En route pour Bangka Island ! (Nord-Sulawesi, Indonésie. Mars 2013.)
On the way to Bangka Island! (North Sulawesi, Indonesia, March 2013.)

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  Indonesia: Weda [Halmahera] + Bangka [Sulawesi] - March 2013

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

I was (still) gone. A short trip of 15 days in Indonesia. On the program: rest and dives at Halmahera (North Maluku) and Bangka in North Sulawesi.

Step 1: Halmahera, Weda Bay

Three weeks ago, I redid my bag. This famous wheeled bag acquired three years ago, who has since become the faithful companion of my travels.

It looks like nothing, like that. But as it contains my diving gear and my tackle for underwater lighting (flash, battery and charger for the waterproof case of my camera), it weighs its small weight. 28 kilos at the start, 29 at the return, once gorged with the humidity of the tropical climate ...

L'embarcadère de Sofifi. Halmahera, Indonésie, mars 2013.
The pier of Sofifi. Halmahera, Indonesia, March 2013.

At the landing stage of Sofifi, Halmahera, the big island of Maluku (archipelago located east of Indonesia), it took place in a red wheelbarrow, with the cardboard of a brush cutter.

After getting out of the boat, I freeze for a moment in the hustle and bustle of the pontoon, in the middle of the arrests of the carriers who rush on the packs and luggage of the speed boats. Dizziness, excitement mixed with fatigue.

Indonesia, I'm here!

I'm exhausted after the long hours of flying from France, the very short night near the airport in Jakarta, followed by a dawn take-off on Lion Air to join Ternate, dominated by the Gamalama volcano, then the Ternate speedboat ride to Sofifi. But so happy to be here!

Aéroport de Jakarta, décollage sur Lion Air. Indonésie, mars 2013.
Jakarta airport, take off on Lion Air. Indonesia, March 2013.
Ternate, volcan Gamalama. Halmahera, Indonésie, mars 2013.
Ternate, Gamalama volcano. (Halmahera, Indonesia, March 2013.)
Les speed-boats venus de Ternate débarquent bagages et passagers au port de Sofifi. (Halmahera, Moluques du Nord, Indonésie, mars 2013.)
The speed boats from Ternate land baggage and passengers at the port of Sofifi. (Halmahera, North Maluku, Indonesia, March 2013.)

Now, for me, it's easy. A guy from Weda Resort, with whom I made contact before departure, welcomes me and takes care of everything.

He drives me to the air-conditioned car waiting for me on the disgusting parking of the Sofifi landing stage, strewn with plastic waste - bags, bottles, wrappings, goblets - scattered with the four winds. Forget the clichés of paradise islands that you have in mind ... That's also Indonesia. Here, we do not care about the consequences on the environment. For the moment.

Le parking du débarcadère de Sofifi. Halmahera, Indonésie, mars 2013.
The parking at the Sofifi landing stage is littered with rubbish and plastics. (Halmahera, Indonesia, March 2013.)

We still have nearly three and a half hours of road in the jungle, from village to village, to the beautiful bay of Weda, on the other side of the island.

La jungle d'Halmahera, noyée dans une brume de chaleur. (Indonésie, mars 2013.)
The jungle Halmahera, drowned in a haze of heat. (Indonesia, March 2013.)
La route s'étire à travers la jungle et enjambe des rivières, entre le port de Sofifi et la baie de Weda. (Halmahera, Indonésie, mars 2013.)
The road stretches through the jungle and spans rivers, between the port of Sofifi and the bay of Weda. (Halmahera, Indonesia, March 2013.)
Le Weda Bay Resort, enfin ! (Halmahera, Moluques, Indonésie, mars 2013.)
The Weda Bay Resort, finally! (Halmahera, Maluku, Indonesia, March 2013.)

Here I am at Halmahera, the first leg of my trip. I discover. I have never set foot here yet. I already love it.

In Weda Bay, the dives will be beautiful and peaceful. Quiet days, disconnected from the rest of the world. Pure happiness ...

Step 2: North Sulawesi, Bangka Island

The second leg of this little Indonesian journey, a week later, will be Bangka Island, in northern Sulawesi. Here, I know. I am on my third visit to the region.

