All posts by Reka

Every step is a new destination.

Cafe Flamboyan

Our new project: Cafe Flamboyan. A place where you can hanging around with the local people, drink tee and coffee, if you order before you can eat as well. The place is absolutely authentic, people use to play chess, chat and sing all around the time. Even thou it is rustic scabby we have wifi. The manager is Herli and if I am in the village you will find me there as well.

Jasdin himself.
The kitchen.
Early bird.
Herli and me.

Visit Pulau Banyak Barat

Visit us on Pulau Banyak Barat, the still hidden part of Pulau Banyak with Haloban as seat of the district.

Discover the daily life of the villages and enjoy the surrounding islands.

Nenek (Grandmother)

Once upon a time…

Mantap (great)

Feel our spirit

Next to you

I feel save

Nenek Gajah (Elephant Grandma)

Steel

Woman

We will do it

On the way to heart of the village Haloban

Asantola

Traditional house

Ujung Sialit

Time to rest

Peace

Magrib (sunset)

Pulau Pabisi

Pulau Pabisi

Underwater Life

Don’t touch me

We won’t go

Perahu (boat)

Mmmm

Camping

Good morning, Haloban

Everything is alright

Life long learning

Welcome to Haloban

The Point – Palambak Besar

Just recently open the new bungalow resort The Point on Palambak.

A long, withe sand beach with turquoise seawater is waiting for you on this still hidden and unknown place. This beautiful tropical destination offers you the quieter side of life for a laid back vacation that is all about relaxing, suntanning and swimming in the crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean.

The manager of The Point is the well known and honorable Mr. Darmawan. He started his carrier as a handphone mechanic after that he worked for Caritas. He got independent with a local travel agency for transportation long years before. Now he has already returns to his passion which is rescue the nature of Sumatra. His main focus is on the turtles of Bangkaru. He loves adventure and I think he is the busiest man I have ever met.

For booking you can contact him via Whats App or email.

WA: + 62 821 6645 7040

Email: dmawan_skl76@yahoo.com

Price

All inclusive Rp 250.000/orang/night.

The price includes three main meals, coffee, tee and water. For extra charge you can buy cold drinks (Fanta, Coca Cola, Sprite and Beer)

See you at The Point!

Island Hopping

To live like Robinson Crusoe.

Pulau Lamon

Mr. Anhar, a well known, very kind and reliably guide offers packages for island hopping. You can tell him, where do you want to go, how long would you like to stay and for sure he will do his best to ensure you a beautiful stay and trip on Pulau Banyak.

The most approved tour covers three days and two nights on different islands. Tent, food and drinks are included (3 main meals, extra fruits, coffee, tee). He will catch you fresh fish and show you how to survive on a desert island.

Just to give you a hunch about the prices, a 3nights/2 days trip for two people costs 3.000.000 Rp.

He can pick you up from Balai and at the end of the tour bring you back. Nonetheless, he lives in Haloban, so if you wish to visit our village and start your island hopping from Haloban it would make up a nice option as well.

Mr. Anhar has two single kayaks, which you can rent for 150.000 Rp per day.

Surfing

Sleep in a tent, near the waves.

Instead of staying in bungalows you can camp, which makes your surfing holiday cheaper and adventurous.

Mr. Anhar offers a packet for 10 days, minimal 3 people. (650.000 Rp/day/person)

Contact

You can contact Mr. Anhar directly via Whats App.

Maybe you have questions, special wishes, just ask him. He is very open for any suggestions.

Whats App: + 62 852 777 111 08

Big news: for the very first time you can rent a house in Haloban

Be part of the daily life of the people in Haloban on Pulau Tuangku: for the very first time we offer the possibility to rent a house directly in the village of Haloban. The rather small house has two bedrooms, one living room, a bathroom and a kitchen. It is spatial enough for 4 people but you can get extra mattresses.

You can cook by yourself or eat outside but you can choose the common and comfortable way as well and take our services.

Price

400.000Rp per day

5.000.000Rp for two weeks

Contact

Via Whats App

Reka’s Phone: +43 676 6490319

Herli’s Phone: +62 852 7692 2913

Transportation by speedboat: Pulau Banyak Barat, Singkil, Nias, Simeulue

For all the travellers who have only limited time to visit Pulau Banyak or don’t want to waste time using unreliable public transport taking speedboat provides a time saving option, it is only according to weather conditions.

You also have the possibility to move forward to Nias or Simeulue directly from Haloban (Pulau Banyak Barat).

