Samosir Island and All the Fun There

Tourist Spot   |   Oct 28, 2019

Samosir island is the world’s largest island within an island. Located in Lake Toba, the island was born of a pair of dramatic prehistoric volcanic events, and was technically a peninsula until 1906, when the Dutch dug a canal through the narrow isthmus that attached it to the mainland.

Cools water of Lake Toba – Photo credits flickr@wilsonteo

Today Samosir is the perfect holiday destination, the gorgeous highland and the friendly Batak people could be the medicine for stress. The cool air, laid back pace of life and absence of crowds form a welcome respite from the heat and commotion you normally encounter in Indonesia. You can see the island’s unique and fascinating Batak heritage in its clusters of traditional houses with roofs that curve upwards like buffalo horns, white-washed churches that dot the landscape, and ancient stone tombs and monuments. The breathtaking, unspoilt countryside with its steep, pine-covered slopes that descend into the deep blue water, and wide views in every direction will clear your mind and ensure that your stay on Samosir relaxes you completely.

The tombs of King Sidabutar – Photo credits: facebook/bambootravel

Many attraction spots around Samosir Island are worth visiting for their fascinating Batak cultural treasures, as well as the beautiful vistas you experience along the way. The many well-preserved sopo (Batak houses) with their curving roofs draw a lot of visitors to Tomok, as do the ancient tombs of the ruling Sidabutar clan. Further north in Ambarita is the tomb of King Siallagan, along with an old open-air court and execution ground where convicted criminals were tortured and killed. The eerie atmosphere is heightened by the fact that the king and elders would then drink the blood and eat the heart and liver of those executed.

Tot Tor dance – Photo credits facebook/TheJakartaGlobe

For more enjoyable glimpse of Batak culture, go where people are singing and making music. Take in a concert of traditional or religious songs, join the villagers for a tot of palm toddy and a song, or go to church and experience the heavenly harmonies of the choir or visit Huta Bolon Simanindo Museum, where you can learn how to dance Tor Tor, a traditional dance of Batak tribe. Above all, enjoy the relaxed pace of life and the beautiful landscape that surrounds you at every turn.

You can obtain tasty Indonesian dishes anywhere on Samosir. From Muslim western Sumatra there is spicy, delicious Padang food, which is easily identifiable from the window displays featuring dishes stacked in a pyramid. The Bataks are mostly Christian and enjoy their pork, so meat lovers are well catered for. They also eat dog meat, although it is not usually offered to tourists. If you do want to try dog (or avoid it), it is often listed as B1 or babi satu (type 1 pork), while pork is B2 or babi dua (type 2 pork).

Samosir island once known as a popular stop and hosted regular full-moon parties and nocturnal events In the 1970s and 80s. Since late-1990s when economic and political crisis, Samosir Island has become a lot more sedate. Still, there are plenty of places to enjoy a cold Bintang beer or a coctail and tuak (palm wine) though, both in the resorts clustered around Tuk Tuk and in the town itself.

The Batak people are known throughout Indonesia for their love of singing and playing music, and beer and tuak are just the thing to join and singalong. This is an excellent way to experience local popular culture and make fast friends with the Samosir islanders, in additional to being a lot of fun!

Source: Indonesia Holidays

Leave a comment

× Chat