[google_map type=”ROADMAP” zoom=”8″ lat=”2.5833″ lng=”98.8167″]Samosir Island[/google_map]
Samosir island is an island located at the center of largest volcanic lake in the world – ‘Lake Toba’. It’s not a secret that I want to visit this island every time I made a trip down to Lake Toba or Parapat city but never have a chance. So, just recently the opportunity arises that I have to go to Samosir island to have photo shoot for JetStar Inflight magazine’s ‘Off The Beaten Track’ article about Lake Toba/Samosir island and the culture.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this island at all, yet I was blown away by lots of photography opportunity and of course the rich culture of Batak people (traditional dance, architecture, history, ulos, etc.) and not to mention the nature around the area which truly amazing.
There are 2 options to visit this island, by boat or by car. By boat, normally you can just go to city of Parapat and just hop on to one of the scheduled boat or ferry and you will arrive at Tomok. The other one will be more extreme by car through Tele area. The road will be a bit intimidating to some driver, but the view is breathtaking (Worth to take the risk, but keep in mind to be very careful and be polite when you visit this island). Here from Tele you can really appreciate why a lot of tourist call it ‘The Little Switzerland’ is because of this kind of view.
I stayed at one of the better resort in Samosir Island – Toba Village Inn in Tuk-Tuk area. This resort has its own jetty for any boat/ferry to park and you have direct access to the lake and have a direct view of the lake.
There is this one aspect that really get me excited and memorable from this trip is the low and close to none light pollution in this area compare to Medan city where I live now. Not to mention, the moon-less night and clear sky. So, I walk out to the jetty area and look up at the night sky and I got this amazing view of sky full of stars. This is the chance that I’m waiting for to do my astrophotography and also night/long exposure photo. I just point at the South side and try to capture the Milky Way (Milky way runs from North-South). This is what I got from that night. (To find out how to get this kind of photo please check out our photography tips and tricks here)
The most important object to photograph while you are on Samosir Island is the culture of Batak people. The first place that I visited is Ambarita where you can see the stone chair and explore the area where the first Batak being executed here. Then you can head to Batak Museum where you can watch traditional batak dance for 1.5 hours. And also Tomb of Sidabutar King at Tomok area. Of course along the way you have to stop for the nature surrounding the area.
If you feel like shopping for something, you can actually do that at Tomok area, or you can buy their famous ‘Ulos’ which is a traditional Batak clothes that they wear while attending any Batak ceremony, and you can actually look at the process when they make it.
Some people will be curious on what kind of equipment that I normally packed for this kind of job, here is the list:
- Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW (Galaxy Blue)
Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 4 Section Carbon Fiber Pro Tripod Legs
- Giottos MH1000-652 Large Ball Head with Tension Control and MH652 Quick Release
- Pentax K10D with Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 lens
- Pentax K-7 with Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4.0 lens
- Quick release cable
Samosir island is a very laid back place to relax. Lots of photography objects with a mixture of cultural and also the nature.
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Suwandi Chandra Photography will also arrange short photography trip to surrounding area such as Brastagi, Lake Toba or Bukit Lawang. Stay Tuned or contact us for latest information Here.
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