Danau Toba Travel Guide

  • Restaurants
    by AngMimi
  • Hill Top Restaurant.
    Hill Top Restaurant.
    by AngMimi
  • Restaurants
    by AngMimi

Danau Toba Highlights

  • Pro
    jungles profile photo

    jungles says…

     Relaxing, beautiful scenery, traditional architecture 

  • Con
    richmonder63 profile photo

    richmonder63 says…

     expensive internet, motorbikes everywhere 

  • In a nutshell
    kenari profile photo

    kenari says…

     Beautiful lake thats i will remembered 

Danau Toba Things to Do

  • Stone Chairs of Ambarita (2)

    The central stone goes by the name of 'The King's Dining Table' or 'The Dining Table of the Cannibal King' or some other fanciful name. Even though most travel guidebooks mention the stone and its alledged purpose (which should be clear from the name alone...), local villagers may still insist on recapping the entire story.

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  • Rumah Adat - Batak Traditional Houses

    I think the Rumah Adat - Batak Traditional Houses are the most beautiful houses I have ever seen. I wish the house owner could invite me in to have tea and scone :-)) I would love to see what inside the beautiful built house in stilt. I took picture 5, to let you see what inside the house. Picture 4, is where they keep the rear animals like pigs,...

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  • Churches and Graveyards

    Almost all Bataks are Christian, so you can also see a lot of churches and christian cemeteries along the road to Parapat. All there are small and bigger churches and graves in small and grand tombstones. I seem to lost a lot of pictures when my pc in ICU, so I just can show just three churches and 1 graves pictures..:-(((

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  • Beautiful Sceneries of Danau Toba

    I just spent an hour in Samosir Island, anyway, I will come back again in June 2013 and intend to spend at least 3 days in Danau Toba. So, I'm saying bye-bye to Danau Toba and Samosir Island. I took a few pictures of the Beautiful Samosir island in Danau Toba. Enjoyed the sceneries

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  • Things to do in Tomok - Shopping!!

    There are many shops here and many things to buy, like lake toba t-shirts, dresses, wood cravings, batik sarong, shoes and Danau toba souvenirs. I, very well telling myself to buy ulos (selendang/shawl) but I totally forgot.. hmmm...Anyway, I bought a Batak house Fridge magnet and a Batak traditional calender craved on bamboo. You need to bargain a...

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  • Carve Serpents, Lizard, Big Breast and...

    You can see a lot of ornaments put outside wall of Batak Houses, they are meant to chase away evil influences. Like in Picture 1 and 2. And they used natural colors like red clay for red color, charcoal for black and writing chalk for white, they represent the three spheres of the cosmos - the human world, the world of good spirits and the...

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Danau Toba Restaurants

  • Restaurant at Hill Top

    We had most of our meal here at the hotel because its convenient and wi-fi only available in the restaurant, well, we spent most of time here and admired the beautiful sceneries of Danau Toba.One the morning, you can have toast with jam/butter or you like to try the local foods of Nasi Goreng, mihun Goreng, bubur nasi and bubur kacang. 1st nite...

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  • Ladies selling peanuts

    While waiting at Tiga Raja Harbour for our boat to Tomok in Samosir Island. This lady with a big basket came over to sell her steamed peanuts, I tried one, tasted nice but not delicious and I bought a pack for IDR10,000 (about MYR3), I don't try to bargain, just helping them to earn a living. Most of the peanuts are grown on the Island, the ladies...

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  • Mie In Cup

    In the boat, you can see lady holding a basket full of instant noodles (mie) in cup and titbits and another hand holding a hot water flask. If you feel hungry, have a cup of hot noodles, Indonesia do have their own instant noodles and its quite delicious. The lady will pour the hot water into the cup and wait for at least 3 mins before you...

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  • Nasi Soto Medan / Nasi Padang

    After getting the ferry from Samosir Island to Parapat. We are all so hungry, I have 3 Muslim friends with me, so we try to have halal food most of our trip here in Parapat and Medan. Our Driver - Khairul and Komerk took us to this small eating shop, just infront of the jetty.Some of my friends have Nasi Padang, while I and Fiza have Nasi Soto...

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  • Good ambience, good food, good host

    The place is very easy to spot with the good ambience and open surroundings.All of us ordered chicken-steak with salad since it's a western food restaurants. It's a bit salty and little spicy but it was overall good.I think what makes this place is the owner. He sings sometimes and has a good rapport with his customers. We had a chat with him after...

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  • The best chicken curry ever with a view.