We in Haloban are working together with Mr. Has. He supplies following routes and prices:

  • Singkil-Haloban, Haloban-Singkil (one way): 2.100.000Rp (1-4 people), 2.650.000Rp (5-7 people)
  • Haloban-Simeulue, Simeulue-Haloban (one way): 4.800.000Rp (1-4 people), 5.300.000 (5-7 people)
  • Haloban-Nias, Nias-Haloban (one way): 4.800.000Rp (1-4 people), 5.300.000 (5-7 people)
  • Contact via What’s App:
    • Reka: +43 676 64 90 319
      Has: +62 822 7755 3932 ‭

    Papua – an overwhelming side leap

    • About Papua

    Papua is the the final frontier, the easternmost province of Indonesia. Don’t mix it up with Papua New Guinea, which is an independent state, both located on the word’s second biggest island called West Guinea. Its major city is Jayapura with an AirPort in Sentani, a town close to the city, located near the beautiful Lake Sentani. The infrastructure of Papua is mostly based on reasonable inland flights.

    Papua formerly known as Irian Jaya can feel like a different country. Once you have arrived there you can explore a kaleidoscope of cultural, natural, and ecological diversity, which is unique in the word.

    Lake Sentani

    Cyclops Mountains at Lake Sentani

    More than 80% of the population are Christian. There is also substantial practice of animism, the traditional religion for many Papuans.

    Traditional bedroom (honai) in the Baliem Valley

    Papua is probably derived from the Malay word papuwah (“fuzzy hair”). In 1545, a Spanish explorer called the island Nueva Guinea. In 1884, the western half of New Guinea was officially recognized as Dutch New Guinea, the northeastern section became German New Guinea, and the southeastern quarter became British New Guinea. In 1905, Australia took over the territory, renaming it the Territory of Papua. After World War II, the British and German territories were combined and jointly administered by Australia as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. Now, Papua is the biggest province of Indonesia and the highest taxpayer of the land conditioned by the Grasberg Mine, the word’s largest gold mine and three largest copper mine. It is located at the highlands near Puncak Jaya also known as Carstensz Pyramid (4.884m), the highest mountain in Papua and also one of the Seven Summits.

    Goa Japeng – Japanese Cave on Biak Island

    The stunningly beautiful and lonely withe beaches of Papua are still not frequented by western visitors. You will face an extraordinary untouched natural beauty accompanied with local authentic atmosphere, mightily friendly and hospitable people and on top on this delicious traditional meals for cheap prices.

    Pulau Biak

    • Where to go? Where to stay?

    Sentani-Jayapura

    Probably you will arrive on Papua at the Sentani Airport. Sentani offers a great first sight and step to Papua, which is still a hidden place for western visitors.

    You can easily spend some couple of days in Sentani, roam around the lake, visit villages, get the first breeze of Papua, take the chance to acclimate but don’t except to much, Sentani is a busy town – nevertheless I loved to discover it.

    Fish stall at Pasar Lama

    Sago – traditional food

    Selling vegetables

    Yahim village

    There is a plenty of Indonesian hotels but the best choice offers Izy Guesthouse with nine spatial, clean and pretty bungalows with attached bathroom owned and managed by a charismatic lady called Sherly. She speaks a beautiful English then she has spent a lot of time in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The guesthouse has a nice garden with a cozy canteen where you can have tee and coffee the whole day, breakfast is also included.

    Izy Guesthouse’s Canteen

    Front side of Izy Guesthouse

    The mesmerising Beaty of Biak…

    • Biak Island – a hidden Paradise

    It takes only two hours from Sentani to Biak Island by aeroplane. You will arrive in Biak City which is the largest population centre on the south coast. The rest of the island is thinly populated with small villages.

    Biak itself and the small islands to the south of Biak offer a plenty of beautiful white beaches and great diving and snorkelling spots. You will truly find yourself in paradise.

    Anggopi Beach

    Anggopi Beach

    Anggopi Beach

    Anggaduber Beach

    Heading to the north of Biak you will cross nice and tidy villages. It takes a 2 hours ride by motorcycle from Biak City to Wafsarak Waterfall.

    On the way to Wafsarak you will pass by the beautiful Batu Picah Beach.

    Pantai Batu Picah – Sor

    Close to Biak City there is a historical site, the huge Japanese Cave which remembers on the Battle of Biak (1944). In World War II, a strategic airfield of the Imperial Japanese Army was located on Biak, serving as a base for operations in the Pacific theatre. American forces eventually captured the island killing 4.000 Japanese solders during the battle.