The first time, in 2007I had discovered Bunaken Island, Lembeh Strait, and the Manado area.

The second time, in 2010I had returned to the Lembeh Strait, but I had opted for the island of Bangka, near Bunaken, which was quieter and less popular. During this stay in Bangka, in 2010, I had stayed at the excellent Murex Bangka Resort, then to the very nice Mimpi Indah.

La plage du Murex Resort, à Bangka Island. (Sulawesi, Indonésie, juillet 2010.)
The beach at Murex Resort, Bangka Island. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

At the time, during a ride on the boat of Mimpi Indah with other tourists, Italians, we went to a nearby beach.

People lived there. There was an Indonesian flag and an Italian flag at the end of the pontoon, a building under construction under the trees at the back, a few tents on the beach, between Indonesian hutches of bamboo and palm leaves.

Bangka, Coral Eye Beach. (Indonésie, Sulawesi, Juillet 2010.)
Bangka, Coral Eye Beach. (Indonesia, Sulawesi, July 2010.)
Bangka. Construction du Coral Eye. (Indonésie, Sulawesi, Juillet 2010.)
Bangka. Construction of the Coral Eye. (Indonesia, Sulawesi, July 2010.)

I briefly exchanged a few words with a young guy from the beach, an Italian, who had explained to me the project they were launching: building a center to welcome scientists and students in marine biology, develop a farm of coral, conduct research on the environment ...

Three years later, at the chance of my research on Internet, while I prepare this new Indonesian trip of March 2013, I discover the existence of the Coral Eye. The project of the Italians has become reality. They even welcome, now, tourists.

I sent them an email. Marco, the young guy I met three years ago, answered me. He remembered our visit and our brief conversation. I booked at home.

I loved this new stay on the island of Bangka, which I had already loved so much in my previous visit in 2010.

Coral Eye is located on a beautiful beach, not far from the Murex resort. The beauty of the place, the atmosphere of the center, the dives, the peace of the island filled me.

Coral Eye Beach. Bangka Island. (Sulawesi, Indonésie. Mars 2013.)
Coral Eye Beach. Bangka Island. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, March 2013.)
Coral Eye. Bangka Island. (Sulawesi, Indonésie. Mars 2013.)
Coral Eye. Bangka Island. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, March 2013.)
En route pour Bangka Island ! (Nord-Sulawesi, Indonésie. Mars 2013.)
On the way to Bangka Island! (North Sulawesi, Indonesia, March 2013.)

Mini 360 ° made to the iPhone from the dock:

I'm just coming back (sigh). I came back to France a week ago, with my big 29 kilo bag full of tropical moisture, my holiday tan, my mosquito bites and my coral scratches. Indonesia never leaves me unharmed ...


I cashed in the thermal shock, the jet lag. It was necessary to get used to the cold of this icy spring, to the gray Breton sky. Take the job back to the newspaper and plunge into the cauldron of news.

But I have memories full of my head and lots of photos at the bottom of my hard drive. I tell you very quickly, in the next articles, the terrestrial and subaquatic happiness of this new voyage ...


Voyage en Indonésie : Veda et Bangka - mars 2013

  Indonesia: Weda [Halmahera] + Bangka [Sulawesi] - March 2013

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    1. @Alain: oh there, yes, the transition must have been tough for you too ... I was left, optimistic (telling me that spring would be here on my return) with only a thin polar on the back and barefoot in my canvas sneakers. I curdled on the platform of the station, the descent of the plane, waiting for the train that was to take me back to Rennes ...

  1. Thank you again Corinne to share with us your comings and goings, the return had to be really cold ... Rennes / Vannes same cold these last days, but you read me warms the heart, the head and makes me want to leave even more. 🙄

    1. @Laurent: I went to Togian too, a long time ago, in 2007.
      See the trip: http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/voyage-sulawesi-indonesie-2007/
      And this post: http://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/2008/06/03/togian-islands-sulawesi/

      Bangka is as quiet as the Togians, but less isolated, as it is only 30-40 minutes from the coast. A very good option for those who want to spend a few days on an island as beautiful as peaceful in North Sulawesi ...

