Pulau Siberut Travel Guide

  • toys for the spirits
    toys for the spirits
    by Bonobo2005
  • Things to Do
    by EdVallance
  • Local Customs
    by EdVallance

Pulau Siberut Things to Do

  • Nyang Nyang

    This island is about an hour and a half by motorboat from Siberut. It is a pleasant little place and can be walked across in about 30 minutes. There are a couple of tiny villages of people who live mainly off fishing and coconuts. If you see them at the top of a 20 metre tall palm tree, hanging on by just their feet and one arm while they use the...

  • Siberut jungle

    Nowhere in Siberut is more than 400m above sea level, so trekking here is relatively easy. However, the low altitude also means that it's very hot and humid, and on top of this you have to do a vast amount of wading through mud, rivers and swamps. Still, it's enjoyable and interesting to spend time with the local Mentawai clans.

  • Maurusiberut

    This is where the boat from Padang, Sumatra, will land you. It's small, more of a village than a town, has no cars and has what I found to be a friendly, laid back atmosphere. Having said that, it's not somewhere you'd want to spend more time than you had to. Here you can find a guide and someone to take you trekking in the jungle. Go down to the...


Pulau Siberut Transportation

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    by EdVallance Written Apr 15, 2008

    Boats leave Padang, West Sumatra, to Siberut, about 2 or 3 times a week. The journey takes 10 hours and is overnight. One boat costs 45,000 for a space on deck, or 65,000 for a bed in a room. Another costs 85,000 for a space on deck or 100,000 for a bed in a room. Book your tickets at the port in Padang, Sumatra. There is also a hotel in Padang which can your reserve your tickets - I forget the name, but it mentions it in the lonely planet.
    Don't rely on these boats - they are often cancelled because of bad weather and you may have to wait for up to a week after your planned departure date, especially in June or July when the seas are roughest.

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Pulau Siberut Local Customs

  • Sago

    One of the main elements in the Mentawai diet. This white, sugary tasting substance is made by an incredibly long and laborious process which takes several days. First the sago tree must be cut down, then hacked open, then the pith removed. Then the pith must be crushed to release the starch then washed and strained to separate the starch from the...

  • Uma

    The Uma is the name of the long house in which Mentawai people live in the jungle. It is huge, and several families stay in one Uma.

  • Loincloth

    This is the traditional clothing of the Mentawai people. It is made by cutting the bark from a tree and beating it until it becomes soft.


Pulau Siberut Tourist Traps

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    Minangkabau guides

    by EdVallance Updated Apr 15, 2008

    Don;t come here with a Minangkabau guide from mainland Sumatra, or hire one when you get to Siberut. The Mentawai people hate them bringing foreignors to the territory and making money while giving very little back to the people themselves. Coming with a Minang guide is only likely to give you a worse experience. Guides are EXTREMELY easy to find in Maurusiberut; you can literally find one at the docks and be off on your trek within hours of arriving from Padang.
    Lots of Minangkabau, in Padang, Bukkitingi and Siberut, will pretend to be Mentawai to encourage you to take them as your guide. Just wait until you get to Siberut and ask around.

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Comments (1)

  • Anakrimba's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    I am one of the tour guides who have guided the mainland to the island of Mentawai since a few years ago until today. I have visited the family and got some family that they are very close to me like family . When I work with my visitors as well to keep the balance of happiness , respect and caring between the visitors and the tribes . I not only explain their culture to the visitors , but it also explains about the tribal health , waste , cultures agree on the future of the forest life and many other things .

    And I have read some of the comments on guide travelers from the mainland and is strongly connected to me like : " Mentawai tribes like the mainland guide because the guide mainland tourists fill the Mentawai become an absolute fortune and very little money " . It's not all true .

    When I go to a new island with a small group and I asked the tribe then they say , " we want more guidance from the mainland , they gave us more than a local guide , and even a gift for living , cost of porter and we eat their food and drink and they only eat a little and try our food . "

    About this " guide mentioned is a guide to the mainland so it is not recommended to use both . Best to go to the island independently and deal directly with the Mentawai "

    Our services for visitors from the mainland and back . So why is more expensive . Do not say that the cost of the tour with a local guide is always cheap because sometimes you do not realize what you spent from start to finish . " YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY "

    It is true that not all the guidelines of the land with a good heart , but it does not say that all the local guide with a good heart .

    I know almost all the local guides are now active in this and most of them work with the guide and learn English mainland and guiding techniques of manual mainland .

    It is a fact , how the tribe speaks with tourists . To follow their local guide tells them to do something . It is jealousy .

    About this : " User guide land mentioned is not recommended to use either " .

    Please do not discriminate against all guidelines from the mainland to judge something if you only know of one side .

    For any comments please send an email this statement to : anakrimba46@yahoo.com

    Thank you

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