    Goa Japang – Japanese Cave

    There is only one Guesthouse out of the city which is in Bosnik village, the Bosnik Beach Guesthouse. It is owned by Ibu Augustina (Phone: 0062 (0) 852 4403 2326), a very kind and diligent lady who speaks a good English. The tidy wooden house has a couple of nice stylishly furnished rooms, those which face the see with attended bathroom. Traditional breakfast is included and it offers a great base to explore the surrounding white sanded beaches of Eastbiak.

    From the balcony

    Room of Bosnik Beach Guesthouse

    Bosnik Bay

    There is a market in Bosnik which gets busy three times a week, it is really worth of a visit.

    Pasar Bosnik

    Cliff near Bosnik

    Soryar

    Wairusi Village

    Wairusi Village, cooking place

    Wairusi Village

    Anggopi

    Anggopi

    Statue near Saba

    Baliem Valley – one of the world’s last fascinatingly traditional areas

    Wamena and the Baliem Valley

    Village atmosphere near Wamena

    One of the unforgettable treasure of Papua is Baliem Valley, a place of an everlasting culture and untouched tribal life of Papua’s native inhabitants. The stunningly beautiful Baliem Valley lies high up in the mountains of central Papua at an altitude of 1.600 meters above sea level, hemmed in by steep green mountain walls.

    Countryside

    Baliem Valley is 72 km long, and 15-31 km wide in places. It is cut by the Baliem River, which has it source in the northern Trikora Mountain. It gets very cold in the night (around 12-15 degrees Celsius) and it is mostly sunny and warm by daytime.

    Baliem River

    By trekking, you can witness traditional ceremonies, traditional markets and the way of life of the Dani tribe.

    Hanoi

    The only access to the Baliem Valley is by flying to the town of Wamena. From Wamena into the interior of the Baliem Valley you can rent a car, travel by public bus or just walking.

    Baliem Valley

    Kids from Wedanku

    Wedanku

    Even if time is changing quickly the valley and surrounding highlands remain one of the world’s last fascinatingly traditional areas. Visiting the Baliem Valley and trekking through high mountain scenery, takes you to places, which you could never ever have imagined.

    Kitchen

    The main town and base centre of the area is the fast rising Wamena. The town is nothing special but offers good opportunities for shopping food and also souvenirs. There are some hotels and guesthouses in Wamena. Baliem Guesthouse belongs for sure to the best choice lodgings of the town. The prices of the clean and nice rooms starts at 400.000rp, breakfast is included.

    Baliem Guesthouse – lobby

    The internet is a bit slow in Wamena, the interior of the valley has no net at all. There are some villages with small kiosks but it is good to take your own food. If you are planing to spend a night or more in the interior the villagers will be happy if you bring them coffee and sugar or rice, they will offer you a place to stay.

    If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

    WA: 00436766490319

    Email: smile.theworldsmiles@gmail.com

    Pulau Banyak

    A paradiese at the end of the world

    Pulau Banyak is for sure one of the most beautiful destinations on Sumatra. The area is surrounded by pristine, white beaches and uninhabited coral islands. You can go for small jungle trips on Pulau Tuangku and Bangkaru, Ujung Lolok on Pulau Tuangku is a great spot for surfing and you can snorkle everywhere around the islands.

    With an area of 123 square miles (319 square km), the group lies north of Nias and 18 miles (29 km) west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. 

    The islands Pulau Banyak lie within the Aceh Singkil Regency in Aceh Province, and are divided into two districts: Pulau Banyak District and Pulau Banyak Barat District (Western Pulau Banyak). Pulau Balai is the seat of the Pulau Banyak District, and Haloban is the seat of the Pulau Banyak Barat District.

    The islands vary in their land cover; most are sandy with limited vegetation, while the larger islands have deep rainforests and are fringed by intertidal mangroves. The fringing coral reefs are habitat to diverse species, including green and leatherback sea turtles, pelagic and coral fish, and varieties of octopus, lobster, and other sealife. The weather is tropical; August to January are the rainy season, followed by a dry season from approximately February to July.

    Once if you have arrived to Sumatra, Medan you can take a shared or privat car to Singkil (Contact: Darmawan’s Phone: 0062 (0) 812 8431 4851, 0062 (0) 813 77219667 or Satiman’s Phone: 0062 (0) 822 9410 7162), from where you can reach the islands by boat. There are two villages with accommodation possibilities: Balai and Haloban and you will find bungalows on the uninhabited islands around. Sikandang, Tailana, Palambak and Bangkaru have operated bungalows, on the other islands you can find camping possibilities but for that reason you have to have a contact.

