Pulau Cempah is a small island of the Lingga Archipelago with a coastal village made up of traditional wooden houses on long slits. During the speed boat journey to the Lingga Islands, this island will be a short stop-over for people to board and alight from the speed boat. During the stop, you can spend sometime admiring this beautiful coastal village.
This was once a fort overlooking the entrance of the Daik River but now only the foundations remain. Some 18th century cannons were found from the ground and put on the foundations pointing towards the sea. The fort was used by the former Malay sultans during the wars with the Dutch invaders. This fort can be reached from Daik via a trail.
Here are some more photos of Pulau Lingga taken from both the sea and air, showing the beautiful coastline and high mountains of this island. The sea photos are taken from the boat trip from Bintan island to Singkep island, the the aerial views are from the flight from Singkep Island to Batam island (see my tips on transportation).
Pulau Lingga (Lingga Island) is one of the biggest islands of the Lingga Archipelago together with Pulau Singkep (see my VT Pulau Singkep page). Lingga Island is very remote and can only be reached by boats from Pulau Singkep (see transportation section). I have not been on Lingga Island but managed to see the island both from the sea and from the plane, and it is very impressive. This is because this island is very mountainous, with sharp and high mountains rising majestically from the sea. The highest peak is Gunung Lingga at 1163m (this is made up of 3 sharp summits) followed by Gunung Sepinan (750m) which is located near to Gunung Lingga. You can see the peaks of Gunung Lingga from the main photo of the VT page, and it is said that no one has ever reached the summut of Gunung Lingga yet. Besides the scenery, this island is also full of history from the Malay sultanate era (see my later tips). People also come here for cycling, together with Pulau Singkep.
Pulau Singkep (Singkep Island) is the major island of the Lingga Archipelago, and this island is the southern most of all the islands here. The main town is called Dabo and it is a lovely seaside town with very friendly people and simple lifestyle. There are many clean and untouched beaches on Pulau Singkep. The interior is mostly flat and hilly, with many remains of former tin mines (this place used to be booming with tin mining but now the Indonesian government does not allow it anymore). More information and photos are at my VT Pulau Singkep page (I spent 3 days on this island).
The maps here will give you a good idea where the islands are located. The map highlights Lingga Island, but all the islands surrounding it make up the Lingga Archipelago, which is about 150km south of Singapore, below the Riau Islands (another big group of islands), and sandwiched between the big islands of Sumatra (to the west) and Kalimantan (formerly called Borneo, to the east).
We had planned to go hiking with Maslan through the jungle to see some waterfalls, but just as we started out it began raining very heavily, so we decided to abandon the trip. I'm sure it would have been very enjoyable though.
On Lingga you can find beautiful secluded beaches that you will have all to yourself. Nick and I had read about one and wanted to go looking for it (Sorry I can't remember the name; I'll add it later on when I can look at a guidebook). This was one of those times when Maslan insisted on being our guide. At the time we were mad that we couldn't enjoy the beach alone just the two of us, but to be honest we probably never would have found it without him. We first took an ojek until the road ran out, then we hiked for about 30 minutes through jungle and tiny villages, until we stepped out of the jungle and onto a long white strip of sand with overhanging palm trees. There was no one there, except for all the shells that still had live animals inside them. We went for a walk on the beach, and when we came back there were shells crawling all over my sarong! To get back to Maslan's house in the afternoon we had to take a boat, because the tide had come in and the path we had taken was now submerged.
The most popular foreign movies in Indonesia tend to me martial arts or action movies with lots of fight scenes and little dialog, I suppose because they're easy to follow whether or not you speak English. This gem in Maslan's personal VCD collection was no exception. It's a futuristic post-apolcalypse sci-fi American movie with Chinese subtitles. Of course Maslan speaks neither English nor Chinese, but this didn't stop him from laughing at it along with us. I've no idea how this movie ended up in Diak, but it has to be the worst movie I've ever seen. But, it's the kind of movie that's so bad it's hilarious, so if you get bored while staying with Maslan ask him to put it on; it will definitely entertain you.
This used to be the Malay sultan's (king) palace but only the remains can be found. Apparently, it was made of wood and burnt to the ground by the Dutch invaders.