North Sumatera Tourism

About Sumatera island

Sumatera is an island in westernmost Indonesia,which offers a number of interesting spots to visit, and this island is the point where our long journey to begin around Indonesia. Our first stopover point is Gunung Leuser National Park, which lies on Bukit Lawang the border between Aceh and North Sumatera. Being one of the oldest national parks in Indonesia, this park is also home to various endangered wildlife such as : the elephant, rhinoceros, bear, siamang {black gibbon }, tapir, and orang utan, where they are all protected and preserved by the government. From Gunung Leuser National Park, we proceed with our trip to Lake Toba, North Sumatera. This lake is said to have formed after a tectonic quake nearly 100.000 years ago. Apart from being the biggest lake in Southeast Asia, Lake Toba is noted for its spectacular scenery in the centre of the lake, there is an amazing island called Pulau Samosir, where you can see the real beauty of nature with a great diversity of flowers, such as:bougainvilies, poinsetties, and honey suckle , blooming throughout the year. Here you can do water sports, such as: waterskiing, speedboat riding or simply learning to make handicrafts typical of local society. Next , let's take a closer look at a small island Pulau Nias, west of North Sumatera. The inhabitants of Pulau Nias respect their local traditions and customs. Also be sure not to miss the unique and typical Rock Jumping tradition of the male people. It's great ttraction you will never forget. We continue our adventure to West Sumatera , where you can behold the majestic Ngrai Sianok and Maninjau lake , which is west to the city of Bukittinggi. Don't forget savor the typical cuisine of the indigenous Mingkabau people, which is characterized by its hot and spicy taste. Another place of interest is the Rumah Gadang { litterally means big house }, a traditional house of west Sumatera, with a unique roof shape looking like buffalo's horns. Equally interesting is the Jam Gadang ; {litterally means big clock } has become the famous landmark of the town of Bukittinggi, a beautiful town is the West Sumatera Highland, one of the greatest choices for souvernirs from this city is its traditional textile kain songket {fabric with typical ornaments embroidered with bits of silver and gold 

 Welcome To North Sumatera Tourism
The most ancient cultures are found here dating back to prehistoric periods which form the basis for the development of the province�s rich culture and tradition. Nearby attractions are �Lake Toba �. A beautiful volcanic lake. Prapat the main resort centre, and Samosir island with its traditional Batak houses and scenic beauty. Off the west coast of North Sumatera is Nias, with its negalithic culture.


Lake Toba is situated in the Province of North Sumatera of Indonesia. It is recorded as the largest inland lake in South-East Asia and one of the deepest in the world [ more than 500 metres]. Lake Toba has a length that spans 100 kilometres from Northwest to South and a width of 30 kilometres. Water surface of Lake Toba is around 900 meter sea level, whereas it also surrounded by Mount Piso-Piso [ on the northen side ] and Mount Pusuk Bukit [ on the western side ].
The highest point of the water catchments area is 200 metres above the sea level with average annual rainfall 1500 millimeters. Situated along the Sumatera Plate, the Lake Toba region experiences intense earthquake activities. The Lake Toba catchment area covers 43% on the surrounding hill and 30% mountainous areas. The temperature average approximately 16,5 � 29 degrees celsius and the humidity 85 %


Parapat has developed for and with tourism. It has a huge selection of hotels and restaurants but, unfortunately, the last five years have been very quiet and many of them have closed down , either temporary or for good. Most tourists are local or from neighboring countries. Westerners normally just pass through on their way to Pulau Samosir in Lake Toba. The town offers scenic surroundings, good eating , and souvenir shopping.
As it is only a 3-4 hours ride from Medan the weekends are rather lively. Especially on Saturday where there is market day in Parapat and from the surrounding countryside. They bring in coffee, tea, ginger, clove and cinnamon. There is also a minor market day on Thursday. The town has three major parts. One area is along the highway with part is on the western. Here are most hotels, the market and the passenger boats for Tuktuk. The third part is to the south and is called Ajibata . It is administratively a part of the regency Toba Samosir. Here are the car ferry and passenger boats for Tomok. There is also a market here , but many roads have recently changed names and there is confussion in addresses.
There are many souvenir shops along the road down to the market. � Antiques �, have woven blankets[ulos ] ,carving, T-shirts, ceramics, cheap clothes, souvenirs are plentiful. It can be cheaper to shop on Samosir.
There are some beaches in Parapat. Swimming, however, is much better of Samosir. The Ajibata beach beyond the car ferry harbour has been improved, but is still not very nice. The public beach on the Parapat peninsula is nice, but very crowded with food stalls, paddle boats, etc. The varied landscape of Parapat creates many nice views. One great view is from the camping ground om Dolok Bangun north of town. Also the hill Dolok Pangulu, in the middle of the town on the peninsula, has nice views. Out on the point of the peninsula is a beautiful and well-kept old Dutch built villa. The Dutch kept the Indonesian president Ir. Sukarno, here under house arrest for two months 1n 1948. It is now guesthouse for the government officials. The view over the lake is also nice from here.