    Contact possibilities:

    • Reka’s Phone: 0062 (0) 822 7334 0892, Whats App: 0043 676 6490 319
    • Herli’s Phone: 0062 (0) 852 7692 2913
    • Email: smile.theworldsmiles@gmail.com
    • Satiman’s Phone: 0062 (0) 822 9410 7162
    • Satiman’s Email: sberutu@gmail.com

    For further information according traveling around Sumatra on general visit Satiman’s homepage: http://www.sumatra-tour.com

    Interest of visiting – a list of the best known islands:

    • Pulau Tuangku

    This island is the biggest of Pulau Banyak with three villages called Haloban, the seat of the Pulau Banyak Barat District (Northern End), Ujung Sialit, the Christian village and Suka Makmur. You can search for jungle experiences around Haloban, staying in the South called Ujung Lolok you will find yourself at one if the best surfing spots of Sumatra.

    If you prefer to stay in a village in the calm Haloban you will find accommodations. You can use the village as a base for your daily trips around Pulau Banyak.

    Pulau Sikandang (see http://thecoralsikandang.com/tour-island/ and http://banyak-island-bungalow.com)

    On Pulau Sikandang you will find a dozen of bungalows. The atmosphere there is great and the surrounding see is just wonderful.

    • Pulau Tailana

    Pulau Lamun

    This beautiful uninhabited island is very close to Haloban and is the seat of the Telekomsel Tower, which deliver the phone and internet signal for this area.

    Pulau Bangkaru (see Visit Bangkaru)

    Pulau Asok

    One of the most beautify spots but indeed it is very difficult to compare the islands and make a ranking. You can do a daily trip from Haloban and enjoy this scenic island like Robinson Crusoe without disturbing by anyone. There is also camping possibility on this incredible beautiful place (for that contact Mr. Anhar on Whats App: 0062 (0) 852 7771 1108)

    Bildschirmfoto 2017-07-01 um 13.25.07

    Haloban – Homestay

    Haloban, the still hidden fishing village, is the second most important place  (after Balai) of Pulau Banyak, the seat of the Pulau Banyak Barat District (PBB) and it is also my home. If you would like to come to the islands but you prefer to stay in a village my house is welcoming you, I have a small but clean guest room. It will be a simple homestay and from here you can make daily tours even overnight trips with camping possibilities to everywhere around Pulau Banyak. (See Activities around Tailana).

    Haloban
    Midday heat in Haloban

    There is also a losmen (Indonesian Guest House) in Haloban and you will find small food stalls and some stores to buy your daily needs as well.

    If you arrive in Singkil there is every second day a boat from there directly to Haloban. It takes around five hours to get there. Actually Haloban is the closest village to Pulau Tailana. You can find transportation from Balai to Haloban as well but it could be difficult, better to call Herli or me before you arrive.

    You can contact Herli or me if you are heading for Pulau Banyak and Haloban.

    Contact:

    • Herli’s Phone: 0062 (0) 852 7692 2913
    • Reka’s Phone: 0062 (0) 822 7334 0892, Whats App: 0043 676 6490 319
    • Email: smile.theworldsmiles@gmail.com

    Haloban is the most important village already merged with Asantola on the biggest island of Pulau Banyak which called Pulau Tuangku, it is as mentioned above the seat of the Pulau Banyak Barat District (Western Pulau Banyak) with a population of around 1500 persons. The major sector of the local economy is fishing but it already has a high school. Actually, this village owns Bangkaru, the turtle island and Pulau Asok.

    Homestay

    Summer 2017 I renovated a small house furthermore extended it with a new kitchen and washing room. It is still an Indonesian style apartment and it only has the average standards of the village, which means amongst others no flush toilet, but I was focussing on cleanliness and brightness and it was important for me to make the it spatial.

    Washing room

    Our white toilet

    The living room
    Bedrooms
    The kitchen

    The homestay offers you full service and can also help you to plan and organize your trips.

    So if you would like to be part of the Indonesien life, welcome home!

    Pulau Simeulue – a paradise for everybody

    A beautiful hidden place for surfing, experiencing impressive traditional life, drifting on long beaches and relaxing. 

