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Scootering Samosir Island in Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

    This two-days scootering trip begins in TukTuk, Samosir Island, an area size of Singapore. The paved main road on Lake Toba’s Samosir Island has made it easy to drive. We did not scooter around the whole island, instead, we spent two days scootering half of the island at a slow pace.

    What Scooter and Where to Rent?

    We rented a scooter from Mas Cottage. We rode in a Yamaha Mio 125. Easy to handle and can have a pillion rider too. The daily charge ranges from Rp 80,000 – 100,000.

    The terrains in Samosir Island features highlands and lowlands, small villages and you can find yourself staying and riding along with the Batak traditional houses. Lake Toba’s otherworldly beauty is painted by ocean-calmness water surrounds by lush green mountain ridges. It appeared as a grand oil painting hanging on the wall. The one-hour ferry journey chugs to Samosir Island crossing Lake Toba, small towns and churches become clear on the horizon.

    Dinner at a restaurant in TukTuk

    Samosir is in the middle of a gigantic lake, connected by ferries and the only highway from Pangururan, the west side of the lake. Bataks people are inhabitants of this majestic lake and Samosir Island. They were animists then converted to Christianity. It is the world’s largest crater and the largest lake in Southeast Asia. The island is actually great for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. Stay safe! Lake Toba is also known to be one of the deepest lakes in the world.


    Driving Along Jalan Pulau Samosir

    Jalan Pulau Samosir and Jalan Simolon Purba are connected, and is the main highway that circuit the island. There are many intersections to villages. As driving along the island shoreline, I want to stop at every peak to appreciate the grand lake. I liked the road to Tomok and Simanindo. In the highlands, less traffic, and breezy on the summer days. Parhallow viewpoint and coffee shop has one of the best panoramic views of the majestic lake. You can see the fish farms. Drive along this road, you will find several similar viewpoints.

    Coffee shop’s viewpoint

    On the way, you see a farmer’s market for villagers to sell produces. Villagers come in trucks and scooters carrying their animals and vegetables. Batak traditional houses are still commonly found on the island. At the end of the road, we found this small village with only a few traditional homes. It looks like a great place for napping.

    In the highland, like an eagle’s gaze, the tiny blocks appeared to be a quiet fishing village on the shore. Farmers plowed lands by the foothill appeared as miniatures. As you descend to the fishing village, you will find many villages along the road. Children are running home after school. The descend takes around 20 minutes on a narrow paved road. You can explore the village and farmlands. The fertile soil and water from the lake are advantages for paddy farming. Doors are a way to show elaborate artwork of the Batak tribe. This village is near the Dacitic Lava Flow that was formed by the last energy of the Toba Supervolcano magmas

    Hot springs in Lake Toba is one of the main attractions on the west side of the lake that can be accessed by road. I found it quite a disappointment as the hot spring is like dying. The local operators used waterpipes to draw hot springs to their pools. The road to Pangururan is busy and dusty, like back to the Medan.

    Local transportation

    Indulges in Batak cuisine that can be enjoyed in any restaurant on the island if you had not tried it in Medan. There are very limited restaurants outside of TukTuk and Ambarita. Opposite the museum, a coffee shop patronized by locals for breakfast. Try their Mie Gomak – noodle dish. The other dish is Arsik, a wedding banquet dish.

    Best Time to Visit

    May to September is the dry season. The best time for hiking, scootering, and outdoor activities.

    November to March is the monsoon season in Southeast Asia.


    3 Days for Samosir Island

    4 – 5 Days for around Lake Toba and Samosir Island

    How to Get to Samosir Island from Medan Airport?

    Medan airport is the closest to Lake Toba and Parapat is the port where you take ferry to Samosir Island. It takes around 3-4 hours from Medan airport to Parapat, with 30 minutes for lunch.

    7-seaters Mini vans are available in the airport take you to Parapat. Rp. 100,000

    Private taxis are available near the arrival. Rp. 650,000

    TIP: If you come in your own car, you can take it to the ferry as well. I am not sure about the price.

    How to Get Around Samosir Island?

    Scooter is the best way to get around.

    Walking or cycle is possible for short distance.

    Where to Stay?

    Most hotels are on Tuktuk and Ambarita, the east side of the island. Ferry will drop you off at the hotel and pick-up arrange by hotel.

    Laster Jony’s Guesthouse is in the town TukTuk. You find shops and restaurants in this area. $12, +6281263437553

    Ecovillage Silimalombu farm stay is a vocation gateway to heal your body with organic-farm vegetables and fruits. It’s quite a distance from TukTuk and the only boat that goes directly to Silimalombu daily at 10 AM (except Saturday) or 1 PM (except Saturday). $14 for boarding+ $12 for lunch and dinner.

    Mas Cottage has a great view of the lake. The ferry drop-off and pick-up from here. $30 for 2 pax

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