Sumatra Eco Tourism

 
DESTINATIONS
 
OTHER INFO
 
DOWNLOADS
 
ON THE LATEST NEWS

Fly to Singkil from Medan and Banda Aceh...more details

Ferry from Singkil to Pulau Banyak and Simeulue. Now also Singkil – Nias. New schedule!
See TRANSPORTATION under SINGKIL or PULAU BANYAK.
IT IS THE FASTEST LAND ROUTE TO BOTH NIAS AND SIMEULUE.


Get a FREE bulletin of Pulau Weh & Pulau Banyak

Get a FREE Bulletin of Pulau Weh.
Download PDF file here


Get a FREE Bulletin of Pulau Banyak
Download PDF file here

See articles from earlier edition

Watch Videos


 

 

PULAU BANYAK > WHAT TO SEE AND DO


IN THE VILLAGES

Click to enlargeWeddings and circumcision-ceremonies are colorful and interesting to see. Traditional dances have their origin mainly in the Minangkabau culture (West Sumatra), but are specific for Pulau Banyak. A very special dance is "Lansir Madam", an odd remnant from the Dutch colonial times. In the village of Ujung Sialit traditions have their origin in Nias.

The languages spoken on the islands are Jamee (similar to Minangkabau), Haloban (the original language) and Nias.

Desa P. Balai and P. Baguk are both located on the relatively small island of Pulau Balai. They have since long grown together. It is the administrative and commercial center for the sub-regency Pulau Banyak (the eastern part of the archipelago) and the main entry point for visitors. Almost 3.000 people live here. The local language is Jamee.

As these two villages were very heavily damaged by earthquake and tsunami in 2004 there is not much left of the former accommodations. The island sank more or less one meter. Most houses along the waterfront stand now in water. Until recently only one losmen were in operation, but one more have started and more is on its way.

Click to enlargeIf you prefer village life, P. Balai and P. Baguk are rather nice. The accommodation is nice and food is good, especially the fish. It is close to several other nice islands and it is easy to charter a canoe or boat. Nice nearby islands are Pulau Baguk, Pulau Panjang, and Pulau Tapus-Tapus.

Desa Teluk Nibung is not far from P. Balai, just over the water on the island named Ujung Batu. More than 1.000 people live in this village. Teluk Nibung has a very beautiful Mosque in the old style. There are interesting rock formations on the northern end of this island. They are best seen from a boat. Otherwise there are mostly small orchards.

In the other sub-regency Pulau Banyak Barat has four villages. Pulau Banyak was recently divided into two sub-regencies. Desa Ujung Sialit with its app. 600 inhabitants is located on the northeastern point of Pulau Tuangku. The inhabitants are all of Nias descent and arrived in the first half of the last century. It has the only church in Pulau Banyak. They are Christians and speak Nias language. Nearby is the nice Pulau Pabisi.

Desa Suka Makmur is a new village with less than 500 inhabitants south of Ujung Nias. A boardwalk leads through the mangroves into the village.

Click to enlargeDesa Haloban and Desa Asantola was the administrative center of Pulau Banyak before the Japanese occupation. Now Haloban has become the center for a new sub-regency Pulau Banyak Barat. Around 2.000 people live in these two villages grown together. They have their own language, Bahasa Haloban, which unfortunately is less and less used by the villagers.

Haloban has no nice beaches by itself, but many of the best islands of Pulau Banyak are spread out in front of it. Behind is the untouched and unknown jungles of Pulau Tuangku. From here one can also climb the highest mountain in Pulau Banyak, Gunung Tiusa; 313m above sea level. Haloban is a good starting point for jungle trekking. See below. There is a accommodation available, famous for its fantastic fish dishes.
Big parts of Haloban were destroyed by earthquake and tsunami. The houses near the waterfront get flooded at extreme tide.

ISLANDS WITH BUNGALOWS

Click to enlargePulau Palambak Besar is the forth biggest island in Pulau Banyak. It takes a few hours to walk around it. It has white sand beaches almost all around it. Palambak Besar is known for its perfect beaches. In the middle of the island is a swamp forest and a couple of small hills. There are a few huts where caretakers of the palm tree orchards live. The caretakers are very friendly and helpful.

Palambak Besar was in the old days the most popular island amongst back packers. There were three small resorts, PAP, The Point and Bina Jaya. At the site of The Point the Regency government has built and rebuilt some bungalows. It was open for a few years, but are now closed again as the manager passed away. Where PAP once were, three bungalows have been built again, however, at the moment closed for renovation. On the very attractive beach between PAP and the former The Point is a new nice place with four bungalows.

To the east is Pulau Palambak Kecil, nice for a day trip. Outside the northeastern point were nice sand banks before tsunami. Now they are growing back up again.

Click to enlargeThere are a fair number of birds on Palambak: Great-billed Heron, Pacific Reef Egret, White-bellied Fish-eagle, Brahminy Kite, Common Ringed Plover, Pink-necked Green Pigeon and Pied Imperial Pigeon. Sometimes a Hawksbill turtle can be seen laying eggs.

