This traditional Batak house at Lake Toba is still the structure of choice for the friendly Toba Batak people. It had a view of the lake on one side and rice paddies onthe other side. The decorative ornaments and paintings at the external walls of the house are meant to drive away evil influences. Traditional Batak houses are noted for their distinctive roofs (which curve upwards at each end, like a boat’s hull does) and their colorful decor.
Danau Toba is the largest lake in all of Southeast Asia. The giant lake sits at an altitude of 800 meters, and is 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. The lake is situated in the caldera of the huge Toba volcano which erupted approximately 75,000 years ago. The eruption of Toba was one of the most massive eruptions ever on Earth. Many scientists believe that this eruption triggered the last ice age. The eruption probably lasted two weeks until finally the volcano collapsed and formed the caldera which is now Danau Toba. The bottom of the volcano rose and formed the island of Samosir which is beautifully situated in the middle of the blue waters of Toba.
The fact that Lake Toba’s water is quite warm despite its depth (up to 529m) leads one to assume that there must be some hot underwater, which is not out of place in a region studded with volcanoes. Right in the middle of Lake Toba lies Samosir Island, which can be reached Ferry to Tuk Tuk. The best way to move around Lake Toba is on the lake, the ferries call at one hotel complex after the other, like it used to be on some Austrian lakes too by road at its western side – strictly speaking it is not an island because it is connected to the mainland there – and by ferry from Parapat on the eastern side. It is by far not a small place that you could easily cross and discover on foot being 40km long and 20km wide! On its eastern side, Samosir Island displays the haven for tourists, Tuk Tuk Peninsula (this one is actually small and can be managed on foot).