The Place and the People
Located in the middle of Indian Ocean, 150 km and takes 9 hours trip from Padang, West Sumatra-Mentawai glowing with all the nature spirits and make it an extraordinary escaping spot from a hectic life. Mentawai is the natural habitat for 16 endemic species, and some of them categorized as endangered species e.g. Simakobu monkey (simias concolor-eat leaf as primary food).
The present life of Mentawai people categorized as the legacy from Neolithic era and they have a strong believe in nature spirit, for their life strongly affected by nature. They believe that nature is the center of life. All the genuine attributes make Mentawai a perfect place to gain cultural experiences, here you will notice a very fascinating and indigenous culture, like traditional cloths, art, music and the way of life. The entire culture attributes strongly reflects their respect to nature.
Tattoo is one of the most important symbol for Mentawai people, its reflect maturity, manhood and status. The art of this body painting inherit from their ancestor. The tattoos ink naturally made from leaf.
Among the surfers, Mentawai is the best place to fill their demand for challenges and natures beauty. The beaches offer one of the highest wave in the world, 3 to 4 meters, totally challenge your gut. Once you grounded your self in this hidden Paradise Island, next you will paddle out to the worlds best surf. Dont call your self Surfer if you havent ride Mentawais waves said most of the surfer to expressed their surfing experiences in Mentawai.
There are four ultimate diving spot here in Mentawai ,Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara (north Pagai) and Pagai Selatan (south Pagai). You can find great waves here year round, but the best waves are during dry season, March to October. Make sure you have the gut to explore all the glassy waves, because the best way to entitled your surfing experiences remarkable is through finding your own.
- Take flight from Sukarno Hatta air port, Jakarta to Tabing air port, Padang-west Sumatra (flight served every day)
- Trip from Teluk Bayur port, Padang to Mentawai island by Ferry
Based on the visitor experience, the local people’s housing is the best choice to stay. Having interactions with local people and staying in unique architectures give the visitors distinctive way to blend with the culture. But, there are also common accommodations available.
To access all the beauties offered, you can use boat owned by local people. You can find the boat a long the beach and the rate depend on your bargaining power.
Boost your taste with exotic and fresh sea foods that you can found in the local restaurants run by local people. If you are lucky enough, you can pick and cook your own sea food, but make sure you know the secret recipe/spices from Mentawais people. For those who are not sea food lover, you can find regular meals for your dining.
Other Things to See or Do
- Sight seeing
- Learn how to perform the Traditional dances (war dance and gratitude to nature)
- Traditional ceremonies
- Mentawai is one of the best place to conduct an Ethnographic study since its one of the oldest tribe in Indonesia
As the habitat for rare primate, the natural rain forest of Mentawai will be the perfect place for research or other educational purpose. Here, you can conduct research about
- Snub-nosed monkey/Simakobu (Simias concolor) monkey family eat leaf as primary food
- Joja or Lutung Mentawai (Presbytis potenziani) easily identified for the long tail, white face and black hair head
- Bokkoi atau Beruk Mentawai (Macaca pagensis)
- Kloss Gibbon/Bilou or Siamang Kerdil (Hylobates klossii) famous for the beautiful voice, different compared to general monkey
More info about Mentawai Island, please click here.