    One of the best places to eat and socialise in Tuk Tuk.It's a very chilled out place with a brilliant view where you could happily spend your day with friends. The owner Roy is very friendly and knowledgeable and always happy to help. Chicken Curry it's was recommended to me my a friend and I can't say I was disappointed. I eat it every time I...

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Danau Toba Nightlife

  • by funcheong Written Jul 3, 2011

    There are just two places in this area that offers "nightlife". We choose Roy's over Brando's because Roy's offer live music and it's recommended by the locals.

    This Roy's is located at the top floor and upon entering, you can see the LED lights flashing and the band is playing on the right side.

    The band plays english songs (new or old), Indonesian songs and Batak traditional songs.

    The drink price is average: 10.000 IDR for Coke, 25.000 IDR for Bintang.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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Danau Toba Transportation

  • Out of Parapat (Danau Toba)

    Flag down an Angkut (mini van) and tell them "Loket Sejahtera" (Sejahtera bus station), It's fun to ride on this mini-van, it will take round parapat and to the bus station for IDR2,000.Again, take a Sejahtera bus to Medan, this time, the bus is not that crowded and we have room to move my legs plus a bonus sleeping, no tv to put on the dangdut...

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  • To Danau Toba - Bus Sejahtera

    From Polonia Airport, we took a taxi for IDR40,000 to Loket Bus Amplas (Amplas Bus Station) to catch the bus to Parapat. It's quite a long trip to the station, lucky we didn't take the Becha, I don't know how it will be like, very hot, humid and dusty, plus dangerous in medan road traffic.There are two bus services to take you to Parapat -...

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  • Rent a Car with Drivers

    Got some help from the hotel staff to introduce their friends to drive us around in Medan and to Danau Toba. We paid about 700,000 rupiah for the day trip to Danau Toba using a Toyota Kijang, two very nice drivers Khairul and Komerk, Komerk is a much better driver as he knows how to pull down the handbrake and Khairul drives with the full...

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Danau Toba Shopping

  • Local wares

    You can buy all sorts of local wares but the best things to buy are wood cravings and Batik paintings. The key to shopping here is to bargain whatever price they say will be way above the real price so when bargaining start at half their asking price or less. Another thing I did was go round a few first to work out what the rough starting price...

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  • Ulos may be worth to take back home. . ....

    I must confess that shopping is not exactly an activity I like to practise, specially in tourist laden areas where the traps are numerous and the wares sold not exactly of best taste. In Tomok there are many shops in the main street, and there are alleys bordered by shops and stalls, on each side, going to the lake shore on one side, and up to the...

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  • Local craft - woven fabrics

    Woven fabrics - a traditional craft on Pulau Samosir. We made a stop along the way from Simanindo to Tuk Tuk. 5 to 25 euro - in local currency that would be about 50,000 to 250,000 rupiah (2006). We didn't buy anything here, but had some regrets afterwards - for a mere 25 euro we could have bought a beautiful carpet or table cloth woven with gold...

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Danau Toba Local Customs

  • A dog’s life. . .

    In the past, Batak people were feared by travellers, missionaries, neighbouring populations, as they practised cannibalism, and apparently, not only for religious or ritual motives. . . . . prisoners of war, sinners (adultery), thieves, were eaten, sometimes raw (“alive” wrote some travellers), by the Batak men; women were not allowed to enjoy the...

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  • Hairstyles, hair dresses

    For exceptional occasions, people like to show themselves at their best, and the women display very elaborate hair dresses, and the groom looks a bit “poor” besides his bride (first picture). Most women attending the wedding have elaborate hair dresses and one is more complicated than the other; sometimes there are artificial chignons, easily...

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  • A local wedding.

    Local custom? Weddings take place almost everywhere on the planet, but the way the wedding takes place is different from one place to another. I was on my way (and rented motorbike) to the hills above Parapat and I came across a very busy and noisy place ; I stopped, looked and noticed it was a wedding; I came closer and asked if I can have a look:...

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Danau Toba Warnings and Dangers

  • Darwin’s nightmare?

    Warning and danger? Danger is for the lake, possibly, but if the lake dies, the people will leave, and finally there will not even be visiting tourists. . . Darwin’s nightmare; if you do not know, I just can very very warmly recommend you to leave VT for an evening and watch this movie; you will look at the world and people with different eyes! A...

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  • Changing money

    Simply take care on the exchange rate. You MUST bargain on it!!!!! Yes, also on it!!!! As well as on sigarettes, drinks, and whatever you could immage!!!Do not be afraid, if somebody is offering you 9.500Rs for a dollar, ask for 10.000!! If he doesn’t accept it, then get out and he will follow you.Clearly, you should know before how much is the...

