Monday, November 06, 2006

Recently I've been on a very short holidays to North Sulawesi, to be precise the Siau island. It is rather remote area as it takes 7-8 hours by ferry from Manado to get there - it is very close to the Philippines. I must say it is an amazing place that offers multiple tourist attractions such as incredible white sand beaches, amazing ocean life, active volcano, hot springs, great seafood and lots of incredible views. Unfortunately, the place is poorly developed and there is not a single hotel available and not a single restaurant. However, it is possible to stay with local family who can offer room and cook meals, yet don't expect air-conditioning or European style toilet. I also have to mention that there are so few tourists travelling to Siau that every tourist who manages to get there becomes local tourist attraction. Fortunately, locals are extremely friendly and very helpful, just stay calm, smile and wave when everyone gathers to look at you. I also have to mention that there are no souvenirs sellers, thus you can truly enjoy your holiday just laying down on the beach and not having to explain every 10 minutes that you already have bought enough souvenirs. Was it worth to travel by ferry 8 hours to get there? Judge yourself looking at my travel photos from Siau.

I had a great holiday and the place was simply incredible. Indonesia is a truly beautiful country.

Note: If you plan to travel to Siau I can provide contact information to families offering rooms for tourists, just drop me an e-mail. I've been staying there with one family and really enjoyed it. I had a fresh fish every day, could go fishing with the house owner, boating around the bay, also the house owner's friend was my driver and tourist guide around the island. Overall the family provided a great service for extremely low fee.

12 comments:

$ugi said...

Great shots indeed!

Mahagantinsm said...

That is my island. I came from siau. Thanks alot for advertise my island. You did more than our any siaunese can do to promote tourism to our island. Yes, she is beautiful place to go. People are friendly, even the volcano didn't so. If there is anything that must be improved at my island, i'll be avaliable at juan.mahaganti@gmail.com
Success for you!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been several times now to Siau, and can only agree on what you say.The last time I took one of those really slow freighters from Manado to Siau, that was for me the experience of a lifetime.Barang-barang all over, I could not even walk, I had to climb over all the stuff to get around that ship, life cattle, it was a trip alright.Enjoyed every minute, it's an organic experience and only for backpackers who love and search for adventure.Travel, where you never know where you'll be staying, sleeping eating the next day.Banggai Islands, Wakatobi Islands and the small Makassar Islands give you the same amazing experience.And who knows you'll fall in love with Sulawesi like I did, and you will come back and back and back...love.paul_interstand@hotmail.com.

camerindo world said...

hey that's my island as well !!!
Congratulation for your discovering
I grew up in there because is where my Mom comes from,,hey Juan,that's part of my family.
I have been a traveller almost all over my country and discovered i went so far to find the great island,
Have you been to Manumpitaeng for white sands> Mahoro for a good snorkeling? hey,,,i need help to warn people to not spray out on the beach rubish,and useless things.
Sir,we do have a Penginapan as i heard ( coz i didn't go back home since 2005) you must ask Juan , he must got an info about it.

It is beautifull indeed.
And if you still want to go for another trip , i have several places to tell you

Catch me on my Facebook
Novita M Itinio
or e mail me
novisqueezepi@yahoo.com
Merci beaucoup
Terima Kasih
Thanks you

Andrew said...

My experience going into Hulu was early in the morning as the Perintis freighter pulled in from Tahuna, Sangir. The mist over the ocean with all the small boats was incredible.
I remember some rather good local food but also a rather brave taxi driver.
Thought, who needs Bali this is the place to return to. In Sangir I stayed with Mrs. Makahanap David, she was one of the daughters of the former Kings of Siau. Dispite not having the University of Leiden education the daughter of the Manganitu kingdom had, she had both great compassion and leadership, albeit very vocal at times. We sailed off ironically to Siau after one of her hotest moments, but she was the best host, always having warm breakfasts and plantains for tea in the evenings. Lots of realy neat prayer meetings. Your pictures are the best I have seen of this lovely island group
atstube@aol.com

Stephan said...

! hope i can geo there sometime soon...
any uptodate info about the transportation there?
i been a lot all around indonesia, living here 5 years, can share some info too, just got back from ternate/ tidore for example...
cheers guys
stephankotas@gmail.com

Hannah S said...

I would love to go to Siau Island someday. I was just looking up my last name on the internet and that is how I found out about it. It is very beautiful and it sounds like it would be an amazing experience going there!
~Hannah Siau

Anonymous said...

Hi there, any cautionary notes or advice for the single middle aged woman regarding safety, proper dress and customs, staying with a family and chartering transportation? Howuch does one offer to stay with a family? Thank you for your post.

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Siau is super safe and you can travel alone, wear any dress. It would be best for you to stay at one of the hotels, because not too many people have air conditioning in their houses and it can get crazy hot there. I think the best known is the Jakarta Hotel - around Rp350/night for air-conditioned room. It's a small island so you can easily get around with public transport, or rent a car. Hotel is like 200m from the port.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for these useful information. Me and my boyfriend have actually just arrived to the island, it looks amazing, however, we are struggling with the accommodation! I don't know if there is any chance that you would reply, but could you maybe recommend a nice homestay where the cockroaches are not as big as my fist :-D any idea where we could find locals who would show us around for a reasonable price? Any specific advice !will be highly appreciated. Erika & andy

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Hi, have you tried Hotel Jakarta?

Unknown said...

Just came back from Siau so I thought some updated info would be useful.

Getting there: there are daily fast boats from Manado, departing 9 or 9:30 am from the harbour on the west side of the bridge. Takes 4-5 hours to Siau. The boats stop at Tagulandang on the way and continue to Tahuna on Sangihe island. Cost is 200/240 exec/VIP class. Bring a fleece as the boat is air-conditioned.

Accommodation: There appears to be only one tourist "resort" on Siau - Kalea Beach Resort, kaleabeachresort.com. It is located on the east coast, 30 mins drive south of Ulu harbour. It has 3 simple cottages next to a small beach. Each has a western toilet, mandi shower, beds with mosquito net, and a small porch. Electricity is 24 hrs (but blackouts are common). The owner speaks great English and she can organize all kinds of activities, such as a boat trip to Mahoro island (spectacular views), climbing the volcano etc. Apparently another resort is in the plans.

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