This photo was taken on October 2008, when I was on a trip with my family to _Taman Simalem _Resort. Taman is the Indonesian word for garden or park and Simalem in the ethnic Batak Karo language means pleasant, the exuberant feeling that visitors experience once they enter the resort.
Located on the north-western hills of Lake Toba, visitors are in for a perennial treat of fresh and cool mountain air, the natural unspoilt scenery and a breath-taking view of the lake. The resort can be reached in 2.5 hours drive from Medan, the provincial capital of North Sumatera.
Within an area of more than 200ha, Taman Simalem Resort offers wide-ranging activities for visitors. It is home to Indonesia’s largest Loquat farm and is also North Sumatera’s largest Passion Fruit Farm. An extremely challenging 9-hole par 34 golf course is set admist coffee and tea plantations. The resort offers a wide range of accomodation from campsites to lodges with lake views and cottages in the jungle.
Lake Toba was created as a result of the largest volcanic explosion ever known to man that occured about 75.000 years ago, sending 800 km3 of ash into the air and creating a volcanic winter that decimated a huge portion of the human beings, flora and fauna at that time. Some scientists speculated that only thousands of human beings concentrated in the African and Indian sub-continent regions survived the explosion. The explosion hit the highest index of 8 on the VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index). As a comparison of Krakatoa where two-thirds of the island was completely wiped out had a VEI index of only 6.
The Lake Toba caldera is now the largest crater lake in the world; 100 km in length, 30 km across and with depth of more than 500 metres at its deepest point. At 900 metres above sea level, it is also one of the highest lakes in the world. The island of Samosir at the center of the lake measures more than 600 km2 and is almost the size of Singapore. Samosir is also the largest island within an island and fifth largest lake island in the world.