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Swimming and Splashing in Baubau

Submitted by mumunmumun on 9 January 2013   •  Destination

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It wouldn’t be right to stay dry on an island, especially when traveling Indonesia, a country so hot and humid. To the least, you’ll sweat. That was the case of my visit to Baubau, Buton Island, South East Sulawesi. Although Buton is huge, but a visit to Baubau alone successfully kept me drenched … also in its beautiful water. The city is blessed with the nearby lush Tirta Rimba waterfall and beautiful Nirwana beach. It’s a perfect warm up being one of the gates to Wakatobi, the dive paradise. Be aware, you’ll likely swim in Baubau!


Tirta Rimba Waterfall

The Tirta Rimba Waterfall is located about 4 km from the city center. Its 6 by 5 meter water drop in the middle of a lush forest is such a picture perfect place to retreat from the moderately busy Baubau city.

There’s no challenge to reach the fall other than trying to get the right public transport. The paths are paved all the way up to the drop.  Concrete pools are also established for visitors to splash around in. A shame really, but convenience can help a lot of people enjoy things. Underneath the hot summer sun, everything is green starting from the shaded gateway, the tropical forest framing, all the way to the fresh water collected underneath the fall. And the air? Oh the air! The fresh cool air underneath the tree shades is a jumping difference, even from the main road.

swim in Baubau

We were pretty lucky to meet a bunch of local kids. They jumped and flipped into the pool and smiled for us for no price, not that I know off. They purely enjoyed seeing their own faces and posed on our camera’s LCD screen. As much as they tempted me to join them, excuses got the best of me. We were going to continue traveling within a few hours so I didn’t want to hassle with wet clothes. But as dry as I was that day, I still had my feet in the water just to balance out the high temperature of the day. And the joy to just watch the children play was as refreshing as dipping in myself.

swim in Baubau


Nirwana Beach

It is no less than its name. Nirwana beach is a paradise beach much to my personal standards. White sand? Swim-able? Clear waters? Long stretch of flat sand base? A small amount of local people swimming? Sightings of corals and stingrays? Local vendors selling warm drinks? Coconut trees? Check! Check! Check! Check! It’s my kind of beach for sure! Not entirely spotless, but I could live with it.

swim in Baubau

The beach is located within a bay creating a hugging view of the Buton Island. It’s partly a fisherman’s beach, which probably is the origin of it, but can now accommodate visitors with rented thatched bamboo huts lined facing the waters. As much as I love a secluded beach, I also enjoy a beach with the presence of local people, especially children. You can see life and talk to the locals, not to mention tease the naked kid for fun.

swim in Baubau

The day was dark and it was hardly a day for swim, but the white sand and shaded blue water was still too hard for me to resist getting soaked. And so I did. I probably swam about 50 meters out to still find a flat sandy bottom that reflected perfectly through the clear waters. Seriously guys, it was like swimming in pool with a sandy floor meeting up with corals and stingray sightings! Yusuf of Explore Solo even saw a sea snake. Hmm… not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

I can’t imagine how good this beach would be with the sun up.

Nirwana Beach, swim in Baubau


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