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Click to enlargeWalking and villages is a nice combination. Between Merek and Tongging, above the waterfall is a village called Pangembatan, which consists of two parts: Hutabaringin and Hutasanggar. Both places have a traditional Karo house each. The one in Hutabaringin is in the best condition. The road to the villages starts just below the road for Gunung Sipiso-piso and is 2 km long. According to local information, there is a path between Hutasanggar and Tongging. It starts in Tongging behind Hutabulun, halfway between central Tongging and the accommodations.

Click to enlargeThe narrow road along the northeastern side of the lake leads to Sibolangit Tongging (normally just called Sibolangit). This village of approximately 140 families is very spread out and divided into three parts. The first part is a few kilometers from the junction at the main road. From here leads a newly opened road to Bage and onwards. If you continue on the original road you end up in the second part, 1 km further up on the hill. The road continues one more kilometer down the hill on the other side to the lakeside. This is the boat landing of Sibolangit. This place is very lush due to its many mango trees. The fruit is of a small but very sweet. The road ends here. The road from Sibolangit to the Batak Toba village Bage is 3,2 km long and in a very bad condition. Motorcycles and 4-wheel drives can get through. From Bage it is possible to walk along the shore all the way to Haranggoal. It probably takes a full day. It is a very scenic area. There are hotels in Haranggaol.

Click to enlargeThe pretty village Kodon-kodon is 3,5 km from central Tongging along the road down the western lakeshore. The part of the lake outside this village is considered to be the deepest area of Lake Toba (maybe 900m or more). (Other parts of Lake Toba are app. 450m). There are a few places to drink and eat, but they open at the owner’s whim. In Kodon-kodon is a stone figure called Patung Raja Dautan. Until 1953 the locals always paid homage to this statue. They used to, at certain times, gather together around it and play a traditional drum. Normally one person would become possessed by a spirit and start talking about anything that the locals want to know, for example about the coming harvests, sicknesses and fortune.

Click to enlargeWhen the Dutch attacked Kabanjahe the people in Desa Kodon-Kodon got the news early from the spirit and they could start preparing and keep watch. Once a spirit informed about a person who was killed by the Dutch in Tongging. When a messenger arrived from Tongging with the news, the story was confirmed in every detail. Before 1953 the statue could not be photographed. Once seven policemen tried to shoot at the statue, but not one single rifle would fire. Finally, in 1953 the locals collectively said goodbye to Patung Raja Dautan, as they had become Protestants. People in Kodon-kodon once used a special music instrument called Hedeng-hedeng made of a stem of a sugar palm leaf. The stem is sliced very thinly and strings are attached to its ends. It has a characteristic sound, which was used to attract attention from pretty girls. The name of the instrument was originally kedeng-kedeng, but eventually became Kodon-kodon, which also became the name of the village. It is not in use any more. Modern ways of attracting girls have come to Kodon-kodon, but the instrument can still be produced. It deteriorates fast though, just as passion does.

The narrow road along the western coast of Lake Toba goes to the big village Silalahi. There are accommodations here. It is a pleasant daytrip along the lake shore to see something else. In Silalahi there is also traditional weaving to study and buy.




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