Blogs from Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands October 22nd 2017

Three hundred and fifty years ago New York was still called Nieuw Amsterdam. And three hundred and fifty years ago, the British had a useless speck of an island in the Banda archipelago. Useless though it was, as the Dutch had destroyed all the nutmeg plantations on the island, which was the original reason for the British to set up shop there, it was a bit of thorn in the side of the Dutch who controlled the rest of the islands and thus the lucrative spice trade. The British, basically, were an irritating nuisance, too close for comfort to the important Spice Islands. The Dutch tried to dislodge them several times, when this didn’t work they burned down all the plantations in order to render the island useless, in short they tried everything to get rid ... read more
Ambon to Banda
Ambon to Banda

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands April 21st 2011

So we got on our second ever Pelni at about half 12 when the klaxon sounded twice - this was meant to be when there was 1 hour to go before we left. If anyone remembers Emma's reaction to the 3 1/2 day Pelni trip from Lombok to Sulawesi we took on the last trip ( we didn't do a blog but family and friends should remember the look of dread on Emmas face) then you would not be surprised that Emma was not too keen on the next 8-12 hours. The boarding was much more organised than the last one with no big shove to get on but once on we encountered the same problem as last time. Seat/beds were hard to come by and we plunged ever deeper into the huge ex-cruise liner. We ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands February 6th 2011

After hearing horror stories about conditions on the Pelni ferries (sleeping on brown paper on deck possibly in the rain, and never taking you eye off your backpacks for a minute for fear of being robbed) we decided to splash out and book a first class cabin. The ferry to Tual on the Kei Islands was due at midnight and expected to take 11 hours, which on Pelni usually means 12 / 13 hours, so we figured we'd sleep for much of the time. Not far behing schedule the Ceremai sailed into Bandaniera port at 12.50. we were up by it's hooter, that was the beauty of Vita Guesthouse, it was a stones throw away and when you're sitting on the decking (or lying on the bed as we were, you can watch the ferries docking ... read more
Getting closer to the port
Thousands of passengers milling about
Waiting to board along with a Dutch couple

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands February 2nd 2011

I've had lots of requests to see photos of the beaches and under the sea around the Bandas, so at last I've updated the blog and added photos., there's lots so keep scrolling down if you don't want to miss any! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- February 2nd 2011 We have now been on the Banda Islands for almost three weeks. The main reason we came here was tales of how outstandingly beautiful the undersea world wasl, miles and miles of pristine coral reefs and drop offs teeming with fish. We were not dissapointed, we did a snorkel trip almost every day and were increasingly amazed at the site that met our eyes each time we jumped in, our trusty boatman took us to numerous sites bordering several of the Banda Islands. We tended to do a couple of stops ... read more
Puala Pisang
Beach Banda Besar
Beach - Banda Besar

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands January 20th 2011

'Fire Mountain' - the apt name for Ganung Api. The volcano that overlooks Bandaniera. One night, after a few Bintang beers, some of the guests at Vita thought it would be a good idea to get up early next day and climb to the summit. Needless to say, at 5.15am the next day we found ourselves on a boat sailing across the bay to the foot of the volcano in the pitch dark. With the aid of tiny torches we set off up the steep black soil path, dampened from the rain 2 days earlier. The going was tough as the path snaked it's way through dense, damp vegetation. The task was made more difficult due to the fact that our torches are wind up ones ( in case we couldn't buy batteries in this remote ... read more
On the False Summit
Misty Summit
Looking Down onto the Short runway from the summit

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands January 18th 2011

Vita – The name of our guesthouse on Bandaniera. A place to spend long lazy days. This is the kind of place you’re happy to just do nothing. Seven rooms all face out onto an open courtyard with two tables large enough to seat six people, a great place to meet and exchange travel stories with other travellers. In front of the courtyard is a lovely tropical garden with a couple of hammocks strung between two palm trees. Perfect to while away a hot afternoon. A huge tree casts a welcome shadow over pots of delicate plants. A hearty breakfast is brought to you within minutes of popping a sleepy head out of your front door. Fresh fruit – pineapple, papaya, mango and melon. Not to mention the big bunch of tiny bananas that was always ... read more
Evening meal on the veranda of Vita
Breakfast with Ricardo, Maria, Derek and Lorena
Friendly game of dominoes

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands January 17th 2011

For more than two years we have tried to figure out how to get to the elusive Banda Islands, also known as the Spice Islands for one obvious reason. This is where spices were first discovered. Well we've finally made it! The journey here has been quite difficult. Just getting information about ferries and flights was a major problem. Then when we did find out times and dates ect it was difficult to book on a flight as there are only two a week and the plane has only 20 seats. The next ferry was sceduled for over 2 weeks away. In the end we decided on the plane even though we had a 9 days wait. The flight left a bit late but otherwise no problems there. It was a very tiny plane, inside it ... read more
Nutmegs drying in the sun
Given to us by a kind local man
The Tiny Plane that Got us Here

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands January 8th 2011

The majority of our time in the Maluku region of Indo was spent in the Banda Islands (3 weeks altogether). There were barely any other tourists here due to the difficult transportation challenges to get there (a boat every week or two and only 2 small flights per week). It was exceptionally relaxing to spend the days strolling around the islands, snorkelling amongst the clear waters and beautiful coral gardens, or just hanging out in our guest-house and enjoying local delicasies like food made with locally grown nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, and kenari-nut (almond-like nut). We had a great time and now we are in Bali for a couple weeks to end our Indonesian holiday....more soon.... read more
Svetla on the Bridge
Big Spider

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands November 20th 2010

Drawn once again by the magical allure of the Banda islands The famed spice islands of old and just what they were seeking when they discovered America. The richness of the place the history and the undersea world overwhelms me and makes every new visit fresh and thrilling. I am not disappointed that getting here and getting back off again remains an adventure in itself and that the main topic of the still limited tourist population of the islands is still how we got here how we can extend our stay and how are we to get off. , with flights (max 22 passengers but dependent on weight ) booking out fast then maybe leaving without a full plane at the last min confusion is still the main player. The plane itself is like a builders ... read more
NBA  Ambon to Banda
Banda Ferry Market
Pelni boarding

Asia » Indonesia » Maluku » Banda Islands September 13th 2009

We just finally were able to get decent 2 entries today :) The Banda Islands (spice islands) were everything we hoped for and more! After an epic boat ride here we were latched onto by several different hotel/homestay hawkers “mister mister you stay here? You want hotel? Good price.” Overwhelmed we went with the one that looked the nicest. Best decision ever. Our room is on the second floor with a patio looking out across the channel to a perfect little volcano - Gunung Api. It is a wonderful place to eat our breakfast and dinner every day and the price can’t be beat: $12.50 for an upstairs room and SamF is in a room downstairs for $7 a night. Originally we were only going to stay here for 3 days and take the same ... read more
Sams enjoying boatride to one of the outer islands to scuba
Birthday Cake Surprise!!!!
Relaxing with bday beer while Sams cook

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