Kei Besar isn’t frequently visited, but if you have time the waterfalls are incredible. I’ve been to Kei Besar on 4 occasions, once in 2014 and again in July 2017, then 2 times in 2018. 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!
There are 3 waterfalls in the Northeast near Hallatt that are well worth the effort in getting here:
The largest settlement in Kei Besar still feels like a small town. This is an option to use as a base and ‘Penginapan Elat’ is a good place to stay.
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 hill rising steeply behind it:
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.
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 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:
I didn’t find the village itself especially noteworthy but it was a nice daytrip from Hollat:
As of July 2017 the road from Hollat to Banda Ely was motorcyle only:
For transportation to Banda Ely, arrange an ojek in either Elat or Hollat.
is located south of Elat and I stayed in a homestay in 2014. There is a nice beach:
And the village is nice as well:
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:
And the children were especially happy:
Ad and Soinrat waterfalls are also near the Northwest coast.
The ferry from Langgur to Elat takes 1.5-2 hours and run 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. Road conditions aren’t very good, travel times could speed up dramatically if new roads are built. This has already happened in Kei Kecil.