Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 20 November 2015 • Destination
I don’t know why, but accommodations above water have always been appealing to me. First, the Wisma Apung in Karimunjawa, then Losmen Danakan in Derawan Islands, and lastly Maratua Paradise Resort just off the shore of Maratua Island. Upon my brief trip to Moluccas, Lisar Bahari Resort was also one of the determining factors of why I chose Sawai Village as our anchoring destination. Of course there’s Ora Beach Resort very near to Lisar Bahari, but I wasn’t interested in booking for a guest house in Sawai Village months before the trip.
We stayed at Lisar Bahari for 3 nights, costing IDR300,000/night/person, including 3 meals per day.
Booking was done by phone, with Pak Dino as our contact on +6281247331588 (call/text). We were going there on a long weekend, where most Indonesians were going for holiday. Fortunately, Lisar Bahari has enough wooden water chalets, so getting a room on H-7 was still possible.
The room appointed to us was the one on the very end stilt house, which consisted of 5 rooms, some with double bed, some with triple beds. The rooms are spacious, totally possible to add an extra mattress or two if you need any. They also have rooms on land, I heard they’re not very attractive, smaller and had shared bathroom.
For our room, towels were not provided, so we used our own fiber towels, no problem. What we weren’t prepared with was blankets. So I wore a jacket and used a sarong over my legs. Still I was cold at dawn – it may not feel cold if you’re used to winter.
Each room has an ensuite bathroom with shower. Our shower was sort of clogged, so we used the big bucket and bathed the Indonesian way: pour yourself with water scooped out of the big bucket using a gayung (small bucket with handle). The seat toilet is not equipped with a flush, so you have to flush using the water from the bucket. Water was running almost all day long, but hot water was not available.
I used to go on a packed itinerary when traveling anywhere, but lately I prefer the opposite. On our last afternoon at Lisar Bahari, we preferred to take a nap at one of the common areas, which was the deck of our chalet block. Utilizing a mattress that was just taken out of another room after the guests checked out, with the softly blowing wind and indistinct boat machine sounds, I had one of the best naps ever.
We could’ve hired a small boat and visit the Ora Beach for IDR250,000 for a few hours that afternoon, and I actually gave it a thought. But taking a nap after trekking at the forest earlier in the day was just too inviting.
On the previous day, we joined a group of other guests, who were also from Jakarta, on an island-hopping tour. The gang was fun and very welcoming, and joining them helped everyone save some budget. There were 9 of us in total, sharing the IDR800,000/boat from about 8 am until 5 pm, including fuel.
The route included snorkeling in two or three spots, one of them was Sapalewa Island (named Pulau Jodoh by Pak Ali), which has a really beautiful white sand beach. However, the snorkeling experience overall was just okay, I wasn’t blown away – comparing to the underwater scenery I’ve seen in many other places previously. But it’s always nice to be among the blue water and sky.
We were also taken to Sungai Salawai (river) to see the making of sagoo, the original staple food of eastern Indonesia. It was interesting to see the process, I might write about this separately in the future.
Another group of Lisar Bahari’s guests, a group of happy-go-lucky aunties and grandmas always in matching outfits, were also stopping by at the riverbank and most of our island-hopping spots. Two groups with lots of picture-taking was a bit overwhelming to me to be honest, but these people looked so happy and had so much fun with each other, it was fun too to have lunch with them under the trees at Sapalewa Island. Luch was cooked by the boatmen, serving the prepared steamed rice and freshly caught fish.
Trips – island hopping, trekking, and tree-house climbing which we didn’t take – are arranged with Pak Dino, the manager of Lisar Bahari, or Pak Ali the owner. I recommend you to really make sure about the pricing because they’d sometimes give different prices at different times.
Life jackets are provided by Lisar Bahari, but you better bring your own mask and snorkels because I don’t think they provide them.
Swimming around the guesthouse is possible, just jump in from the jetty if you will. But don’t expect too much from snorkeling, the underwater view is nothing much. And perhaps because it’s too close to the guest house and jetty, some area of the water seemed a bit oily. Definitely a call for shower right after that.
Late in the afternoons, we went out the back door and (tried to) mingle with the local villagers. I’ll write another post on this later.
Located in Sawai Village at the north coastline of Seram Island, it is on a different island with Ambon, the capital of Moluccas, which is on Ambon Island.
To get from Ambon’s Pattimura Airport to Sawai, what we did was:
Going back to Ambon, what we did was more or less the opposite of what we did getting to Lisar Bahari.
Overall, the transportation itself cost so much. It would be nice to share with a few more people. We had not thought of that when we bought the plane tickets to Ambon on promo the year before!
Have you been to Maluku? What is your recommended destination and accommodation?