Asia

Longing for Lake Toba, Sumatra

Lake Toba, Indonesia

As far as bucket lists go, my (ever-changing) one has been largely centred around Europe. But recently – largely due to my new Instagram obsession (a procrastinator’s dream!) – I’ve been enticed by images of the kind of raw beauty that is synonymous with Southeast Asia. Maybe it’s the cold that has descended on Europe like an icy blanket these last few weeks, but I’ve been dreaming of where our next summer holidays may take us. It’s this yearning that had me Googling with abandon until I landed on my next wish list destination – Lake Toba in Sumatra.

Why Lake Toba?

Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m sure the fellow travellers out there (and I’m going to assume that’s you if you’re reading this travel blog!) are familiar with that moment. The moment when you see a photo of a place that just speaks to you, and you immediately know you have to visit it one day. Well, that moment happened to me this week. I laid eyes on those mountains, that untouched scenery and that deep blue water and it had me mesmerised. Unfortunately, I can’t share the exact photo that had me longing for Lake Toba without getting in trouble with copyright. So you’ll have to make do with this one:

Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

Photo of Lake Toba by Tanti Ruwani @ Flickr

Get it? OK, well maybe you won’t feel the same way I did because let’s be real, everyone has those wanderlust moments for different reasons. So if pictures alone aren’t enough, here are a few more reasons to visit Lake Toba.

Stunning Natural Vistas

With lake views like these, I’m pretty certain I’d be content just sitting back and enjoying the serenity. The lake is actually a volcanic caldera – making it the largest volcanic lake in the world. It’s around 100km long, 30km wide and over 500m deep. The island in the middle – Samosir Island – is as big as Singapore!

Visit Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

Photo of Lake Toba by Max Grabert @ Flickr

Sipiso Piso Waterfall

Who doesn’t love a good waterfall? They’re awe-inspiring to look at, you can (sometimes) go for a dip in the clear waters below and they provide a great backdrop for stunning holiday snaps! And as far as waterfalls go – Sipiso Piso is up there with the best. In fact, it’s the tallest waterfall in Indonesia. The rushing water plunges off a cliff at the Northern end of Lake Toba – offering views over the caldera.

Sipiso Piso Waterfall, Sumatra, Indonesia

Sipiso Piso Waterfall by Ronald Tagra @ Flickr

Orangutans in the Wild

Call me weird, but growing up my favourite soft toys were a mother & baby Orangutan family. I’ve always been an animal lover and it’s been a long-held dream to see these fascinating animals in the wild. Sadly due to large-scale deforestation, their natural habitat is in jeopardy. Sumatra is home to around 7,300 Sumatran orangutans currently, and they can be found hanging out in the Bukit Lawang jungle north of Lake Toba.

Sumatran orangutan

Sumatran orangutan at Bukit Lawang Jungle. Photo by Andrew H @ Flickr

World-Class Accommodation

Whenever I’m researching somewhere new to visit, accommodation options (availability & cost) are a big part of the decision. I look for somewhere family friendly with a touch of luxury, but it also has to be affordable (or I’ll never get my husband to agree!). That’s why I was pretty happy when I stumbled across the Taman Simalem Resort during my search. The resort is perched on Merek Hill – serving up the most amazing views over Lake Toba, and it offers that affordable luxury I was after. They have a range of room types to suit all budgets and travelling styles, so to see what’s on offer, check website.

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia. Danau Toba

View of Lake Toba from Taman Simalem Resort. Photo by jo3f @ FLICKR

See you Soon Sumatra (I hope!)

I really want to meet those Orangutans…

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Traveloka. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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