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pPamela
User
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Once again an excellent post from LP Thorn Tree that will not survive.
Hence I have cut and pasted it here.
Pamela.
Nuke_Shah
Posted: 06 Dec 2006
2:35pm
Ambon or Manado

Well, I live in Jakarta and it may be strange to put this question here, but i believe travelers around the globe probably have better advise than friends in Jakarta.

23-30 Dec - What is better? Ambon or Manado?

I have tickets for both, and i need to confirm one and cancel the other, very soon.

I like being away from crowds, peaceful, serene beaches. Slightly off the beaten track etc.

So, i am tending to believe Ambon may be better. But is there enough to keep me busy for a full week?

Any advise... Thanks!!!


889
Posted: 07 Dec 2006
4:37am
1.

I'd suggest taking Ambon over Manado, unless you're into diving.

Nice beaches and hills for walks all around.

And there's a distant, isolated air about the place which Manado lacks.

Keeping busy for a week may be a problem, but Manado would present the same problem, even more so.

Yet it's a vacation, remember.

And "keeping busy" isn't really an Indonesian pasttime in any event.

MisterSteve
Posted: 07 Dec 2006
5:08am
2.

I have never been there but you will probably want to go to islands in the vicinity of Ambon if easy transport to and from is available. Otherwise, just staying in Ambon would probably be boring.

Nuke_Shah
Posted: 07 Dec 2006
1:55pm
3.

right... thanks... i just confirmed the ticket to Ambon and canceled Manado...

Cheers!!!

Karlo
Posted: 07 Dec 2006
5:49pm
4.

I've been to both a couple of times, and aside from residual political tension making Ambon less desirable, Manado has far superior diving and snorkeling at Bunaken Island, and an interesting and beautiful hinterland of lakes and volcanoes. The town is also far nicer. Uncancel!

Nuke_Shah
Posted: 07 Dec 2006
8:04pm
5.

OOPS Karlo, that came a bit late... i just confirmed the ticket for Ambon.... hmmm.... i am thinking of doing both... Let see, if i can get a couple of days more off at work.... Thanks for the inputs anyway....


MisterSteve
Posted: 08 Dec 2006
5:20am
6.

You could also go to Saparua Island by ferry from Ambon Island.

Vince
Posted: 08 Dec 2006
6:32pm
7.

For what you want, both cities are perfect gateway's. Can't go wrong with either.
As for the cities itself, I personally enjoyed Ambon more. But this was 10 years ago, well before the troubles started. Unfortunately the city has lost it's innocence and charm since then.

Laszlo
Posted: 08 Dec 2006
6:46pm
8.

Ambon for sure - but get out of the city.
There are no tensions ˛˛- Karlo`s advice a a few years out of date.
And diving or snorkelling in nearby Banda beats the Manado area by a VERY long shot.

Laszlo
Posted: 08 Dec 2006
6:59pm
9.

Recent impressions of Ambon - from this year, anyway. http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/2e789/12aec8/

krissz
Posted: 09 Dec 2006
8:24pm
10.

...although the diving around Bunaken/Manado is definitely superb; I was a bit disappointed by the beaches. Mainly small, grey and dirty.

The only interesting spot with nicer white beaches I found around Manado was Gangga Island (way further north-east), which unfortunately features only a hyper-expensive resort (more than USD 200/night).

But maybe worth a day-trip or if you can manage to stay at the local kampung there (who rent out rooms per night, but you have to ask your way around; as nothing is advertized)


Karlo
Posted: 10 Dec 2006
4:37am
11.

While I don't like to dispute Laszlo, who generally has very well-informed advice, we have very good Indonesian friends (they helped me nurse my wife through a scary bout with paratyphoid) in Ambon who survived the violence of a few years ago, but who in the Christmas card I received the other day lament the loss of the communal feeling that prevailed there before the violence, and talk about the level of anger that seethes below the srface and keeps them very much on edge. I was in Ambon for Idrul Fitri once, and during Easter Week another time, before the violence, and on those occasions, the Christians came out to cheer the Moslem parade, and the Moslems came out to support the Christians. Our Christian hosts had a Moslem partner who transported us around, and we ate in both homes. Now, the Moslem partner is under great pressure for being in partnership with a Christian, and our Christian friends receive negative comment and anger for being in cahoots with the Moslems. It's naive to believe that the island-wide violence of just a few years ago that destroyed the commercial center and resulted in the destruction of revered religious buildings some of which were many centuries old, with significant loss of innocent life, would leave a situation where "there are no tensions". That doesn't mean that you'd be going to a Baghdad or Kabul this year, but it does mean that you are entering a severe post-traumatic stress zone with mega quantities of lingering hate and suspicion.
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Ambon has no fabulous beaches, although the Lease Islands are better if you travel out there. Banda has no fabulous or even very decent beaches readily accessible from Bandaneira, although the outer islands like Rum, Nylaka, and Ai have great spots. Be aware that air transport to Banda from Ambon and back is prone to arbitrary cancellation. There are boats of varying degrees of comfort and reliabiliy, but if you have limited time, the Banda leg can be chancy. The diving/snorkeling ae indeed fabulous, but aside from the limited areas you can reach in a cheap self-propelled dugout or by going across on a local boat to Selaman Belakang, you're facing fairly expensive boat charters.
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Bunaken's beaches are certainly unthrilling, and if the wind is wrong, windrows of defunct plasic garbage from Manado can pile upon the beach. However, a short paddle leads to excellent snorkeling, and the dive show is about a hundred times as together as Ambon, and several times as organized as the Bandas. The Minahasa hinterland is stunningly beautiful, and offers lots of day or overnight trips, including a couple of fine national parks.
-
Hope this helps to add a little perspective.