    Coastal road


    Simeulue Island is located at the tip of Aceh province approximately 150 km off the coast of West Sumatra surrounded by the Indian Ocean, north of Pulau Banyak. It has an area about 2300 km² and a population about 85.000 inhabitants.
    To reach Simeulue you can take a direct flight (280.000-480.000rp) from Medan to Sinabang by wings air or you can cross the sea by ferry (less than 50.000rp).

    Simeulue…

    Every day at 13:15 wings air departure from Medan to Simeulue and there is also a daily flight from Simeulue to Medan at 14:55.

    Twice a week there is a ferry from Labuhan Haji (8-9 hours), twice a week from Singkil (∼12 hours) and three times from Meulaboh to Sinabang. The schedule can change due to weather conditions or for any other reason.

    Here you can see the schedule of the ferries (from September, 2016):

    • Meulaboh to Sinabang: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday – departure time at 15.oo o’clock in the afternoon.
    • Labuhan Haji to Sinabang: Saturday – departure time at 13.00 o’clock in the afternoon; Wednesday – departure time at 10.00 o’clock in the morning.
    • Singkil to Sinabang: Monday, Thursday – departure time at 17.00 in the afternoon.
    • Sinabang to Meulaboh: Monday, Thursday, Saturday – departure time at 18.00 o’clock in the evening.
    • Sinabang to Labuhan Haji: Tuesday, Friday- departure time at 22.00 o’clock in the evening.
    • Sinabang to Singkil: Wednesday, Sunday – departure time at 22.00 o’clock in the evening.

    The beach behind the Frazha cottage – if the sun is shining

    The beach behind Frazha – during storms

    If you come to Simeulue you don’t have to stay in an expensive resort, even if your goal is to surf everyday you can arrange it very well on your own. Frazha Homestay located in the small village of Alus Alus (southwest coast) half an hour by motorbike from the capitol city Sinabang owned an managed by Mr. Akil and his wife is a great place to stay, if you like to organize your day by yourself, if you like to be self-sufficient, if you don’t want to pay more for accommodation than 150.000 rupiah, if you like to live your own Indonesian life, if you like to have an own garden at the seafront and if you like to spend your time at a calm, peaceful cottage. Are you a surfer or not, you will be happy at Frazha with its palm trees directly at the seaside, close to everything what you can need and far away from everything what you maybe don’t need. Frazha homestay has four rooms with attached toilets on a cottage with two wooden houses. The kitchen is in the main house and even if you plan to be self-sufficient, Mr. Akil and his wife can help you for surearound

    the kitchen if you ask them kindly. Mr. Akil’s wife is indeed a beautiful cook. For your daily needs you will find small shops around the villages, otherwise you should go to Sinabang (the road is good!). Mr. Akil and his wife are very hospitable. If you need something special from the town you can ask the family with certainty to help you as they commute everyday between Frazha and Sinabang.
    Before your arrival you should contact Mr. Akil and it is better to book in advance.

    The main house of Frazha

    The garden and the guest house


    Contact:
    Akil’s Phone: 0062 (0)811 6811 772, email: akil.rozha@yahoo.com

    Your phone will work very well in Alus Alus, you can even use internet, it won’t be very quick but it is alright.

    I have to mention the water in the toilet and in the shower at the cottage because it is really clear and fresh. They use natural ground water and it has a really good quality. Yes, it is cold.

    There is electricity everywhere around but due to weather conditions it is often off. Take your torch and candles with you but in the worst case there is a generator as well.

    Simple, clean – to feel good


    The cottage’s kitchen


    About the prices: I was just a guest in Frazha, I spent two months there (July and August, 2016), for that I just can give you an approximate idea about the costs. One night per person is for 150.000 rp. It is for your bed, the food is extra. One kg of a fresh fish can costs between 30.000 and 70.000rp, depends on the weather and sure on the species. To refill the big 10L bottle of drinking water costs 4.000rp, a sack of 10kg high quality rice costs around 120.000rp.

    In most of the cases you will need a motorbike (60.000-100.000rp depends on the duration of your rental). If you are on Simeulue for surfing you have to catch your waves around the shore and the small islands, if you just plan to relax and to get to know the island it is also very nice to go around by motorbike. The roads are great and mostly safe (your biggest enemies will be the cows). But if you don’t feel comfortable about the idea of driving a motorbike Mr. Akil can organize beautiful trips for you without bikes as well.

