00:43 • Balige market
01:57 • the thermal springs of Sipoholon
03:36 • some rice fields
04:52 • A village ... (Angkola Timur)
05:37 • Minangkabau country
07:20 • a Minangkabau dance performance
13:01 • a waterfall
Lake Toba, which occupies the caldera of a supervolcano in the north of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, is one of the largest volcanic lakes in the world.
Balige is a town located near the lake. It is a must if you want to go south, towards Minangkabau country from Lake Toba.
One of the most fascinating things for a Westerner on a trip to Asia is visiting a local market. Balige's is no exception to the rule.
the thermal springs of Sipoholon
Sumatra like the rest of Indonesia is a volcanic island and hot springs are one of the phenomena associated with volcanic activity.
While most geothermal springs in Indonesia are mere hot water outlets, Sipoholon Springs are a collection of geysers, sulfur-colored ponds, and small smoldering streams forming small cascades of hot water.
These sources are of major tourist interest, even if the local authorities are not aware of it or if they have chosen between short-term economic interest to the detriment of the development of tourism allowing both to save nature and to ensure income for the inhabitants. The sources of Sipoholon are overexploited for the manufacture of fertilizers or transformed into public swimming pools. Pity...
Indonesia, like most Asian countries, is a major consumer of rice. Magnificent shimmering green rice fields cover large areas on the island of Sumatra.
But it's not just fields and volcanoes in Sumatra. As is the case in many countries, the main attraction of these idyllic places remains the smile of the local populations. Nothing like a small walk in a village to realize it. The one we visited is called Angkola Timur.
The Minangkabau people are just one ethnic group in Indonesia. What makes them original, apart from their very colorful and meticulously detailed architecture, is the family structure of this people. It is the largest matrilineal society in the world. Contrary to what happens in the vast majority of cases, here it is the women who transmit the heritage and who give their name to their daughters. Boys have no right to anything in this society. Men do not even have the responsibility for their own children, it reverting to the maternal uncle.
The art of dancing is also very important to the Minangkabau. A minangkabau dance performance is featured in this film.
Spoken comments in the film:
To go from Lake Toba, land of the Batak to that of the Minangkabau, you pass through towns and villages where you meet friendly people, even if these places have few tourist attractions. Rice fields also attract attention and a little wonder a little hidden away from the road, the hot springs of Sipoholon.
- YouTube video library - Anamalie, (© Anamalie by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
- YouTube video library - Argonne - Zachariah Hickman
- YouTube video library - Clouds
Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of indonesian traditional music in "Indonesia • Sumatra • from Toba lake to Minangkabau land", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.
What's the weather like in Balige?
About the places in this film
On the road between Lake Toba and Minangkabau country in West Sumatra, Belige is a small town like so many others, with its market and friendly inhabitants.
The hot springs of Sipoholon are magnificent. A collection of geysers, small colorful ponds and steaming streams which is quite rare in Indonesia. And unfortunately the exploitation of hot water for public swimming pools and sulfur to make fertilizer will soon get the better of this remarkable place which risks disappearing in the short term.
Angkola Timur is a small village like so many others in Sumatra. A short walk in the streets of the village and we become the object of all attentions.
Bukittinggi is a city of 125,000 inhabitants which makes it the third largest city in West Java. The city was the capital of Indonesia during the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PDRI) in response to the capture of the temporary capital of Yogyakarta during the War of Independence.