Who can drive a motorbike and has a driving license?” someone wrote in our Whatsapp chat group. I said I do. Later I learnt that we would drive in a group from Kupang to explore Semau Island. Sounds pretty cool, eight motorbikes on a one-day trip to explore the island. Dea, my roommate during the #ExploreTheDiversity trip, agreed to join me on one motorbike.

Our plan was to visit beaches around Semau Island, before going to the top of a hill to watch the sunset. It was going to be a busy day and I was excited to set off on our journey. Here’s an overview of our itinerary in case you want to try the journey for yourself.

Getting to Semau

Semau is 25 minutes away from Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. To get there you need to take a wooden boat from Tenau port in Kupang to Kauan port in Semau.

There is no fixed schedule for the boat between Tenau Port and Semau Island, but there is a regular service. The boat will only leave when the boat is full of passengers, so you might have to wait around for a while at the port. The cost is Rp20,000 per person and Rp50,000 with a motorbike (the people really struggled to get the motorbikes on the boat, it was quite something to watch).

On the way to bukit Liman

Day trip to Semau

Eventually the boat left the port of Tenau and we headed towards Semau island. The journey was pretty calm with no rough waves at all, which was good, because I can sometimes get seasick. Once we arrived and unloaded the motorbikes it was time to head out and explore the island.

Otan Beach

The first beach that we stopped at was Otan beach. The beach was beautiful and you could swim in the sea. Three middle-aged women caught my attention. They were locals who busy looking for seaweeds. One of the ladies said that she would sell 1kg of seaweed for Rp 7,500 (yup, not even $1). She had worked from the morning until the late afternoon to collect it.

Otan beach Semau island

Oenian Beach

The second beach that we visited was Oenian beach. The beach has a slightly different character to Otan beach. While Otan beach is very calm and a great place to swim, the current of Oenian Beach is a bit stronger and the waves were rough. It was still possible to swim, but not as relaxing and joyful as swimming at Otan beach.

Oenian beach Semau

Oetebu Beach

We didn’t actually spend a lot of time on Oetebu beach. The beach was really beautiful. On one end of the beach we saw a collection of large shells that were used to produce salt. These shells were filled with seawater and then the water was left in the sun to evaporate. I had never seen anything like it. Our guide told us that it takes approximately one week to produce salt using this method.

Oetebu beach SemauShell salt Semau island

Liman Hill

Our final destination was the most challenging. Liman hill is one of the best places on the island to enjoy the sunset. Unfortunately the journey was not easy. Many times we had to get off of the motorbike and push the motorbike, because we couldn’t accelerate along the sandy road.

The journey to Bukit Liman

In the end though the journey was worth it. The sunset from Liman hill was gorgeous. As the sun started to sink beneath the horizon we headed back down the hill towards Kauan port. It had been a fun filled day and I was happy to have had a chance to explore Semau.

Sunset at Bukit Liman

Semau Day Trip

Visiting Semau Island is a lot of fun and makes for a nice day trip from Kupang. Four beautiful beaches and one amazing hill, but the highlight of the Semau trip was the journey itself. From Liman Hill back to Kauan port was the bomb. The 3-hour drive was super tiring and it seemed endless, but it was a journey to remember.

Journey to port of Semau island, East Nusa Tenggara

#ExploreTheDiversity trip hosted by Asita NTT. Thank you for inviting us to #ExploreTimor. Mbak Jetty and Mbak Rusly, you two are super adventurous! Thank you for accompanied us 🙂

If you are interested in booking accommodation for your holiday in Indonesia I recommend Airbnb. Book through this link to receive a special $25 discount. For hotel bookings I recommend Agoda for its low price and discounts.