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Just 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.

Click to enlargeSipiso-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 waterfallClick to enlarge

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.

Click to enlargeThe 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 take passengers.

ParaglidingClick to enlarge

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 1915

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 part.

Trekking can be arranged at Wisma Sibayak Tongging.Click to enlarge

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.




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