If you want to see the real Singkil, go to the "Pasar" area.
See the wooden houses and the life along the river. There is a
boardwalk along the water, however not in the best condition. You
can also take a becak tour to see the sights. Try to contact
becak driver Mr. Buyung on ph: 0812 6538 9043 or 0857 6128 6981. He
does not speak English. For the grand tour he charges Rp. 40.000 for
one person and Rp. 70.000 for two, including a break with coffee and
In Kilangan, just on the river, is the grave of the most famous son
of Singkil, Syech Abdurrauf Singkili. His students spread
Islam to West Sumatra and because of that, thousands of pilgrims
come here every year. The grave can be seen through a window. To
enter the building you need to ask for permission, take off your
shoes and clean yourself according to Muslim rules. It is
appropriate to give a small donation for the up-keep.
Singkil Swamps (Rawa Singkil) is a 100.000 Hectares big
protected swamp forest on the Western side of the river, opposite of
Singkil. Rawa Singkil is a neighbor to Leuser National Park. It is
the home of several species of high interest, such as Orangutans,
Sumatran Tiger, Crocodiles, Wild boar, Mouse deer and much more. The
bird life is very rich with many Hornbills. It is easy to see
Orangutans in Rawa Singkil. The best way is to charter a small canoe
and glide through. It is almost guaranteed to see Orangutans in the
afternoon. An ideal route is towards a swamp lake called Laeterup
where there is a platform standing in the clear but black water.
Fishermen come here and fish for Ikan Lele (k.o. catfish). It is
possible to stay overnight here with them. It is a very primitive
and unique experience.
The Singkil Swamps can be reached both from Singkil and Kuala Baru.
In Singkil contact Pemuda Pecinta Alam (PEPAL) (Nature Loving
Youth), Jl. T. Ali Suka Makmur. Ph: 0815 3433 9827, 0852 6005 3253.
Along the river are several villages to be seen; Kuta
Simboling, Rantau Gedang and Teluk Rumbia. The people here are
probably the oldest people of Singkil and are still clinging to
there traditional life. Many are however relocated to Singkil,
especially after the Nias Earthquake in 2005.
The Old Singkil that was destroyed in 1935. It can be reached
by canoe to Desa Kayu Kembang and a walk along the beach
towards the main river. Kayu Kembang is probably the oldest part of
Singkil still remaining. Half of the Old Singkil was lost, but
remnants of the other half can still be seen. The site can also be
visited from Kuala Baru. It is believed to be 200-400 years old. The
location is not far from the main river mouth where Estuary
Crocodiles hang out. Sometimes one can see then sunbathing on the
sand banks at low tide. It is also a nice place to watch birds.
Pantai Gosong is a beach near Gosong village in Northern
Singkil. It is the place where the locals go in the weekend to
relax, eat and meet friends. Those days there are often
entertainment by keyboard.
Senne Vliegen of Belgium who visited Singkil recently suggests a
visit to Rantau Gandang. Here is his report and his photo.
(See also his report from his trek from
Kuala Baru to Buluhseuma)
Gadang; A day trip, also possible in half a day or just a few
hours: I took an ojek (Motorbike taxi) from Singkil to the village
Rantau Gadang, at the river: Rp. 50.000. I arranged the ojek at
Penginapan Melly in Singkil. The ojek-driver introduced me to the
villagers and walked around with me through the village and arranged
my transport (by 'robin', small motorized canoe) back to Singkil. It
is a very nice traditional village with very friendly and welcoming
people, certainly worth a 1/2day-trip. For the robin back to
Singkil, I paid 50 000 Rp (per robin, charter).
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