Reviewed March 5, 2014
Visited March 2014
Getting there from Medan, takes about 3-4 hour by car. You will passed two big towns before arrived at Parapat and reach the lake. The first town is Tebing Tinggi, famous of sticky rice cake (lemang) which has salty taste. If you like sweet, you can eat it with fried banana or Sarikaya. Sarikaya is a custom jam made of brown sugar, coconut milk, cinnamon, and eggs.
The second town is Pematang Siantar, famous of its 'Becak Mesin'. It's some kind of transportation around the town, where a carriage is welded to a motorcycle. Famous because the bike is still made in Germany back in 1940s. I think you need to try at least take a picture riding it.
When you arrived at Parapat, is nothing you can do because Parapat is really a small town. And the best way to cross the lake to Samosir island from Parapat is using speed boat that cost you about USD 50 capable of carrying 4 passengers including the driver. It will take you about 15 minutes. But if you like the slower boat and want to enjoy more time crossing the lake, you can take the bigger boat which will take you about 45 minutes to the island. But still, I recommend taking the speed boat to feel the splashing water and waves, because this lake is so big it has waves like the sea. Around July the wave can even reach as high as 3 meters.
I will tell you about Samosir Island on separate review :)