Kei Besar

Kei Besar

Kei Besar isn’t frequently visited, but if you have time the waterfalls on the East coast are particularly incredible.   I’ve been to Kei Besar on 2 occasions, once in 2014 and again in July 2017.  There are a lot less tourists here and the people are especially friendly, even by Kei standards.  There is almost no English spoken in Kei Besar so get your Bahasa ready!

Waterfalls

There are 3 waterfalls in the Northeast near Hallatt that are well worth the effort in getting here:

Hoko waterfall
Hoko waterfall
Horlai waterfall
Horlai waterfall
Holly waterfall
Hollay waterfall

For more details and photos of the waterfalls please check out my trip to Kei Besar waterfalls.

Hollatt

This is the most convenient place to stay for visiting the waterfalls and can also be a base for a trip to Banda Ely.  This is a pretty normal coastal village, with a steep hill rising steeply behind it:

Hollatt
Hollat

There isn’t any kind of sandy beach here, only rocks and waves.  I actually didn’t see a beach anywhere on the east side of Kei Besar, but of course I haven’t seen the entire coast so maybe there is one somewhere.  I stayed at a homestay, “Wisma Andi Delon”, which has a big sign and is located a couple houses downhill from the phone tower.  I was able to make arrangements to stay there with Toko Bersaudara (next to Toko Anugra) in the Langgur Market.   The friendly family at Toko Bersaudara has family in Hollatt and also organized an ojek to meet my boat in Elat and take me to Hollat.

There is very slow internet here if you are willing to wait and wait, although Facebook messages and sms are a little faster.

Banda Ely

Banda Ely is interesting because it is the only location in Indonesia where the original language of the Banda islands is spoken.  The original settlers arrived here after fleeing the Dutch in 1621.  For most tourists Banda Ely will mostly be of interest to pick up unique souvenirs:

Banda Ely basket
Traditional Banda Ely basket
Banda Ely pot
Banda Ely pot

I didn’t find the village itself especially noteworthy but it was a nice daytrip from Hollat:

Banda Ely
Banda Ely

As of July 2017 the road from Hollat to Banda Ely was motorcyle only:

Road from Hollat to Banda Ely
Road from Hollat to Banda Ely

For transportation to Banda Ely, arrange an ojek in either Elat or Hollat.

Lerohoilim

is located south of Elat and I stayed in a homestay in 2014.  There is a nice beach:

Lerohoilim beach
Pantai Daftel

And the village is nice as well:

Lerohoilim
Lerohoilim

Lerohoilim may have some appeal to travelers that don’t want to see tourists or perhaps to people touring around Kei Besar.  It’s a cozy place but it isn’t unmissable.

West coast north of Elat

Also in 2014, I took an ojek north of Elat to Wer Fravav.   That was a very interesting trip as I don’t think they see many tourists there.  The whole village seemed to turn out to see me:

Wer Fravav
Wer Fravav

And the children were especially happy:

Wer Fravav children
Wer Fravav children

Even though there isn’t anything in particular to see, I’d love to return and stay longer!

Practicalities

The ferry from Langgur to Elat takes 1.5-2 hours and runs twice a day in both directions.  As of July 2017, the economy ferry seats cost 50,000 IDR and the VIP air-conditioned, non-smoking seats were 60,000 IDR.   There was some road building happening in July 2017, so hopefully travel times and road conditions will improve.