Belawan/Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia Cruise Port
Located on the Deli River on the northeast coast of the island of Sumatra is the cruise port of Belawan, the second busiest port in Indonesia. About 120 miles from the port of Belawan is the site of a massive super volcanic eruption which is said to be the biggest volcanic blast ever known to man. Here, the world’s largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba lies in the middle of the northern part of Sumatra and serves as a haven of peace and tranquility for most tourists. Many scientists and world travelers hold fast to the belief that human population was reduced to about 30,000 inhabitants after the devastating eruption occurred over 70,000 years ago; regardless of the findings at the bottom of Lake Malawi which seem to prove otherwise. While cruising to Belawan in Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world, you will encounter several old buildings in Medan still retaining their Dutch architecture in addition to some magnificent natural landscapes contributing to the extraordinary beauty that lies within.
- Capture the most spectacular panoramic view of Lake Toba above its hot springs and dive into the cascading Binangalom waterfall. The best way to go sightseeing around the lake would be on a motorbike or private car but not before a wonderful canoe ride on the lake. To make a lasting impact in the villages surrounding the lake, hop on a boat ride to the eco village of Silimalombu to help plant some trees and build bamboo fences around them. Be sure to stop by the ancient Batak village to visit the tomb of King Sidabutar and experience some cultural performances.
- Embark on a journey to the small village of Bukit Lawang for a memorable experience with orangutans released from illegal wildlife trade and years of deforestation. Initially set up in 1973 by two Swiss zoologists to rehabilitate Sumatran orangutans, the Bohorok Orangutan Center re-trained the orangutans to adjust to their natural habitat in preparation for liberation into the jungle. After a devastating flash flood hit Bukit Lawang in 2003 with unsatisfactory repair and rebuilding efforts, the facility lost its right to operate as a rehabilitation center for the animals, leading to an untimely release of the great apes into the Gunung Leuser National Park. Tourists are welcome to view the orangutans in the semi-wild forest swinging freely through the jungle and adapting to life outside of the Bohorok Orangutan Center.
- The Great Mosque of Medan represents the unique architectural style of a Moroccan-Moorish historic antique building with some decorative elements hailing from Italy. It’s considered the most beautiful mosque in North Sumatra with more relevancy and importance than Maimoon Palace, the grand palace of Sultan Ma’mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamyah.