taking in the scenery is a good enough activity in Tongging. There
are though many more things to do and see; walking, swimming, sun
bathing, hiking, fishing, kayaking and more. Sometimes even
paragliding is arranged.
Gunung Sipiso-piso is a mountain standing alone between Merek
and Tongging and doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s summit is 1.947m above
sea level. The slopes are covered with alang-alang grass except for
the summit where there is a small patch of forest. There is a narrow
surfaced serpentine road partly reclaimed by grass, all the way to
the summit. The views are really breathtaking and one should not be
afraid of heights. At good weather Pulau Samosir really looks small
in comparison to the vastness of Lake Toba. The only sounds one
hears are the birdsong and maybe music from an occasional wedding
party in some village far below. The road starts 2,5 km from Merek
or 7 km from Tongging. It is 3,5 km to the summit.
Sipiso-piso Waterfall is definitely majestic. It flows from a
small ravine approximately 120m up out of the vertical mountainside.
The stream flows to Lake Toba. There is a viewpoint 150m off the
road 6 km before Tongging with a ticket booth at the junction where
you pay a few thousand Rupiah for entry, insurance and cleaning.
There are a number of restaurants and souvenir stands at the
viewpoint. Open 08.00 – 18.00. Take a minibus on the route between
Tongging and Merek (Rp. 1.500) or walk.
Another more adventurous way to see the fall is to trek along the
river from Tongging until the fall. It is possible to bathe below
the fall. The water is clean and nice, but has passed through
villages before the fall so don't drink it. From here are stairs
leading up to the viewpoint. The trek is 5 km and takes maybe 2 hrs.
Start at the bridge in Tongging.
Trek up to Sidoppak creek to Sijambur waterfall
This so-called 'small-waterfall' is maybe about 50m high. It is
located up stream from Wisma Sibayak, maybe a 2 – 3 hrs rock-hopping
trek. The water is cool and very clean, as it never has been through
any villages or rice fields. It is perfect for bathing.
Swimming and bathing
"Tongging Beach" is maybe the most convenient for swimming. It is a
public bathing place, popular amongst locals on Sundays and national
holidays. Otherwise it is very quiet. It is located just after the
junction for Sibolangit. See map. Below Wisma Sibayak on the other
side of the bay is an alternative for swimming in the lake. For
bathing in rivers, the Sungai Sidoppak, which flows through the
Wisma Sibayak grounds, is the best alternative. Its water comes
directly from the mountain forest and is perfectly clear and clean.
The market is every Friday. Boats and pick-up cars come from
surrounding villages loaded with passengers and their produce. Red
onions are the main product of this area. Market day is a very
lively day in Tongging. Don’t miss it. Boats from Bage, Haranggaol
and Silalahi come in early morning and go back around noon. They
Gunung Sipiso-piso is ideal for paragliding, maybe one of the best
places in Southeast Asia in the best season, which is January and
February. There is not yet any established activity or equipment
available, but Anten Wisata arranges a paragliding event in the
beginning of every year. For more information about this and about
paragliding in West Sumatra, contact: Anten Wisata, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda
5, Bekasi 17141, ph: +6221 889 2153, +6221 884 4027, fax: +6221 884
Makam Raja Urung Manihuruk is the grave of the the last ruler in
Tongging, Raja Manihuruk. He died in 1947 at an age of 100 years.
There is a monument and the old house, a Dutch wooden villa. Follow
the narrow path leading to this place, starting next to an
elementary school. See map.
Traditional weddings and funerals are interesting. Ask in your
accommodation if something is going on. There is no problem to take
Trekking can be arranged at Wisma Sibayak Tongging.
See NEARBY VILLAGES
for information about other nice walks and villages not too far way.
Kayaking is great on Lake Toba. See (KAYAKING
ON LAKE TOBA) for more information.
Handicraft from Karo can be best found in Kabanjahe and
Silalahi. A day trip to Silalahi can be recommended if you are
interested. On Thursdays it is market day in Silalahi.
See Karo hand weaving.
Fish farms gives an income to many around Lake Toba.
Unfortunately there are far too many, causing environmental
problems. Behind the accommodation Wisma Parultop you can see how a
fish farm works; mainly Gold fish and Gurami fish.
>> SEE ALSO