Isolation on a budget
The last stop heading east along the northern coast of Walea Kodi, Pulo Tiga offers a clutch of affordable if typical beach bungalows on a glistening white sand beach, with very welcoming staff sweetening the deal.
Only a year and a half old when we passed through in April 2018, Pulo Tiga (the name means three islands) has a single row of bungalows running back from the beach, backing onto the jungle on one side and a comfortable restaurant on the other. Bungalows are of a pretty standard island style: wooden with tin roofs covered with thatch, two tall windows opening onto a veranda out front big enough for a couple of chairs or to string a hammock, and simple fittings within. As they run back from the beach, the further back you go the lesser the ocean view.
The square bungalow we were shown wasn’t made up, but had a semi-firm mattress with a four-poster frame draped by an aged mosquito net, with a quite small desk, mirror and clothes rack in the corner. If you have a hard time with mosquitoes you may want to bring your own net. The tiled bathroom had a Western toilet, shower, basin and a cold water shower—it was all fairly new and well kept. Arriving here from Lia Beach the bungalows struck us as plain, but Lia Beach does set a very high bar.
The very friendly English-speaking owner Fadly plied us with fried bananas and piping hot coffee even though he knew we were just dropping by. While we munched he regaled us with stories of hornbills and tarsiers, which he had spotted in the immediate surrounds. Business was slow (well, non-existent) when we swung through but he said people tend to come for one or two days, but end up staying quite a bit longer—not an uncommon situation in the Togeans! While all we ate were fried bananas in the spacious restaurant (free coffee and drinking water refills on hand), the owner said the daily meals are simple Indonesian style—so think lots of fish and rice... not pizza and spaghetti. There is a large communal table along with individual tables and a lounge setting.
We cruised into the beach over bulbous heads of coral, and while much of the coral was dead, there was still plenty of sealife apparent. The beach itself is compact, but squeaky soft underfoot. Aside from the off-beach snorkelling, a little to the west along the coast is an emerald green lagoon. It is no good for snorkelling as visibility is just about zero, but it's very photogenic and worth a look if you are staying here—don’t confuse it with the better known Jellyfish Lake between Katupat and Kadidiri.
While the rooms are pretty standard, we did really enjoy the hospitality here and if you’re comfortable with the isolation—you’re close to two hours by boat from Malenge—then this is an affordable hideaway, and by Togean standards the price is very good. We didn’t snorkel here, but the owner said the offshore reefs were good and we reckon the small island immediately offshore would be good for a poke around.
As with Lia Beach, the closest access point to here are Popolii and Dolong, roughly 15 and 30 minutes away respectively by boat.
Address: Pulau Walea Kodi
T: (0813) 8576 7815;
Coordinates (for GPS): 122º12'21.95" E, -0º12'38.56" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Beachfront bungalow||250,000 rupiah||350,000 rupiah|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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