Sunday, July 13, 2014

Medan Trip - Winding Roads for Danau Toba

Pardon me for not posting anything for two weeks, I was down with dengue. A very long week to experience: went for endless blood tests, went up and down to the clinics, got rejected by Tan Tock Seng for hospitalization because it was not chronic enough, went back to Palembang instead, and a full week of resting.

So, here I am, back in Singapore, ready to write down everything before I forget them all.

It's now time for Danau Toba.

Danau Toba or Lake Toba is a super volcano and lake. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world! It was said that long long long long long time ago, there was a volcano eruption that caused sudden decrease in the temperature and massive death of people around the world. The eruption also created a crater and this crater was filled with water; the current Lake Toba.

However, there is another story of the creation of Lake Toba. The folklore said that once upon a time, there was a fisherman. One day he managed to fish a goldfish. He intended to kill the fish the next day, but to his surprise, the goldfish turned into a pretty lady when he woke up the next day. The fisherman and the goldfish got a deal: the goldfish would be the wife of the fisherman but the fisherman should not say anything about the wife's origin to their descendants. 

Time passed by and they got a son and he was very naughty. One day, the son did something that made the fisherman furious. In his rage, he forgot his vow and revealed that he was the son of a fish. The wife knew that turned angry. The anger caused the very heavy rain for weeks and flooded the whole village. And that's how Lake Toba was formed.

Amusing, yes?

So the second day was for Danau Toba. We woke up quite early as we planned to leave the house at about 7:00 a.m. Anam told us that it took a few hours to reach Danau Toba.

The distance from Medan to Danau Toba

We were so ready at 7:00 a.m. but the driver did not show up. Anam's mom helped us to call and found out that the designated driver suddenly said he could not come. And we waited for another driver in the end.

The replacement came around 8:00 a.m. and we straight away loaded our bags and ourselves up to the car. We were so ready for Toba!!!

From Medan to Danau Toba, the car took the route via Pematang Siantar. Pematang Siantar is a small town out of Medan. The town is really small it looks like just a few blocks. At around 11:30 a.m. we reached this small town and we headed for lunch.

There is a famous noodle shop in Medan that was originated from Pematang Siantar. People said that the noodle in Pematang Siantar was much nicer therefore we went for it.

This is the legendary Mie Pansit Awai!
The interior
Bakmi Ayam Jamur (Chicken mushroom noodle)

Orange Capucinno, the biggest mistake here

The signature noodle in Mie Pansit Awai is pork noodle, but since I am not a pork person I ordered chicken mushroom noodle instead. I should say that even the chicken mushroom noodle is very nice. The chicken stock was dense, the chicken was tender, and the noodle was done to perfection.

So no need to say anything about the pork noodle, it must be better! 

However, I need to say something about the drink. Please do not order Orange Capucinno. It was a disaster. :P

After our tummies were happy, we continued our journey.

About two hours later, we reached Danau Toba. The place is called Parapat, a village at the bank of Danau Toba. Another folklore said that the place got the name from a lady who fell into an earth hole near the lake. It was said that this lady was about to jump into Danau Toba to commit suicide because she did not want to have arranged marriage with her parents' choice. However, she dropped into a hole near the lake. She was very upset and shouted from inside to tell the stones to squeeze her. She kept yelling, "Parapat, parapatlah batu!" which meant "Squeeze me, squeeze me, Rocks!" and she really died inside. That's why the area is called Parapat till today.

We were to spend the night at Samosir Island, an island in the middle of Danau Toba. Therefore we rented a boat to bring us to the island. But before that the driver brought us to an old house by the bank of Danau Toba. This house was the house of the first president of Indonesia during his exile.

The house of President Soekarno during his exile in Parapat. This place was called Parapat Palace.

It was a waste that we could not enter the house that day. The driver told us that the house was being used for some events that day. So we could only admire the exterior and the view of Danau Toba.

What a view Soekarno could see every single day during his exile

We spent just a short while here before proceeding to the pier. The boat (or should I say the yatch?) then picked us up and sent us to our first stop, Batu Gantung a.k.a Hanging Stone.

Near the pier
Our yatch yoohoo!

The same folklore of the lady applied for Batu Gantung. The lady that committed suicide by asking the stones to squeeze her turned into the hanging stone the next day. The hanging stone has the shape of a lady's body.

Can you see? Can you see?

After taking photo for a while, the boat brought us to Desa Tomok (Tomok Village) at the eastern side of Samosir Island. This area was full of tourists because there were a market and some tourism spots.

The first sight of Desa Tomok

The pier of Desa Tomok

Walk a bit and you can see a market selling a lot of souvenirs
Tourism spots at Desa Tomok

We went to Sigale-gale and Makam Raja Sidabutar (King Sidabutar's Tomb) in Desa Tomok. What are they?

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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