Wednesday, August 19, 2009



Map of Indonesia; photo of beach (Page 27); photo of huts; photo of design
WILLIAM FINNEGAN, a writer who lives in San Francisco, is working on a book about South Africa to be published by Harper and Row.
You can start to feel like you've arrived at the innermost bead in a deng ya ch'iu, one of those Chinese carvings of an ivory bead within an ivory bead within an ivory bead. You stand at the shore of a small lake on Samosir Island, which rises in the southern part of Lake Toba, which fills a crater in the mountains of northern Sumatra, which is an island in the Indian Ocean.
This farflung (if centripetal) point probably sounds like the end of the earth. Yet Lake Toba is only a half day's travel from Singapore. The trip is accomplished by a short air hop to Medan, the capital city of Sumatra, then a three-hour ride up a good, paved road. This relative ease of access belies, however, the true distance one travels simply by entering the high country of the Batak. In fact, the special sort of remoteness, the almost otherwordly quality of the region, is much of why, for the visitor to Asia interested in something other than the cities, the standard attractions and the standard resorts, Lake Toba has recently become a destination of choice………..

No comments:

Post a Comment