  2. Again thank you for these texts, these photos that give me almost goosebumps, as the beauty of the place, the peaceful atmosphere of indonesia shine and give this very strong desire to return as soon as possible. on our hungry & #8230; .what pretty window you open to us !!!!

  3. I sympathize for the thermal shock! It was almost 40 degrees in Bangkok, and with the heating almost at home, I was cold !!!
    The good thing about Indonesia is that there are so many islands that every trip you will do there, you could discover a new one ... at least ... for our pleasure when you come back.

  4. Dear Corinne ... ..Ah Indonesia, we go there for the first time and then we can not do without it ... so many islands for lovers of diving and tranquility!
    I'm proud of my photo book on Java and Bali, I ordered the one on my Bali-Komodo-Bali dive cruise ... in the absence of a personal blog (I will not be able to compete with you anyway!) ... my books with my most beautiful shots give travel desires to those watching them. For my September holidays I had thought of Mozambique to dive with big but I will surely follow your steps in Sulawesi ....
    I'm going to NYC in late May, I'll think of you from the top of the Empire State Building by day & by night.
    Kisses to you and we await more details on your discovery of the Moluccas!

    1. @Lisemet: thank you for your little word! Yes, Indonesia, we become addicted, so it's beautiful ...

      For Mozambique, I dream of going there, too, especially since I have friends who run a center there: Odyssea Dive.

      As for my stay in New York, there are still many things that I did not find time to tell: the walk on the High Line, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, and then all walks in different neighborhoods ... I can not update the blog in real time anymore.

      Sulawesi, I love it. I highly recommend, in any case, if you do not know yet (do not hesitate to write to me in private if you want information).

  5. hello corinne,
    I did not have time to go before on your site, because I just came back from koh Tao weekend.
    you were right I loved the island, its relief, its big boulders ....
    I did some nice dives and snorkeling with little black tip sharks!
    I will try to quickly put the story of this trip on my site, but if you wish you can see some excerpts on the blog
    I am waiting for the rest of your photos, the first ones are always so beautiful!

  6. Hello,
    Congratulations again for all your pictures and information, thanks to you I had discovered Bomba and your sister also that I had met.
    Are prices for living in Papua really higher?
    A question for Bangka:
    I do not see any of the hotels you mention in Lonely 2013?
    coral eye, murex, mimpi ....

    And there is no indication of price on the site of coral eye
    the Murex announces a double between 40 and 60 euros with prices per person per night, full board, I do not really know what it means, is this pension full?
    if you find a moment to answer it would be nice

    1. @Pierre : Hey, hey, yes, my sister told me about this meeting ... 😉
      So, to answer your questions:

      - Yes, you need to plan a bigger budget for Papua, especially if you want to dive. But if you have the soul of a real backpacker that a summary comfort does not bother, that you have a little time in front of you to possibly improvise on the spot, there is way to stay elsewhere than in a resort of divers and spend less under ... See the section on homestays and some comments from other travelers at the bottom of this article:

      - For Bangka Island in North Sulawesi, I'm glad that the dive resorts I'm talking about (they're not really "hotels") do not appear in the Lonely Planet, so they will not be invaded when I would like to go back, hey, hey ... 😉

      - Yes, full board, it means full board. Anyway, it's still like that for this kind of isolated islands resorts, because there is no restaurant or any way to easily find food around (or so you have to fish, or go to the village that is not very close, or go back to the mainland shopping!).

      - Rates are therefore usually "fullboard" (ie the room + all meals of the day). You will find the information on their respective sites and I recommend the three addresses to have tested them myself (Murex Bangka, Mimpi Indah, and Coral Eye). All three are very good in their genre (but better to be a diver, I think, anyway, otherwise we have to bother a little).

      - For Coral Eye, send them a little email to make you specify their current rates, it runs around 40-45 € (full board, so) for the best rooms (which have their own bathroom), it must be cheaper for those where there is a bathroom to share (the place is impeccable, the food is very good).

      The best, to compare, it is to send e-mails, to ask the tariffs, by being made clear what is understood or not if you have doubts ... I obviously can not answer for their place! Only they can tell you all that.

      Good preparations !!! 🙄