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Posted by GJL on 5/12/2014 at 14:38

Hi there everyone, I just wondered if anybody has any information on things to do / itineraries for Ambon or any of the spice islands , information is quite hard to come by on line so anything from accommodation transport beaches etc .. would be much appreciated ,

thanks Jack

#1 GJL has been a member since 6/6/2014. Posts: 9

Posted by busylizzy on 5/12/2014 at 15:32

This is a good site to start with: http://www.east-indonesia.info/visiting/maluku-travel-information-intro.html

Last year I spent a bit of time in Ambon, Banda (including Pulau Run and Pulau Ai), Kei Kecil, Ternate and Tidore.

Bandaneira is probably the ideal starting point - and you can visit some of the smaller outer islands for a very local, off the track kind of stay. You can get there from Ambon by Pelni boat - or possibly by flight if they are up and running again. Check some of the other posts under the Indonesia forum - especially in the last year or so.

ONe key thing for travelling around this area is to have plenty of time on your hands. Don't try to plan a tightly scheduled two week holiday as it just won't work. Transport is unrealiable, flights easily cancelled, etc.

Sorry don't have time to write more at the moment, but feel free to post some specific questions if you have any and I'll check back in tomorrow.

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by GJL on 5/12/2014 at 15:56

Okay thanks for replying , at the moment I'm in the first steps of planning a trip there hence just looking up very general information to see if its worth while , so if you have been your self could you possibly supply your own itinerary or what you found the most interesting of these islands , apologies if this is not specific enough but like i said i am looking initially for a brief over of the islands ... thanks

#3 GJL has been a member since 6/6/2014. Posts: 9

Posted by captainbkk on 6/12/2014 at 23:15

Due to very strong historic links about only former Molukkers, now in NL/also named Ambonnezen, visit there-to see their family. For specific Qs like this, make it clear if you know Indo, know the bahasa (language) and interests-ohterwise we assume its just another OZzie haveing read something and enquiring while misdoing others time.
It also includes there are no set routings etc-you go from island to island and just assume that any such trips consumes a whole day.

#4 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472

Posted by busylizzy on 7/12/2014 at 04:06

I PM'd you a link to my blog which covers the Southern Malukus... that will give you a good idea of where I went, what I did, where I stayed, etc. I don't think I ever got around to writing a post for Northern Malukus, though.

As I said, Banda islands are probably the best (out of the places where I went) - a good base for meeting a few people, diving, visiting the surrounding islands and snorkle trips.

Ternate I wasn't so impressed with - it was pleasant enough, but nothing special about it to recommend it. We flew there from Ambon (saving a long, long boat ride) and I think we spent 7 days there. It was nice to explore, but there wasn't all that much to do (we had an exit ticket already booked otherwise we probably would have left a few days early). We did a day motorbike trip around the island which was pleasant until it started pelting with rain half way around. The best experiences in Ternate were actually some of the interactions that we had with locals - and this I attribute to being able to speak the language. Tourists are rare in this area so people were always very inquisitive. In fact, on the whole of Ternate, we only saw 2 other westerners over the 7 day period. There is a fun waterpark there which was virtually empty - worth checking out for a day. We didn't find anywhere worthy of snorkeling or swimming (other than the waterpark).

Ambon -> Banda -> Pulau Ai -> Pulau Run -> Banda -> Kei Kecil -> Ambon
Ambon -> Ternate (with day trip to Tidore)

I flew Ambon -> Banda (was lucky with flights) and from Kei Kecil -> Ambaon -> Ternate.
I took Pelni passenger from Banda -> Kei Kecil (12 hours I think)

Loved Bandaneira. Pulau Ai and Run were OK for a night or two each - good for a local experience, I think on Run we were the only westerners, and only one other couple on Pulau Ai. In Bandaneira, there were maybe a dozen tourists in town in total at any one time when I was there. Bandaneira is a nice town and we really enjoyed it for just taking a bit of time to chill, explore, meet locals, and do day trips away (snorkelling, nutmeg plantations, etc).

Didn't see much of Ambon other than the town. It was OK as a transit stop - nothing special other than the food.

The Maluku's aren't a place where you go for a party town (in fact, it was very difficult to get a beer in many places). They are laid back with not a lot to do other than to explore some ruins, see volcanos. If you're into diving/snorkelling, it's a paradise.

We only went to Kei Kecil because our flight back to Ambon was cancelled. We took the Pelni there, stayed for a few days to enjoy the beautiful beach before catching the much more reliable flight back to Ambon. Again, not a lot to do there other than chill, swim and explore. We hired a motorbike to explore around the island, but to be honest, because of the long, straight roads on flat land, it was probably one of the more boring motorbike trips I've done!

Key thing in this area of Indo is to not have a tight schedule - nothing will go to plan here. Pelni boats come through each week or two (depending on where you are heading) but don't always stick to a firm schedule. Flights between Ambon and Banda may not even be running - I can't remember what the last word on that was, but I know there were some posts about it recently on TF. You can contact the dive centre on Banda to find out more... there was a link in the recent post that I referred to.

Hope that helps a bit more. It would be useful to know what sort of things you like doing and what sort of traveller are you? (Hard core budget backpacker, flashpacker?),

Skim through the 3-4 posts in my blog - you might find that more helpful, too.

#5 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by dezatron on 20/9/2016 at 20:16

Hey busylizzy

I was going to pm you a couple of quick questions as I am thinking about heading to the Malukus myself and am ha I trouble finding solid info on it, but I have no idea about how the pm system works on this site (even after riding a thread about it). Do you have a link to the blog you mentioned?

#6 dezatron has been a member since 20/9/2016. Posts: 2

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