Sabtu, 08 Mei 2010

Singkarak Lake

Another ideal place for recreation and water sport is Singkarak Lake, 36 km from Bukittinggi. There are several motels and restaurants in the area. Singkarak Lake is located about 10 Km of Solok city and ± 35 Km from Kayu Aro. This lake is located in X Koto district and spread across Solok - Bukit Tinggi way. The lake is state between two regencies that is Solok regency and Tanah Datar regency with ± 129,70 km2 (± 1.129,29 Ha) width. Siangkarak Lake is the widest lake in West Sumatra and the second widest lake in Sumatra Island after Toba Lake.
The Lake that located in 362,5 m height from the sea level, has special species of fish that only live in this lake and the only in the world. Society around called as Bilih Fish (Mystacoleuseus Padangensis). Uniquely, this fish cannot live in other habitat, both in an aquarium and in a pool. The people around are often selling this fish and the visitors can enjoy the specific taste of this fish in the restaurants that located around the lake.
The Lake is equipped by some facilities, such as; hotels, motels, restaurants and also water sport facilities. Beside used as tourism objects and the economic source of society around, nowadays, this lake also used as the electric source of Sicincin.
Maninjau Lake
A winding road with 44 sharp turns descends to Maninjau Lake, 36 km from Bukittinggi. A crater lake abounds with fish. There are also facilities for swimming and water skying. Matur village, overlooking lakes, arranges dance performances on request. To the west of Bukittinggi, Meninjau Lake is a Crater Lake renowned for its scenery and remote beauty. Visitors can rent canoes and motorboat at the lakeshore. To the east of Padangpanjang, Batusankar we can see the Splendidly restores palace, with its wonderful carved and painted facades. Balimbing village have many traditional Minang houses.
Talang Lake
Talang Lake tourism object that located in Lembang Jaya districts is state ± 2 Km of the twin lakes (Diatas Lake and Dibawah Lake). The Lakes that located about 1.400 m of sea level is state between the cool and fresh hills with fruits and vegetables fields.
The nature lover who likes to hiking, the small lake with about 1,9 Ha width, that actually is one of the two of Mount Talang Purba crater, can reach by foot from Alahan Panjang or the twin lakes in one hour walking.


The heart of the highlands, Bukittinggi is a two-hours drives through beautiful of Anai valley countryside and up to the Agam Plateau. A center of attraction is the town's clock tower, topped with a horn- shaped roof and referred to by the people as Jam Gadang. It overlooks the market square and the city's magnificent surroundings. Located 930 meters above sea level, Bukittinggi, formerly named Fort De Cock by the Dutch, has a cool climate and is surrounded by three volcanoes: Tandikat, Singgalang and Merapi. In the outskirts of Ngarai Sianok town, a canyon that separate Bukittinggi from Gadang City, 12 km away overland. Gadang City is renowned for its fine silver filigree and hand embroidery.
Also worth visit the Museum, which is a Rumah Gadang, a traditional extended family house built in the 19th century. There are dance performances at the museum's open stage every Sunday and on public holidays. Night dance performances are at Sliguri. It is also worth seeing the bullfights at Padang Lawas (6 km south of Bukittinggi) every Tuesday at 5.00 p.m. The delightful hill town, Bukittinggi nestling amid mountain greenery at 920 m above sea level is the Minangkabau capital (victorious buffalo) people. Bukit Tinggi means 'high hill' is stunningly located with views over fertile valleys to two volcanoes, Mt Merapi and Mt Singgalang. It is laid out in tiers down the steep hillside, each level connected to the next by precipitous stone steps and passageways.
The central landmark in Bukittinggi is the clock tower, with its stylized roof, standing in the town square. Geographically, the town's highest point is the Rumah Adat Baandjuang Museum. It is 140 years old classic rumah adat (clan house). It exhibit include wedding and dance costumes, head dressers, musical instruments, village crafts and historic weaponry. Panorama Park has spectacular views over the Sianok and Ngarai canyons.


