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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Samosir Island and Danau Toba

Now what? Family trip to visit our 'cousin's land' - INDONESIA. And I started my visit with Sumatera, specifically the Danau Toba and Samosir island. Danau Toba is a big lake located in Northern Sumatera district, Indonesia. In Malay/Indonesian language, danau means lake. This lake is too big and it seems like a sea. Just like the Geneva see in Swiss, Lake Tahoe in Nevada or Lake Eyre, Australia. In the middle of the lake there is an island called Samosir island. According to the locals, this island was erected from a massive volcano eruption, a long, long time ago. Folk stories about the native inhabitants - the Batak tribes and the beauty of its nature had summoned me to this place. Oh really? Across the strait we soared in the sky, to a strange place there's nothin to cry, to meet the people with sincere and smile, to reveal the myth no matter hard I must try (hehe, anwer me...answer me...).

This pic reminds me the folk story of Danau Toba: A farmer and his 'fish' son (not the typical 'anak ikan' yaw!)

Nice shot ey? A true place for green lovers

It took around 3 to 4 hours by road from Medan to Parapat, one of the main entrance to the Danau Toba. Parapat is a small town that facing the eastern part of the Samosir island. Here at Parapat, there is a jetty for ferries to Samosir island - the trip is quite frequent. While waiting for the next trip, we had our lunch at a 'Padang Cuisine' restaurant at the Parapat town. I don't remember the fees for the ferry. It was a quite big ferry, and able to cater few cars. There were locals as well as tourists in the ferry. We reached the island in 30-40 min later. The small town that hosts the Samosir island jetty was calm, but densely populated. A different atmosphere could be sensed from here. One of it was the roof design of the Batak house. Sneaked through along the narrow streets and crescents, we headed to the three popular tourist attractions which were the "Old Grave King Sidarbuta", "The Puppet Show of Sigale-gale" and "Stone Chair of King Siallagan". Thats it. One old grave, one show village and the last one is an open museum. However, we're unlucky because the puppet show (macam wayang kulit) was closed. So we straight away went to the Stone Chair of King Siallagan location. So far there is no fees for those places but during my visit there was a money box and it is up to you to put in your cash in there, with sincere.

Inside the ferry
We had landed!
Leaving Parapat, bye-bye, adios!
Small town in Samosir island, near the jetty.

The Old Grave King Sidarbuta
One of the top tourist location on this island. Theme: Historic and culture. It was not far from the main road, and we walked to get here. A quite and peace place - as its name. This graveyard is not only for the legendary king Sidarbuta but also graves for his successor, famous warrior and his queen. Who is King Sidarbuta? He's one of the famous king of his tribe - a legend and beloved by his people (in fact there are few Batak tribes, the term 'king' doesn't mean a king for a country but more to a leader and warlord to his tribe). One of his story: an Acheh warrior had helped him defended his territory and offered him to embrace Islam but he refused because of the reason that what he practiced at that time seem like what is taught in Islam. Years later, a German missionary managed to spread Christianity here, to his tribes (Can you see the German flags on the tombs as depicted in the picture? Thats why!). There are other stories..... which is more interesting, but I won't tell here. Just come here and they'll tell you. There was no shops here for shopping. But if you would like to buy some souvenirs and t-shirts, you might get it along the way here from the main road. The small street offers you a lot of Batak/Indonesian arts products as well as souvenirs.

The Stone Chair of King Siallagan
It seems like an open museum, located within a small village. Theme: Historic and culture. King Siallagan was another Batak tribe leader (Dah macam Konohagukare dgn Iwagukare lah pulak yer!). I felt like visiting King Arthur's round table. There were many stone monuments here, not only a chair. There was also a place for executing convicts. Some of the houses had been turned into a museum. You might see the traditional tools and old Batak relics here such as weapons, farm tools, fish traps, traditional weaving machine etc. Enjoy the pics.

Shhh! keep quite here and listen to the narrator tell you the story. Listen!listeeeeennnn!

King Sidarbuta Graveyard (left)
Sorry - it was closed, no show
The show should be inside here I think

Left: execution area, Right: Meeting place
Batak houses - tuned into museum?
Resorts by the lake
Calm, peace, green, nice sceneary. Good place for honeymoon.
Another ferry to the mainland
Sunset, arrghh, peace, calm, tranquility....Alhamdulillah
Danau Toba and Samosir island

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