Samosir is the name for an island located in a centre of Lake Toba, North Sumatera. The existence of the island itself is believed as the effect of the erruption of an old mountain which caused big flood all over the area and made a lake which was known as Lake Toa. An area which is similar to an island lies in the center and named as Samosir Island. Some live by the belief that Mulajadi Nabolon, their God, has appeared in this area long time ago. Some also believe that this area was the first kampong for Bataknese.
You can visit Samosir Island via Medan, North Sumatera. From Medan, you can take bus to Parapat, a tourism area for those who want to across Lake Toba and visit the beautiful Samosir Island. There are hotels in Parapat if you want to stay overnight and wake up with the view of Lake Toba. It was mystical yet magical, seeing Lake Toba so calm and gorgeous very early in the morning. There are ferries for rent if you want to go to Samosir Island.
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Many tourism objects wait to be seen in Samosir Island. First, let us check the historical part. There is King Sidabutar’s grave. Since King Sidabutar believed on Parmalim until his descent who held Christianity, the graveyards have been there ever since, noted by a piece of cloth put on the stones. There is also Hutabolon Museum which was used to keep ancient stuffs utilized by Bataknese people thousands years ago. If you visit Siallagan valley, you must see the outdoor court room where the King and his assistants and also prominent figures in the era discussed about a problem. If there was a suspect, they had to judge whether he was guilty or not. What interests me regarding their historical legend was the death sentence. All tourist guide could perform the drama of death sentence in an original area where there are seats and also the sword to cut off the suspect’s head. Before the death sentence was done, King would ask his people to take water from Lake Toba as much as they could and kept the water for 7-day stock. Then, after the suspect’s head was cut off, it was thrown to the Lake. People of Samosir must not consume or bath with the Lake’s water until 7 days because it was believed that the head of a criminal would poison everyone who consumed it.
Another magical thing in Samosir Island is the lake on the top of the lake. You read those lines right. Aek Natonang, that is what it is called, is an area located in Lake Toba. It is a lake on the top of the lake. Have you ever heard about it? If the answer is no, then you must come to Aek Natonang to prove the correctness of this information. Another magical lake is Aek Porogan which is located at Simanindo. What is so special from the area is that there is a breathing stone. That sounds unreal to you? Again, it is strongly recommended for you to come and see by yourself. Besides lakes, there is amazing waterfall which has height 500 metres called Simangande Waterfall.
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When you visit Samosir Island, you will see many souvenir sellers. What surprised me so much was that finding a Javanese woman selling souvenirs in this land of Batak. According to their stories, many of them come to Samosir Island because they are married to Bataknese people who were originated from Samosir. Some have changed the dialects, while some others remain the same. That was truly a unique experience, especially when listening to a conversation using Javanese language. The sellers are agressive. They will grab your arm, hold your hands, beg you to visit or touch the clothes, and not stop until you buy one or two. It is really important for you to keep in mind that you should not bargain their stuffs if you do not intend to buy. It will make them angry.
Comparing the prices of the souvenirs sold in Samosir to those in Parapat, I realize that there is no such big difference. Some are even cheaper in Parapat. But, if you want to help their economy and preserve Lake Toba, you can just buy one or two pieces. The price can be reduced up to 60% depends on your ability in bargaining. If a piece of shirt is offered to you for Rp. 200.000, ask the seller to reduce it up to Rp. 35.000. If you have good bargaining skill, it would not be so difficult to you. Besides clothes, you can also buy their work of art by their spinning system, called ulos. Ulos is sold ranging from the cheapest up to the most expensive. Besides ulos, their bags or shoes are also nice because it uses the same spinning system just like ulos.