The three megalithic sites on Samosir bear witness to the glory
and horror of Batak history. The three consist of 300-year-old stone
seats and benches arrayed in a circle. The first set of ruins was used
as a conference area for Batak kings. At the second site, the kings
would sit in judgment of a criminal or enemy prisoner. If the accused
were found guilty, the assembly would move to the third set, which
features the ghastly addition of a central stone execution block. Other,
less gruesome attraction can occupy many days of exploration and
discovery. All over the island are superb examples of traditional Batak
houses, with elaborate carvings and decorations. Performance of
life-size is Gale-gale wooden puppet are held frequently, and at any
moment, the musical Batak might break into an impromptu song, the
seeming effortless, multi-part harmonies belying the casual setting.
students and young professionals on tight budget have a good value
accommodation, restaurants and general cosmopolitan atmosphere remain.
With few motor vehicles, the island is a walker's paradise. Local
guides are available for numerous hikes of varying difficulty around
the island and surrounding lakeshore. Those who complete the 1600 meter
climb up muddy trails to the village of Roonggurni need not be proud of
their accomplishment: village children descend and re-climb the
mountain every day to attend school.