Banda Neira Old Town
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Tracey Mc
บริสเบน, ออสเตรเลีย4 ผลงาน
พ.ย. ค.ศ. 2023 • ครอบครัว
We were very lucky to be introduced to Pak Mann a retired English Teacher ,now history tour operator, on our 3 day stopover in Banda . Pak Manns 'English is very good and his local history knowledge is extensive
We spent a fascinating afternoon with him walking around Banda Niera visiting the forts , many 16th century dutch homes and cemetry . We got to meet the Banda locals for nutmeg coffee and felt very welcomed by all. It was a great introduction to this area .
Next Day Pak Mann took us on a day trip around Banda Besar on the back of a Motor bike . Great way to feel and see this beautiful island
Again many stops at ruins of old forts where we relived the history and drank cinamon tea with a plantation owner , learning the process involved in growing and picking nutmeg cinamon and cloves. had a scenic lunch with friends , swim visit to the local school etc etc A fantastic information action packed and fun day.
Early morning Day three and Pak Mann took us by local long boat to Pulau Pisang for a great snorkel and guided walk around that island . we returned later that afternoon to Pak Manns home where his wife Bada offers Indonesian cooking lessons . . Proud to say the meal Bada helped us create was the best Indonesian food we have eaten yet.
Three days on Banda Niera is way too short , you will need at least one week stop here .
Definitely recommend contacting Pak Mann when in Banda . Ask any Banda local for his phone number .
เขียนเมื่อ 31 มกราคม ค.ศ. 2024
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Joanne W
2 ผลงาน
พ.ย. ค.ศ. 2023 • ครอบครัว
We did a fabulous full day motor bike trip around Banda Besar with Pak Mann.
It was fantastic. We absolutely lovedit and cannot recommend Pak Mann highly enough as a friendly, super knoweable tour guide.
เขียนเมื่อ 30 มกราคม ค.ศ. 2024
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bhayes33
บอร์โด, ฝรั่งเศส4 ผลงาน
ต.ค. ค.ศ. 2022
Date of stay : October 2022 - Maluku Archipielago

We stayed a few days at the Cilu Bintang Hotel in the Banda Islands in October 2022.

Reaching these islands has never been easy, but we discovered that the real problem was to leave them.
Most people start from Ambon, which, actually, is a good base.
The city itself is more pleasant than many others in Indonesia, and has a new airport.

Cilu Bintang Hotel : decoration really nice, food absolutely excellent, especially the dinner buffet.
Rooms are big, but the bathroom has no separation between the shower and the flushing toilet.
Moreover, the washbasin is really small.
Also, out of your room, it will be difficult to find a fresh place in the hotel.

Despite numerous WhatsApp messages and confirmations with Abba, the owner of Cilu Bintang, when we finally arrived in Banda Neira, we discovered that we had fallen into a trap.

1) Ever since July 2022, Abba continuously told us that there were no more ferry from Ambon to Banda, after that the Bahari Express stopped its operations due to the Covid pandemia.
In fact, the new Bahtera Nusantara ferry has been in operation since the beginning of September 2022.
Seats are at 145 000 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) per person (10 euros).

2) Instead, Abba repeatedly told us that the only way to get to the Banda Islands was the Sam Air flight from Ambon to Banda, for IDR 400 000 IDR per way, per person.
He did not mention that we would have to pay an extra charge based not only on the weight of our luggage (basis 10kg) , but also on our own weight... we finally paid 800 000 IDR extra, on top of the plane ticket; in cash, because they did not accept credit card.

3) Our Sam Air Ambon/Banda reservation through Abba was made in August 2022.
However, end of September, he announced us that the flight was full, and that we had to take a ferry from Ambon to Amahai, and from there the Sam Air flight to Banda Neira ! This is what we did, and it costed us an extra 790 000 IDR for the ferry and the transfers by taxi.

NOTE : we incidently discovered that the taxi drivers booked for us by Abba to go from our Ambon hotel to Tulehu (Pulau Ambon port to take the ferry to Amahai, located in Pulau Seram) and from Amahai port to the airport, were Abba’s family members…
The price paid for the 3‘ (maybe 2’ !) from Amahai port to the airstrip (« airport » is irrelevant !) was ridiculously high (same as what we paid from the airport to the hotel, i.e a bit more than 30’ drive !)

4) Just after having landed at Banda Neira airport, Abba announced us that our return flight to Ambon was cancelled because of maintenance of the plane!
We learnt the following day that this was true, but that it was scheduled one month ago !
So, Abba knew this a long time before our arrival, but never mentioned it to us.

