Sibolga or formerly known as Siboga is a town located in the western side of the North Sumatra province, in Indonesia. In addition to being a town, Sibolga is also a port with the town port located at the Sibolga Bay's natural harbour. For centuries, Indian and Arab merchants had sailed through Sibolga as a western gateway to Sumatra. With the size of 10.77 square kilometres and a total of 84,444 residents, Sibolga's strategic location has allowed it to be the step-off point for trade to Nias Island. In addition to that, the many islands and other natural attractions that can be found around here is enough as attraction points for tourists who want a dreamy vacation.
Ferdinand Lumban Tobing Airport is the main airport that functions to serve Sibolga and other surrounding areas is located 30 kilometres away from the city. It is a public airport that can handle flights heading to destinations around and within Indonesia such as Batu Islands, Gunung Sitoli, Jakarta and Medan which are handled by the likes of Citilink, Garuda Indonesia, Susi Air and Wings Air. The public airport is owned by the Government of Indonesia and named after Ferdinand Lumbantobing which is a National Hero of Indonesia that served as the Governor of North Sumatra as well as the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration in his life. It is located at an elevation of 10 meters above sea level with one runway measuring about 2,260 meters and is made of asphalt. There are connecting flights to and from Kuala Lumpur via Garuda Indonesia with a budget ranging around 1,886 ringgit.
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While Sibolga can be said to be suited for all-year visits, some period is better than the other. With that in mind, the off-peak season to visit Sibolga, as well as the nearby regions, is usually in the month of November with high precipitation in this month that makes it slightly inconvenient to go out. As such, one can expect travel costs to be much lesser if you are travelling around this month. The peak time to visit Sibolga is usually around December to October, therefore expect prices to rise around this time. If you plan your trip well, you can undoubtedly save your money because the price for hotels and flights during the peak season will cost you a lot.
Sibolga, just like other regions around Indonesia and surrounding countries, has a tropical rainforest climate according to the Koppen climate classification in which dry season is shorter or nonexistent, and rainfall is normally heavy throughout the year. The average maximum temperature in Sibolga would typically reach around 29 and 31 degree Celsius while the average minimum would go to 23 and 24 degree Celsius. The hottest months are usually around April, May and June although the difference may not be too obvious. Sibolga also has a high humidity with some months being more humid than others with chances of precipitation to happen all year round.
While Sibolga may be a small town, there is still a couple of attractions that can be considered worthwhile to check out when you are here.
Poncan Island – One of the biggest islands in Central Tapanuli with an area size of 500 hectares, it is only 7 kilometres away from the town of Sibolga, being accessible by a 30-minute speedboat ride from the city’s port. It has white sandy beaches and accommodation places for one to stay the night or even camping sites for the visitors who are adventurous. It was once known as Takalo Island before being renamed to Poncan.
Tangga Seratus – Tangga Seratus or A Hundred Stairs in English is a historical attraction that is the leftover from the Dutch colonial period. It has 298 stairs with a height of 100 meters, which is believed to be the source of its current name. On the top, one may be able to reach a vantage point that allows a certain panoramic view of the city. It has been a point of interest for locals and tourists alike, with tours being held here with the tour guide bringing them over the stairs to explain the history behind it.
Nias Island – An island located on the west coast, it is reachable from Sibolga by using a ferry. It is known for being a terrific surfing destination, with Sorake Bay being the top area to surf in the island. There are also sea turtles swimming around, which can be observed by the surfers that are waiting for the waves.