World famous is the crater Toba Lake in the Batak highlands; approximately five hours drive from Medan. Toba Lake is the largest lake in South East Asia and also one of the most spectacular, surrounded by tall mountains and with the large island of Samosir in the middle. If we descend from the mountain we see the lake glittering in all its beauty. The Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek even called Toba Lake, 'the most beautiful place on earth'. Most visitors stay on the peninsula of Tuk Tuk on Samosir, named after the linguist Herman Neubronner van der Tuuk. In general people stay several days on Samosir to discover the island, to visit traditional Batak villages, to swim in the lake and go to the hot springs in Pangururan.
The centerpiece of North Sumatra, Lake Toba's bracing climate and magnificent panoramas clear the mind and soothe the soul. For decades a magnet from regional and foreign visitors alike, Toba has developed into a full-featured highland resort while retaining the rustic charm and relaxed ambiance that define Toba's attraction. Formed by a stupendous prehistoric volcanic explosion, the 100 km long lake is the largest in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest and the highest in the world. The drama of that cataclysmic birth persist in 500 meter cliffs dropping into the blue-green waters, surrounded by steep, pine covered sloped, the climate is fresh and pleasant, with just enough rain to support the lush vegetation.
Toba Lake is a 100kms x 30kms volcanic lake in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Toba Lake has become one of the main tourist attractions for a long time in North Sumatra apart from Bukit Lawang and Nias, visited by both domestic and foreign tourist.
Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and romantic monuments on earth, and to us especially so, since Frank just proposed to Jen in front of the Taj! (Watch episode 9 for that)
There is a stupid rule at the Taj Mahal where video is prohibited beyond the first viewing platform (where you see Jen talking on the bench), and don't even think about bringing in a tripod or monopod - they search everything at the gate. So as a result, most non-broadcast footage of the Taj Mahal upclose is shaky, low quality cell phone stuff. Well, we are thankful for our DSLR, which looks like a still camera but also takes full 1080p HD video! We even managed a rare HD movie inside the Taj Mahal itself! Certain shots are stablized and smoothed in software for almost the tripod look. Enjoy!
Technical notes: Shot in 1080p HD with a Canon 60D camera, handheld. Photos are mostly HDR. Music credits: "Here With Me" and "Living Life Over" by ATB.
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