See a lake inside of a lake
Lake Sidihoni is tucked away in the island interior west of Tuk-tuk. Interestingly, there are very few lakes within lakes in the world. Getting to Lake Sidihoni is tricky. You must brave the rough road between Ronggumihuta and Partungkoan on motorbike, then hike the slightly obscure path. If lost, try asking someone “di mana Danau Sidihoni?”
Visit the Batak Villages
The region surrounding Lake Toba is inhabited by an ethnic group known as the Bataks, whose traditions and lifestyles are generally different from the rest of Indonesia. The large majority of Bataks subscribe to the Christian faith, and in turn there are many more churches in the area than other Indonesian towns and cities. The Batak people themselves are separated into several different groups with distinct cultures and practices from one another.
However, one thing that remained similar amongst the Batak people is the architecture of their houses. While there are minor differences, most Batak groups have houses with similarly shaped roofs. The photos above show a Toba Batak village on the island of Samosir, located in the middle of Lake Toba.
Kayak around the Lake
One of the best things to do around Lake Toba is kayaking. Out on the lake, you will feel at one with nature. You can easily rent a Kayak and go paddle away on the crystal clear waters of the lake. You will be spoiled by the views of volcanic mountains touching the sky above. It is a reviving experience! Alternatively, you can also go fishing on a traditional fisherman’s boat.
Watch a show at the Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo
One of the top attractions in Lake Toba is the chance to check out a show at the Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo. Performances take place twice daily from Monday to Saturday with one show on Sunday. If you make the journey to Simanindo Village for a performance, you will get to enjoy traditional Batak dancing and singing and the signature part of the show is the slaughtering of a buffalo although a live buffalo is used to recreate the mood and is fortunately not harmed during the proceedings.
Have coffee on a cliff
Many locals run small eateries at the edge of the cliffs where the views are absolutely stunning. Offering local snacks such as Goreng Pisang (fried bananas) and coffee, these are great locations to take a pitstop and enjoy the view of the Lake.
Lake Toba is filled with fish of all sizes that regularly hang around the guesthouse docks and shore walls. Both nets and poles can be purchased at shops around Tuk-tuk. Try fishing in the morning; egg or bread leftover from breakfast makes great bait. Alternatively, fish are also attracted to a flashlight directed at the water, which makes them easier to net at night. Locals may be willing to take you on a proper fishing trip by boat with a little negotiation.