IN THE VILLAGES
and circumcision-ceremonies are colorful and interesting to see.
Traditional dances have their origin mainly in the Minangkabau
culture (West Sumatra), but are specific for Pulau Banyak. A very
special dance is "Lansir Madam", an odd remnant from the Dutch
colonial times. In the village of Ujung Sialit traditions have their
origin in Nias.
The languages spoken on the islands are Jamee (similar to
Minangkabau), Haloban (the original language) and Nias.
Desa P. Balai and P. Baguk are both located on the relatively
small island of Pulau Balai. They have since long grown together. It
is the administrative and commercial center for the sub-regency
Pulau Banyak (the eastern part of the archipelago) and the main
entry point for visitors. Almost 3.000 people live here. The local
language is Jamee.
As these two villages were very heavily damaged by earthquake and
tsunami in 2004 there is not much left of the former accommodations.
The island sank more or less one meter. Last time most houses along
the waterfront stand in water but now many houses has been renovated
and many permanent houses built using solid stone walls and painted
with the colors of conspicuous”. There are some Losmen opened, from
using fan to air conditioner. There are many options for having
meals as well.
you prefer village life, P. Balai and P. Baguk are rather nice.
Balai is the main administrative village in Pulau Banyak, so it is
quite “modern” compare to other villages”. The accommodation is nice
and food is good, especially the fish. “One more thing, you should
try their traditional coffee and cake at local warungs. Once a week
they have traditional market called “Pekan”, many people sells their
vendible/goods such as fresh vegetables, fruit, cake, clothes, and
electronic stuffs. It is close to several other nice islands and it
is easy to charter a canoe or boat. Nice nearby islands are Pulau
Asok, Pulau Panjang, Pulau Rangit, Pulau Sikandang, and Pulau
Many tourists or travelers skip this island and more prefer go
directly to the other island. They do not put Balai as they’re
transit before continue to other islands, but many people did not
know Balai keeps a little secret, Balai is the only island where we
can enjoy sunrise and sunset. Just go to the fisherman’s jetty (in
front of Losmen Lae Kombih) then enjoy the beautiful scenery of the
sunrise, you can see local people start they activity with the
sunrise background on it. And for the sunset, you can go to Ferry’s
jetty, or the background of the village, amazing sunset will serve
Desa Teluk Nibung is not far from P. Balai, just over the
water on the island named Ujung Batu. More than 1.000 people
live in this village. Teluk Nibung has a very beautiful Mosque in
the old style. There are interesting rock formations on the northern
end of this island. They are best seen from a boat. Otherwise there
are mostly small orchards.
In the other sub-regency Pulau Banyak Barat has four villages. Pulau
Banyak was recently divided into two sub-regencies. Desa Ujung
Sialit with its app. 600 inhabitants is located on the
northeastern point of Pulau Tuangku. The inhabitants are all of Nias
descent and arrived in the first half of the last century. It has
the only church in Pulau Banyak. They are Christians and speak Nias
language. Nearby is the nice Pulau Pabisi.
Desa Suka Makmur is a new village with less than 500
inhabitants south of Ujung Nias. A boardwalk leads through the
mangroves into the village.
Haloban and Desa Asantola was the administrative center of Pulau
Banyak before the Japanese occupation. Now Haloban has become the
center for a new sub-regency Pulau Banyak Barat. Around 2.000 people
live in these two villages grown together. They have their own
language, Bahasa Haloban, which unfortunately is less and less used
by the villagers.
Haloban has no nice beaches by itself, but many of the best
islands of Pulau Banyak are spread out in front of such as Pulau
Tailana, Pulau Balong and Pabisi. Behind is the untouched and
unknown jungles of Pulau Tuangku. From here you can climb the
highest mountain in Pulau Banyak, Gunung Tiusa; 313m above sea
level, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the islands in Banyak
archipelago from the top. Haloban is a good starting point for
jungle trekking,there is a accommodation available. Try to do
trekking to Pasir Panjang, a long beach with a lovely waves,
camping there and enjoy the night with a gorgeous view of thousands
flickering stars. Haloban is also known as a famous for its
fantastic fish dishes. There is only have a one Losmen called
Alengmoon, a small housings but owned by a very nice family and the
meals is extremely delicious Big parts of Haloban were destroyed by
earthquake and tsunami. The houses near the waterfront get flooded
at extreme tide.
ISLANDS WITH BUNGALOWS
Pulau Palambak Besar is the forth biggest island in Pulau
Banyak. It takes a few hours to walk around it. It has white sand
beaches almost all around it. Palambak Besar is known for its
perfect beaches. In the middle of the island is a swamp forest and a
couple of small hills. There are a few huts where caretakers of the
palm tree orchards live. The caretakers are very friendly and
Palambak Besar was in the old days the most popular island amongst
back packers. There were three small resorts, PAP, The Point and
Bina Jaya but now there is only one resort in Palambak. I can say it
is the most “modern” resort among others in Pulau Banyak. It called
To the east is Pulau Palambak Kecil, nice for a day trip. Outside
the northeastern point were nice sand banks before tsunami. Now they
are growing back up again.
There are a fair number of birds on Palambak: Great-billed Heron,
Pacific Reef Egret, White-bellied Fish-eagle, Brahminy Kite, Common
Ringed Plover, Pink-necked Green Pigeon and Pied Imperial Pigeon.
Sometimes a Hawksbill turtle can be seen laying eggs.