Siberut Island (4.030 km sq) is the largest island of four islands in the Mentawaian archipelago. It is located about 155 kilometers of West Sumatra coast, across the Mentawaian strait. The Mentawaian islands belong administratively to Padang Pariaman Regency in West Sumatra Province. Siberut is divided into two districts: North and South Siberut with administrative centers at Muara Sikabaluan and Muara Siberut which also service as respectively market centers of Siberut.
We can meet the indigenous Mentawai people who live close to nature and still live in comparative isolation, maintaining their age-old ways. Its virgin rainforest, is inhabited by a number of animal species that cannot found anywhere else in the world, among them some rare monkey species, pleasant surprises wait to explore.
The island also offers continuous spectacular white sand beaches with shallow shelves jutting out to the sea and fringing coral reefs, excellent for snorkeling and leisure a luxury for most of the islanders. It can only be found a few coastal communities. We will be rewarded with stunning views and beautiful jungles abounding with unique plant and wildlife. The real highlight of our journey though, is the chance to meet the Siberut people, traditionally hunter, gatherer clans who are now coming into contact with the modern world. We will stay as guests of a local Kerei (medicine -man) in the Uma (traditional family house). Here, where conditions are basic, we will gain a unique insight into the lives of these people who maintain a belief system based on living in total harmony with nature.
Siberut island recently received international attention as a priority conservation area, for the unique culture of the ethnic Mentawaian and endemic of its biodiversity that need to be preserved. Although the island has plenty to offer, the potential has not been utilized fully especially for tourism. Most visitors to the island are only interested to see the culture at the indigenous tribes, such as the communal clan life in the traditional UMA house along the riverbanks.
Siberut National Park occupies the western half of the island, ranging from the northern coasts. At present the Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Project organized by PHPA, MOF, together with local government, local NGOs and other institutions, conducts the community based conservation program.
Topography and Climate
Siberut Island is characterized by a wet equatorial climate, with minimum and maximum temperatures of 22o C (71.6F) and 31o C (87.8F). The dry season is from February to June and the raining season is from July to January. Siberut is hilly with wide variations in elevation. Almost 60% is covered by tropical rain forest with many forest types such as: primary dipterocarp forest, primary mixed forest, swamps forest, Barrington forest and mangrove forest. Also, there are many rivers on the islands with a complex system of tributaries.
Community and Culture
Although Siberut is only a small island, the internal variations in language, culture, life styles, and in resources is rather substantial. There is no clear indication of when the first man arrived on Siberut, but anthropologists suggest that the bataks of North Sumatra first settled on the island several thousand years ago. In many ways, the Siberut people are among the most archaic people in Indonesia.
The Mentawaian are traditionally organized as matrilineal groups and the social life centered around the UMA, a communal long house which held a clan of people related through a common ancestor. The UMA vary in size between 30 to 80 members divided in nuclear family units, referred to as LALEP. Because of internal friction, the clan might split up and form a new group or a single family. The Mentawaians believe that all living objects, men, plants and animals are supposed to have spirits. The only specialist in the community is the medicine man, KEREI, responsible for communication with the spirits and the souls. In case of misfortune or illness, he is called in to restore harmony within the group or in relation with the spirits in the environment. An elaborate Taboo system based on religious beliefs with respect to the environment is a dominant characteristic of traditional life on Siberut.
Visit and stay in a Mentawaian village, trek to the jungle, learn about sago processing and bark cloth processing, and do other activities that will heighten our interest in and fascination with the natural philosophy of the Mentawaians.
Jungle Adventure
Very few visitors have explored the thickly forested island. Visiting a cave in central Siberut or waterfalls in the northern and southern parts of the island, are possible upon request with our guide. Be observant of our surroundings. We may have the chance to see and hear some endemic wild life. Siberut has four endemic primates that in local names are called Bilou (Hylobates klossi), Simakobu (Simias concolor), Bokoi (Macaca pagensis), and Joja (Presbytis potenziani). There are at least five species of squirrels and chipmunks and birds abound everywhere on the island. Padding a canoe trekking on muddy trails balancing on a shipper log, wading through a shallow river, brushing through a dense jungle - are all parts of an unforgettable jungle adventure on Siberut.
Coastal Discovery
Some good coral reefs can be found along the east, south to southeast part of Siberut and the surrounding small islands. Along the coast, continuous, white sand beaches, magnificent lagoons, enfacing mangroves and Coral Sea gardens all promise an exciting coastal adventure. Dolphins (Stenela longirostris) can be seen along the east coast. Other sea mammals such as digong (Dugong dugong) occasionally can be sighted near the sea grass by the mangrove along with three protected species of sea turtles.
A motorized boat can reach Masilok Beach on the southern part of Siberut within an hour. The island's resort, dominated by coconut grows, a lagoon with beautiful white sand beach, promising a very relaxing environment. The west coast breaks from Siberut Island, connected only by sea garden and mangrove that lie side-by-side making it a unique experience for diving. Accommodation and fresh clean water are available. If we plan to travel to nearby islands, it can be arranged with local owners. In the southwestern part of Siberut lies Sagulubek Beach, with calm and clear waters making it ideal for wind surfing. In the northern part, Sikabaluan beach offers an excellent dip in warm water to soothe the soul.

