A Week on Danau Toba

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  , Sumatra,
Friday, April 16, 2010

Danau Toba is the largest crater lake in the world. It's actually what first got me interested in going to Sumatra, so I was pretty excited to finally see it. Looking back on the photos, it is beautiful. But at the time, it didn’t quite live up to my lofty expectations.

Part of the problem was the weather. There was crop-burning going on, so it was hazy all the time, which really killed the views. However, it cleared a little after the rains, which helped. In fact, the storms themselves were probably the coolest views. I’ve posted pics and videos.

Our hotel was really nice and had a beautiful garden and view of the lake. Unfortunately, I expected the water to look like Crater Lake in Oregon, which I think is the most beautiful places in the U.S. Toba didn’t look like that. The water was not a stunning blue with perfect clarity, so I guess that’s not a feature of all crater lakes.

Still, the island was nice. We did a couple of long motorbike rides and saw villages and some nice greenery. But mostly we sat around and read. It was the vacation part of our travels. Actually, it was all a vacation. We did snorkel and dive on Pulau Weh, but we chilled out and read a lot there too. I think we went through a dozen books. But that’s the kind of travel we love: stunning scenery and then time for quiet reflection. So I wouldn’t tell people to go to Sumatra just for Toba, but it’s a nice stop between Pulau Weh and Bukittinggi, both of which are awesome. Actually, Bukittinggi isn’t great, but the stuff around it is. I’ll discuss that in the next entry. After Lindsey’s miserable bus ride of course.

Beautiful HD video. Click on the bottom right to watch it in 720.

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