Samosir island is accessible by ferry from Ajibata or Parapat. One of the main inhabited areas on the island , Tuktuk has been described as Samosir�s answer to Bali�s Kuta Beach. This popular destination offers scenic views at very low prices. Prople come here to relax, enjoy the sceneries, eat well and cool down from tougher in other areas.
Culture is available on certain days and in other nearby villages anyway. Western tunes have replaced the harmonic popular songs of the wrll-singing Bataks. The whole little peninsula is full of restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops. There are a few discothiques , bars and hotels, one of the best hotels in Tuktuk is Toledo Inn.


A traditional village with beautiful houses and ancient tombs. Tomok is gateway to Samosir and one of the main landing � points on the island. Rows of the stalls sell as array of handicraft, tradional ulos and Batak musical instruments. The 200- year old stone sarcophogus of King Sidabutar built in the shape of ship is its most famous sight. It is located a short walk away from the lake. Tomok is also known for Sigale-gale dance.

Ambarita, just north of Tuktuk is one of the musts when visiting Samosir. The traditional village with King Siallagan�s stone chairs is of interest. There are many souvenir stands between this historical object and the boat landing. There are however not so many boats anymore, but now and then there are direct connections with Parapat, normally early morning . Ambarita is also a good starting point for trecks across the island . There are many nice and quiet places to stay between Tuktuk and Ambarita nd along the coast noth of Ambarita.


Simanindo is a picturesque village and has some of the best-kept traditional houses, and the house of Raja Sidauruk, now a museum. This nice museum also has daily culturalperformances. The market and the boat landing are 150 meters before th museum, down to the right coming from Tuktuk. There are some nice local coffee shops here.
Opposite Simanindo is the island Pulau Maulau, or most commonly known Pulau Tao.Thre is a restaurant on the island. The island is 800 metres from the boat landing below the museum but you need a boat to get there. Several boats go there from the hotels on Tuktuk.
The clan Maulau owns the island according to adat[ traditions ], but the clan Sidauruk is living there and they built the restaurant and hotel and changed the name of the Pulau Tao. The Maulau clan protested and after negotiation was reached in June 2001, the islands belong to the Maulau clan, but is managed by Sidauruk. The proper name is Pulau Maulau.


Pangururan is the only proper town on Samosir and also the administrative center of the island. There are a few hotels here. The town has a strategic location next to the bridge between Samosir and the mainland. Most foreigners just pass through on their drive around the island or on their visit to the hot springs in the mainland. The town itself is nicely located along the shore of Lake Toba. There are a few nice old colonial buildings to admire. Besides the hot spring, a visit to the summit of Pusuk Bukit can also be nice.


Once upon time there was a king with a very beautiful daughter. Many rich princes came to propose to her.The family of the princes chose the prince, whom the princes preferred, and invited his family to negotiate about the dowry and wedding arrangements. However, the king secretly preferred another man to marry his daughter, his aunt�s son the Pariban, As the Pariban was a relative he often visited the palace and gradually he fell in love with the princess. His family was very happy to hear that. The Pariban discussed the matter with all his relatives, including the king , and finally the king changed his mind and chose the Pariban for his daughter. The princess was utterly shocked, but the king did not want to change his mind again. Everyone showed up the wedding party, except the princess. They had to search for her abd eventually she was found. The princess with her dog and cat turned into stone. They can today be seen as reliefs on a mountainside near Lake Toba below the monkeys forest. It can be seen from the lake.

Approximately 3-4 km outside Parapat along the road towards Medan is protected forest with many monkeys, mainly short tailed macaques. It became popular hangout of monkeys when a local peson started to feed them. He used to call tehmonkey with a horn. After a while it became a popular attraction and the local government took over. When coming the economic crisis and the tourist disappeared, we are asked to take care of them.They live in the area and often visible . The location is in a sharp bend where there are both a new and an old bridge
Jake Simms
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