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.
- Take a flight from Sukarno Hatta air port, Jakarta to Tabing airport, Padang–West Sumatra (available everyday)
- Take a ferry from Teluk Bayur port, Padang to Mentawai island
To access all the beauties offered, you can rent a boat owned by local people. You can find the boat along the beach. The rate depends on your bargaining skill.
- 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
Ecotourism Activities 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
Lot of visitors prefer homestays. They offer you a distinctive way of living in a unique architecture and experience interacting with local people. Otherwise you could stay in a budget hotel in Siberut.
Boost your taste with exotic and fresh seafood that you can find in the local restaurants run by local people. If you are lucky enough, you can pick and cook your own seafood, but make sure you know the secret recipe/spices from Mentawai people. If you’re not into seafood, you can find regular meals as well.
Local handmade souvenirs like traditional hats, traditional bag and accessories will be genuine souvenirs for your relatives and friends. You can buy them in a souvenir shop or from the locals directly.
- Bring your own surfboard with you, because it may be hard to find a surfboard shop in Mentawai
- Great wave can be found year-round, but the best waves are present during dry season March to October
- Bring your personal medicine
- You may arrange your visit by contacting the travel agent and airline services in Indonesia
(Images credit and copyright: www.freelinesurf.com.au)
(Article copyright: www.my-indonesia.info)