    The never ending road around Simeulue

    On the way from Alus Alus to Sinabang

    Costal scenery

    On the way from Alus Alus to Labuhan

    Scenic bay

    Palm tree-lined road near Alus Alus

     

    Let me focus on the activities around Alus Alus and in general on Simeulue:

    • Enjoy the Frazha garden

      Garden of Frazha
    • Go for a walk at Alus Alus’ beautiful long beach

      Enjoy…
    • Play in the waves behind the garden (swimming will be difficult)

      Alus Alus Beach
    • There is every day a sunset

      Near by Alus Alus
    • Play football or volleyball around the villages before Maghrib (prayer after sunset)

      Football-time in Alus Alus
    • Visit the coconut factory in Alus Alus

      Lunch break at the factory
    • Visit the fisher villages around

      Village of Labuhan
    • Take a fishing boat to other small islands

      Mincau Island
    • Prowl around

      Paddy
    • Surfing
    • Tracking
    • Snorkeling
    • Learn about the tradition (on Simeulue you will still find fakirs) 
    • Be part of it 

    Mr. Akil knows his home island Simeulue very well. You can ask him about the tradition, folkway, rites and he can also show you hidden places for snorkeling and tracking.

    He is a great host and you will see him always smiling next to his beautiful wife.

    For more information use Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/akil.rozha/media_set?set=a.10206158200147972.1073741911.1652733731&type=3&pnref=story

    Daswan, me, kakak, abang Akil, Rizki and Sophie

     

    It is a place to feel good, it is a paradise for everybody. 

    The adventurous swamps of Mentawai

     

    Under me the swamp and above the sky


    Take the Mentawai Fast from Padang (only twice a week!) to Muara Siberut and you will get close to the last native inhabitants of Sumatra, who live in the swamps of the island.

    Muara Siberut

    Muara Siberut is a busy small town. It takes around 20 minutes by ojek (motorbike taxi) from the harbour to get to the town. It shouldn’t cost more than 25.000Rp. Ibu Ar (mum Ar) and her guest house is well known in Murau. The lady owns and managing the hostel on her own, her husband passed by last year. Her full name is Ibu Ar Syahruddin and if you ask the guys at the harbour to bring you there, they will do it and you won’t need to discuss any more with them about who knows what else.

    Ibu Ar’s Phone: 0813 6304 9506

    You can contact her before you arrive but actually it is absolutely no need to book in advance, so you can go there wherever you want and there will be for sure somebody at home.

    It is a wooden house, the rooms are small but nice and tidy. The price for two is 100.000Rp. Toilets are outside.

    Ibu Ar’s guesthouse

     

    The homy balcony

     

    In Muara itself you will still have a phone signal, your mail server and what’s app will work more or less but it is easier to forgo Facebook. You will have electricity by night and in the morning but it can happen by daytime that it vanishes for some couple of short hours.

    Muara has shops, you can buy drinks and food. You will find medicaments as well and a lot of warungs (local restaurant). For your basical needs there is a service.

    The Indonesian government started with aid projects, organised villages with small schools, shops and religious education (Islam, Catholic) came into being in the swamps of Siberut. Most of the natives live nowadays in those communities. There is still no electricity over there, no signal but what you will find for sure is an incredible beauty.

    A great chance to get closer to the tradition and culture of the natives of Mentawai is to stay with them in one of their villages.

    Madobag village


     Madobag is the village of my friend Gejeng. He is a very competent guide with license. He must be around 35 years old, nobody knows it exactly, as he was born in the jungle and lived there as an aborigin for a very long time.

    My beautiful friend, Gejeng

    I asked Ibu Ar to become our contact to reach Gejeng, then Gejeng himself still doesn’t have a phone or email.

    So if you would like to see and experience the daily life of the people in the jungle, if you would like to stay there for a night, some days, a week or even longer, Gejeng can help you and show you the almost forgotten spirit of Mentawai. He is a swine herd, which is the traditional work of the Mentawai natives and a hunter with his six dogs.

    Stay short or long, everything is manageable. One night in a village with a small trekking tour to visit people who still stay outside of the “civilisation”, or some couple of days with longer treks, it is up to you and your imagination. Our phantasy is their daily life.

    A traditional house

    To contact Gejeng just ask Ibu Ar, she will send somebody for him and Gejeng will come to Murau.

    Which means, you don’t have to book any tour from the mainland. You can go there, have a look first and you can organise your tour by yourself. Gejeng became my friend, he knows and loves his land; his mind is beautiful.

    How can you prepare yourself for the jungle? Gumboot. The only thing which is indispensable is gumboots as you will cross swamp area. There are enough gumboots in the villages, it is not necessary to bring your own boots.

