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Lake Toba: 5 Things You Never Knew About This Underrated Vacay Spot


Maryam Zainol •  Aug 06, 2018


When you’re deciding on a holiday destination in Indonesia, does Lake Toba cross your mind? Calm, deep blue waters, rolling grassy hills in the backdrop and lazy morning walks with scenic views… it’s more than JUST a lake, contrary to what one might think ? Credit: Giphy Lake Toba is the perfect getaway for you and your friends – especially if you’re a nature lover! Far away from the bustling capital city and maddening crowds of Medan, Lake Toba will leave you charmed and relaxed. ?? And what’s more, AirAsia will soon fly directly to Silangit International Airport ✈️ (with base fare from just MYR0.10 one-way)! Now, Lake Toba is literally one flight away! By the time you get to the end of the article, we’d have you convinced that this incredibly stunning gem is your next vacay spot ? To get you inspired, here are 5 unbelievable things you never knew about Lake Toba! [inlinewidget id=51609]
1. Lake Toba is home to two of Indonesia’s tallest waterfalls
Credit: @not_twinsisters on Instagram First stop - a trip to one of Indonesia’s tallest waterfalls called Sipiso-Piso! The waterfalls are pretty high up on our list because there truly is nothing like it ? Sitting at the northern edge of Lake Toba in Tongging Village, Sipiso-Piso (which means ‘like a knife’) waterfall would definitely leave you breathless.
Credit: @captainhandson on Instagram The water travels from an underground river into a deep gorge and falls from 120-metres high! Don’t be afraid to get closer to the waterfall – it might be quite a long walk down the man-made staircase but you wouldn’t want to miss out on the experience ? How to get there: Head north to Tongging Village Entrance fee: IDR4,000 per person Parking fee: IDR3,000 per car
Credit: @dioriki_photo2 on Instagram Just down the road from the waterfall is the beautiful Sapo Juma flower garden – an alternative picturesque spot that require less hiking ? Drop by on your way to the waterfall and take selfies in this blooming garden before everyone else does! ?? Parking fee: IDR20,000
Credit: @joedermawan on Instagram But the Sigura-Gura waterfall’s height blows Sipiso-Piso out of the water by standing majestically over 250-metres high, making it the highest waterfall in Indonesia! ? Located in the heart of a pine forest near Lake Toba ? this scenic waterfall is also accessible by a man-made pathway. But be prepared for the thunderous sounds of the water hitting the rocks below! ⚡️ Fun fact: Did you know that the strength of the water debit from the waterfall is also used as an energy source? The water is diverted to a nearby dam cum electrical power plant. ? #HHWT Tip: It is not safe to take a dip or swim in the river below as the strong current might sweep you away :( Remember to watch your step! How to get there: From Parapat, head towards Halado which is about 69km away.
2. You’ll find plenty of unique Insta-worthy spots around Lake Toba
Credit: @_apiit on Instagram Lake Toba is incredibly vast that it’s impossible to get an overarching view of it – but you can always try ?. There’s just so many scenic places to stop by for that gorgeous glimpse of Lake Toba! ? Like this unique viewing deck in Bukit Indah that’s perfect for the quirky and adventurous group shot you need to commemorate your Lake Toba adventure. ?? How to get there: Head north pass Parapat town and follow the signs to Simarjarunjung. This viewing deck is near the rest area.
Credit: @nuri_aliyah on Instagram For a change of scenery, make sure you stop by this popular giant bird nest in Nantampukmas for an unusual photo with rolling, green hills in the background. ? And this is just one of many other photo spots that the locals built to attract tourists ? As you wait for the sun to set, warm yourself up with a cup of coffee! #HHWT Tip: Don’t forget to bring a jacket ? Even when it’s sunny, the temperature in these hills surrounding Lake Toba can get pretty chilly!
3. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world (and is bigger than Singapore)!
Credit: @auf_wanderschaft on Instagram It’s true! At over 1,140km2 and 505-metres deep, Lake Toba is almost like an ocean. It would take you more than 3 hours to cross the lake from north to south! Which is why Lake Toba is the largest lake in Southeast Asia and the largest volcanic lake in the world ? You must see it for yourself!
