | Horas Family Homestay
Image via horasfamilyhome
Horas is the signature greeting of the Batak people. This is an expression of joy and gratitude, moreover, offering the person so greeted with God’s blessings. A deeper meaning contained is wishing people to gain a blessed life through acts of loving humankind. This greeting is used whenever you meet someone and also when you say goodbye when leaving. Horas is usually pronounced in a joyful tone accompanied by a happy and genuine smile that will make you feel immediately at home. This homestay is all about exactly that. It offers a fully equipped kitchen, hot water, wifi, and TV. They also have an organic garden with fruits and veggies and abundant lovely flowers. In-house meals are also tasty and freshly picked from their own back yard.
5 | TukTuk Timbul Bungalows
Image via tuktuktimbul
Here is another homestay in the village of Tuk Tuk on Samosir Island. It comprises of a series of bungalows built in the traditional Batak Bolon style and offers spacious rooms, comfortable beds, hot shower, and a very nice terrace equipped with comfortable chairs. Other services provided are an in house scooter rental and laundry. Friendly service and good food are ready to keep you energized. It is close to tourist attractions and provides a perfect view of Toba without even getting up from your bed. It’s located a bit further away from the busy road, but that makes this place just perfect for a long relaxing and quiet holiday sanctuary.
6 | Romlan Homestay
This is another really good deal in a charming setting. Experience staying in a traditional Batak Bolon House with a small entrance that makes you feel a bit like a hobbit. Home-made food and local beverages are also something you should taste to get a complete feel of living with the locals. To relax your aching muscles, the host will help arrange for a private traditional masseuse who knows the technique of unwinding your tension in a jiffy. With a comfy sleep, a private balcony and scenic panorama, it’s luxury on an affordable cost.
7 | Lake Toba Cats Garden
Image via tobacats.garden.3
Here is a one-of-a-kind place where you get to enjoy nature and be surrounded by kind locals, accompanied by their cute animals! This is a home away from home in enjoyable accommodation at a good price. Cook, shop and enjoy life among the beautiful treasures of the island. Ensuite bathroom with private terrace overlooking Lake Toba gets even better with some green rice fields soothing your eyes.
Located in a calm and quiet neighborhood, but still close to the town center of Tuk Tuk , it is a beautiful oasis where travelers get to hang out and meet each other fellow travelers while playing with adorable pets.
So, you have learned about the “Horas” as a greeting, now learn the word to say thank you, which is “Mauliate”. Never miss the opportunity to get acquainted with the warm Batak people and be surprised by their valuable insights into their local wisdom. Try their great culinary dishes too. They are mouthwatering and delightful! Horas!