Selasa, 20 April 2010


Riau province is one of the fastest growing parts of Indonesia in terms of economic, population and tourism. Riau Province occupies the central part of eastern region on Sumatra Island, which straddles between Malacca Straits, South China Sea and Berhala Straits. The Province is a strategic region as it directly faces Malacca Straits and Singapore, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
Riau is one of the richest provinces in Indonesia. This province is rich with natural resources, particularly petroleum and natural gas, rubber, and palm oil. The majority of the province is heavily forested lowland; logging is a major industry in the province.
Geographically, Riau Province lies on 445' North Altitude up to 115' South Longitude or 10003' up to 10919' Greenwich and 650' up to 145' West Longitude Jakarta, with natural borders as follows:
North side: North Sumatra Province, Malacca Straits
South side: Jambi Province
West Side: West Sumatra Province
East side: Riau Archipelago
Riau Province is administratively divided into 9 Regencies (Bengkalis, Indragiri Hilir, Kampar, Kuantan Singingi, Pelalawan, Rokan Hilir, Rokan Hulu, Siak) and 2 cities (Pekanbaru, Dumai), with Pekanbaru as the capital city.
This region is dominantly characterized by the sea climate with average temperature of 30°C at day and 23°C at night throughout the year. Rainy season falls on November (sometimes October) up to April while dry season begins in July. Riau has tropical climate and in general is classified into climate type "A" with relatively high rainfall, ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 mm per year in average.
Most areas in Riau are lowland plain, including alluvial islands scattered along coastal line with average elevation less than 200 m above sea level. In mainland region, there are four big rivers, i.e. Rokan River, Siak River, Kampar River and Indragiri River. These rivers spring from Bukit Barisan mountain range stretching along the border Riau Province and West Sumatra Province, and flow down to Malacca Straits. The rivers play an important role as the means of transportation, sources of irrigation, energy, and clean water as well as fishery resources. Archipelagic region of Riau, on the other hand, is formed of volcanic formation in the form of islands, big and small. The soil is in general of Organosol type (Histosol), containing much organic substance. Wide Area
The territorial size of Riau Province is 329,867.16 km consisting of land area 94,561,61 Km2 and water area 235,306,00 Km2. Riau population is 4,948,000 (2000 census).

Taluk Kuantan

From Pekanbaru about 170 km south to Taluk Kuantan, crossing the equator just after Lipat Kain. Before reaching Taluk Kuantan, the road crosses Logas region, once a gold mining area. During the Second World War, the Japanese established here a camp where many Dutch people were imprisoned and exploited by forcing them to work in the mines.
Taluk Kuantan lies at the upstream part (Hilir) of Indragiri River. In the early years, this river was used to carry the gold, which was mined in West Sumatra, to the east coast of Sumatra.
Taluk Kuantan is the centre of Pacu Jalur, a traditional boat race held every year in remembrance Indonesia's independence day on the 17th of August. More than 100 teams from all over Riau province join the race. Each team rows their line, a long and slender boat that carries 50 to 60 people, along a track setout on Indragiri River. The races start on Wednesday in the third or fourth week of August. The boats gather upstream and race to each other two by two. The winner makes the next round. The final is held on Sunday.
Pacu Jalur is full with mystic and tradition, which already starts with picking out a tree with a circumference of 4 to 5 meters for the Jalur, up to the moment, the Jalur is launched into the water.

Riau Cultural Park

South of the city centre, not far from the airport, is Pekanbaru's museum, housing historical remains from the region. The museum is built in traditional Riau-Malay style. Next door to the museum is Taman Budaya Riau, which comprises several traditional houses. The place is designated as the centre of cultural activities. The museum known by the name of Sang Nila Utama is a Malay traditional architectural model building located at Jenderal Sudirman Street Pekanbaru, not far from Sultan Syarif Kasim II airport. The museum, which is opened daily, except on Sunday and holidays, is keeping various collection of objects of art, history and culture from Riau area in general. Next to the museum, there is also a building with nearly similar architectural feature, i.e. Riau Cultural Park Building, which is appropriated as the centre of various art and cultural activity.

Siak Sri Indrapura

Siak Sri Indrapura was the centre of an Islamite Malayan kingdom, which enjoyed its golden age from the 18th through 20th century. Sultan Abdul Jalil Rakhmad Syah founded the kingdom in 1725. He was the first in a family tree of 12 sultans who would reign until 1945. In November 1945, the last sultan, Sultan Syarif Kasyim II, sent a cable to the president of Republic of Indonesia stating his loyalty to the republic, and he contributed his properties to the struggle of independence.
The old palace of Siak Sri Indrapura is definitely worth a visit. It is located 125 km northeast from Pekanbaru and can best be reached from Pekanbaru over land. It was built 1889 by Sultan Abdul Jalil Syarifuddin, in the 11th of 12th sultans who ruled Siak from 1725 to 1945 the M Arches and Minarets give the palace a strong Indian Moghui look representative of stills during the colonials times. The Palace was refurbished in 1989.
The palace stores a collection of properties of the last sultans. In the reception area, life size figures of the sultan and his courtiers welcome the visitor. Inside the palace, one can admire the gold plated royal throne and a duplicate of the royal crown. The original gold crown has been brought to the National Museum in Jakarta. Large photographs of the last sultans decorate the walls of the palace.
The last sultans formed a part of the Dutch establishment. Much of the decor in the palace is European. A big attraction is Komet, a large German music player, whose perforated metal disks tinkle tunes of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss, brought by the sultan from a visit to Europe in 1896. People say that there are only two left in the world.
Close to the palace, at the banks of Siak river is the Royal Mosque.

