Travelers to Maluku may have one itinerary in mind, which is to hit the sand and surf, relax under the sun and drink ice-cold beer. However, Maluku offers much more than that as it will become evident to me and our friends who decided to take some off the beaten paths and discover the mystery of the Spice Islands.
Once we decided to take a break from diving, we went to Waai village where they have “holy” eels in the river. An old man named Minggus, waded midstream with a raw chicken egg, suddenly five Moray eels emerged from the rocks on the river wall and raced to eat the egg! The eels were huge: around 1.2 meters long and were as thick as adult thighs.
On the way back, we stopped at Suli Beach and Natsepa Beach to relax. I watched the sunset by the Martha Christina Tiahahu Statue at Karang Panjang, given its higher elevation, I could see the whole city below. Martha is an acknowledged national heroine in Indonesia, who died at the age of 18 in 1818. She supported her father in fighting Dutch colonialists.
The most popular destination is the island of Kei Kecil, which is connected by a bridge to the neighboring island of Dullah. The bridge also connects the twin towns of Tual and Langgur that make up the capital of the entire Kei archipelago, and as such, the two islands form a practical unit.
Although not many people know it, the Kei Islands are said to be one of the 10 best beaches in the world and it is clearly written in the Lonely Planet Bluelist that, “these remote white-sand beaches are the finest in the world.”