Credit: @cheebin_kwiyowo on Instagram Lake Toba is home to the friendly locals, the Bataks – an ethnic group predominantly found in North Sumatra. As you explore the lakeside towns, you’ll see their smiling faces, traditionally colourful clothes and houses (with roofs curving upwards at the end!) ? The best (and only) way to explore this beautiful part of the world is by renting an ojek (motorbike) or car. Just imagine the wind in your face and taking in the majestic view below with your friends ❤️ [inlinewidget id=51611]
 4. There are many hiking trails with stunning panoramic views near Lake Toba
Credit: @fiw.aks on Instagram With countless majestic hills you could see in the distance from Lake Toba, it’ll have you dreaming of what the stunning view from the top would be like. And true enough, the view up here is to die for! ? If a slow, easy walk for a scenic view is more your speed, look up Silalahi “beach” by the Paropo hill. Once you get to the top, look down to the beautiful clear, blue waters of Lake Toba – stunning view minus the rowdy crowds? Yes, please. ? Capture this perfect moment with your friends! There are also a few water activities in the area that’s ideal for a good time in the water to beat the heat. ? How to get there: Head towards Bukit Paropo to enter Dairi county. Then follow the signs to Tao Silalahi.
Credit: @johnnysiahaan on Instagram Even though Sipoholon is not exactly a hiking trail, we just can’t leave it out! ? The natural hot springs in Sipoholon are a sight to behold. With green-tinged limestone formations and a stream of clear, blue, sulphurous water, it’s a definite must-visit. Especially for aspiring photographers! ?? With so many unique natural landscapes to explore, Lake Toba is an absolute gem just waiting to be experienced ? So make the best of AirAsia’s flight deals and grab a seat on-board with base fares from MYR0.10 one-way! How to get there: Head towards Situmeang in the southern side of Lake Toba, passing the Silangit International Airport. #HHWT Tip: The Bataks of Lake Toba are mostly Christians. Even so, there are a plenty of Muslim-owned restaurants and warongs all around Lake Toba (nearby all these attractions!) you can dine at. So ask your driver or guide to take you there ?
5. Samosir Island on Lake Toba is ‘a lake within a lake’
Credit: @samosirta on InstagramSamosir Island sits in the center of Lake Toba and is almost as big as Singapore ? The island also has a smaller lake inland called Lake Sidihoni, which literally makes it ‘a lake within a lake’! Mind-blown! To get here, you’d have to hire a bike and hike a little but the view will be well worth it ?
Credit: @anitawijanto on Instagram You could visit the island on a day trip or stay at Tuk Tuk, a popular village here, where you can wander the streets and walk along the edge of the island for spectacular views of Lake Toba! ? Now that AirAsia flies directly to Silangit International Airport in Lake Toba with base fare from just MYR0.10 one-way, you won’t waste any time exploring this beauty! There are also plenty of Muslim-owned eateries like Mafir Restaurant selling food on the island so you and your friends won’t need to go hungry ?
Credit: @novydelimarta on Instagram How to get to the island? Head to Parapat, a small town on the edge of Lake Toba, which is the main departure point for ferries and boats visiting the island. Be sure to get here early in the day if you don’t want to wait long as the ferries come at 90-minute intervals. There are a few Muslim-owned restaurants like Rumah Makan Murni Islam nearby the Tigaraja pier, so have a bite to eat before hopping on the ferry ? How to get there: Leave from Tigaraja Terminal, Parapat. You can request to be dropped off at Tomok or Tuk Tuk Village. Price: IDR15,000 Adult, IDR10,000 Child Ferry timetable: 5am – 6pm daily
Credit: @mdn_lyfe on Instagram If you happen to just missed a ferry, you could make use of the waiting time by visiting the floating water park nearby where you can enjoy an hour of exciting water games! Bounce around with your friends for an adrenaline-pumping time at the Super 9 WaterFun Lake Toba ? P.S. Lake Toba homes hundreds of fruits and flower farms. You’ll see many roadside stalls selling fresh fruits and flowers! ? How to get there: Walk over to Siantar Hotel’s beachside Price: IDR55,000 on weekdays, IDR85,000 on weekends Opening hours: 9am – 5pm Wednesday to Monday. Closed on Tuesdays. Credit: Giphy There’s no better time like the present to plan that group getaway you’ve been wanting to take.  Witness the incomparable beauty of Lake Toba with its surrounding hills and gorgeous landscapes, and make forever memories with your friends too ❤️ What’s more, you won’t have to burn a hole in your pocket if you book return flights on AirAsia now for travels from 28 October 2018 to 29 March 2019! So don’t miss out ? Share this with your friends and start planning that unforgettable holiday ? [inlinewidget id=51610] This article is brought to you by AirAsia.