Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia. It is also the largest volcanic lake in the world.
Getting there from Singapore means:
1) fly into Medan
2) a 4-6hrs car ride to Parapet
3) 30-50 minutes ferry ride into Tuk Tuk on Samosir Island
It's a bit of a journey, but it was fun.
I visited a few years back towards the end of October. The weather was a mix bag. I can have amazing blue skies and clouds one moment and the next I would be riding the motorbike for hours in the drizzle.
The majority of the population around Lake Toba are Bataks. Traditional Batak houses feature that distinctive roof with the curled ends.
We were attracted by the jetty going out into the lake so we drove down a very soft and muddy slope trying to reach it (we almost could not get back up the muddy slope, but that's a story for another time), only to find ourselves in the middle of the land of a farmer and his wife. There were no way for us to communicate and ask them how we could get closer to the jetty so we wandered around the muddy field among some crops that has an ox in it. With every step I felt like an intruder but my curiosity won.
While we were still trying to figure out how to get to the jetty, the man started leading his ox to the lake. The next thing we knew, he started splashing water on it.
As a person who grew up in the confined concrete jungle in Singapore, this was an arresting sight that made me consider what other alternate lives people may lead. I called a scene like this the 'National Geographic Moment' because that was all that was to me, a moment on the page of a magazine.
Until I started traveling.