North Sumatra is quite known as a popular travel destination in Indonesia. There’re plenty things to do in North Sumatra, say seeing Orang Utans in Bukit Lawang. Whether you wanna check some islands nearby, or hiking volcanoes, here are some lists of what to do in North Sumatra.

Apart from hiking Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung, I did manage to check out some other view sightseeing spots such as Sipiso-Piso Waterfall, Kwan Im Statue in Siantar, and the infamous Lake Toba.

Sipiso-Piso Waterfall

Located in Tongging Village, Karo, North Sumatera, Sipiso-Piso waterfall is nominated as the highest waterfall in Indonesia. This 120 meters waterfall is also located at the north side of Lake Toba means it’s possible to see some part of Lake Toba from here.

Sipiso-Piso waterfall can be reached from Berastagi by using Angkot KT to Kaban Jahe Station (Rp 2,000) then change to another angkot to Sipiso-piso waterfall. The journey takes approximately one and a half hour. Entrance fee Rp 4,000/person.

There are stairs down to the waterfall. Once you’ve reached right under the waterfall, you will feel sharp splash of water. That is why it’s named as Sipiso-piso. “Piso” or “Pisau” means knife. But the beauty of the waterfall is very worthy to visit.

sipisopiso waterfall what to do north sumatra
Sipiso-piso Waterfall

Kwan Im Statue, Siantar

I had a quick stop at Siantar to see Kwan Im Statue which is located in Pane Road before I went to Parapat. I took angkot KT from Berastagi to Kaban Jahe (Sepadan Bus Station). From Kaban Jahe to Siantar by Sepadan Bus cost me Rp 25,000, around 3 and a half hours ride.

From Siantar Station, I took angkot to the statue. I thought it would be a beautiful temple with the statue in fact I was wrong. The temple was still under renovation. No other visitors except me. I think this place is still not very popular for tourists. The 22 meters statue looks shining under the sky.

Kwan Im Temple, Siantar
Kwan Im Temple in Siantar

Lake Toba

The reason I went to Siantar first because I started from Berastagi. More buses goes to Siantar rather than to Parapat. From information that I got, the bus from Berastagi to Parapat only operates at 9 a.m. at the station and it cost Rp 100,000 (not sure about this).

I took a bus from the station to Tiga Raja Peer, 2 hours ride and cost me Rp 10,000. If you want more comfortable ride, you can take minivan/taxi along the station and of course, more expensive. Try Paradep or Nice Trans Taxi. I would say that the buses are crazy., not only me saying this but also from review or other sites that I read.

There are two main peers in Parapat, Tiga Raja and Ajibata. Ferries from Tiga Raja will take you to Tuk-Tuk and Tomok (Rp 10,000). Last ferry operates at 7 p.m. On the other hand, ferries from Ajibata peer are bigger and cheaper (Rp 6,000) also can load cars and scooters but it only goes to Tomok. I suggest you to stay in Tuk-tuk where many homestays can be chosen.

I stayed at the cheapest homestay that I could find. Liberta Homestay in Sosor Galung. That’s where I stayed. I had the cheapest room Rp 35,000/night for two. The room is big, and I’m sure more people can fit inside the room-shared bathroom. Foods are cheap compare to the other.

Problems only mosquito so bring your own mosquito repellent. Room with private bathroom Rp 50,000. Room with private bathroom-hot water Rp 75,000. Very cheap right? Other favorite homestays are Carolina and Romlan. Accommodation in Tuk-Tuk are much cheaper than Parapat.

I rented motorbike for Rp 80,000 (including petrol) and explore the island. First destination was Ambarita. There are two attractions in Ambarita. First is Parubalangan. I had to pay Rp 10,000 for nothing only to see some statue. I’m a bit disappointed to pay that much just to see some ancient statue.

parubalangan north sumatra
Parubalangan

Second is Stone Chair of King Siallagan. Entrance fee is Rp 3,000. Inside, I had a look the traditional Batak House, ancient statue and also king’s grave. The history according to local was when King Siallagan was on the throne, whenever the people do unforgivable mistakes, the guilty one was sentenced to death. Not wasting the death body, the king and the people will eat the death body.

stone chair of King Siallagan
Stone chair of King Siallagan
tomb of siallagan king lake toba
Tomb of the King Siallagan

I had visited Pantai Pasir Putih/white sand beach in Samosir and Tele, a tower to see Lake Toba view. It was unsatisfied. I’d rather not to go there because the distance is damn far, nothing to see. Then I had a stop in Tomok to see King Sidabutar’s tomb.

King Sidabutar’s tomb was made of natural stones and carved with a shape like human’s head on the top. This tomb is pretty unique because it’s not buried under the ground.

The locals believe that the king is the first person who step on Samosir land. If you like to know more about the history of the King Sidabutar and the local customs, you may hire a guide.

tomb of king sidabutar
Tomb of King Sidabutar

So, those are some places that you might interested to visit especially if you’re crossing to Samosir Island in North Sumatra. I did this trip together with continuing up to Weh Island in Aceh.

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