Nuke_Shah
Posted: 10 Dec 2006
12:10pm
12.

Thanks everyone for these inputs. Definitely, very useful. Very much appreciated.
Good luck to all of you!

Cheers


dave2222001
Posted: 15 Dec 2006
11:26pm
13.

[I have just returned from a holiday in Maluku 3 weeks in November. While I do not have Bahsa we meet up with some quite knowledgeable people on the subject of the conflict. People who lived there a, Dutch journalist who covers the area and has traveled extensively throughout including being in Ambon during the worst of the conflict. (and in East Timor during the war), Dutch Mulukans and local English speakers. The opinions I formed from speaking to them were as follows,

The society has not returned to the way it was before the conflict, areas are still largely polarized and there is less mixing than previously this is often because houses have been destroyed or occupied by others who have in turn lost there own houses. Karlo is right in that there is a lot of post traumatic stress about.

Having said that the general feeling is that the conflict was engineered by outside influences intent on causing trouble somewhere as part of individuals or groups involved in power struggles during a time that leadership was weak in Indonesia

L=Information on the Muluku conflict]http://jongoss.info/papers/malukuwars.htm[/L] Has more information about this and there seems to be circumstantial evidence to back it up.

Having said that and of course there are individuals and areas that are still under tension. There seems to be a real desire to build bridges and come together again. It will take time to build trust for sure. Ordinary people particularly in Bandaneira spoke of the conflict as the tragedy of the accident obviously it was still very raw. They were re-building the main church in Bandaneira in preparation for the Christians who want to return to come back the limited no of Indonesian I knew well enough said they must come back they are our friends our neighbors they belong here they spoke as if there absents reminded them of that terrible time.

People in the Mulukus who turn up in the area and try to agitate are treated with suspicion and not wanted around as people are suspicious of what happened previously.

My overriding impression is one of people wanting to put events behind them and go back to as it was.

People in Ambon and especially Banda were pleased to see tourists and were more welcoming and hospitable than any place I have ever been. We were repeatedly invited around peopleĺs houses, and after doing a lesson in the local school pretty soon most people on the island called us by name. Ambon to although there are some heavy porters working the Pelni boats (pretty normal for a dock area) everyone we meet up with was friendly and helpful, no matter that there own society may still have tensions there is an intent to overcome that if we do not visit places because of local tensions there are not many places left in the world to visit.

I am no expert but I have traveled the world for 35 years, including some conflict areas. Muluku certainly did not feel like a conflict area and tensions there are a mixed bag in with regret and guilt for what happened. I have no feeling that the trouble will erupt again even with some issues remaining from the conflict, there appears to be a general desire to overcome this.

Now Banda Logistics, the flight being unreliable totally agree, Never made it while we were there, Pelni 1-2 days late drydock period moved 2 weeks meant we had to leave 1 week before we wanted to. Going there for a short period do it as the locals do get the ferry Ambon Banda, then stay on Banda a few days while the same boat goes to the Kies, off on a loop back to the Kies then Banda Ambon. Otherwise you are staying longer.

Beaches yes not great on Bandanera boat hire is between 100,000 and 300,000 Rp / day depending on were you go The beach and coral on Hatta near Lama village is to die for, Every time we went in the water no matter where was breathtaking.

Other transport to and from requires hoping on a merchant boat or Chartering a larger wooden boat for the 6 hour run to Seram then patching a trip back to Ambon together on public transport or Taxi.

Not ideal but a way out if you have to.

Did we like it

We want to go back in April as there are things we never got round to doing with having to come off sooner than planned.

Bunaken while fabulous is not in the same class. And the islands are facinating in themselves.

Go if you get the chance. Ambon is a transport hub if you have to kill time either Go to the Lease islands or take the plane to the Keis and go to Banda from there on the Pelni ferry.



Karlo
Posted: 16 Dec 2006
11:12am (NEW!)
14.

Great perspective, dave. Ihope things will get back to what they were. Another area of Maluku that hasn't been mentioned is Ternate. If the situation is mellow, the area between Ternate and Tidore has incredible snorkeling, and it's virtually untouched. Halmahera is also accessible from there, and it's about as out there as you're likely to want to be short of the Tanimbars.







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nice info! But what about the visum, I was told that one could not travel to ambon on a tourist visum, especially not if you come from the Netherlands? What about this, has this changed??

And what about diving in the molukken? last year I was on bunaken for that very good, but is are the molukken comparable? there is almomst no tourism you would expect , so I guess no diving clubs??



pPamela
User
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BHFH,
Sorry I cannot answer your questions, but if you have the time to trawl through these permanent posts on Thorn Tree re visas you may find the answer. tinyurl.com/y7qfmt
Pamela.




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manado is good city..and you can find more tourism are going to that area, and even ambon is quite good but not much facilities that make people come and come back again ...so better menado.




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