Saturday, October 24, 2015

Natural Soda Spring (Aek Rara) at Parbubu Village in Tarutung and Pemandian Air Panas Belerang at Sipoholon, North Tapanuli - Indonesia

On our third day in North Sumatera, all of us decided to visit the natural soda spring (also called Aek Rara by local residents) - a three-hour drive distance from Parapat town near Lake Toba - at Parbubu Village in Tarutung, North Tapanuli. It was a very rare place that ever existing in the world and I was glad that I made it there!

Natural Soda Spring - Tarutung, Indonesia

If you noticed the photo above, the soda spring was surrounded by the paddy fields. It was said that a local nurse - O Tobing Sihite - found it while she was digging in the soil. She found that the water looked like soda water, those canned drinks that we usually found in the supermarket.

In year 2004 the Tapanuli Utara Regency government officially inaugurated this soda water pool as one of the tourist attractions in the area. (Info source:

Natural Soda Spring - Tarutung, Indonesia

It consisted only one pond. Surrounding and below the pool, it consisted of natural stones. In between the stones, the bubbles appeared to the top, somehow it created flying splash on top of the pool. I never experienced this before and I felt very exciting dipping myself into it. It was really magical experience, at least for me! :)

There were more bubbles at the area where I stood on the photo above and the water felt warmer too. The small bubbles would surround your body just like the small bubbles would surround the straw when you pour Coca Cola inside the transparent glass with straw inside.

The water could irritate your eyes, nose, and face when you had in touch with it or tried to swim below it. Therefore, it was advisable to bring google with you. With it, you could see clearly the bubbles that appeared from between the stones gap. Some created bigger bubbles and some smaller ones. It was really interesting how the natures were created in such a way, really made me wonder of the God's creation in this world.

Yeahhh..... soaked ourselves and had fun at Soda Spring - Tarutung, Indonesia :)

There was no scientific proof about the benefits gained from soaking inside the soda water but we loved to soak longer there, especially after sitting down inside the car for three-hour journey. Some area was quite deep, however, not to worry, as they provided the black tires for us to float, for free - for those who did not know how to swim or float. And if you noticed the photo above, there were whitish bubbles appeared from inside the pond (below part). That was how strong the bubbles shooting up from underneath the ground!!!

I still could not describe the feeling of being there. I asked the rests' opinions though. My hubby said, "When I dipped myself inside, I could hear the bubbling sound inside and I felt like I was inside my mother's womb when I was still not coming out from her belly yet."  Sometimes he felt he was inside the aquarium with the Oxygen bubbles flying around hahaha... As for me, "I felt like soaking inside the giant bowl of Soda water."

Some would even drink the water - if happened to go there early in the morning where there were not many people yet and they said it tasted exactly just like a soda water. I would not dare to drink it though as the smell of the water was quite strong and there were some oranges stuffs flying around inside. Local would even take a bath there, like shampooing their hair and soaping their bodies. Moreover, there was not any scientific proof on the benefits in drinking the water. So, It was up to you. Perhaps, if you wondered how it tasted like, you could just gargle the water inside and then spit it out :D

It had been a really great experience for me, something that money could not buy even if you wanted to. Traveling to a place like this was opening my eyes and heart towards wonderful nature's creature from the above. Thank you SB for letting me be there and enjoyed that moment to the fullest! :)

Geothermal Sulphur or Sulfur Pools at Sipoholon, Tarutung - Indonesia

The above place was another great God nature's creation in the area. It was not far from the Soda Spring area. It took less than half an hour to reach. It was also one of the attractions that you should go if you were there.

Uncle Jon told me that many years back the restaurants, shops, and hotels were not there. From the road you could see the stretch of the mountains above, white in color, where the sulphur water flowed naturally. But nowadays people used it to make money. It was still very cheap though. Kids paid Rp 3,000 (S$0.30) while adult paid Rp 5,000 (S$0.50).

It was natural sulphur water derived from volcanic Martimbang mountain that had been flowing for over hundred years. The temperature of the water was around 40°C. Too bad we had only limited time there so we couldn't soak inside. It's believed the water was good for skin and to relax the stiff muscles.

Martabe Kacang Garing (crispy peanut) - Silangkitang, Tapanuli Utara - Indonesia 

Don't forget to drop by at the local shop selling the Kacang Garing (crispy peanut) at nearby area. It's baked using the sand making it crispy and fragrance! The smallest packet (100g) cost only Rp 5,000 (S$0.50). The largest one (400g) cost Rp 20,000 (S$2). There was also one big can for sale of it's not big enough for you but you had to find out the price yourself ^^

Haze around the Lake Toba - 20 Oct 2015

We went back to Samosir Island after that. It was hazy as there was smoke from burning forest at other part of Indonesia. We couldn't see any view on our way to the island from inside the boat.

Fresh baby lobster - Batak cuisine - Dinner at Samosir Island 

At night we headed to a small local Batak eating house along the lake. They had caught baby lobster from the lake days before. We had around 3kg for 16 of us, also tried their fresh grilled fish, sautéed vegetables, and fried beehoon vermicelli accompanied with their homemade chili.

We also tried their local brewed tuak or arak made from the bark of a coconut tree, milky in color (see the photo above). I didn't find it nice though. Maybe we just didn't find the nice brewed one. Well, at least I knew its taste by now :)

So the day had again been filled with wonderful moments, something that you couldn't find back in Singapore or even other places. I felt very grateful for everything. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! :)


Tashi Chenzom said...

amazing soda lake...i like playing in such water and so i visited a water park few months back but the water was very dirty. Soda lake seems very natural and clean too.

loved going through!!
Take care

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you for going through la Tashi! The feeling inside the soda water was indeed indescribable!!! ^^

Take care and have a great day! :)

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