Tongging, Town of the Hill. Tongging, a cosy small town enriched with stunning exotic views, is perfect for unwinding yourself from the hectic city atmosphere on the hill at the northern end of Lake Toba.
Tongging is registered explicitly as a part of the MerekDistrict, Karo Regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia. It takes approximately 1 –2 hours by car to reach Tongging from Berastagi City, one of the top tourists’ destinations in North Sumatra. The breathtaking scenery of Tongging will greet you upon your arrival, making all the steep and winding road worth the sweat. Tongging offers second to none landscapes, such as Lake Toba’s view from highlands, beautiful hills, and heavenly plunge waterfalls. Aside from the panorama, you may also indulge yourself in the local Batak pride of the townsfolk. Keep on reading this article to explore more hidden gems Tongging has to offer! On the way, feast on the view of Sipiso-Piso Waterfall and rustic trees.
The residents of Tongging consist of three Batak tribes, namely Batak Toba, Pakpak, and Karo. Consequently, the language used daily in Tongging is a combination of those three tribes. Even so, Tongging residents are amiable and welcome tourists, both local and international.
The majority of them are farmers, cultivating rice fields, or anglers, owning fish farms. Considering that Tongging’s main commodity is fish, its culinary speciality takes the form of Arik Goldfish (Ikan Mas Arsik), with handmade recipes passed down from generation to generation. The Tongging community also conducts numerous local stands, offering traditional Batak snacks around Tongging and its vicinity.
What can you do in Tongging?
Wind yourself down with the serenity at the edge of Lake Toba. Immerse yourself more in the idyllic atmosphere of the lake by renting small boats to get around the largest volcanic lake in the world. Sidompak and Sipiso-Piso Waterfall may also be a memorable option to take leisure and relish the relaxing sound of trickling water.
Nearby, you may come upon Mount Sipiso-Piso, often referred to as Mount Botak (Bald Mountain) by the local townsfolk due to its lack of vegetation. With an altitude of approximately 1,400 meters, Gunung Botak is the perfect location to challenge yourself with a thrilling trekking experience. The local people will gladly guide your adventure on Mount Botak. Besides, you may paraglide from the top of the hill, witnessing the bird-eye view of Tongging and Lake Toba.
Apart from nature-based tours, you may visit the historical sites of King Silalahi, a highly respected king in the history of Batak, around Tongging. Take striking pictures of the lovely Sapo Juma Flower Park, always filled with flowers all year round. Another excellent spot for photos is the Tongging Monument, an iconic inscription of Tongging, accented by Lake Toba as the backdrop. In the vicinity of Tongging Monument, you may come across various local food stands conducted by the townsfolk. In the afternoon, head to the romantic pool at the premier inn, Villa Armina, the perfect spot to witness sunsets. You are not obliged to book a room and stay overnight to enjoy the swimming pool!