     

    Tarason and me

    Gejeng works together with his friends. There are five more guides in Gejeng’s village. I had the chance to get know Andi. He joined our tour and was really good taking care of me.

     

    Andi. Sometimes there is a chance to cross the river dry.

     

    Inside a traditional kitchen

     

    Enough for everybody

     

    Gejeng, me, Andi and Rostam

     

    And if you wish to explore South Siberut riding a motorbike by yourself, just ask for a Honda and enjoy.

    Pompon – a wooden fishing boat

     

    The abandoned beach next to Muara

     

    For a walk
    At the river side

    If you have any questions, would like to know more about your possibilities, see more pictures or everything else, you are always welcome to contact me on:

    smile.theworldsmiles@gmail.com

    On the way

    Visit Bangkaru

    The second biggest island of Pulau Banyak ’99’ islands is Bangkaru, the turtle island. Every night throughout the year you can see green turtles laying eggs on the marvelous beaches  of Bangkaru Nationalpark.

    Beaches are plane

    Bangkaru is for sure one of the most special places on Sumatra. The Island is a desert island, there is only one cottage (pondok) built up by the government for the rangers, who take care and protect the turtles.

    I heard, ten years before there were nearly on every island turtles and the locals say, you could get lobsters even at the toilet in the villages. The business was booming until the eco-system couldn’t catch up with the mass fishing any more. The province Aceh woke up, sent rangers to the last turtle paradise to save this treasure of nature. But one thing is remained completely untouched by the people: the island itself. The reason is funny, the locals believe Bangkaru is a place of ghosts, so they never came to log trees and never killed the animals on the Island. I was there this summer (2015), I couldn’t see any ghosts but a real jungle with giant plants.

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    Giants

    If you stay on Bangkaru you will stay together with the rangers. Real hard outdoorsmen, which means they also know how to cook like heaven…

    Night by night they are observing the eggs laying turtles and if is necessary, which happens ever and anon, they protect them as well for the fishermen who come to steal the eggs – ever and anon.

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    Their trace

    Mr. Usup is one of the brave rangers. There is no phone signal at the Island – about the internet is no need to speak. So the guys are really alone with the nature. And if something happens, it is Usup who is running up the mountain, which takes two hours, to be able to contact the outside world.

    The pondok is big enough to have some dormitories for us visitors.

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    The pondok

    As I came to Bangkaru, my friend Langlang Buana (he is a speed boat driver) took me there.

    IMG_7589
    Mr. Langlang Buana

    The most comfortable, straightest and easiest way to get to Bangkaru is to contact Darmawan (Tel.: 0821 6645 7040, Email: dmawan_ skl76@yahoo.com). He speaks a great English so you will enjoy a very informative trip and he is also a really cool man; it will be a great experience with him. You will find our Darmawan on Facebook as well under Dar Mawan. He is also Director of CV Pulau Banyak Travel, so wherever you would like to travel by car on Sumatra, he can help you.

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    How much does it cost to get to Bangkaru? If you are a group it costs around one million rupiah per person, if you are a couple the price is three million for you two. And if you are alone, life is always an adventure…

    Why is it so expensive? It is special, that is for sure one of the main reasons. The organizer pays permission for you as well. On the other hand the infrastructure is not given, too. Everything, the food, the drinks, medicaments, everything is from the mainland. Last but not least there is one more exciting reason behind the price: it is a bit difficult because of the waves to enter the island. You need for sure a speed boat and an experienced driver as well. He has to catch the right wave and so you will surf easily, safe and quickly to the welcoming beach of Bangkaru. Enjoy.

    Telefon & Internet & Money on Pulau Banyak

    If you have an Indonesian SIM card from Telekomsel, you can use your phone 24 hours a day but no other provider works in this area. Telekomsel offers 4G, but not everywhere and not always.

    You should cary cash with you, it is possible but not easy to get money on the islands and villages. There is an ATM in Singkil, but it is sometimes out of work. The safest way is to take money from the bigger cities around.

