PARAPAT , The gate to lake Toba
Strawerry batakThis town is on the front shore to Lake Toba and is where you catch the ferry across to Samosir Island in the middle of Lake Toba . In the 1920s Parapat became a holiday village, with many of the bungalows belonging to the European plantation and factory owners in Medan and Berastagi .
How to get there
From Medan , you catch public bus to terminal bus Amplas , many buses go to Parapat .
From Berastagi , you cacth morning public bus to Kaban Jahe terminal to take Sipadan till Simpang Dua then you cross the street lead to South to take another bus to Parapat .
Need direct bus ?
  In the night before you leave tell the receptionist in your hotel that you need sharing taxi to Parapat , cost around Rp 100-120.000 or private car to stop in Pematang Purba traditional palace , big waterfall Sipiso-piso , Sidamananik tea plantataion and monkey conservatory only Rp700.000 just call 081973434717 .
Strawerry Batak .

Batak TobaWhen you arrive on Saturday you can see traditional market on morning next to the ferry wharf , they have many fresh fruits and vegetable or martabak ( local pancake served with fresh coconut or roasted peanut . In Wednesday most is flea market .
The last ferry across to Samosir island leaves at 7pm . Ferries start at 7am. Price for crossing to Tuk-Tuk is Rp10.000
last ferry from Tuk-tuk at 5.30pm. On the warf , many people offer you transportation to Siantar , Medan or Berastagi . Near the warf , on the corner of the road there is agency of sharing taxi to your address like in Medan , Bukit Lawang , Berastagi or PematangSiantar ( or Siantar ) . Sharing taxi is private service rental car  for 6 person inside , with AC, usually they start leave from 9AM or 10AM . The main street running through Parapat is the Trans-Sumatran Highway from the North to South . Lead to North are regular public buses going to Siantar or Medan . In Simpang Dua ( on the way to Pematang Siantar ) you can change buses to go to Berastagi . Lead to the South are  buses going to Sibolga ( where you can catch a ferry to Nias Island ) . The bus from Parapat to Sibolga take 4 - 5 hours. There are also buses going to Bukittinggi which can take up to 17 hours. Buses to Bukit Tinggi you can catch in terminal Parapat is ALS  ( Antar Lintas Sumatera ) leave at around 3 PM and 5 PM , to Padang at 5PM or go to Andilo Nancy travel office in terminal to wait because he is the agent of ALS in Parapat .

simalungn bride ( More information about Batak Wedding dress tradition )

MARSOSE CAVE and  Monkey conservatory .
Take a walk about 20 minutes on the way to Pematang Siantar or take a small mini bus to find this cave , it is just situated on the right side of the high way to right side of the direction to Pematang Siantar , along the road you can see monkey on the road , this cave was dug by William Marsose , the British officer during the WW II . There is hero monument in front of the cave . The monkey conservatory is near by the cave .

Take the small mini bus that lead to the South (  Sibolga or Porsea ), cost around Rp 7000 .
This park is sanctuary for herbs and ancient plants and Toba orchids , the owner Mr . Sirait knows all about these plants and he likes to talk with them and visitors . Ancient plants like wood that try to kill its trunk , anti fire wood , anti devil wood , wood for king house , plants for making poison or medicine  , etc . There is also big water fall on the hill .
For further information just visit his profile in facebook : .
or his blog :

Simalungun bride . 
SidamanikSiDamanik tea plantation
This tea plantation is very wide , located on two hills some part is view to the lake , takes around 1 hour from Parapat , when you reach the Simpang Dua you follow the street till meet the tree junction shows Simarjarunjung . Best way is you rent a motor bike to see this or car .

Hotels :
Hotel Samosir Pakpahan
Jalan Sisingamangaraja

Wisma Danau Toba**
Jl. P. Samosir 3-6, Parapat 21174, Phone: (0625) 41302

Danau Toba Int Cottage**
Jl. Nelson Purba No.4, Parapat 21174, Phone: (0625) 41172 , Fax : (0625) 41640
Hotel Danau Toba Int. ****
Jl. P. Samosir No.17, Parapat

PS . You can arrange your passport and visa extension in Pematang Siantar , a drive about 1
 hour from Parapat ( see the map of Lake Toba page at below ) .

Toba orchidSouvenirs : Batak wood carvings , Batak traditional music instruments , traditional peanut Sihobuk , Batak traditional woven ( Ulos ) , Kopi Saok , Marquisa syrup , etc  .

How to know the origin Ulos woven not fabric/textile ?
The origin use cotton thread , soft but thick and heavier than not and most the origin Ulos has gorga "carving' motif below or at the end of pattern .

Foto Toba orchids in Taman Eden 100 , Lumban Julu , about half hour by bus from Parapat to the South .