Jumat, 16 April 2010


Berastagi, a tourist town, is another lovely town located in Karo highlands. The town is known for its plantations and various kinds of flowers, vegetables and fruit, most famous which is Marquisa passion fruit. It's 66 km southwest of Medan and is 4.594 feet above sea level. There is a pleasant colonial-style hotel with a golf course. Other new hotels can also be found. From Gundaling Hill a clear view of Mt. Sibayak and Mt. Sinabung volcanoes can be seen.
From this city, the visitors will enjoy charming scenery to the active mountainside, which are Sibayak Mountain and Sinabung Mountain. To climb Sibayak Mountain require at least 3 hours trip and we could enjoy pretty scenery in these mountains or 3 to 4 hours trip in the forest to see the nature wealth inside, for both the flora and the fauna around this forest.

The atmosphere of green nature from the reflection of the trees from the slope of Rangkap Sibayak Mountain (well known as Sibayak mountain) made the Berastagi city had flooded by tourists. The hill line along with the agricultural field, are always ready to refresh its visitor's eyes. Berastagi which rich with agro-industries became the appropriate choice for recreation spot other than Toba Lake and Samosir Island, which has become a trademark of North Sumatra.
Berastagi has the strategic location to become the stopping place, not just because several tourist attractions are easy to be accessed from here, but also the hotels are well provided. Hotels can be easily found with varying price, by offering the design typical to the locals. However the visitor still have the choice to choose the hotels and villas that historically were the legacy of colonial period.
Sibayak and Sinabung Mountain.
Berastagi to Sibayak Mountain distance are only 7 Km, this is why the hikers choose this City, as the closest alternative to reach the mountain peak (2.094 meters from sea level). With the currently available infrastructure, the vehicles could reach close to the mountain peak that was known with its beauty nature. On the Peak of Sibayak Mountain, we could see a sulfuric crater lake with wide around 200 x 200 meters, with temperature 119.6 Celsius and the temperature of surrounding air is 21 Celsius. The other scenery of Sibayak mountain peak is Sinabung mountain peak (2.451 meters from sea level), located in the west.
Lau Debuk-Debuk
Not just that, near Berastagi, on the side of Sibayak mountain peak we could find Lau Debuk-Debuk Hot Water Springs. Located in Daulu and Semangat Gunung village, this hot water springs flowed with the temperature of 35 Celsius emerged through the lava cracks in the volcano slope that afterwards was accommodated in the bathing place ponds. The climbers usually use this hot water reservoir to release their fatigue from the trip. Now, there are also an electrical generator (power plant) on the hot spring upstream that had the temperature above 150 ° Celsius. The visitors could see a power plant, which produces electricity from geothermal vapors.
Gundaling Hill
Berastagi also had Gundaling Hill which located only 3 Km from Berastagi. This hill offered a beautiful garden that was suitable as a spot to relax or to do some sports. From the hill peak, we could enjoy Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung panorama.
Tongging was located 112 km from Medan City. This area is located near to Sipiso-piso Waterfall with 360-foot height. From this place, we could enjoy picturesque scenery of Toba Lake. In the intersection of Merek we could turn to Sipiso-piso in Mount Tandukbenua slope (1.947 m. from sea level). The surrounding panorama indeed is very much enchanting. From the balcony of the two leveled guesthouse that was located in the south of this plateau, the visitor could see the calm and beautiful nature of Toba Lake.


Nias Island lies about 125 km of west Sumatra Island on the Indian Ocean. It is part of North Sumatra Province. The water surround the island is great for sea activities, such as surfing and scuba diving. The people also have curious culture, which will enrich visitor's heart. The island has some prehistoric remains, which built on megalithic Stone Age, and considered came from the oldest megalithic
culture in Indonesia.
The local call their land as Tano Niha or "land of the People", while the people calls them selves as Ono Noha. Ethnically, the Niasers are involved in to the Ptoto-Malay ethnic who once ever get with the Asian Proto-mongoloid world. Niasers speak a kind of language related to Malagasy. Because of the similarity in languages, custom, body size of the Niasers with the Bataks on Sumatra mainland, it is possible that the Niasers have derived from the Bataks.
Surfers will call this island "Paradise on Earth". Together with its beautiful white sandy beach, Lagundri Bay challenge surfers with spectacular waves. In the high season, the waves told to be as high as 3.5 meters. The waves of Sorake Beach on Lagundri Bay have ranked to be within the best ten waves of the world. It is true if some surfers referred of Sorake Beach waves as "the most notorious right-band reef breaks". There are events held for surfers, including the World Professionals Qualifying Series. Surfers are better being ready when your heart cannot leave this island after a visit.
Enormous breakers pummel of Nias Island attracting the best surfers in the world to Lagundri Beach. The unforgiving power attacking the shore seems to have bred the same qualities in the people, whose militaristic culture has fascinated anthropologists for decades. This island lies off West Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. Bawomataluo and Hilisimae villages are curious places to visit, where visitors can see performances of traditional war dances and thrilling high- jump sports, i.e. people making dangerous leaps over 2 meter-high stones. Typical scenes are dancers clad in traditional costumes with bird feathers on their heads, a hall for the Chief-of Tribe built on wooden logs with stone chairs weighing up to 18 tons. There are daily flights from Medan to Nias Island.

