Indeed, the eastern part of Indonesia is breathtakingly beautiful! I have always wanted to visit the faraway Molucca Archipelago—well-known for its wonderful beaches and magical underwater views; one of the best site for diving in the world, according to my diver friends.
And I was lucky for being able to set foot there!
From the city center of Ambon or from the Pattimura Airport, it took only 30-45 minutes by car to reach this magical Natsepa Beach.
After paying an entrance fee of IDR 2,000 (or around US$ 0.2), you can enjoy the stretch of white sand and the seductive view of the faraway hills. The sea is calm and the water is clean, very ideal for bathing and swimming. Trees are growing along the beach, perfect for a shelter from the sun!
Ambon had suffered from ethno-religious clashes—the worst took place in 1999 (until recently, some countries are still issuing travel warnings for their citizens who’d like to travel to this part of Indonesia). Since then, several parties have been trying to shake the city’s peacefulness. However, the youths in Ambon won’t let it happen. Consisting of youths from different social classes, religions and backgrounds, they are trying to promote tolerance and respect through a peaceful movement, Badati Ambon.
When you’re visiting Natsepa Beach in Ambon, you have to try the famous Rujak Natsepa. There are tents along the front of the beach, with local women behind a stack of fresh fruits, selling traditional fruit salad called ‘rujak’–a suitable treat after a sunny day at the beach.
Rujak Natsepa is made of a mixture of tropical fruits: pineapple, mango, starfruit, papaya, rose apple (water guava), bangkuang (jicama/mexican turnip), and cucumber. These sliced fruits are then mixed with a paste of peanuts and brown sugar; you can choose whether you’d like to add some chili into it or not. For a plate of fresh and fruity Rujak Natsepa, you need to pay around IDR 10,000 or US$ 1.
And sipping fresh coconut afterwards? 🙂
Early in the morning, you can also walk around the traditional street-market and find fresh vegetables/spices, as well as fresh/salted fish! Ambon is a heaven for seafood lovers! 🙂
Let’s go exploring more beautiful places in the eastern part of the country! (As for the travel warning, the only warning I’d like to give you is: you wouldn’t want to go home after this).
*) special thanks to Almascatie and friends from Badati Ambon for the hospitality 🙂