Pulau Tailana is one of the more well known islands amongst visitors to Pulau Banyak. It was a popular daytrip island and have always had better snorkeling then most other islands. The island is relatively small, but has many other islands in its vicinity, for example Pulau Balong, Pulau Matahari and Pulau Ragu-Ragu. To the east of Pulau Tailana is an area where Dugongs often are sighted. There are three bungalows available here.

These two islands, Pulau Tailana and Pulau Palambak Besar have different characteristics and both are well worth a try. If you have time, try both. See under ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD.

OTHER CORAL ISLANDS

Click to enlargeThere are too many islands to mention them all. Most of them are really nice and camping is ideal for the adventurous who doesn't want to share an island with other foreigners.

Just going around in a boat is highly recommended. The scenery is fantastic and Turtles, and Mantarays are often sighted. The area between Sikandang and Tailana is also the home of the rare Dugong (a kind of Sea cow). A small motorized canoe can take up to four passengers. It is slow, but cheap. A big diesel powered fishing boat cost a bit more, but you can be more to share it. It is more comfortable, but cannot enter shallow areas and rivers. Speed boats are fast and convenient and allows you to see many places in one day. See under TRANSPORTATION.

Click to enlargeIslands worth mentioning are Balong, Tambarat, Biawak, Pabisi, Lambodong, Panjang, Ragu-Ragu, Sikandang, and Asok. The islands along the east coast of Tuangku are covered by mangroves and are mosquito ridden.

Beware that the sun can be very strong and the reflections from the sea makes it so much more powerful. Use good sun lotion or sun block. Don’t forget a hat or cap and sun glasses.

Click to enlargeYou can camp on most islands. The Guide groups have tents and other equipment for rent. Fish is always easy to find; either buy from a fisherman or fish yourself.

There are lots of boats available for charter for as many days as you like. You are taken around, given food and looked after by the boat crew. Two community guide groups have been established in July 2009. Contact them directly or ask at the offices of YPB in Balai or Haloban.
 

The Adventurers Group in P. Balai:

Chalid, ph: +62813 7738 9208.

Tiusa Long Beach in Haloban:
Mr. Sahmil, ph: +62813 7099 7963

PULAU TUANGKU AND TREKKING

See also new special section on JUNGLE TREKKING, a special and different activity for Pulau Banyak. Trek in daytime and sleep on a fantastic beach at night. Nothing beats that.

 

SURFING

Surfing is good in Pulau Banyak. Until now most surfers visit and stay in Pulau Banyak with a ship, so called live-on-board. Most of them come exclusively for the surfing. Links to a few of them can be found in USEFUL LINKS page.

An alternative for surfers is to charter a local boat in P. Balai and arrange the surfing themselves, either camping or sleeping on the boat. That would probably be cheaper, more adventurous, and less comfortable.

The two major areas where surfer boats visit are the southern points of Pulau Tuangku and Pulau Bangkaru, Ujung Lolok and Ujung Lakita respectively. Pulau Tuangku is by the surf operators called the Treasure Island and Pulau Bangkaru is called the Turtle Island. Note that Pulau Bangkaru is protected. The sea west of Pulau Bangkaru is a mating area for turtles. Propellers can injure turtles. There is a basic surf resort at Ujung Lolok.

Click to enlargeA few local boats sometimes bring surfers to Ujung Lolok.

For two days and one night, incl. food and drink with a boat as in the photo:
One person: Rp. 1.500.000. For additional days; Rp. 500.000 per day.
For 2-3 persons: Rp. 2.000.000. For additional days: Rp. 1.000.000 per day.
Contact ph: 0812 6775 9846 (Mr. Asmin)

With a traditional motorized canoe from P. Balai to Ujung Lolok and back next day: Rp. 500.000. If return are 3-4 days later: Rp. 650.000. Not including food. The canoe driver can double as a cook for an additional Rp. 100.000 per day.
Contact ph: 0821 6516 7649, or 0813 7247 5878 (Mr. Antar)


KAYAKING

See more in the new special section KAYAKING. Pulau Banyak is just perfect for kayaking. You won't regret it.

 

 

 


TURTLE WATCHING

Do you want to see turtles laying eggs on one of the most beautiful islands in the world? See more in our special section TURTLE CONSERVATION. You need a special permit from YPB (Yayasan Pulau Banyak). Visits are only allowed at certain times. A volunteer program is also available.

Click to enlargeFISHING

Join a traditional fisherman in his canoe on deep sea fishing or charter your own boat. Fishing is great in Pulau Banyak. See further under FISHING.

SOUVENIRS

You can find t-shirts, caps, sarongs for sale in several places. If not contact Mr. Ermadi on phone 085276911792

 

>> SEE ALSO

 

 

Pulau Weh Pulo Aceh Banda Aceh Singkil Kuala Baru Tangkahan
Lhoknga & Lampuuk Bukit Lawang Tongging Simeulue Pulau Banyak
Facts About AcehClimate & WildlifeHistoryIslam In AcehLanguages & DictionaryFruits in Sumatra
PreparationsYour HealthIn the JungleIn the WaterImmigration & PoliceCommunication & MoneyEtiquette & Useful Tips
About This Web PortalContact UsUseful Links Bulletin & Article ArchiveVideo ClipsSite Map & UpdatesSumatra
Copyright © 2006-2012 sumatraecotourism.com. All rights reserved.