Pulau Banyak are a group of inhabited islands located between Simeulue and Nias off the western coast of Sumatra in Aceh Province. According to a survey of the area there are approximately around 71 islands and additional mangrove stands in shallow off-shore areas, although locals count 99 islands. Pulau Banyak is not a tourist crowd place. It is naturally beautiful and relatively safe.
Number of activities you can do in between the islands. In Tuangku - the largest island - you can surf in Ujung Lolok. And in the northern part of the island, Haloban, you can trek to summit Gunung Tiusa (313m) for an epic view of the surrounding islands with a local guide (five hours return) and visit a cave full of stalagmites. While Bangkaru, second largest - is home to a turtle conservation project. And you can find excellent offshore for snorkelling between Pulau Laman and Pulau Laureh, Pulau Asok and Pulau Ragu Ragu - dugongs are sometimes sighted in the mornings off the island’s north shore. Modest inn/guesthouses/hotels are available.
How To Get There
First you need to take a flight to Medan Airport (KNO), continue with another flight, Susi Air to Bandara Hamzah Fansuri, Singkil (2016 Singkil flight schedule: Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday, around idr 400K/adult, or continue with a land transport (around 8 hour trip). In Singkil take a ferry/speed boat/local fisherman boat to cross to Pulau Banyak (around 2 hour trip).
From Medan airport/hotel go to the nearest bus terminal and take a bus to Singkil.
From Banda Aceh, the public bus takes around 13 - 15 hour trip to Singkil.
You can have your hotel/tour operator arrange you a shared/private taxi from Medan airport/hotel, Banda Aceh airport/hotel to Singkil, as well as a local transport to pick you in Pulau Banyak, after the ferry, to your accommodation, or find them yourself at the airport/around your hotel.
A selection of basic accommodation, guesthouses, inns, and bungalows is available.
Three different tribe inhabit Pulau Banyak. They are Aneuk Jamee, Haloban, Nias people. 'Aneuk Jamee' live mostly in Pulau Balai, Pulau Baguk, dan Teluk Nibung. 'Haloban' in Haloban village dan Asantola village in West Pulau Banyak. While Nias people in Ujung Sialit village and Suka Makmur village in West Pulau Banyak. The majority are moslem, except the Nias people live in Ujung Sialit village are christian. They live as fisherman. They are all friendly and open to visitors.
Each of these tribes speaks their own language after Indonesian. And as they live from the sea, one of their special food is 'pacak fish barbeque'.
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