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  • Danau Toba Hotels

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Danau Toba Tourist Traps

  • autaze's Profile Photo

    by autaze Written Sep 18, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My husband & I bought travel/shared taxi tickets from Parapat to Medan. We bought it at Dolok Silau Tour & Travel. It was a mistake. The travel (Merpati taxi) often came late. I noticed this in several time visits. Our own travel was late for about an hour. And the driver dropped the passangers at the taxi pool, not at the destination, which was not described at the early contract/in the ticket. When we complained about this, the driver asked for extra money (we already paid 2 times than the local people paid). Then when we refused this, the driver dropped us in the middle of the trip. So we had to walk for the last 3 km.

    Unique Suggestions: The driver bargained very hard to get extra money, untill finally he said Rp 5.000,-. If you are trapped, you can pay it instead of 3 km walking.

    Fun Alternatives: Choose other Tour & Travel Agents. There is another one, Bagus Tour & Travel in Tigaraja. I talked to the owner, he said he tried to run the taxi not to be late more than 10 minutes. Very impressive for Indonesian!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Danau Toba Off The Beaten Path

  • Sipiso-piso Waterfall and Tongging

    Tongging is a place to see a waterfall surrounded by beautiful sights in cool mauntain air. It is 24 km from Kaban jahe, located at the north side of Lake Toba. The 360 feet waterfall is visible from a gazebo at one of the tops of the hills.

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  • The Cross Island Trek

    A visit to the heart of Pulau Samosir is recommended for those interested in more than the laid back life in Tuk Tuk.On the inner "island", you can enjoy the friendliness and hospitality of the Batak Toba people and observe their interesting way of life, something that you will lack in over touristy Tuk Tuk.A popular way is to rent motorbikes and...

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  • Hike to Dolok Village

    From Ambarita (45 minutes from TukTuk by foot) a small and steep trail guides you over the crater edge (2 hours) and continues to tiny Dolok villageThe scenery is gorgeous as you can imagine; climbing higher gives excellent views over the Lake! Once finishing the steep climb, you walk through thick forest and finally arrive in cultivated lands.

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Danau Toba Favorites

  • in the hammock

    Living in the hammock and going for a swim while looking over the beautiful lake and dreaming... it's my favorite!

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  • Swimming in lake Toba

    Swimming in lake Toba is an amazing experience. The water is pleasantly cool and the vegetation around is green and lush.No special precautions, but take care of the slippery rocks when you walk in and out of the water and do not forget that lake Toba is the deepest lake in the world with more than 450 mt depth in some points.

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Explore Deeper into Danau Toba
Circle of Statues
Things to Do
Si Gale-Gale
Things to Do
Tomb of King Sidabutar
Things to Do
Samosir Island
Things to Do
Batu Gantung in Danau Toba
Things to Do
Ferry to Tomok, Samosir Island 2
Things to Do
Medan to Parapat
Things to Do
Ferry to Tomok, Samosir Island 1
Things to Do
Picnic and swimming
Things to Do
Travel from Medan to Toba lake
Transportation
Meet Obama at Taman Eden
Things to Do
Taman Eden: the water falls and the vegetation
Things to Do
Hot Springs
Things to Do
King Sidabutar Grave
Things to Do
By Bus to Lake Toba
Transportation
Watch nature (Introduction to travelogues)
Things to Do
Small boats and canoes on Lake Toba
Things to Do
On the small trails
Transportation
Rent a motorbike, it is worth.
Transportation
Späztle, for a change
Restaurants
Späztle in Samosir ! Yes!
Restaurants
Western and local
Restaurants
Padang or chinese food; with luck: Batak
Restaurants
The Batak lizard
Things to Do
More Batak houses
Things to Do
Beautiful Batak houses
Things to Do
The churches are part of the landscapes
Things to Do
Watching the “school buses” is fun.
Things to Do
“Local tourists”
Things to Do
Komilet, Microlet, Angkot, . . . (minibuses)
Transportation
Visit the market (2)
Things to Do
Visit the market
Things to Do
Pelabuhan Tiga Raja: the port
Things to Do
Explore the ferry boat
Things to Do
Getting ready to leave the port. . .
Things to Do
Travel with locals on the ferry boats
Things to Do
Colourful boats
Things to Do
Walk in the back streets of Tomok
Things to Do
Watch a chilli harvest . . .
Things to Do
The black pigs in the mountain villages
Local Customs
Map of Danau Toba

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