Indonesia has many fascinating destinations to visit around the archipelago, but Lake Toba has been in the limelight for some time now. Why? Earlier this year, President Jokowi instructed several relevant ministries to accelerate the development of Lake Toba as he believes the Northern Sumatra lake can become the “Monaco of Asia”. With this job, the construction of facilities and infrastructure, for example access roads, entertainment facilities and service facilities for travellers, will be developed and improved.
Obviously, better facilities will draw more visitors to visit Lake Toba, but doesn’t imply the big natural lake doesn’t even have a charm all of its own: here are five reasons to visit now before the crowds descend.
World’s Largest Volcanic Lake
Did you know that Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world? Yes, you read that right. The duration of the lake is 100 kilometre with a 300-kilometre width. In accordance with research under taken by the Michigan Technological University, Lake Toba was shaped by an explosion which happened around 73,000 to 75,000 years back, which, ironically, also marked as the largest eruption in the world that led to the extinction of 60% of the human race. This reason alone is enough to anyone wish to visit the area.
For everyone who are looking for pure beauty, then Lake Toba is the answer. Why? The lake is a lovely expanse of water encompassed by beautiful mountains. The lake also has a lot of flora and fauna, overgrown with pine and palm trees with wildlife like monkeys, orang utans, langur monkeys and tapirs.
Lake Toba is also known for Samosir Island, situated right in the middle of the lake. The island also offers myriad arts and cultures, and travelers will get the opportunity to see traditional Batak homes, as well as the way to weave North Sumatra’s traditional fabric, known as ulos.
The Mysterious Doll
Meet Sigale-gale, the traditional puppet native to Samosir Island. The dolls are made from wood and might be seen dancing during a Batak play. Not only that, Sigale-gale dolls also have religious significance and mysticism: they can be seen dancing during funerals, for instance.
It’s gourmet paradise at Lake Toba because there are so many Medan delicacies given in the region. We recommend sitohap porridge, a staple of the Silalahi community, which have lived on the coasts of Lake Toba for hundreds of years, and which ismade from ginger, candlenut and andaliman as well as sitohap leaves which grow in the forests surrounding the region. The porridge can be enjoyed with slices of legumes and crackers. For dessert, visitors should attempt lapet: traditional Batak cake that is usually moulded in pyramid shapes and wrapped in banana leaves. The cake is made from grated coconut and rice flour then steamed–a fitting dessert for mid-day tea to be enjoyed while gazing at the bewitching vista of Lake Toba.