Carolina Cottages and Restaurant, Lake Toba.
Tuk-tuk Siadong, Samosir Island,
North Sumatra, Indonesia, 22395.
Tel. (+62-625) 451210 / 451100
Mobile. +62 812 65000 422 (WA available)
Ambarita is a small village at Samosir Island, Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia. It is at walking distance from Tuk-tuk. There are some guesthouses and hotels to be found in Ambarita as well as some small restaurants. But what Ambarita is known for is the ancient court yard in a beautiful setting of traditional Batak houses.
The old court yard at Huta Siallagan in Ambarita
The most popular place to visit in Ambarita is Huta Siallagan. Here you will find some stone chairs and a stone table, which make up an ancient court yard. Those were used a long time ago by the local king as a court of justice. When found guilty, the culprits were decapitated right after the session, on yet another stone table. You are asked to sign the guest book upon leaving Huta Siallagan and to put some "uang rokok" (tip) in the inevitable tip box.
Right next to Huta Siallagan you will find a large number of souvenir shops. Don't forget to bargain.
Hotel Carolina is by far the best place to stay on Tuk Tuk. It has the best location, set on the corner on the hill with majestic views of the lake. It has easily the best swimming area, set against a magnificent landscaped garden. The bungalows are all batak style with balcony and beautiful traditional carvings, but unlike other places, no rusty old roofs. No wonder the only photos in the Lonely Planet of the whole of Sumatra are of Carolina.
The hotel also has all the facilities you would need - cheap fast internet, mountain and motorbike hire (for cheaper than outside), massage, etc.
The service was excellent. Lake Toba is not exactly buzzing with tourists these days, and they seemed to have at least 2 staff for every guest. Every morning I would get up, go for a swim and be served fresh tropic fruit for breakfast as I emerged from the water. Fantastic. It's no wonder that despite the graveyard feel to the rest of Tuk Tuk, Carolina is always well patronised.
And finally, the best part - I had a nice bungalow right at the top of the hill with magnificent views, completely private and secluded for the incredible price of only 2 Euros! I have stayed cheaper in India, but that was a prison cell.