Category Archives: Nature

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 (see Haloban – Daswan&Reka Homestay) and you will find bungalows on the uninhabited islands around. Sikandang, Tailana 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:

  • Daswan’s Phone: 0062 (0) 812 6431 2706
  • Reka’s Phone: 0062 (0) 821 6569 9220, Whats App: 0043 676 6490 319
  • 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:

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.

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 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 Daswan: 0062 (0) 813 70821060).

Bildschirmfoto 2017-07-01 um 13.25.07

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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 our home. If you would like to come to the islands but you prefer to stay in a village our house is welcoming you, we 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 us before you arrive.

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

Contact:

  • Daswan’s Phone: 0062 (0) 812 6431 2706
  • Reka’s Phone: 0062 (0) 821 6569 9220, 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.

History of Haloban

in progress…

Daswan&Reka Homestay

Summer 2017 we 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 we were focussing on cleanliness and brightness and it was important for us to make the it spatial.

Washing room
Our white toilet
The living room
Bedrooms
The kitchen
Always smiling Daswan

At our homestay we offer you full service and can also help you to plan and organize your trips.

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

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.

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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.

About Pulau 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.

Stormy weather

 

Tailana means slop oil in the traditional language of this area. Mr. Mali’s ancestors bought the island 1905. He starts to built up  the first three bungalows on his palm tree island after the Tsunami in 2004, in 2013 two new cottages followed, today we have eight.  

As it is…

 

Daswan, now 33 years old, became the manager of Tailana four years before. Afternoon by afternoon he caught the fishes for his handful guests and prepared the food by himself alà traditional cuisine, so that Tailana became a culinary place. If you don’t like fish, don’t worry, the vegetable dishes are excellent as well but you will (almost) never meet meat on the island.

 

Coral grouper

 

Herman started working on the island half a year after Daswan. By daytime he used to cruise around the islands with his guests. It should not happen but anyway if something hurts or we get sick, he knows a medicine.

Not only the Tailana cuisine, which makes the island special, but the music. If we are lucky after dinner Daswan and Herman take their old shabby  guitar and sing heartbreaking songs of the fishermen.

Daswan & Herman

 

Rizki is Daswan’s cousin. He is the youngest in our Tailana-family, he is 19. He arrived this year in June to Tailana and became very fast our right hand.

Rizki

That is the story, how became Tailana a spot of touristic interest and how our Tailana-family grown.

Time goes by… Tailana is still a spot of touristic interest, but we moved on, our life got changed. (See more above in chapter Haloban – Daswan&Reka Homestay)

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…

    Amin