Bandanaira Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by lotharscheer
  • Things to Do
    by lotharscheer
  • Things to Do
    by lotharscheer

Most Recent Things to Do in Bandanaira

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    Banda Ai

    by lotharscheer Updated Jun 28, 2015

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    Small quiet island with exellent snorkeling (but sometimes a strong current, be carfull), remains of a old Dutch fort.
    Now about 14 mostly basic accomodations, usually with 3 meals included.
    There are boats (can get quite wet in bad weather) from Bandanaira.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Historical Travel

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    Go to Banda Besar

    by lotharscheer Updated Jun 28, 2015

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    There are some old Dutch buildings and forts particular in Lontor (a few boats go there as well) where you can also find a Homestay, Leiden (close to the mosque), on the outer side (opposite to Bandanaira) of the island there are emty beaches with good snorkeling.
    From near the fishmarket in Bandanaira small boats to Banda Besar (leaving when full) to Walang or charter a boat.

    Building in Lontor Beach in Bandar Besar On the way to the beach
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    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Going to Banda Hatta

    by lotharscheer Written Feb 18, 2015

    At the moment (February 2015) getting to Bandanaira is difficult, only 1 boat from Pelni, the Tidar, runs every 14 days from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bau Bau, Ambon to Banda and on to Kei Islands, Dobo, Kaimana and Fak Fak in western Papua.
    There is a second Pelni boat (the Kelimutu one of the oldest from Pelni), but that was on a lengthy overhaul, running again in late March from Surabaya, Bau Bau, Ambon to Banda and on to Kei Islands, Dobo, Agat to Merauke in southern Papua.
    Pelni might be a few hours late, but it is running.
    There is on and of a airline from Ambon (the last one lost its licence December 15, 2014, there was non in summer 2014, there was an other one the winter before... now, late February 2015 a new one, Susi air (soon maybe also to Amahai, Seram).
    If there is one flying it will be unreliable because Banda airport is not equipped for bad weather.
    With the airlines which did this run so far you could book only in Ambon and in Banda.
    You can fly cheaply and daily to Ambon from Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar and Manado, and not so cheap from Ambon to Kei Island (if the date for Pelni to Banda is more convenient from there).
    To go from Raja Ampat to Banda either by ferry to Sorong then plane to Ambon then Pelni (or plane if it is flying again) or fly to Fak Fak (every 2. day, sometimes there is also a Pelni) from Sorong and Pelni from there.
    Pelni takes about 8 hours and 140000 Rupies from Ambon, 12 hours from Kei Islands and 45 hours and 375000 Rupies from Fak Fak.
    In case you have a plane from Banda to Ambon and it got cancelled and you don't want to miss your onward flight sometimes there are small cargo boats to Ambon or Amahai, Seram or you have to charter a boat to Pulau Seram and go from there to Ambon.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Great views on Banda Besar

    by Daihappydai Updated Mar 5, 2011

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    Take a trip over to Lonthoir on Banda Besar for a chance to see a very relaxed village and some great views. Up the steep main street and then a turn right, you will find 'Kuching' well, a cat-shaped well with crystal clear water fit to drink. Further east you reach Benteng Hollandia. The old fort walls and archways, covered in moss, make a great view, but its main asset is its position. Perched above the village it offers great views of the town along with views of Gunung Api and Bandaneira. If you are unsure about walking around Banda Besar alone, ask at your guesthouse in Bandaneira, and they are sure to find you a guide.

    View of Lonthoir from Benteng Hollandia View of Gunung Api from Benteng Hollandia Archway at Benteng Hollandia, Banda Besar 'Kuching' well, Lonthoir, Banda Besar Houses lining the main street, Lonthoir
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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    Meeting the locals on Pulau Ai

    by Daihappydai Written Mar 3, 2011

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    Pulau Ai is a one hour trip on a public boat from Bandaneira and it is here I had the chance to chat to some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Take a stroll down Jalan Pelabuhan and you're sure to be met with many 'Selamat Pagi' or 'Selamat Siang'. Many of the locals like to practice their English and in return they are more than willing to help with your Bahasa Indonesia. Join in with the villagers as they fly their home-made kites or watch a friendly football game amongst the children. Ai village is kept neat and tidy with lots of flowers growing in gardens.

    Children playing football, Pulau Ai Off to collect kenari, Pulau Ai Local children on Pulau Ai Making a kite, Pulau Ai Cool kids, Pulau Ai
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    Roaming the plantations of Pulau Ai

    by Daihappydai Updated Mar 1, 2011

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    If you have the opportunity to stay on Pulau Ai for a couple of days, take the time to walk through the plantations on the hills south of the village. Start by walking west along Jalan Pelabuhan. When you walls of Welvaren Plantation House, turn left. You can follow tracks up into the hills and do a circuit that finishes near the jetty. This circuit allows you to see both nutmeg and kenari trips, along with sago crops, eggplant (aubergine), bananas and other fruit and vegetables. It is a nice walk late on a sunny afternoon with the sinking sun shining through gaps in the foliage. If you are unsure about doing this for yourself, ask one of the friendly locals, and offer a small payment.