Once at his hotel, he proposed that we take the Sam Air flight to Kei Islands (??!!) and stay there 1 or 2 nights, and take then a regular Wings Air flight from Kei to Ambon....if seats were available.....
This meant to stay only 2 days in Banda !! All this money and time spent for only 2 days .......... !!

5) We then realised that the main objective of Abba was that his customers, by any means, reach Bandaneira. The question of the return trip to Ambon was secondary !
Fortunately, we met 3 wonderful indonesian people who told us that it was possible to take a ferry back to Ambon 3 days later.
We went with them to buy the ferry tickets the day the ferry was leaving, because it was not possible to buy them in advance.
They also told us that it was not possible to buy these tickets in advance in Ambon, because they tried themselves when they were there a few days ago, but been said that Banda/Ambon tickets were available only in Banda the day of departure !
Cabin tickets are also available, or supposed to be !
The reality is that they tell you that this category is full, or that you have to wait for the arrival of the boat in order to check if cabins are available or not.
The 3 above mentionned indonesians experienced this in Ambon, and told us that finally you can get cabins ticket only through some cabin crew who « sell » indirectly their cabins to make money.
That is what we did in Bandaneira, and paid twice the normal price of a cabin to get a cabin crew!

To sum up all this, facts are the followings ones :

1) Transport : everything seems organised in order that you pay as much as possible. For the ferry, the « no booking in advance » system give free way to the « money under the table » system.
For the plane, there are clearly « commercial » connections between Sam Air and a few well-established local figures in Bandaneira.
2) Being difficult in access, it is clear that some local operators try to keep tourists as long as possible so that they spend more money (hotels, food, taxis, ferries, planes, local excursions etc..)

In conclusion, Mr Abba is not a reliable person.
He just want you to be in Banda to fill in his hotel and making his tours.

If you want to get the most updated infos of how to get to Banda Islands, go to the Dive Bluemotion website. This diving center is run by a german and is as reliable as a Mercedes engine!
https://www.dive-bluemotion.com/getting-here

As far as Banda Islands themseves are concerned, this is an absolute must-do place because of its natural beauty, its history and the tranquility that can be enjoyed both in Bandaneira than in the outer islands of Rune and Hatta, where very good snorkelling spots and local attractive villages are waiting for you.

Ps : During the same trip we spent 8 days in Sulawesi Toradja country, 1 week in Raja Ampat Sorido Bay Resort and a few days in Bali.
We would be happy to share our experience with those who would require some details about these destinations.
เขียนเมื่อ 7 พฤษภาคม ค.ศ. 2023
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ChrisThomasTravels
มานามา, บาห์เรน615 ผลงาน
ธ.ค. ค.ศ. 2019
Banda Naira has a storied history. It's so remote (7 hours by boat from the nearest city, Ambon) that much of its history is still out in the open, easily seen on a stroll through the old town. You'll pass by cannon that look as if they have been laying along the dirt roads of this town for centuries!
เขียนเมื่อ 21 พฤศจิกายน ค.ศ. 2020
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Sylviane D
ปารีส, ฝรั่งเศส5,164 ผลงาน
ก.พ. ค.ศ. 2020 • เดินทางคนเดียว
Les marchands étalent leurs marchandises avec une humeur joyeuse. Nul ne force personne à acheter. Bien entendu, le marchandage est de mise sans toutefois exagérer.
On y trouve de tout et...pas grand chose d'inutile. Du genre : le souvenir pour le retour.
Noix de muscade et kenaris suffisent, déclinés diversement.
Il faut y trainer et se laisser surprendre.
เขียนเมื่อ 21 มีนาคม ค.ศ. 2020
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eqv102
โรม, อิตาลี497 ผลงาน
พ.ย. ค.ศ. 2019
Ho come la sensazione che sia più la fama che la reale bellezza del posto, perchè nelle Maluku è dove abbiamo incontrato il maggior numero di turisti pur non trovandone particolari motivi.
Assenza di spiage, parte storica non esaltante, fondali onestamente non proprio dei migliori in Indonesia.
Non fosse per Hatta non consigierei di andare alle Banda.
เขียนเมื่อ 8 ธันวาคม ค.ศ. 2019
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Wander622014
56 ผลงาน
พ.ย. ค.ศ. 2019
The town has seen a lot of history. For such a small out of the way place, it has a lot of very impressive old buildings. I suspect the wharf had some kind of World War II function. It's a nice walk around. Find a juice shop and have a mango juice or some street samosas -- while you are at it.
เขียนเมื่อ 24 พฤศจิกายน ค.ศ. 2019
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audwijaya
ตันเกอรัง, อินโดนีเซีย76 ผลงาน
พ.ย. ค.ศ. 2018 • เพื่อนๆ
Most tourist only know that Indonesia has Bali and Lombok as its main tourism attraction. Well, I couldn’t say no because in Bali you can see, feel, and interact with the local culture closely in which what most people would like to experience when they go there (let alone bar etc.).