To reach this place, there is weekly ship from Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia) to Gunung Sitoli; There are Ferries from Sibolga to Gunung Sitoli, Teluk Dalam, or Lahewa every day; Before the crisis hit Indonesia, there is daily flight from Medan to Gunung Sitoli, however it is less frequent nowadays. Gunung Sitoli is the capital city of Nias and it is the center of administration and business affairs of regency. There are several travel agencies hotels, public busses and rental cars to support tourism here. There are also some government and private banks available.
Nias Island lies on 10 30' north latitude and 970 98' east longitudes. It covers of 5,625 km2 areas, which is mostly lowland area of ± 800 m above sea level.
It is the biggest in a group of islands on Sumatra side that is part of North Sumatra province. This area consists of 131 islands and Nias Island is the biggest. The population in this area is about 639,675 people (including Malay, Batak, and Chinese). Nias has a very unique culture and nature, which is far different from other areas in North Sumatra. This is because of its separate and remote location from the rest of Sumatra.

Maimoon Palace

This building is dominated by yellow colors. However, do not connect it with the color of a political party. Yellow was the typical color of the Malay. There are family photographs, furnishings, and old weapons inside the building. The Maimoon Palace was the legacy of Deli Sultanate. Maimoon palace was located in Brigjen 
Katamso Street, Medan. Sultan Deli, Sultan Makmun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah, had established this palace. The designer was an Italia architect, and finished in 1888. Built on a land measuring 2.772 m2 wide the palace building is facing to east, and become the centre of the Deli kingdom. This palace consisted of two floors that were divided into three parts, which is the main building, the left wing, and the right wing. In front, around 100 meters, stood Al-Maksum mosque that are well known as Medan's Great mosque.
In the guest room (balairung) we will encounter the throne that was dominated by yellow color. Crystal lights lighted the throne, a form of influence of European culture. The same influences are appeared in the palace furnishings like the seat, the table, toilet and the cupboard and the door, headed to balairung. The room measuring 412 m2 was used for the coronation agenda of Sultan Deli or the other traditional agenda. Balairung was also used as the place where the Sultan received praised from his relatives and family in Islam holidays.
Further more, the number of the rooms was 40, 20 rooms in the upper floor, the Sultan's throne and 20 rooms underneath, not include 4 bathrooms, the warehouse, the kitchen, and the prison in the basement. Interesting if we observe this palace architectural design. The blend between the Islam tradition and European culture was boldly implemented. Apart from the balairung, the building base also showed Europe influence. Some of the building material was imported from Europe, like floor tiles, marble, and terrazzo.
The pattern of Dutch architecture with the door and wide and tall windows, as well as Spanish stylish doors became a part of the Maimoon Palace. The Dutch influenced was also seen in the marble inscription in front of the marble ladder that was written with Latin letter in Netherlands language.
The Islam influence was seen in the form of the curve or arcade in several parts of the palace roof. The curve that had the shape of the overturn boat that was known with Persian Curve was often met on the buildings in the Middle East, Turkey, and India region. The Maimoon palace was one of the most beautiful buildings in Medan. His location is easy to be reach, both from Polonia Airport (about 10 km) and Belawan Port (about 28 km). This historic building was open public every day from 08.00 until 17.00.

