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Friendly people, cheap accommodation, amazing snorkelling
Transport to the islands can be difficult but....
In a nutshell
Well worth the effort, some of the best snorkelling ever
There were very few restaurants open in Bandaneira when I visited in January 2011 - but it didn't matter at all. Delfika, Mutiara and Vita guesthouses all prepare meals if you tell them in advance. I was staying in Vita but one day a group of us decided we would eat at Delfika, another night at Mutiara and a few at Vita - all were terrific - with prices between 50,000 and 60,000 rupiah. Its a great opportunity to eat with friends from your guesthouse and to meet travellers staying in other guesthouses. It gives you a perfect chance to arrange a shared boat for snorkelling adventures for the following day.Just notify the guesthouse by midday and you can be sure of a great evening meal. At Mutiara, they are even willing to let you watch and learn how to cook the local favorites.
Favorite Dish: There is fresh fish in abundance but perhaps my favorites were the nutmeg flavored soups and the eggplant. Mutiara served an amazing salad - I was disappointed I didn't get a chance to write down the ingredients for the dressing.
Written Feb 26, 2011
What to buy: Nutmeg candied. It is dried nutmeg fruit's flesh with sugar. taste of sweet and bitterness. Really nice and excotic taste. The more valuable seed is sold for cosmetic, pharmacy etc.
What to pay: Rp10,000 ($1) for three small plastic bag of nutmeg candied
Written Jan 30, 2009
A short walk from central Bandaneira past Hotel Maulana and adjacent to the turtle conservation farm, there is a steep line of stairs that will take you to the top of a hill, the highest point on Bandaneira, where you will find a cave opening. The cave is in fact a tunnel that was cut through the hill to western side of Bandaneira to transport goods during the World War 2. It is now called 'crying mountain' as the Japanese herded large numbers of the local population into the mountain and executed them. You will need a torch to explore inside the tunnel - slippery when wet!
Written Feb 26, 2011