Samosir is a name of an island located in the middle of Toba Lake, North Sumatera, the biggest Lake in Southeast Asia. Samosir may very popular among the foreign tourists, but this place has the potential to be a good tourist destination. In this island, you can visit lakeside, hot springs, and old village of Batak tribe. Moreover, the culinary of this area are so unique, and original that you may not find in the other places. If you are an explorer and want to venture various places, this island deserve a visit from you.
Samosir can only be reached from Medan. From Medan, you need to rent a car and travel around 4 – 5 hours. A rent car could be easily found in Medan and for about Rp. 350.000 (including driver) you are ready to go. Another choice to go to Samosir is by Taxi. You can use Taxi Merpati Medan, Taxi Merpati Pangururan, or Taxi Samosir Indah Pangururan, starting from Rp 65.000.
In the island, you can rent bike or motorbike to go around. The price for renting motorbike starts from Rp. 40.000 and you can find it easily in Tuktuk region. It will be a fun if you can go around the Samosir Island through its lakeside road. Another way to do it is by a unique transportation called “bentor” or “becak motor.”
Access to Samosir
There are four accesses that you can choose to get into Samosir Island. Three accesses through the Lake Toba, and one access through the road. But, the most popular access is through Ajibata Port in Prapat to Tomok Port in Samosir. Using this access, you will need to get on a ferry. The trip crossing Lake Toba is very fun. Along the way, the scenery of quiet lake and green hills will surround you. The fresh air also gives a relaxing ambience while you are on the ship. The other water accesses are by Tigaras-Simanindo and Muara-Nainggolan. Same with Ajibata-Tomok the ferry for Tigaras-Simanindo is opened everyday. However, for Muara-Nainggolan, the ferry is only available at Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The most attracting access to Samosir is by land transportation. Samosir Island is actually connected to North Sumatera land by a bridge built in the Dutch’s colonial era. This landline will take you to Tele road which connect Samosir with Humbang Hasundutan regency. You will go on steep and winding road, but the roads are flat and good. It will need a careful driving, so use a driver to ease yourself and enjoy the trip because the landscape along this road is amazing. You can see a dazzling Lake Toba panorama from the high.
It will be very easy to find a lodge or resort in samosir island. Abundance of lodges and resorts are available in Tuktuk region. To find Tuktuk, need only half hour from Tomok Port through the main road. Tuktuk region is a cape facing directly to Toba Lake. Some resorts could also be found in the Pangurungan, the capital of Samosir. Meanwhile, motels are available in Ambarita, Simanindo district.
You must try some Samosir authentic food like Mie Gomak and Ikan Arsik. Mie Gomak is Batak’s noodle with Andaliman sauces. This food looks like spaghetti, but different in texture and sauce. Andaliman sauce is a local special sauce with its unique taste. On the other hands, Ikan Arsik is a Batak fried fish. This food is usually served in the wedding or birth ceremony, but it is also good to be enjoyed as a lunch or dinner menu.
Although this island is surrounded by hills and located inside the lake, surprisingly you will get full signals of mobile phone. Almost all phone operators function normally here, even in the remote area like in the middle of ricefield. Internet networks are also easy to access through wifi in the hotels. Some internet café are also available to ease your communication while you are in this island. For your payment activities, now some public places in Samosir are already equipped with ATM, like in Pangururan the capital city and Tuktuk the tourism center.
Samosir Regency consists of 9 districts. Each district has its own tourist attraction area. However, the focus of the tourism in all Samosir area is the same, around natural and cultural attractions.
For you who prefer cultural and history tour could visit King Sidabutar Graveyard, Parsidangan Rock, and Huta Bolon Museum. You can also study further about Batak tradition in every old village of Samosir. Moreover, you can watch Sigale-gale in Tomok.
For natural excursion, you can visist Marhosa Rock, Marlakkop Cave, Ambarita Beach, Aek Nakotang, Pasir Putih Beach, and Panguruan Hot Spring. Those are some parts tourism objects at samosir island. Actually there are still a lot of tourism potentials to be visit in this island, but some of those places need more development to be ready for welcoming the tourists.