Arrived at night in Padang airport was not my plan at all. My flight’s delay from Jakarta took almost 6 hours. It...
Travel to Indonesia is one of the best dreams that I have ever made in my life. The country has thousands of beautiful islands, exotic beaches, and a perfect place for nomadic like me. If you have never been to Indonesia before, believe me, you won’t regret your decision to travel to Indonesia.
I quit my daily routine job to be able to explore the world, learn new cultures, and know myself better. For me, life is not merely just about doing a normal thing such as sitting at the desk for hours. I am more into spending time with local people, learning their tradition and going to natural places.
I found those things in Mentawai, an amazing small island in West Sumatra province, Indonesia. This island has 5 main islands including Siberut, Sipura, North Pagai, South Pagai, and Sibiu. Here are what you can do in Mentawai island if you travel to Indonesia.
Try surfing, at least once in your lifetime
I met many tourists comes from many countries like Germany, England, America, and Australia mainly for surfing. Some told me that the waves here are more challenging and extreme for surfers which are really good for experts.
I was wondering to learn surfing for some reason, but I have never done this before. I am not much into sports or doing such things that waste much more energy, especially surfing. But as long as I am in Mentawai, a heaven for surfers, why not?
I was lucky that raining season in Indonesia had gone at that time, so it was the perfect time for me to learn surfing. As a beginner, I was being taught by a local surfer for basic.
If you prefer surf camp, you can pay $50 per package including the accommodation and food. Many surfing services is available here, so you can choose depends on budget and the services you want. You can also rent the surfboard if you do not want to use trainer services.
Stay with local people and learn their culture
My times in Mentawai was beyond amazing especially being able to know the local culture. I was mesmerized by the fact that indigenous people wear almost nothing.
The man wears “cawat” to cover their private area made by tree bark while women only wear a skirt made from certain woven leafs and accessories like necklaces made from twigs. The majority of them still wear their traditional costume in daily routine, for example for hunting and ceremonies.
Indigenous people inhibit traditional home called “Uma”, a single story longhouse made by bamboo strips. The entire home is constructed without using mechanic stuff like nails and hammer.
The house is inhabited by more than one family where every family has their own spaces separated by the partition made from wood. I stayed in Uma for a couple of days.
I learned their daily activities such as cooking their own meal, hunting deer or pig and interacting with each other. The Mentawai people are friendly, caring and easy to interact.
Into the wild
Mentawai island has a wide area of forest conservation. The whole island is almost covered by forest, where you will not find public transportation due to the lack of public road.
People tend to use motorcycle and cars to get everywhere around the island. So, walking is the only option that you can choose to explore the jungle.
I went to the national park for trekking with a local guide, seeing animals and unique trees. Here you can find wild animals including snakes, monkey, birds, and others.
If you go trekking, you need to wear clothes that cover entire of your body and apply anti-mosquito cream to your skin. The trekking area is a little bit challenging and muddy, especially if you go in the rainy season, so make sure to wear boots and raincoat.
Diving is my pleasure
Mentawai is just like my private heaven especially when it comes to beaches and marine life. The blue sea, the white sand, coconut trees and beautiful landscape are the perfect combination to enjoy the beaches.
You can only spend time while reading a book and drinking coconut water on the beach. This time I had a chance to see underwater life which was truly magnificent.
Travel to Indonesia is so much fun if you can be able to explore underwater life. Do not forget to list diving in Mentawai if you travel to Indonesia. Enjoy!