Minggu, 11 April 2010

Toba Lake

World famous is the crater Toba Lake in the Batak highlands; approximately five hours drive from Medan. Toba Lake is the largest lake in South East Asia and also one of the most spectacular, surrounded by tall mountains and with the large island of Samosir in the middle. If we descend from the mountain we see the lake glittering in all its beauty. The Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek even called Toba Lake, 'the most beautiful place on earth'. Most visitors stay on the peninsula of Tuk Tuk on Samosir, named after the linguist Herman Neubronner van der Tuuk. In general people stay several days on Samosir to discover the island, to visit traditional Batak villages, to swim in the lake and go to the hot springs in Pangururan.
The centerpiece of North Sumatra, Lake Toba's bracing climate and magnificent panoramas clear the mind and soothe the soul. For decades a magnet from regional and foreign visitors alike, Toba has developed into a full-featured highland resort while retaining the rustic charm and relaxed ambiance that define Toba's attraction. Formed by a stupendous prehistoric volcanic explosion, the 100 km long lake is the largest in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest and the highest in the world. The drama of that cataclysmic birth persist in 500 meter cliffs dropping into the blue-green waters, surrounded by steep, pine covered sloped, the climate is fresh and pleasant, with just enough rain to support the lush vegetation.
Toba Lake is a 100kms x 30kms volcanic lake in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Toba Lake has become one of the main tourist attractions for a long time in North Sumatra apart from Bukit Lawang and Nias, visited by both domestic and foreign tourist.
The Origin of Toba Lake
It is estimated that Toba Lake was formed during a volcanic eruption about 73.000-75.000 years ago and which was the most recent super volcano eruption. Bill Rose and Craig Chesner from Michigan Technological University estimated that volcanic materials that were spewed out the mountain totaling 2800km3, with 800km3 ignimbrites rock and 2000km3 volcanic ash that is estimated was blown (wind) to the west for 2 weeks. This incident caused mass death (destruction) and to several species also causes extinction. According to some DNA proof, this eruption also shrinks the humankind population to around thousands back then.
After this eruption, a caldera was formed that was filled by water afterwards and now known as Toba Lake. The pressure from the dormant magma, which has not yet erupted, caused Samosir Island to emerge. The region that now known as Samosir Island originally was a peninsula that attached to the Sumatran mainland. In this peninsula the Netherlands built the water canal 10 m width.
For the first time visitors, going through Medan-Parapat route seeing a lake as big as that made Samosir appear like an amazing grand island. However, the island perspective will certainly faded with the increase in Toba plateau visitor, Nias and the other places in the south, through Medan-Berastagi route. Samosir occupied a central geographical position in the Toba plateau region. With the declaration of the Toba Samosir Regency (the inhabitants 302.000 lives, the area with wide of 3.440 km including the lake) it finally ascend from only a shadow into a Regency. Moreover, the width of Samosir Island exceed Singapore (647 km), in fact Toba Lake almost twice bigger than Singapore. The Samosir image in tourism books as the backpackers location must be changed because this historic place must restore the greatness of its past.
Legend of Toba Lake
Once upon a time, lived a young orphan farmer in the northern part of the Sumatran Island. This area was very dry. The young man lived from farming and fishing. One day he went fishing, he already fishing for half of the day but still not getting any fish yet. So he returned home for the day turns to night, but when he nearly left he saw a big beautiful golden fish, he then caught the fish and brought it home. He intended to cook the fish right away but watched the beauty of this fish he then cancelled his intention. He chose to keep it as pet, and then he placed it in a big pond and feed it. On the next day, like usual, he went to his farm, and on the noon he comeback home, to have lunch. But when he arrived in his house he was very startled for the meal had prepared to be eaten. He then fears that the fish might be stolen, and then hastily he ran to the back of his house.
However, the fish was still in place, for a long time he thinks, “Who cooks those meals”, but because his is very hungry, he ate those meals. But this incident continued to occur again repeatedly, every time he came home for lunch, the meals are prepared on the table. Then one day this young man made a strategy to find out who cooks those meals, the next day he then began to commence his strategy, he then hide around the trees close to his house. He was waiting for a long time, but the smoke in his kitchen still has not been seen, and when he then intended to return home, he began to see the smoke in the kitchen.
"Hey woman, who are you, and where are you came from?” the woman began to drop tears, and then the young man saw his fish was no longer in the pond. He asked the woman, “hey woman, where is the fish in that pond?” the Woman cried intensely, but this young man continued to ask and finally the woman answers, “I was the fish that was caught by you”. The young man then startled, but because he felt that he had hurt the feelings this woman, then he said, “Hey woman, did you want to become my wife??” the Woman then startled, he stay quiet, then the young man said “Why are you silent??” Then the woman said, “I wanted to become your wife. But with one condition.” ”What is the condition?” the young man quickly asked, the woman then said, “In the future if our child was born and grew, never even once you said that he/she was anakni Dekke (child of a fish) ”. The young man then agreed to that condition and swore he will never say it.
Then they were married and granted a child. When the child was 6 years old, this child turn to be very naughty. Then one day the mother told her child to deliver meals to his father field, the child then went to deliver rice to his father. But in the middle of the trip, this child was felt hungry, then the child opened food package for his father, and ate the food. After finished eating, the child then wrapped it back and continued the trip to his father's field. On arrival the child gave the food package to the father, the father was very happy, the father then sat and immediately opened the food package that was sent by his wife to be carried by his child. But he was very startled when he opened the package there is only bones remained. The father then asked his child “Hay my child, why there are only bones left in this package??” And the child answers,” In my trip I felt hungry, so I ate the food.” Listened to that the father was very angry, he then slap his child and said, "Botul maho anakni dekke (Why you child of a fish),". The child is then ran home crying and ask to his mother “Mak, Olo do na in dokkon amangi, botul do au anakni dekke? (Mother, is it true what father said, that I am a child from a fish?) ” Heard his child's words his mother was startled. While dropping tears and saying in her heart, “My husband has violated his swore, and now I must return to my place.” Then the sky was suddenly become dark followed with lightning, thunder, storm, and rain. The child and the mother disappeared, from their footprint emerged a spring that flowed water as swiftly as possible. Until this area was turned into a lake, that was named as “Tuba Lake” the lake without mercy, but because of the bataks was difficult to say “Tuba”, then this lake was mentioned as

