If you think about it, there are probably lots of places that you’d like to visit. For me, if I’m going to speak about a place in Indonesia, it has to be Banda Neira. My interest in visiting Banda Neira goes all the way back to 2009 when I had just started travelling.

I am lucky to say that this May I finally had the chance to visit. I spent 6 days 5 nights in Banda Neira islands. Most of this time I spent exploring around Neira Island.

So you might be asking yourself, why did I want to visit the islands so much? Well, as you might know I’m not a history buff. The reason I wanted to visit was not because of all of those stories about the Spice Islands. Instead it was some photos that I saw in 2009, which touched my heart.

I can’t remember where exactly I saw the photos. It was a picture of a traditional market, photos of Gunung Api, the underwater coral and pictures of local people.

This collection of photos gave me a strong desire to visit Banda Neira and experience this place for myself. So when we were about to land on Banda Neira, I was smiling to see the Gunung Api. It gave me the feeling like I was visiting a distant relative who I had not met for a long time.

I spent my 6 days on Banda Neira together with seven travel mates. It was a really great experience. Yet every holiday is made up of one defining memory and for me it was my conversation with Opa (it is not his name, but it is how we called him). I want to tell you about it.

Banda Neira with Ibu penyu

Walking around Neira island

Opa 🙂

Opa was one of the seven people who I visited Banda Neira with. I remember when I met Opa I started a very casual conversation with him. I quickly realized that he reminded me of my best friend. He is funny. He is the kind of person who doesn’t say that much most of the time, but when he dores he can be so entertaining. He is also super friendly just like my best friend.

Out of nowhere, probably on the second or third days, we talked about his travel stories. Then we talked about his live on board trip to Krakatoa back in July 2013. This is the same trip where I lost one of my best friends, Evans.

Yes, Opa was on the same boat as Evans was when the boat sunk. Opa was one of the survivors of the incident. To be able to meet Opa and listen to the story of what happened during that night was probably one of the most emotional moments of my life this year.

I visited the market in Banda Neira and pretty much can recall pictures that I saw back in 2009, I dived the Banda Neira sea, I met the local people, I joined a spice tour, visited some beaches, checked out the forts and hang out there at night. I climbed the Gunung Api, explored Banda Neira, yet my conversation with Opa that night was always in my mind.

Neira island Indonesia

My favourite pier on Neira island – pic by Mumun of Indohoy

Evans, you know what, I think you will love Banda Neira as much as I did. 🙂


This post is written as part of thematic post for the Travel Bloggers Indonesia community: Dream Indonesia (August 17, 2015). Don’t forget to check out articles from other members of TBI (in a random order) – I shall update this post at the soonest.
Parahita Satiti – Kembali ke Pulau Lombok
Shabrina Koeswologito – Give Back For Indonesia
Rudi Hartoyo – Jelajahi Indonesia, Akankah Ku Lakukan?
Matius Teguh Nugroho – Bukan Raja Ampat, Ini Dia 5 Destinasi Impian Indonesia Versi #TheTravelearn
Astin Soekanto – Inginku Boven Digul: Belajar dari Bung Hatta
Danan Wahyu Sumirat – Mimpi Tentang Anambas
Tracy Chong – In Papua Where I Meet This Inspiring Lady
Albert Ghana Pratama – Jelajah Laut Negeri Menjaga Titik Luar Indonesia
Olive Bendon – Gemu Fa Mi Re untuk Negeriku
Leornard Anthony – Di Timur Menyongsong Dirgahayu
Rico Sinaga – Ingin Ke Misool Segera
Mas Edy Masrur – Berbagi Ilmu dan Menimba Kearifan Lokal di Wae Rebo
Indah Purnama – Indonesia (Juga Bisa) Bikin Rindu
Arie Okta – Banda Aceh, Impian Dalam Mimpi
Putri Normalita – Kepulauan Anambas, Surga Tropis di Ujung Negeri
Imama Insani – Kapan ke Kakaban?
Ridwan Sidik K – Tobelo destined To Be Lo Ved
Indri Juwono – Anambas, Mimpi Indonesiaku
Karnadi Lim – Kaldera Toba For Unesco
Hartadi Putro – Banda Neira, Ku akan Datang
Liza Fathia – Berkisah Tentang Sabang di Hari Kemerdekaan
Rembulan Indira – Mimpi Indonesia: Desa Adat Wae Rebo, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur
Fahmi Anhar – Destinasi Impian Nusantara
Atrasina Adlina – Merawat Pagar Nusantara di Perbatasan 
Citra Rahman – Aceh: Destinasi Impian Orang-Orang
Titiw – Pancaran Nasionalisme Dalam Taman Nasional Indonesia
Eka Situmorang Sir – Pantai Impian
Wira Nurmansyah – 5 Destinasi ‘Impian’ di Indonesia yang Harus Kamu Kunjungi
Dea Sihotang – Tanah Papua, Kamulah My Dream Indonesia…
Vika Octavia – Tidak Mau Mati, Sebelum…
Tekno Bolang – Sebuah Harap Menyapa Korowai

Last, happy independence to my country, Indonesia. Stay amazing!

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.