Pulau Tailana is one of the more well known islands amongst
visitors to Pulau Banyak. At the left side from the bungalows, you
will find a “swimming pool”, the wide shallow calm and clean sea
waters with a coral around. In front of the island is a good spot
for kayaking as well. You can do island hopping by kayak to the
island nearby. The island is relatively small, but has many other
islands in its vicinity, for example Pulau Balong, Pulau Matahari
and Pulau Ragu-Ragu. To the east of Pulau Tailana is an area
where Dugongs often are sighted. There are 5 bungalows available
here. More info, Mawan (+6281360170808, e:
These two islands, Pulau Tailana and Pulau Palambak Besar have
different characteristics and both are well worth a try. If you have
time, try both. See under
ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD.
OTHER CORAL ISLANDS
are too many islands to mention them all. Most of them are really
nice and camping is ideal for the adventurous who doesn't want to
share an island with other foreigners.
You can camp on most islands. Pulau Asok is a best side for camping,
a small island with a two sides of beaches. Just call a local
operator for prepares everything, boat, tents and camping equipment
will be prepared. If you prefer more private, just ask them to drop
you there with all equipment, and tell them when you want to be
picked again. The other nice island for camping is Pulau Pandan.
More info for Camping and Island Hopping, Rega (mobile/whatsapp +628190990804 or
firstname.lastname@example.org) and Anhar (+6285277711108)
Fish is always easy to find; either buy from a fisherman or fish
There are lots of boats available for charter to do island hopping
or just go around the archipelago. The scenery is fantastic and
Turtles, and Mantarays are often sighted. The area between Sikandang
and Tailana is also the home of the rare Dugong (a kind of Sea cow).
Good place for snorkeling besides Tailana is behind Pulau Biawak,
and a spot called “gosong si Encong”. A small motorized canoe
can take up to four passengers. It is slow, but cheap. A big diesel
powered fishing boat cost a bit more, but you can be more to share
it. It is more comfortable, but cannot enter shallow areas and
rivers. Speed boats are fast and convenient and allow you to see
many places in one day enter shallow areas and rivers but it cost
Sikandang has a gorgeous beach as well, almost same as Palambak,
it has a long white sandy beaches. Worth for swimming and have some
spot for snorkeling. There is a bungalows in Sikandang called Nina’s
Pulau Panjang, an island close to Balai, the most favourite
site for fisherman. Sometimes local people visit this island just
Pulau Balong and Pulau Rangit is also a worth island to
visit, just for relaxing, swimming, sunbathing and photo hunting.
The islands along the east coast of Tuangku are covered by mangroves
and are mosquito ridden. Beware that the sun can be very strong and
the reflections from the sea makes it so much more powerful. Use
good sun lotion or sun block. Don’t forget a hat or cap and sun
Contact Person for more info
Anhar : +6285277711108 (Haloban)
Rega : mobile/whatsapp +6282161997974 and +6281290990804, e:
Mawan : +6281360170808, e:
email@example.com (Singki and Balai)
PULAU TUANGKU AND TREKKING
Enjoy the pristine jungle of Pulau Tuangku. Gunung Tiusa/mount Tiusa
is a challenge for you who love extreme sport. It is hiking for 3
hours to the top, but your fatigue will be paid once you reach the
top of the mountain. The fantastic scenery will be presented, green
small island with the white sandy beach and green with blue color
mixed on the sea water. What a spectacular experience you won’t
If you are looking for fun and relax trekking, Pasir Panjang is a
best option for you. Trek in daytime and sleep on a fantastic beach
at night. Nothing beats that.
More details, Anhar (+6285277711108)
is good in Pulau Banyak. Until now most surfers visit and stay in
Pulau Banyak with a ship, so called live-on-board. Most of them come
exclusively for the surfing. Surfing in Banyak is like blooming
flowers. Surf basic resort has been two places in Ujung Lolok. Many
boats come from other area just want to feel the spectacular waves
An alternative for surfers is to charter a local boat in P. Balai
and arrange the surfing themselves, either camping or sleeping on
the boat. That would probably be cheaper, more adventurous, and less
The two major areas where surfer boats visit are the southern
points of Pulau Tuangku and Pulau Bangkaru, Ujung Lolok and Ujung
Lakita respectively. Pulau Tuangku is by the surf operators called
the Treasure Island and Pulau Bangkaru is called the Turtle Island.
Note that Pulau Bangkaru is protected. The sea west of Pulau
Bangkaru is a mating area for turtles. Propellers can injure
are 3 surfing spots in Ujung Lolok called Dindos, Lolok
Point and Guntur. One is in Ujung Lakita called Cobra.
There are two basic surf resorts at Ujung Lolok at the moment.
One is Banyak surf Bungalows, you can visit
The other one is Floating Bungalows owned by Erwin
(+6285261008699 and +6285284205000)
A few local boats sometimes bring surfers to Ujung Lolok:
If by speedboat, it cost Rp.2.000.000 one way.
If use traditional fisherman boat (charter) it is Rp.2.500.000/day.
Sleep on board.
Meals will charge Rp.100.000/day/person. You can also bring your own
food and ask them to cook for you. For more details call Mawan
more in the new special section
KAYAKING. Pulau Banyak is just perfect for kayaking. You won't
Feel the experience of island hopping by kayaking. If you love to do
different thing, try kayaking around the archipelago with our
professional guide. You can stop by from one island to others. More
info, Rega (mobile/whatsapp +6282161997974 0r +6281290990804, e:
you want to see turtles laying eggs on one of the most beautiful
islands in the world? See more in our special section
You need a special permit from YPB (Yayasan Pulau Banyak). Visits
are only allowed at certain times. A volunteer program is also
a traditional fisherman in his canoe on deep sea fishing or charter
your own boat. Fishing is great in Pulau Banyak. See further under
You can find t-shirts, caps, sarongs for sale in several places. If
not contact Mr. Ermadi on phone +6285276911792
Enjoy diving at Tailana island. See further under
>> SEE ALSO