Wonderful Indonesia: Samosir Island Pt. 1 (English)

On an usual Thursday afternoon, my brother came to me all of the sudden and asked me whether I would like to join his trip to Samosir Island on Friday with his friends for 2 nights.. you guys know what my answer was.

I didn’t really knew much about the plan though, what I knew was that his best friend who moved to the Phillipines came back to Medan, Indonesia for a couple days and they would love to have a road trip to explore Samosir Island.

What’s so special about Samosir Island? Fun fact, the temperature in this island vary from 22 – 14 degree Celcius depending on the height of the place and , it is located in the middle of the biggest lake in Indonesia and the largest volcanic lake in the world, called Toba Lake.

Courtesy of Explore Indonesia

Back to the planning, they planned to take off by car from Medan early morning at 5 a.m, stop at Siantar City for a quick breakfast, reaching the Ferry Harbour at 11:30 a.m to bring our car along to Samosir Island, then enjoy our 2 nights stay there.

The plan was not 100% accurate though..

We did took off at 5 a.m, but because of some confusion on which way is the highway’s entrance, the actual trip was delayed by an hour. The highway itself is a unfinished, newly built highway, which in the future is going to be called “Trans-Sumatran Highway”, a highway that will connect all the major cities in Sumatera Island. After we managed to find the entrance, we then proceed with the trip to our first destination for a quick breakfast, Siantar City.

The view from a highway though

After we had our quick breakfast in Siantar, we then proceed to continue our journey to Parapat, a city located on the edge of Toba Lake, which is the primary transit point by ferry for visitors going to Samosir Island. There are 2 kinds of ferries there, Passenger Ferry and Car Ferry:

  1. Passenger ferry is usually for people whom didn’t bring their car along or parked their car at Parapat. With only IDR 15,000 per person, the ferry itself will take you directly to your hotel since most of the hotel there are located at the shore of Toba Lake. If you can’t bring your car over or you came by bus, there are lots of motorcycle and bicycle rentals, which you can rent for about IDR 100.000 a day with a full tank. As for the schedule, Passenger ferry is pretty much flexible as they are available every one hour. (Check the ferry schedule here!)
  2. Car ferry is usually for a bigger group of people whom wanted to explore Samosir freely and wanted to continue their trip back to the mainland by road. With IDR 120,000 per car and IDR 15,000 per person included with an insurance, this is the best option if you really want to know about the other exquisite side of Samosir Island. As for the schedule, Car ferry is available every 3 hours. (Check the ferry schedule here!)

Since we will bring our car over to Samosir, we were supposed to catch the 11.30 a.m’s car ferry, but because of the delay earlier, we arrived there at 12.30 p.m and the car ferry already left the harbour. According to the schedule, we will need to wait until 2.30 pm for the next ferry.


The interior of Car Ferry’s passenger seats.

After managed to get on board, we then proceed for an hour ferry ride to Tomok Harbour, located on the Samosir Island.

Tomok Ferry Harbour, look at that view

The rest of activity we did there was only spending the first night by chilling at the bungalow of our accomodation, Samosir Cottage, located just at the lakeshore of Toba Lake.


The suite room with 1 queen bed and 1 single bed at this cottage is around IDR 600,000/night included with breakfast for 3 person.

Curious about my adventure on the next day? Second part coming soon!


2 thoughts on “Wonderful Indonesia: Samosir Island Pt. 1 (English)”

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