Lake Linow is a small volcanic lake in Tomohon, near Manado. The mainly sulfurous composition of the lake makes it smell like rotten eggs. But it doesn't stop the local community from crowding on its shore. In fact, you'll find a huge eatery here (D-Linow Restaurant), with the open terrace raised on the wooden pillars. And paradoxically, the most wanted tables are the ones close to water (and the fumes).
But the smell is part of the fun, along with the great view of the colorful water surface. Depending on the chemical composition of the water, one day it's blue, the other might be red. When we visited Linow, it was emerald green.
The lake is located in the mountainous region; thus the beautiful surrounding scenery is mostly dominated by hills and mountains. The existence of the green area on altitude above 700 meters contributed to the formation of crisp and fresh microclimate, creating a relaxing environment.
Near the lake, the geological phenomenon of the volcanic zone has caused cracks on the ground, occasionally spitting with boiling water and exhaling white sulfurous smoke.
The local authorities have built a path around the lake for visitors to enjoy its beauty closely. But keep calm, the tourist spots are allowed to exist only in areas free from concentrated toxic fumes and far from geysers to guarantee the safety.
People usually travel to the lake for leisure teatime gatherings or lunch. But if you crave for more, you can get a bungalow in Green Lake Linow Resort (which, by the way, also offers the restaurant menu to the visitors, not only guests).
It is not allowed to swim in Lake Linow. However, if soaking in hot water is your recipe for perfect rest, you can visit the neighboring town, Lahendong, where you'll find the nice hot springs. Lahendong is also home for the geothermal plant, Pertamina Geothermal Energy, supplying the whole region in "green power". Near the plant, there are plans to create Lahendong Geothermal Education Park. It will serve as an education center and tourist park, according to the Indonesian government announcements. Unfortunately, the construction of the park hasn't even started yet.
The accessibility of Lake Linow is relatively easy. Which means you can get here in about 1 hour from Manado by car (it's only about 40 kilometers from Manado, but the roads are often clogged). Unfortunately, only by car, as there is no organized regular public transportation to Lake Linow, not even from Tomohon.
You might see the lake as a part of the day trip around Manado. This is what we did, and we enjoyed it a lot. Besides Tondano, we also visited Kali waterfall, Tomohon with Pagoda Ekayana and "extreme market," Woloan, Lake Linow, Bukit Kasih, Pulutan and Sawangan. To see how we organized the trip go to our article How to plan a day-trip around Manado.
And hurry up to catch up with the beauty of Linow, as it might fade any time soon. Sadly, due to the rapid development of agriculture in the adjacent area, the lake suffers from the effects of the gradual degradation of its ecosystem.
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