5 Reasons Why Lake Toba Makes The Perfect Weekend Getaway

Pristine tranquility is now more accessible than before

By Mavis Teo

Those amongst us in concrete jungle Singapore who love to see vast expanses of space or large bodies of glistening water in a peaceful setting while taking in crisp and clean air, often think they have to venture far out into the world for such scenery.

Many nature-deprived Singaporeans have traipsed to far-flung locations like Lake Taupo in North Island, New Zealand or the Nahuel Huapi Lake in northern Patagonia in Argentina in search of a retreat surrounded by nature, though many geological wonders can be found much closer, right in our neighbours’ lands.  One example is Lake Toba, in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

If you are of a particular age, you would probably remember reading The Legend of Lake Toba. That was a time when children flipped through physical books and grew up on folklore. The story of how a boy caught a fish that later turned into a maiden who became his wife, yet lost everything when he broke his promise not to speak of her past was inspired by the legendary lake.

While this myth is one that the Generation Y-ers and the generations before them would be familiar with, while the younger Singaporeans born in the 1990s and after might not. This is despite that to reach Lake Toba would theoretically just require 75 minutes of flight time plus two hours on the road. This is because until 28 October this year, there were no direct flights between Singapore and Lake Toba.

Here are five reasons to look to Lake Toba for a weekend getaway:

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2. Hop on the island within the lake

Samosir Island, roughly around the size of Singapore, sits in the middle of the lake offers traditional cuisine, arts and crafts. The main village of Tuktuk is like any bustling, modern town with cafes, bars and tourist accommodation. Apparently, it was once a hippie town frequented by westerners – the only signs of its hedonistic heydays found on menus of some cafes offering fancy omelettes with “magic mushrooms”. Those in search of the rough and rustic should go further inland to explore the villages around Lake Sidihoni, a lake within Samosir Island. Tomok village is worth a visit if you are interested in local history as it is home to the stone-etched cemetery complex of King Sidabutar, a Batak king who converted his tribe to Christianity.

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