5 - hour - drive from Medan city on the beautiful road with coconut groves and rubber forest next to each other, you will breathe fresh air in the mountains north of Sumatra island and contemplate spectacular views of Lake Toba, is the largest lake in the world's largest crater. It is 100km long, 30km wide and 505m deep, where tens of thousands years ago, the lava eruption occurred, and nowadays it has formed with many surrounding mountains. In center of the lake is Samosir Island – where Batak people lives. Samosir Island’s area is same with Singapore’s area.
Coming to Toba, you should hire a room in one of resorts around the lake. Each of resort has beach to swim and see beautiful scenery around. Besides, you can take a boat to Samosir Island and stay there to enjoy the traditional village. In addition, you can rent canoes to circle the lake or take part in water games.
There is a special point that this place is not too tourist so the Toba Lake still keep the clean environment and peaceful space.
There are many means of transportation from Medan to Toba, including Public Bus, Minivan, Shared car or Private Car. If you are a group of 4 people, from Medan you can go private car for 800.000 IDR (equivalent 1.5 million VND). If you are a small group of 2-3 people, you can go for a shared car for 100.000 IDR (equivalent to 190k VND).
Many of you are worried about self-sufficiency in Indonesia because many local people cannot use English, however, according to my experience, most drivers can speak English or they will find someone know English to communicate with tourists. You can design a schedule based on some available tours on the internet or ask the hotel where you stay, then, carry backpack on your shoulder and go. Indonesian people are very friendly and hospitable.