I’m here to share the easiest way to get to Samosir Island so you all can enjoy the beauty of what I get to enjoy this year. To know more information on Samosir and the culture behind it, please visit my Batak Culture blog post (soon).
You are probably landing at Silangit airport and there are usually transportation methods to take you to Parapat, where the ferry take off is which will get you to Samosir Island. If there are no busses that are able to take you, there is always the public transportation method. You will find a KBT bus and let them know you are going to Parapat for about 15-20,000 Rupiah or 1.10-1.50 USD–super cheap. BUT, definitely stop by Balige and check out all the amazing views this little town has to offer!
SO Step 1: Land, take transportation by bus provided from the airport and if there is no transportation, take the KBT bus
Once you are in Balige, you will do the same exact thing, except you will be going to Parapat from Balige. For the same price; 15-20,000 Rupiah or 1.10-1.50 USD, you will be taking a KBT van to Parapat. KBT Vans ALL look the same. There is usually someone you can ask on the street and they will always help you flag one down. If you’re a foreigner, you will stick out like a sore thumb and people are always willing to help.
Step 2: Hop in the KBT van and tell the driver you are going to Parapat
The KBT van will drop you off near Tiga Raja and make sure you tell them that! My first time, they just kept driving and then they made me pay more because it required them to drive more. I didn’t argue so I just gave 5000Rupiah which is literally under a 0.50USD. Just tell them Tiga Raja and they will understand. They will either drop you off within walking distance OR you will hop aboard another form of public transportation to get to where the ferry stop is.
Step 3: When you tell the KBT driver you are going to Parapat don’t forget to mention TIGA RAJA!
Once you get to Tiga Raja, you will come to a short walk through the market. You will see the ferry stop right ahead and again, many people will be there to ask where you are going. Just tell them Tuk Tuk Island! They will guide you to which ferry to take and there you can just plop a seat down and enjoy the 30 minute ride. Some ferry rides have seats inside and on the top deck. Definitely find a seat on the top deck and enjoy the cool views.
Step 4: Once you get to Tiga Raja, walk to the ferry stop and tell them you are going to Tuk Tuk Island
Ferry Times take off every half hour/hour. It’s Indonesia so it’s usually whatever time they say it is. For the most part, it is every half hour to get to TukTuk. Make sure you get to Tiga Raja BEFORE 5:30, otherwise you’ll be waiting until the next day.
Step 5: Choose from the list of hotels (below) and tell driver which hotel you are going to and they will drop you off right there!
Once you arrive to TukTuk island, there are many hotels you can stay in. Some of the best hotels are Samosir Cottages, Samosir Villas, and my absolute favorite; Tabo Cottages. For about 400,000-600,000Rupiah or, 29-45 USD per night, you can get a really nice room with a great view of Lake Toba. Samosir Villas is the only hotel that I know of with air conditioning, but you really don’t need it since you’re getting the cool night breeze of Lake Toba. But, everyone’s different and if you need AC, Samosir Villas is your place!
Ah, now, Tabo Cottages. If you want a quiet secluded hotel away from the hustle and bustle of TukTuk island, this is your place. If you want to wake up and have a peaceful walk to the lake; Tabo Cottages is the place to go. If you’re in need of an American or Western breakfast with toast and waffles, this is definitely the place you will enjoy. Breakfast is included and it’s not just mie goreng or nasi goreng (fried noddles/fried rice) AND there is even peanut butter! Yes