    Sago planatation, Pulau Ai, Banda Islands Base of a 300 year old kenari tree, Pulau Ai Eggplant growing in plantations on Pulau Ai Huge ant nest on the side of a tree, Pulau Ai Walking the plantations on Pulau Ai, Banda Islands
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    Island History - Fort Belgica

    by Daihappydai Updated Feb 28, 2011

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    There is a small entry few to the fort and you can walk around at your leisure, but for a better understanding of the history, it is worth paying a little more to one of the local people to act as a guide for you. Fort Belgica has been restored somewhat and the white-washed walls are clearly not original, but it is well worth the climb for some great views of Gunung Api and Banda Besar. There is a tunnel, which is apparently still open all the way to the original fort, Fort Nassau, some walls of which are still standing. You can walk inside the dark, damp, windowless cell where prisoners were kept and peer through the slots where sentries kept guard from the upper ramparts. Take care climbing the steep ladders. Guides can show you where the kitchen areas were and where the ammunition was stored.

    Plaque a entry to Fort Belgica, Bandaneira Cannon to keet the British at Bay, Fort Belgica View of Gunung Api from Fort Belgica, Bandaneira Walls of Fort Belgica, Bandaneira Tunnel from Fort Belgica to Fort Nassau
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    Visit the Chinese Temple

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 26, 2011

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    Just had lunch and needing to fill in some time before more snorkelling - pay a visit to the 300 year old Chinese Temple on Jalan Pelabuhan. The temple may look closed, but gates are usually open, just push and enter. If you are unsure, just say 'boleh' to one of the local shopkeepers near the temple and they will likely say 'ya' and show you in. There are some elegant carvings and brightly painted reliefs adjacent to a simple shrine. Even in the temple the impact of the Dutch is apparent, with a VOC embossed stone marking the step up to the shrine.

    Chinese Temple, Bandaneira Chinesse Temple, Bandaneira Chinese Temple, Bandaneira VOC embossed step at Chinese Temple
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    • Historical Travel

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    Playing football at the cemetery

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 26, 2011

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    If the weather is not the best for snorkelling, take the time to explore a little of Bandaneira with a visit to the cemeteries. Both the Chinese and old Dutch cemeteries highlight some of the history of the island - they are easy to find, a pleasant ten to fifteen minute walk from the centre of Bandaneira. All available space in both cemeteries are used by the locals to grow vegetables, so be careful where you walk. There are some interesting gravestones to decipher. When I arrived at the Chinese cemetery, I found a group of children having a great time playing football on a make-shift pitch of black sand.

    Football goalie, Chinese Cemetery, Bandaneira Playing football at Chinese Cemetery, Bandaneira Gravestone at Chinese Cemetery, Bandaneira View of Chinese Cemetery, Bandaneira Gravestone at Dutch Cemetery, Bandaneira
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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    Snorkelling at Pulau Hatta

    by Daihappydai Updated Feb 26, 2011

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    While there is limited accommodation on Pulau Hatta, it is easy to arrange a day trip to go snorkelling and explore the amazing coral-laden reefs. Trips can be arranged through guesthouses with a day trip costing around 500,000 rupiah which can be shared amongst fellow travellers. The cost includes lunch and several snorkelling stops. The current allows for an easy drift above splendid coral and some great fish laden drop offs. The boat drivers are very aware of wind changes and choppy seas between Pulau Banda Besar and Pulau Hatta so be prepared for trip arrangements to change on the day depending on the weather conditions.

    Snorkelling at Pulau Hatta Snorkelling at Pulau Hatta Snorkelling at Pulau Hatta Snorkelling at Pulau Hatta Approaching Pulau Hatta
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Budget Travel

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    Visit a nutmeg plantation

    by Daihappydai Written Feb 25, 2011

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    While snorkelling or diving are the usual highlights of a trip to the Banda Islands, there are plenty of other things to do and sights to see. You can't go to the Spice Islands and miss the opportunity of seeing a nutmeg plantation - after all, they were the reason for all the 'madness' of Dutch control for a few centuries!. The best places are possibly Banda Besar and Pulau Ai. A guided half-day walk through the plantations on Banda Besar can easily be arranged. It is a short boat trip from Bandaneira to Lonthoir, the capital of Banda Besar, with its steep 'stairway' streets. The climb to the plantations is steep but short - take water and mosquito repellant. Watch the islanders collect the nutmeg and 'kenari', an almond like nut, whose trees protect the nutmeg trees from the intensity of the sunlight. In the plantations small huts with raised floors have a fire lit beneath them and are used for drying the nutmeg. Learn a little about the history of the islands from your guide. A half-day trip to Banda Besar should cost about 60 to 70,000 rupiah per person if in a small group with the cost including guide and transport.

    Collecting nutmeg on Pulau Banda Besar Nutmeg growing on Plau Banda Besar Nutmeg fruit, mace (red) and seed (black) Small hut for drying nutmeg with fire beneath Nutmeg planatation on Pulau Ai
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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