According to the local Citizen, the mother return as a huge fish (the lake guardian), and until today no one is able to measure the depth of this lake. Many tourists that tried to dive into the lake but never return. The lake depth in the book is only estimation not as a fact.
Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student

Sabtu, 10 April 2010

Mount Leuser National Park is one of the largest national parks in the world, containing over 800,000 hectares of virgin rainforest. The park is home to orangutans, gibbons, monkeys, elephants, tigers, and among the last of the Sumatran rhinoceros. There are research facilities for the study of primates, birds and insects, the Orangutans rehabilitation center at Bukit Lawang being the most popular with tourists. It is possible to raft Alas River from Ketambe to the Indian Ocean on a 4 - 5 day expedition. The journey takes us through exciting white-water rapids to the calmer, crocodile-infested waters of the lowlands. Basic accommodation is available at Ketambe.
The Leuser National Park of Gunung Leuser is probably the wildest in Indonesia, located in Southeast Aceh, can be reached from either Kutacane, or Takengon. This magnificent national park has a wealth of flora and fauna. The Leuser Ecosystem is an outstanding wilderness in Aceh northern Sumatra. It is one of the richest expanses of tropical rain forest in Southeast Asia. More than 2.5 million hectares in size, it is the last place on earth where elephants, rhinos, tigers, clouded leopards, and orangutans are found within one area.
The first official statement of intent to protect the Leuser Ecosystem was signed in 1934. The Leuser International Foundation (a non-profit non-government organization) was established in the late 1990's when the ecosystem was seriously under threat from illegal logging and wildlife poaching.
Geographically, the Leuser Ecosystem lies between 3-4.5° North and 96.5-98° East. It covers approximately 2.6 million hectares of tropical rain forest, encompassing 890,000 hectares of designated national park, as well as extensive areas of protection and production forests. The ecosystem contains two major volcanoes, three lakes, and nine major river systems that flow to the east and west coasts of the island.
The Leuser Ecosystem has an enormous level of biodiversity. It contains at least 127 mammal species, including the Sumatran elephant, Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Sumatran orangutan. About 8,500 different plant species grow in the beach, swamp, lowland, mountain and alpine ecosystems of the Leuser Ecosystem. Of the 10,000 plant species recorded in the West Indo-Malayan Region, 45% are found in the Leuser Ecosystem. Spectacular plants such as Rafflesia (the largest flower in the world) and Amorphophallus (the tallest flower in the world) are among the plants protected there.
Mount Leuser National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Indonesia (950,000 hectare). Actually, it's a collection of various nature reserves and forests: Nature Reserve Mount Leuser, Nature Reserve Kappi, Nature Reserve Kluet, Sikundur Langkat Wildlife Reserve, Ketambe Research Station, Singkil Barat and Dolok Sembilin. Most parts of the national park lie in the region Aceh Tenggara (SE Aceh). Other parts are situated in the region east Aceh, south Aceh, and Langkat.
Mount Leuser National Park comprises more than 100 kilometers of the Bukit Barisan Mountains. Because of that, the park consists of steep, almost inaccessible mountainous terrain. The altitude ranges from 0 meter, in Kluet (South Aceh), to 3,381 meter, on top of the mount Leuser (Southeast Aceh). The Alas River cuts the park into an eastern and western half. Apart from mountains we find several other ecosystems: beach forest, swamp areas, lowland rainforest, alpine and mountain forest. In Bukit Lawang is the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Station and in Ketambe stands the Ketambe research station.

Jumat, 02 April 2010


Diving Options

At Wakatobi we offer three different types of diving boat diving on one of our specially designed, locally-crafted dive boats, shore diving on our fabulous house reef and taxi boat diving on the further points of the house reef. (Our house reef is more than three (3) miles long). You can participate in any one or all three of these options on any given dive day. The choice is completely up to you, based on what your desire is for that given day. We also offer night diving (unguided) on the house reef and 1-2 guided boat night dives.

Below is a brief overview of each of the diving options.

