Getting Here and
Most people headed for Lake Toba start in Medan, a big city of about 2
million people. You can fly to Medan from Penang, Kuala Lumpur,
or Phuket via AirAsia. Firefly Airlines is also an option. If you
arrive early enough, say before 12:00 noon, you should be able to
make it all the way to Parnas Lake Toba in one day without having to
stay in Medan. If you arrive later, there a few hotels and budget
guesthouses centered around "Mesjid Raya" in the center of Medan, not
far from the airport. Travelers from most countries can get a
30-day visa-on-arrival at Polonia for a fee. Please check with an
Indonesian consulate or embassy for latest visa
After arrival at Polonia Airport you have a few options. You can either
(1) take a shared taxi direct to Parapat for ~rp 65-70,000 (as of
2012) or (2) a combination of local becaks minibuses and regular buses
for a few dollars less (rp 27,000 at a minimum).
(1) For the low-budget, "authentic Indonesian travel experience", walk
out of the airport and ask someone where you can catch a minibus to
Amplas terminal. The minibus number will be 64. You can flag one down
just a couple hundred meters from Polonia Airport. Fare to Amplas
bus terminal is rp 3000. From Amplas, take a "Sejaterah" big bus to
Parapat for rp 25,000 (5 hrs). You can also get to Amplas terminal by
taxi or becak, but expect to pay much more than a minibus.
(2) The other way of getting to Parapat, wich is arugably more
comfortable, has fewer hassles, and which may be a better
value, is to arrange a shared taxi which will take you from
downtown Medan or Polonia Airport straight to Parapat.
Upon arriving at Parapat, you should be located at TigaRajah
harbor. There are two harbors at Parapat but only Tigaraja harbor
has ferries going to Tuk-Tuk, so please specify to the bus or taxi
driver that you want to get off at Tigarajah harbor. Ferries
leave every hour or thereabout until 6:00 P.M. There may be a "tout"
who works for Parnas on the ferry who can assist you in your arrival.
don't worry, he'll find you. After arriving at the main harbor (usually
the first ferry stop), it's only about an five to ten minute walk to
Parnas Homestay. Ask anybody near the harbor how to get to Parnas and
They'll direct you. Don't worry, most locals speak English just fine.
At high-water times, the ferry can drop you off at Parnas pier
directly. Ask the person taking the money on your ferry if it's
possible to be dropped at Parnas.
If you arrive too late to take the last ferry to TukTuk, and you don't
want to stay in Tigaraja, you can go to "Ajibata harbor" about 1 km
away and take one of the later ferrys to Tomok, which is a town about
2.5 km away from Tuk-Tuk. From Tomok, you can get a minibus to Tuk-Tuk
but it'll be a longer walk (maybe 20 minutes) to Parnas homestay.