Lake Singkarak – A Stunning Tourist Spot In West Sumatra To Visit

Lake Singkarak - A Stunning Tourist Spot In West Sumatra To Visit

The lake has clear waters, fishing cans scattered on the surface looking for fish, and a lush landscape. The scenery that you’re looking for is located in West Sumatra. The lake Singkarak is about 70 km from Padang, the capital of West Sumatra.

Singkarak Lake is bordered by two districts in West Sumatra, namely Solok and Tanah Datar. The lake covers about 1,000 hectares, making it the second-largest in Sumatra after Lake Toba. 

The depth of this tectonic lake is 268 meters, and its altitude is 363.5 meters above sea level. And it was formed by shifting the Earth’s plates.

There are not many types of fish in the water, despite its widespread presence. There are only 19 fish species recorded in this lake. Since fish typically eat only a tiny amount of plankton, this is possible.

Due to the lake’s depth, sunlight cannot penetrate the bottom, making it difficult for plankton to live here.

Its beauty attracts many tourists outside the city and from around the area. In 1905, Ernst Haeckel, a German researcher, published a journal of biology in which he described the beauty of this tourist attraction.

The landscape of Lake Singkarak fascinated Haeckel, so he depicted it in an oil painting. This oil painting captures the beauty of this lake and its ecosystem.

There are many things you can do to enjoy Lake Singkarak. Among the activities available on the lake are swimming, riding a sampan around the lake, fishing by the lake, and joining fishers. 

Bring a camera so you can capture the beauty of the tourist spot. The vast lake and the lush Bukit Barisan scenery opposite it are too spectacular to be missed.

Aside from these activities, you can also enjoy culinary tours at the stalls around this tourist attraction. Alternatively, you can catch fish and barbecue it on the lake with friends if eating at a stall isn’t satisfying. The experience might be pleasant.

What’s unique about Lake Singkarak?

While Lake Singkarak is a pride of the people of West Sumatra as well as a natural tourist attraction, it has some unique qualities that you should know, including:

1. Tour de Singkarak

It is an international cycling competition held annually on the shores of Lake Singkarak. Singkarak’s Tour de Singkarak is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economic and Amaury Sport, which organizes a similar event in France, the Tour de France.

The Tour de Singkarak was first held in 2009. Besides, the implementation period lasts for a week between April and June, with seven tapes that participants must pass.

Tour de Singkarak is more than just a race on a highway; it’s also an introduction to the culture and beauty of West Sumatra. 

It is along the route that participants must take to observe the Minang culture’s diversity and West Sumatra’s natural beauty.

At first, the Singkarak Tour began from the city of Padang and ended at the Singkarak Lake Pier. Since 2012, the starting line has started from Sawahlunto, a historic old town in West Sumatra, and ended in Padang. 

Even though Lake Singkarak isn’t the finish line anymore, the Tour de Singkarak still features Lake Maninjau and other exciting attractions.

2. Bilih fish

Presently, the waters of Lake Singkarak are home to 19 kinds of fish. One of these types of fish is the Bilih fish (Mystacoleucus pangenesis). Bilih fish are unique because they can only live in this lake. 

Many attempts have been made to breed this fish outside of Lake Singkarak, but they have all failed because they always die.

The Bilih fish are small and have shimmering silver scales. They can grow up to 10 cm in length. Among the 19 types of fish in the lake, the bilih fish is the most numerous. 

Fishers in the surrounding area made their living from the Bilih fish. Fishers caught it and sold it to stalls. It is best to serve this fish fried with spicy sambal comprised of dicocol.

Bilih fish, besides being sold in stalls, can be bought as souvenirs at this tourist destination. It is possible to make souvenirs typical of Lake Singkarak by packaging the fish in different sizes of plastic.

The size of Lake Singkarak can still change following the shift of the Earth’s plate because it belongs to the category of tectonic lakes. 

Research results indicate that the lake’s length was initially only 3 km, then increased to 8 km, 13 km, and is now about 23 km long. It is expected that the length of the lake will grow even more.

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