Lombok also started to gain attention from international tourists recently. The beautiful Gili Trawangan and other area of the islands and its people are just one of the valid reasons of why traveler should go there.

But, Indonesia is an acrhipleago country and the biggest one. It means that the country has more than 17.000 beautiful islands with hundreds of culture, race and local languages to explore. Imagine to explore that many beautiful islands. How long do you think will it take for you to see every single islands?

So, rather than pick blindly a new tourist-less spot for your next travel plan, probably you can consider about coming to Banda Neira, the nutmeg island. From Ambon airport, you have to go to the port which around 1 hour from there. You can use taxi or rent a car. Once arrived, buy your tickets and wait for the ferry boat to come. The journey you’ll have from Maluku to Banda Neira is around 6 hours. So make sure you take med before boarding if you get seasick easily.

Tired? Yes. But, once you arrive there, your eyes will be welcomed and pleased with hills, mountain and sea at one look! Gosh.. that’s really breathtaking. Unfortunately, I can’t upload all pics from the trip cause the island is just beautiful.

Banda Neira is really good for island hoping (I met lots of dolphins swimming on the right side of our boat!), snorkeling and diving. Not so many people, both international or local tourists, come to this island cause of the distance and the journey we have to experience to get to this island. Banda Neira is quite small. You only need 2 hours to explore the whole island by walk since they don’t have public transportation. So, all tourists here will have to walk when they want to go somewhere. No motorbike rent place nor car.

The sunset I saw there was the most beautiful so far and this island is good for those who would like to go away from the city noise. This island’s trademark is its nutmeg in which Great Britain wants to have it loooonggggg time agoo when Indonesia still colonized.

If you plan to travel to Banda Neira, here are the check list you have to do:
- Island hoping
- Explore the whole island
- Stay in Cilu Bintang hotel (seriously, you have to! Their food is soooo good, the room and hotel is really nice and the view also breathtaking)
- Go to Belgica fortress
- Snorkeling
- Diving
- Try their seafood! Sooo fresssshhhh

Hope this help you to give some insights 😋
เขียนเมื่อ 20 สิงหาคม ค.ศ. 2019
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traveller70
บาเซิล, สวิตเซอร์แลนด์886 ผลงาน
ส.ค. ค.ศ. 2018 • เพื่อนๆ
Banda Neira ist eine hübsche kleine Stadt auf den Spice Islands mit interessanter Geschichte (Kolonialismus - Holländer). Besonders schön ein Spaziergang durch die Stadt - besonders dem Markt. Die Leute sind sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit, das Dörfchen ist sehr malerisch.
เขียนเมื่อ 23 กันยายน ค.ศ. 2018
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Regine V
20 ผลงาน
ก.พ. ค.ศ. 2018 • เดินทางคนเดียว
J'ai adoré arriver à Banda. Février est un peu trop tôt et on n'y arrive qu'avec les pelni boat.
Il faut attendre mars pour avoir susi air ou les fast boat.
Le bateau que j'ai pris était énorme tout comme le nombre de voyageurs.
Impressionnant et mieux vaut se trouver une cabine. Elles se négocient avec le personnel qui en général cède les leurs entre 100 000 et 300 000 roupies selon l'étage, la grandeur, le confort avec ou sans salle de bains....
Ces bateaux ne sont certainement pas l'endroit où l'on se sent le plus en sécurité.

Mon amie a eu son sac ouvert et copin un allemand s'est fait alléger de son portefeuille.
Une fois arrivé à Banda vaut mieux attendre que le gros de la foule soit descendue du bateau avant de s'y engager. Plus il y a de monde plus il est facile pour les voleurs bien organisés de glisser une main dans votre poche.
Les petits bateaux n assurants les liaisons qu'entre Ambon et Banda sont bien moins "dangereux" que ces mastodontes qui passent plusieurs semaines en mer.

Banda se mérite c'est peut être une chance
เขียนเมื่อ 4 มีนาคม ค.ศ. 2018
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