Lake Toba: 5 Celeb Recommendations For Your Next Trip There

Lake Toba: 5 Celeb Recommendations For Your Next Trip There

Travel to a land with boundless natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the Batak tribe in Lake Toba.

Born out of a supervolcano eruption thousands of years ago, Lake Toba is a UNESCO Geopark site with beauty that stretches as far as the eye can see. It also serves as the home for one of Indonesia’s tribes, the Bataks. 

Legend has it that the lake’s volcanic island of Samosir Island was formed after a farmer broke a curse. The dark waters of the lake represent his fish princess wife and Samosir Island, their son. Making your way to this mystical Best Ever destination will take you 2.5 hours by flight to Silangit airport, and a 3-hour scenic drive to Samosir. 

With so much to see at Lake Toba, here are the top 5 recommendations of things to do from your favorite celebrities. 

VISIT THIS: A traditional Batak Bolon house in Batak Museum

The architecturally distinctive traditional Batak bolon houses that can only be found in Lake Toba

Celebrity thumbs up: Actor and adventurer Hamish Daud, recommends you to pay extra attention to the Intricate motifs at these homes, as they are believed to help ward off powerful magic

With its unique architectural shape and style, the design of a traditional Batak Bolon house is believed to bring good fortune. These homes beautifully reflect the Batak culture with a tradition that connects family, spirituality and practicality. When entering a home, remember to respect the dwellers by bowing your head and find yourself getting lost in the magical, cozy timber warmth.  

WATCH THIS: Sigale-gale Dance, a dance that dispels the curse for the childless

Donned in traditional ulos, the life-sized puppet is made out of banyan trees and accompanied by dancers throughout the ritual.

Celebrity thumbs up: Actor Mike Lewis recommends watching the dance as it is believed to cure the broken heart of King Rahat after the loss of his son, Prince Manggale

Born out of the many Batak fables, the traditional Sigale-gale puppet dance is performed after the passing of the childless. It is believed to send the spirit of the deceased to the afterlife, which helps break their curse and continue their lineage in the hereafter. Watch as the puppeteers cleverly move the wooden Sigale-gale puppet or join in the dance while wearing a traditional ulos. 

LODGE IN THIS: The Kaldera, a glamping site with breathtaking, panoramic views of the lake

Wake up to an unforgettable view and a cool breath of fresh air at The Kaldera

Celebrity thumbs up: Award-winning singer Isyana Sarasvati recommends booking a stay in a cabin for inspiring landscapes that can spark your creativity

Nestled in between rolling green hills with stunning lake views, reconnect with nature by glamping at The Kaldera. The cozy cabins are the perfect place to watch time go by as you stare into the awe of the mystical Lake Toba waters. Rest easy here and prepare to leave rejuvenated and inspired. 

DO THIS: Paddle in your kayaks at the incredible Situmurun Waterfall

It’s easy to be awestruck by the rapid falls of Situmurun but keep your distance from the strong currents.

Celebrity thumbs up: Travel influencer Marischka Prudence recommends you to wander the waters of Lake Toba to make you feel like you’re by the sea

Get yourself acquainted with the waters by kayaking at Situmurun Waterfall. Best enjoyed with a loved one, watch as the cascading waters become one with Lake Toba. You can also rent a boat for a ride around the lake and take part in conserving the area by slingshotting a seed to plant a tree.

BUY THIS: Ulos, a mandatory traditional token for loved ones back home

A treasured art form, ulos with radiant colors are used for festive occasions 

Celebrity thumbs up: Actor Mike Lewis recommends you to gift loved ones a piece of Ulos as Bataks believe that it is a symbol of love, and no guest should leave Lake Toba without one.

Ulos weaving is a dedicated tradition for Batak women. For many, it’s a lifelong practice and a skill that has been passed down from generation to generation. A single ulos can take months to make and watching the women work the loom is almost like a dance. Take one home to keep you warm on cold nights, just like how the Bataks initially crafted this for.

Health & safety protocols to note

When you’re traveling around Indonesia, don’t forget that health and safety protocols are still strictly enforced. Major tourist destinations will have temperature checks and won’t let you enter without your masks. Vaccine certificates are also required upon entry across all establishments, so have it ready from your PeduliLindungi app. 

Certain international travelers are allowed to enter Indonesia with strict regulations, so be sure to keep checking before you book your tickets and start packing. Domestic travel across the archipelago is open for vaccinated travelers, but remember to remain safe and be responsible for yourself and others.

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