Boat Diving

Because of our very fortunate location there's a wide range of superb dive sites within reach of our dive boats. We have more than 40 sites that we regularly dive, all accessible by a normally short boat ride. Boat rides range from 10 minutes up to a maximum of an hour away for a few of the furthest away sites. Most are within minutes from the resort.

Prior to each scheduled dive boat departure, there will be a briefing at the resort by your guide. A sketch of the dive objective is displayed, the likely conditions discussed, and a dive plan rehearsed. Known marine inhabitants and their locations are explained, along with specific advice for photographers. On arrival at the dive site, your guide will enter first. If conditions are as expected, the "pool is open". Otherwise, your guide will amend the dive plan before opening give the OK to enter the water. Boat dives always have trained guides to locate and point out marine life and/or assist divers as needed.

Snacks are served between consecutive boat dives, as well as liquid refreshments such as tea, hot chocolate, and water. Dry fresh towels are also available. For safety purposes, all divers are encouraged to remain well hydrated.

Shore Diving

Our "signature dish". This is what has made Wakatobi the number one choice among not only resort divers but also liveaboard lovers. World's best shore diving. Simply get your gear and step right out on the beach, get in the water, flip your fins a few times and enjoy some of the most amazing reef life you will ever see. The house reef top is so prolific that many photographers find themselves out of film* before they have even reached the drop-off (located approx. 80 yards in front of the Resort proper).

Here on the house reef you can spend hour upon hour throughout your stay. Sometimes you will enter from the beach, other times from the ladder at the jetty. Most dives will be in a slight current meaning that you will drift at various speeds along the reef while exploring it's beauty. You can enter and exit the water right in front of the resort at high and medium tide while at low tide you will need to use the jetty or the canyon "second gully" at the corner of the island. Due to our location next to this unique island corner canyon you can shore dive at any tide!

When getting in the water in front of the resort you will first gently drift over an area completely covered in lush sea grass. This is a superb macro site with tons of wondrous critters. Then, as you get about two thirds out on the reef flat you'll start to see the corals..and lots of 'em. The outer part of the house reef is completely covered with lush coral, both soft and hard. Enjoy!

You can dive the amazing house reef in buddy teams beginning at 06.00 a.m.

Taxi Boat Diving

Our house reef is more than three (3) miles long. We offer a service that allows you to explore dive sites on the house reef normally not accessible from the resort. Due to the house reef being so expansive this adds several sites for you to enjoy. Simply let one of our dive guides know that you and a buddy (or a group of up to 6 divers) wish to go out with a tender boat and they will help you get your gear on board. Then, as the boat glides out over the reef you fine tune your gear and get ready for the dive. Once over the site you will do a back roll to enter the water. The dive location will be chosen so that the current will bring you back to the resort. After a perfect, impression-intensive dive, you can then exit the water at the end of our jetty (or on any part of the beach) where our attentive local staff will be standing by to carry cameras and dive gear

Sometimes the predominant current will change and you may not be able to get all the way back to the resort without surfacing. No worries ... our tender boats follow you as you make your dive and after surfacing, you can simply give a wave and one our taxi boats will pick you up and return you to the beach in front of the resort.

Beach dives and taxi boat dives accompanied by guides upon availability. Taxi boat service is available from 06.00 a.m. until 5.30 p.m.

Night Diving

Night diving at Wakatobi is fantastic!. One or two night dives (depending on length of the trip and weather) will be offered from the boats. You can dive any night on the house reef in front of the resort (unguided). Simply gear up in the diver preparation area and walk-in off the beach.

Night dives should be finished at the latest by 10.00 p.m. but special arrangements can be made to dive at other hours.

Solo diving at night is not allowed due to security reasons.


Bunaken is an island of 8 km², part of the Bunaken National Marine Park. Bunaken is located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. It belongs administratively to the municipality of Manado. Scuba diving attracts many visitors to the island.

Other sides of Bunaken.

Bunaken National Park extends over an area of 890.65 km² of which only 3% is terrestrial, including Bunaken Island, as well as the islands of Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen.

The waters of Bunaken National Marine Park are up to 1,566 m deep in Manado Bay, with temperatures ranging between 27 to 29 °C. It has a high diversity of - corals, fish, echinoderms or sponges. Notably, 7 of the 8 species of giant clams that occur in the world, occur in Bunaken.

Oceanic currents may explain, in part, why Bunaken National Marine Park has such a high level of biodiversity. Northeasternly currents generally sweep through the park but abundant counter currents and gyros related to lunar cycles are believed to be a trap for free swimming larvae. This is particularly true on the south side of the crescent-shaped Bunaken Island, lying in the heart of the park. A snorkeler or diver in the vicinity of Lekuan or Fukui may spot over 33 species of butterfly fish and numerous types of groupers, damsels, wrasses and gobies. The gobies, smallish fish with bulging eyes and modified fins that allow them to attach to hard surfaces, are the most diverse but least known group of fish in the park.