The South Tapanuli areas is most southern part of North Sumatera province, bordering with province of West Sumatera and Riau. This region has population 900,000 people, known as Batak Mandailing Angkola. Padang Sidempuan is the capitall city of South Tapanuli. This town is also called 'Kota Salak'. It lies on the tourist route from West Sumatera (and Vice Versa) and thus all overland tour buses shall pass Padang Sidempuan. As the scenery here quite beautiful, many domestic and foreign tourist stop over this region. Some of the interesting object here are : Portibi Temple, Dolok Simagomago, Pakantan, Husar Tolang, Sibanggor, and Adian Lungun Roha.
Sipirok is small town that has undergone intensive renovation. The views are beautiful here and there is a tourist jungle, and good hotel at Tor Sibohi. The distric is famed for its ceramic and traditional Batak cloth.
Here you can find the historical remains of a temple from the Hindu Kingdom of Panai, dating 1039 A.D. Located 78 KM from Padang Sidempuan or 518 KM from Medan, this village can be reached by bus or taxi.
This village is situated 72 KM from Padang Sidempuan. You can see here traditional houses of Batak Mandailing people such as: Bagas Godang and Sopo Godang. In front of Bagas Godang house there are some ancient temple with ancient cannon.
Nias island 125 KM off the west coast of Sumatera in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the interesting tourist destination in North Sumatera. It takes several hours by boat from the southern coast of North Sumatera. Some forms of megalithic culture are still found at Nias, in villages which are inhabitated.
Visitor to the island can take the daily ferry fromSibolga to Gunung Sitoli If you start from Medan, it is full-day trip to Sibolga and continueby ferry to island.
Crushers or ferry excursions include Nias on their itineraries for one day trip when cultural performances are being held in the capital of Nias.
The oldest village on Nias Island is Bawomataluo. Its name means 'Sun hill'. It is situated 400 metres above sea level. Entrance to village is made by climbing 480 stone steps from Orachils. Some interesting point are the meeting hall, built on massive wooden pillars and decorated with carving. The houses are built arround a square in front of King's house. This square is used for performances of war dance, complete with armour, shield and spears. Also the traditional 'stone jumping' ritual of initiating boys into manhood and training them for war. This stone jumping is demostrated for visitor now.
The name, which means 'sun hill', originated because the village is situated on top of hill 1,313 feet above sea level. Visitor have to mount steep stone steps to reach the village.
Bawomataluo is the oldest village, located in southern part of Nias island. It has the shape of unperfected cross. The dwelling of tribal chief is a quite impressive one. It is built on large pillars having a circumference of 0,75 metre each. On Nias Island, pig is considered a symbol social status and measurement of one's wealth. The more pigs a man owns, the more prosperous he is. For official ceremonies, these animals are slaughtered in large number for the feasts.
The biggest of traditional houses in Nias about 50 feet high, measured from the tip of roof down to the ground. Other interesting things to see are the two round stone tables and stone chairs used by the tribe chiefs, each weighing approximately 16 tons. In front of the village there might be human corpse on a stone table. According to ancient tales, alldead bodies were left lying on the stone table and would be buried after all flesh had decayed.
The village of Hilisimaetano is more easily accesible. The villagers houses are built around a square in front of the king/chief's dwelling. The square is used for performance of war dance and stone jumping ritual, which is specific to Nias island. Dancers wear a traditional outfit with bird feathers as headdress. In ancient times, the war dance and stone jumping was form of training in warfare for young men. Nowadays, they are still performed on special events or request for tourist group.
There is an old park in Gomo where visitor can find many old stone carving from ancient times. The historical remains of the Nias anchestors allways astonish visitors, wonder how the people brought the large stones up the hill from always many kilometres away when there was no form of transportation.
Visitor should also see Lahusa village, 80 KM from Teluk Dalam.
It is also situated on top of hill and can be reached only by steep stone stairway.
Lagundri and Sorake
Lagundri and Sorake beaches are located on the south coast of Nias. They are 12 KM from Teluk Dalam, Lagundri Beach, which form a small by of 4 kilometres in length, joins the Sorake beach where there a big rolling waves, good for surfing. The long white sandy beach , clear water and rows of coconot trees along the shore, make these beaches particularly attractive.
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