Monday, January 02, 2012

Indonesia -- Day 4 Parapat to Samosir Island, Lake Toba


After a good 4  hours of driving plus our lunch and industry stops  we finally made it to Parapat where we could catch the ferry to Samosir Island.  Specifically we were going to a village called Tuk Tuk and Tabo Tabo Cottages.

Parapet -- not exactly a bustling destination.

Lake Toba

Typical passenger boats that bus people across the lake to different villages.

The trip across the lake is approx 40 minutes.  Our boat had quite the mix of backpackers and tourists, both young and old.  This area of Indonesia is off the regular travelers beat and therefore a much truer picture of the people and the area. The ferry runs every hour or two and the last one is 6p.  We arrived with about a minute to spare.

Parapat Boat Landing or "Tiga Raja" harbour/jetty

Parapat Boat Landing or "Tiga Raja" harbour/jetty

Since I was traveling with a group and had a fantastic tour leader I didn't really worry about any of the logistics of where I was or how to get on or off the ferry.  I know this doesn't sound daunting to a westerner but really when you there and almost no one speaks english and none of the signs are in english you begin to wonder what you should do.

A few little tips from Wikitravel regarding the ferry/boat service to Tuk Tuk:

Landing at the other end of the 1 hour ferry journey is daunting, but again, behave like everyone else in Indonesia and just push, ever so politely, but firmly and eventually you will get off the ferry and onto the main road. Alternatively use the boat service but watch out for the guys that ask for the fee before you embark — they do not work for the operators, you pay on the boat.

Please note: As of Feb 2011 here is only one cirrus/mastercard ATM on the island (at the white beach entrance), better to get enough cash at Parapat before crossing the lake to the island.

Some ferry's owner are tourist hunter and will overcharge you for Rp 20-30,000 for the same trip to Samosir Island. In my opinion try to observe the ferry with wooden bench inside and light green colored ferry. Those are the ferries that charge Rp 7,000 and the locals take to cross over. Self proclaimed 'Tourist Hunters' may befriend you on the boat but are harmless and often helpful. Tuk Tuk is the main town to stay on Samosir. Use the boat service not the large ferry, they will drop you directly at your Tuk Tuk resort.


Hotel/Cottages along Lake Toba

Hotel/Cottages along Lake Toba
 
On the boat to Tuk Tuk on Lake Toba

Our boat

On our boat on Lake Toba

Dropping some passengers off at another hotel
 
idyllic setting


water sports along Lake Toba

Another hotel along Lake Toba
 
Lake Toba -- isn't that water super inviting???

Another hotel along Lake Toba -- this has a typical Batak Roof and build


Our ferry pulling away after dropping us off at Tabo Tabo Cottages

our ferry pulling away after dropping us off at Tabo  Cottages

The landing at Tabo Tabo Cottages (on the left)
We arrived at Tabo Cottages at almost 7pm.  Absolutely BEAUTIFUL !! Exquisite Really.  The story behind the Tabo Cottages is quite nice as well. An excerpt from their website is here:
Tabo Hotel is run by Anto, a local batak from Samosir and german Annette, who came travelling to Lake Toba, loved it and stayed. There are three kids Marco, 15, Julia 13, and Hotto, 11, 4 dogs and several cats to entertain the guests.

TABO is situated on the shore of Lake  Toba at Samosir surrounded by ricefields and plantations. It offers magnificent views over lake and mountains. The unique style of the restaurant and the rooms in the lush tropical garden make a great atmosphere to get rid of stress and weariness. Our free wifi spot gives you the opportunity for updating travel blogs or and catch up on business from our airy, laid back restaurant or Pavillion.

Tabo’s latest rooms are situated right by the lake overlooking the spacious lawn, the play ground and the picturesque mountains. We concentrated on natural furnishing and soft colours for the interiour design as well as putting in green foliage around them. The new section is perfect for outdoor events like games, meetings and parties, where everybody can stay near by the action.

The cottages and main lobby have WiFi, fully functional and beautiful rooms, water equipment, restaurant, bar and stunning views.

More pics and all about Tabo Cottages on the next post because there are just too many GORGEOUS pics to share !!!

If you would like to go to Indonesia and/or Lake Toba or Tabo Cottage,
then contact Adventures Abroad at 1 800 665 3998.
Quote code AANK for a special discount.

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