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Banda Neira – Great adventure to hidden paradise in Maluku

Banda Neira – Great adventure to hidden paradise in Maluku

Source: Investor Daily

Banda Neira, maybe not many tourists and travelers know about the existence of this paradise,

which is hidden in the eastern part of Indonesia, precisely in Maluku

And this place will give you a great adventure

What and where is Banda Neira? 

Banda Neira or Banda Naira is one of the islands in the Banda archipelago, Maluku Province.

Although not the largest island, it is the main island and serves as the administrative center of the Banda Islands.

History records that the name Banda Neira has been known to foreign countries.

This beautiful island saves natural beauty, and a wealth of crops, complete with its history.

Historically, it was known as the “Spice Islands” or “Nutmeg Islands”

due to the abundant production of valuable spices, especially nutmeg, and mace.

This spice was highly sought after during the colonial era,

causing fierce competition among the European powers, including the Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Spanish.

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) finally took control of the Banda Islands in the 17th century, monopolizing the nutmeg trade.

They built forts and buildings on that island, some of which still exist today and serve as historical landmarks

Banda Neira today

Today, Banda Neira is a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant underwater ecosystem.

You can explore the island’s colonial architecture, visit museums, hike the Volcano,

or engage in activities such as diving and snorkeling to discover the diverse marine life in the surrounding waters.

Despite its small size, the island offers a unique and serene experience,

blending natural beauty with glimpses of its captivating past as a center for the spice trade.

This island offers several tourist destinations that showcase its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage.

interesting facts about Banda Neira

It has a lot of interesting facts that you should know as additional information before you visit this island

1. Nutmeg Island

Banda Neira has long been known as a valuable nutmeg-producing island.

Even it is said to be the only nutmeg-producing place in the world.

Nutmeg became an attraction for European nations such as Spain, Portugal, and England.

2. Colonized by Europeans

The island was once colonized because of its natural wealth, especially nutmeg and other spices.

Europeans originally came to trade and buy spices for resale.

However, the Dutch then came to control the island, which was met with resistance from the local population.

The English who came took advantage of this opportunity to fight the Dutch.

This led to endless wars since 1609 involving the people of Banda who were assisted by the British against the Dutch.

3. The Parigi Rante Banda Neira Monument

It has a dark history of killing spice traders.

This massacre was carried out by European colonialists to control crops in the form of spices.

Not only massacred but not a few people were sent to Java as slaves.

To commemorate this history, the Parigi Rante Monument was built.

4. Has a Defense Fortress As a form of heritage from the colonial period

Banda Neira has a fort that the colonialists once built.

There was a Portuguese defensive fort named Fort Belgica which was used to monitor the arrival of the enemy.

After the arrival of the VOC, other forts were also built, such as Fort Revengie, Fort Hollandia, and Fort Concordia.

5. Place of Exile Mohammad Hatta

Mohammad Hatta was the first Indonesian vice president, the Netherlands sent him into exile in Banda Neira on February 11, 1936.

Previously he was exiled by the Dutch colonialists in Boven Digoel, Papua in 1935 for a year.

Not only Mohammad Hatta but also Sutan Syahrir and Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo ( both of them are Indonesian politicians and national heroes)

was also exiled to Banda Neira.

6. Enshrined in Rupiah Banknotes

The beauty of Banda Neira is not only immortalized in various stories but also in the rupiah currency.

The 2016 issue of the Rp. 1,000 note contains a picture of Banda Neira.

the image is located on the back, along with the image of the Tifa Dance and Larat orchid flowers which are also the identity of the Maluku region.

Banda Neira as a tourist destination

Now Banda Neira is well-known as a tourist destination that is visited by many tourists, both local and foreign

There are many places that you can enjoy when you visit these island

They offer several tourist destinations that showcase its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage.

Here are some famous attractions and activities in Banda Neira:

1. Fort Belgica

This historic fort was built by the Dutch in the 17th century and offers panoramic views of Banda Neira and the surrounding islands.

It serves as a museum displaying artifacts and information about the colonial era and the spice trade.

2. Museum Rumah Budaya

Located in a traditional Banda house, this museum provides an insight into local culture, history, and traditional way of life.

It houses a collection of artifacts, photographs, and displays relating to the heritage of the Banda Islands.

3. Volcano

The island also has a Volcano ), an active volcano that can be climbed.

The trip to the top offers stunning views of the island

and the surrounding turquoise waters.

Visitors can witness volcanic activity and enjoy the unique flora and fauna along the way.

4. Hatta Island

A short boat ride from Banda Neira, Hatta Island is a popular day trip destination.

It features pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs.

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore the underwater world full of colorful marine life.

5. Ai Island

Another nearby island worth visiting is Pulau Ai.

It offers secluded beaches, excellent snorkeling spots, and the chance to observe the famous Banda turtles nesting on its shores.

6. Kota Lama (Old City )  Banda Neira

Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the Kota Lama ( old town )to admire the well-preserved colonial architecture.

You can see historic buildings, churches, and local houses that reflect the island’s past.

7. Nutmeg plantation

Banda Neira is still known for its oldest nutmeg plantations and is around 400 years old

you can tour these plantations to learn about the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of nutmeg and other spices.

8. Market Square

Banda Neira’s bustling market square is a lively place to experience local culture.

Here, you can find fresh produce, spices, and handicrafts and interact with the friendly locals.

These are just a few examples of tourist destinations in Banda Neira.

The island offers a unique mix of historical landmarks, natural beauty, and cultural experiences,

making it a great destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable adventure.

How to get to Banda Neira?

The trip to Banda Neira is quite tiring because you have to go through a long journey

but the struggle will pay off when you get there

The first thing you do is fly to the city of Ambon

Arriving in Ambon, you continue your journey to this island by using another plane, called Susi Air.

But, unfortunately, the plane cannot be accessed every day, only twice a week.

There is another option, namely the fast boat from Talehu Harbor, if you choose this boat, you have to pay around IDR 450,000 to IDR 650,000.

And because this is a water trip, it depends on the waves. It is estimated that it will take 6 hours

So how? Are you ready for an adventure to this hidden paradise in Maluku?

 

 

 

 

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