    Activities on Pulau Banyak Barat

    • Visit Haloban, the fishing village next to Tailana. It takes around 25 minutes to get there by fishing boat. 80% of the population works still on the sea searching for fishes, octopi, crabs and shells by day, by night, by storm, by sun.
      Haloban
      Be part of the game
      In a silent evening.
    • Visit Ujung Salit, the only Christian village in this area. Its inhabitants originate in Nias.
      Ujung Salit
    • Relax and snorkel around the stunningly beautiful small island called Pulau Pandan.
      Pulau Pandan
      The only visitors: we
      Indeed small
      Same same but different
    • Visit Air Dingin (cold water) to have a refreshing bath and see some monkeys.
      Around Air Dingin
      Wilderness
      Great vegetation
      Our fishing boat
    • Be part of traditional events
      Wedding ceremony in Balai
      Wedding decoration in Haloban
    • Cruising around the islands. Catch sight of dolphins, turtles and if you are lucky sometimes you can see dugongs.
      Departure from Tailana
    •  
      On the way to Pulau Ragu Ragu
    •  
      On the way back to Tailana

    About Tailana

    Pulau Tailana is one of the stunningly beautiful islands of the remote Pulau Banyak situated about 30km west of Aceh Singkil at the east cost of Sumatra in the Indien Ocean. Pulau Banyak (lot of islands) is a cluster of many mostly uninhabited islands with ginclear waters, white beaches and vast quantities of palm trees.

    Tailana’s crystal clear, calm water is home for corals, lobsters and small fishes -the big ones are already on the market. The small tropical island is indeed a great spot for snorkling and relaxing. It belongs for sure to the last Beauties of the world.

    Prices on Tailana

    Single: 100.000Rp

    Double: 125.000Rp

    Triple: 150.000Rp

    Facilities: 125.000Rp per person which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, tee&coffee all the time, drinking water, fruits, electricity and laundry possibilities.

    It means:

    If you come alone: 225.000Rp per day/night

    If you are two of you: 375.000Rp in total per day/night

    If you are three of you: 525.000Rp in total per day/night

     

    Bungalow on Tailana

     

    Interior design

     

    Canteen

     

     

    Everywhere dill around the cottages

     

    Also the kings visit this place on foot…

    Activities on Tailana

    • Just relax…
      If reality makes you feel prepossessed
    • Play volleyball
      We are ready
    • Kayaking
      It is not so far but far enough to the next island
    • Snorkling directly around the island or nearby
      Between the sun above and the corals under you is your skin…
    • Fishing
      The fishes are not akways willing but often
    • Surfing à la Tailana
      *wuhuuu*
    • Cocking and eating
      Happy non-birthday
      …and who ordered lobster today?
    • Enjoy the sunset…

    How to get to Tailana

    Wherever you are, Medan, Bukit Lawang, Banda Aceh, Pulau Weh, Ketambe, Padang, Bukittingi or Lake Toba we can help you to find transportation to Singkil, which is your stepping stone to get to Pulau Banyak:

    You can call Mr. Darmawan in Singkil directly, he has shared and private cars around Sumatra:

    Darmawan’s Phone:  0062 (0)821 66457040

    Darmawan’s Email: dmawan_ skl76@yahoo.com

    Or you just contact the island directly by calling Mr. Mali: 0062 (0)813 60991595.

    From Singkil you have different possibilities to come to Tailana:

    • The old common way, which can take a very long time is to go to the harbour in Singkil and go by public boat to Pulau Balai, which is the first island in Pulau Banyak from Singkil. The cargo ships are leaving everyday except holidays between 9 o’clock in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon – and we never know exactly when. The cruise takes around three to four hours and costs around 30.000Rp. If we know, you are on the way to Balai, somebody (mostly Erwin) from our team will waiting for you at the harbour. From Balai it takes around one and a half hours to come to Tailana by chartering a boat, it costs around 150.000Rp per person.
    • Twice a week there is a ferry from Singkil to Balai (Tuesday and Saturday). It costs 25.000Rp, it leaves at 11 o’clock in the morning and it takes around three and a half ours.
    • You can go first to Haloban which is the closest village to Tailana. This is the cheapest way! But only every two days goes a boat from Singkil to Haloban. It costs 50.000Rp. (Read more about Haloban above.)
    • You can charter a speed, which goes directly to Tailana. It’s always better to leave in the morning, it takes between one and a half and two hours and costs 2.000.000Rp.

     

    Harbour in Singkil

     

    Contact Pulau Tailana

    Manager: Mr. Mali

    Mr. Mali’s Phone: 0062 (0) 813 6099 1595

    Reka’s Phone: 0062 (0) 821 6569 9220

    What’s app: 0043 676 64 90 31

    Email: smile.theworldsmiles@gmail.com

    On Facebook there is a group called Pulau Tailana, you are always welcome to join it.

    Pulau Tailana