Trip to Lake Toba – Part 2 MAGIC MUSHROOMS!

2 02 2011


Day 2 – Samosir

The next morning, we left the hotel early as we wanted to make sure we were on the 8.30am ferry. It takes an hour to get across. The tour guide wanted us there early so that the vehicles would be in line to get on the ferry.  We were entertained by a few young boys who would dive into the chilly waters for a some coins. Watching them made me feel sad. It was a lot of work for mere cents. The only comfort I derived was that they were earning an honest living and were getting good exercise in the process!

He keeps the coins in his mouth


Our first stop was to the Batak village of the king, Raja Sidabutar, in Tomok. The 3 main kings who were entombed there had different characters and stories. The first king was a gentle man whose face was depicted as such on his tombstone. The second king was a hard man. His tomb stone included a carving of his hard features and that of his best friend below him and his ex-girlfriend behind him. Both the first and second kings were animists and were entombed in stone as they believe the spirits of dead men were everywhere, including within stones. Their body guards and warriors were buried in smaller tombs next to them. Within the tombs are a mixture of the skulls and bones. The 3rd king became a Christian and ordered that his body be buried in the earth to follow the teaching that men is made from dust and will return to dust.

Shopping after that entailed haggling for discounts. You should ask for about 60% off and end up with a 50% discount.

Economy is 51% farming

The second Batak village was the one belonging to Raja Siallagan Ompu at Ambarita. Here, we were told some interesting facts. The Bataks stay together in one big room on the first floor. Rice and other harvest products were stored on the top floor and animals were kept in the basement. When the children reach puberty, the girls were sent to another house with all the rest of the single girls in the village, and the boys, likewise. Every house had a staircase with 5 steps, signifying the 5 generations staying together in the village/house.

Our guide, (below), a Batak himself

The criminals and the King with the body guard

Before the Bataks embraced Christianity, they were animists and believed that the spirit of the dead King resides in the tree they planted upon his death.

The criminal is placed in stocks whilst awaiting trial. He is placed beneath the King’s house.

We were taught the Batak greeting “Horas”. Why are the doors so small? Well, the size forces you to bend your head and bow. Then you greet the household with the word “Horas”.

Place of execution

Gorgeous colors

Children here are carefree. It’s fun time after school, no private tuition, music and dance classes to go to :p



Our adventure with the magic mushrooms started at lunch. We went to the only place that served magic mushrooms on Lake Toba. Our lunch was BBQ fish and pork. After we finished lunch, the magic mushrooms cooked in an omellette were served. We were told that one portion is for 2 people but it was too late because Mark and Yin Mei had already eaten one omelette each! We headed for our hotel, the Tabo Cottages, a beautiful place owned by Anto, a local Batak and Annette, a German. The place is beautiful and well managed.

After 30 minutes nothing had happened yet, so Mark said, “There is no reaction at all”. Not long after that, Allan started smiling to himself and laughing! All of us laughed at him and enjoyed watching his reaction. Not long after that, a few others started feeling limped and a bit woozy. The slightest thing made them laugh!  I was still fine and started walking back to my room. A while later, I started laughing uncontrollably at the slightest provocation! I realized something was up and decided to do some research on the internet. By now, I was feeling totally light headed and my limbs felt limped. It took a lot of effort to do my research. Keeping focused was very difficult.

Long story cut short, here is a good read about magic mushrooms. There are certain “rules” like not taking it on an empty stomach, nor taking it when you had too much to eat, or you might feel nauseous. Then there is the “don’t eat too much”. Sigh! We broke all the rules….

So, we went on a “trip” by accident. I’m including it here because noobs like us need to be warned that it is not just “Jamu ketawa” as we were told. We thought it was just something that makes you laugh a lot, like helium gas makes people’s voices go funny! Imagine what would have happened if we had hired motorcycles to ride and started hallucinating? Since we asked for the magic mushrooms, the restaurants owners probably thought we wanted to go on a trip although we knew next to nothing about it. Our daughter, Andrea told us, “No, I’m not going to eat it, I’m underage, this is like a drug!”. Unfortunately, we neither believed nor took her seriously because of her history of being fussy with food!  One lesson learnt – we will take her more seriously in future!


The grilled fish is good! It’s fresh water fish from the lake.

Finally – the magic mushrooms cooked in an omelette. They looked deceivingly innocent.

Here’s where the trouble started…

The restaurant is just outside Toba Cottage,  a beautiful place. We could easily sit there for a day just gazing at the lake and not be bored.

The beautiful Batak house for anyone to go up, sit and gaze at the lake.

No, this is not a result of the mushrooms. It’s what clowns do!

THIS is the result of the magic mushrooms…..

………. and this……

……..and this……

Could not stop laughing

Next phase is intense lethargy coupled with euphoria




2 responses

13 08 2012

LOL loved how u are open-minded to be trying shrooms with the dad will never allow it! But then again you didn’t know much about it!

28 05 2018

Dear friends. Its nice to introduce my self. I am Victor and I live in the city of Medan- Indonesia. I am director of Tiara Tours Indonesia and my office based in Jalan Panglima Denai No 76 Medan. If there are some friends or family wish to come to Medan please contact us through cellular / wa : +62 85358982828, +6285762820068. I wish you welcome to Medan and welcome to the Lake Toba. Horas …!!! Horas …. !!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: