I want to go to Singkil (located in the southern part of the Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia) from Samosir island (located in the middle of Lake Toba, Sumatra Indonesia) .

What transportation options are there available (buses, shared taxi, taxi, or else)?

Considering I do NOT have my own car.

  • (1) Sounds like a question for Google maps :-) 2) Inquiring minds want to know - Why? – Russell McMahon Jun 11 '15 at 3:52
  • @RussellMcMahon : 1) this is Sumatra, I doubt Google maps would ever be able to tell you any useful information on available transportations for that region 2) because Lake Toba is beautiful, & Singkil is opposite the Banyak Islands (a group of paradise-like islands) – Adrien Be Jun 11 '15 at 4:13
  • Maybe – Russell McMahon Jun 11 '15 at 4:30
  • **Wow! - not directly apposite probably - but interesting – Russell McMahon Jun 11 '15 at 4:36
  • Bus services in Indonesia – Russell McMahon Jun 11 '15 at 4:48

This information is from June 2015.


Using public buses

  1. Starting on Samosir Island: from Tomok bus station (located where the ferry drops its passengers), take a public bus for Pangururan. The price is circa 15'000 idr. The journey takes circa 1h.

  2. Then from Pangururan, take a public bus to Sidikalang. The price is circa 35'000 idr. The journey takes circa 3h.

  3. Finally from Sidikalang, take a public bus to Singkil. The price is circa 60'000 idr. The journey takes circa 5h. The last bus is usually around 17:00, but it's recommended to arrive much earlier to be riding in the day light.

Total time: by public buses, the whole journey takes circa 9h + waiting time between each ride (maximum 1h usually). So a total of circa 12h, if including waiting times.

Total price: adding up all prices, the journey costs circa 110'000 idr

Note: between Sidikalang & Singkill you may have to take an intermediary bus to either Remo or Subulus Salem if no direct bus is available. Price for bus from Sidikalang to Subulus Salem costs circa 30'000 idr, takes circa 2.5h. Price for bus from Subulus Salem to Singkil, costs circa 30'000 idr, takes circa 2.5h


Chartering a car

Another option we were proposed was to charter a whole car for 1.4 million idr, this car can welcome up to 5 or 6 passengers (depending on car). Note that we did NOT try to negociate that price so expect to pay (much?) less. Not sure about the length of the journey as I did not do this myself, but I'd expect a minimum of 8h.

Note: chartering a car from Samosir Island might be impossible, so it's probably easier to contact someone in Singkil (taxi agency, travel agency, or tour guide) to get this arranged.


Important: do not forget cash

Past Samosir island, it is very hard to find any ATM that is part of the VISA card network. Most (if not all) the ATM are only part of the Master Card network (& some local bank cards network).

Same thing goes for exchanging money, I tried to change money in Pangururan, Sidikalang, Subulus Salem & Singkil: there was nothing available for that. Either change your money in Samosir island (heard the rates were terrible though), or maybe even go (back?) to Parapat to do that. Another option if you already left Samosir island: ask some fellow travellers to change some of their Indonesian Rupees for your currency (they will most likely accept if they are on their way back to Medan or else).

So unless you have a Master Card, make sure you stack up on a few millions before leaving for Singkil.


Resources

http://pulaubanyak.com/tailana-island-amazing-tropical-island/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/23/topics/from-lake-toba-to-singkil

http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Indonesia/Sumatra/Pulau-Banyak/blog-587595.html

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