Balige is home to some cultural sites listed as attractions on Lake Toba. These include TB Silallahi Batak Museum and the Tomb of King Sisingamangaraja XII. There are also natural sites such as Bulbul Beach and Lumban Sillintong Beach in Balige. There is a Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (HKBP) church across the street from a hospital built in 1881, and the original material still survives.
Balige is the capital of Toba Samosir district. It is the biggest town in the Southern part of Lake Toba. Balige is therefore a trading center in the area. It is also famous for weaving, chillies, and buffalos. Residents trade hundreds of buffaloes every day. Friday is the busiest weekday in the city. Finally, Balige has long been quite admirable among other towns for its cleanliness and order.
But most importantly, Balige is historic. It was where the Dutch first fought the Batak during the World War II colonization. King Sisingamangaraja I-XII led the Bakkara kingdom of Batak. Although it was not the capital city at the time, Batak kings often used Balige as a gathering place. They rule from the 16th century to the 19th century (nearly 400 years). The fight took place for 30 years. King Sisingamangaraja XII died in a battle at Si Onom Hudon in 1907, marking the end of the Bakkara dynasty.
What to Enjoy
There are beaches, views and nice weather to enjoy. Bulbul and Meat beaches are the main spots. There are also plenty of accommodations, restaurants, cafes and shops in the town. In addition, there is a museum that contains the historical artifacts of the Batak land and the tomb of the national hero Sisingamangaraja XII. The city is suitable for couples, groups, and families.
At Bulbul beach, fun rides are available. Rent and ride banana boats, solu-solu (vessels) and passenger boats to get around Lake Toba. There are also playgrounds for children. They have swings, diving boards, and others.
What to Expect
Finding a money changer in Balige is hard. If you need to exchange your money, do so at your the last port of departure (such as Singapore, Jakarta, or Medan). There is still no money changer at the Sisingamangaraja XII International Airport, either.
Weather is a little humid in the city. Make sure you book air-conditioned accommodations only.
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