Padang is the economic centre West Sumatra. During colonial times Padang harbour was called Emmahaven, nowadays named Teluk Bayur. Up to approximately 1780 the most important trade product was gold, originating from the gold mines in the region. When the mines were exhausted, the emphasis turned to other products such … Read More

Lake Toba

A calm volcano lake on Sumatra World famous is the crater lake Danau Toba in the Batak highlands, approximately five hours drive from Medan. There are two ways to go to Lake Toba from Medan. One way via Brastagi in the Karo highlands and the other way along … Read More


The road to Prapat by Harm Kamerlingh Onnes, 1923 The village of Parapat only came under Dutch rule in 1904. In the area of the Toba Batak, in Balige, lived the legendary figure Si Singga Mangaraja. He was the leader of the great Batak uprising against the Dutch at the end of the last century. (Si Singga Mangaraja) In the nineteen twenties Parapat also became a holiday village, with many bungalows belonging to the plantation owners. The oldest surviving hotel is hotel Parapat. Many other hotels have been built in recent years. In 1948, Soekarno, Hatta and Agus Salim were imprisoned in the beautiful Pasanggrahan (Guesthouse) 'Villa Marihat' on the Parapat peninsular. This house is open to the public. Read More


Nowadays Brastagi In Brastagi you can also take a ride in the sado’s. These horse drawn carts get their name from sitting back to back, in French, dos a dos. The name Berastagi can also be traced. There is no rice cultivated here as it is too cold. The villagers … Read More


Highest located city in the Miningkabau highlands Now we are in the land of the Minangkabau with matrilineal system whereby heritage goes via the wife. The husband moves in with the wife’s family. Interesting is the combination of Islam, which is patriarchal, and the matrilineal system of the … Read More

Bukit Kubu

The old Shell-hotel The old Shell-hotel , with the engravings over the fireplace. Read More