At any time when I considered Sumatra, photos of dense jungle, Orang Utans, the well-known Lake Toba or the rugged, rainforest-fringed volcanoes got here to my thoughts. Whereas researching locations in Indonesia which are nonetheless unspoiled by tourism, I used to be much more shocked to come back throughout this island paradise on the west coast of Sumatra.
Cubadak off Sumatra – an amazing insider tip
There is just one place to remain on Cubadak Island to this point – a bungalow advanced with 14 wood cottages, one in all them immediately above the water.
Since I’ve at all times been trustworthy to my favourite locations in Indonesia Bali and Flores and was at risk of going to the identical place and falling into the habits of a pensioner, I lastly compelled myself to strive one thing new. Indonesia with its 17,000 islands has a lot to supply – one lifetime will not be sufficient to go to all of them!
Our option to Cubadak Island
So in April 2019 we got down to discover Cubadak Island (Pulau Cubadak). From Jakarta we flew to Padang within the west of Sumatra. On the airport we had been picked up by a driver from the resort and drove a leisurely 2 hours by way of a hilly panorama stuffed with rice fields, jungle and coastal roads.
The Padang area is legendary throughout Indonesia for the idea of “Nasi Padang” – a restaurant the place quite a few chilly dishes are introduced in a glass showcase after which dropped at the desk on many small plates. You solely pay for what you eat – a really low cost and scrumptious lunch, supplied you’ll be able to stand the spiciness, which shouldn’t be underestimated!
The motive force dropped us off at a harbour the place a small motorboat was already ready for us. The recent sea air was an actual deal with after greater than 5 hours of touring from Jakarta. After we and our baggage had been safely stowed away within the boat, our brief crossing started.
After about 200 meters Cubadak Island grew to become seen – a hilly island in the midst of the clearest blue-green sea. Our hosts picked us up on the resort’s personal jetty and led us to our bungalow – immediately on the shore, surrounded by coconut palms. Should you now consider the Maldives with its paradise resorts, you might be improper: it could be the one place to remain on the island, however it’s extra on the country aspect. The bungalows are manufactured from wooden and are spotlessly clear, however there’s, for instance, no air con or fridge.
Collective meals for all
The house owners defined to us that meals are introduced with a bell and brought within the restaurant open to the ocean at a big desk with all visitors collectively. Over the subsequent few days, we realized that the enjoyable issue of consuming will increase and reduces with how properly you get on with different folks. Should you take into account your self as a social, uncomplicated individual, you’ll definitely haven’t any issues with the collective meals. It’s additionally a superb alternative to speak to the opposite visitors and share traveler tales.
Turtle(s) at sundown
The bungalows are to this point aside from one another that you’ve got loads of privateness. We spent more often than not enjoyable on the jetty and staring into the crystal-clear water (while consuming a chilly beer or two).
Our every day spotlight was recognizing sea turtles. It was truly potential to see the turtles from the jetty. Day by day round 4.30 P.M. we noticed a minimum of two (possibly it was at all times the identical one although) turtles coming as much as the water floor to take a breath. Funnily sufficient we didn’t see a single one whereas snorkeling.
Snorkeling gear will be rented at no cost on the resort. There’s additionally a dive store the place you’ll be able to e book dive excursions to discover the underwater world of the realm. There’s no free wifi on the island (an element that many different visitors criticized), however since we had Indonesian SIM playing cards, this was no downside for us. Perhaps you’ll be able to take into account the non-existent wifi not as an absence however as an opportunity for a digital detox.
Cubadak Island: complete leisure
It is extremely tough NOT to loosen up on Cubadak Island. The sound of the ocean, the swish-swish of the coconut bushes within the wind and the calls of the monkeys create a sound that’s virtually hypnotic. After two (of a complete of 4) days we had been so deeply relaxed that we questioned how we might ever return to civilization.
With a view to a minimum of give ourselves the sensation of getting “carried out” one thing, my boyfriend and I borrowed the canoe from the house owners of the resort and took somewhat paddle tour on the crystal-clear sea, which unfold out in entrance of us like a mirror (Spoiler alert: if you wish to take a look at the steadiness of your relationship, you need to go paddling along with your companion). Apart from seeing the island from a distinct perspective and having the phantasm of an exercise, this “journey” gave us canoeing novices some laughs and mocking feedback from the opposite visitors. Anyway, we had enjoyable!
Probably not beneficial for adrenaline junkies
One other exercise, in case you don’t wish to spend the entire day mendacity round, studying and searching on the sea, is to climb to the island’s viewpoint. There are literally 2 viewpoints – one that’s about 20 minutes away from the resort and a better one which takes about 90 minutes to achieve.
In line with the resort house owners, the second possibility is sweaty and exhausting – and since we had been already in leisure mode anyway, we determined to go for the primary one. What we thought was a brief stroll quickly turned out to be an impediment course and sweaty exercise.
The trail up the hill consisted of short-term steps carved into the bottom, which had been of various heights, very steep and very slippery. One other issue is the omnipresence of a number of monkey households who had been very interested by us. We wanted two makes an attempt for our journey to the perspective, as a result of the primary time the entire monkey gang blocked the best way and didn’t allow us to go.
Once we lastly made it to the highest, we had been rewarded with a fantastic view over the island world of West Sumatra. The various completely different shades of inexperienced, blue and brown had been actually mesmerizing to take a look at. However we couldn’t loosen up too lengthy on the perspective, as we knew that we nonetheless had the best way down in entrance of us that may very well be lined with roughly inquisitive monkeys. However we made it down with none issues and rewarded ourselves with a really chilly beer for our handed journey.
Probably the most lovely factor about this island for me was the shut proximity to the wealthy wildlife. Typically possibly somewhat TOO shut! One morning I stepped exterior the door of our bungalow and in entrance of me stood a household of untamed boars. After a second of gazing one another, I cautiously withdrew and watched them from inside. Virtually daily we noticed smaller and bigger monitor lizards preventing over the kitchen waste along with the wild boars and the omnipresent monkey gangs.
Jellyfish happen seasonally, however are slightly innocent
Through the first days, numerous carcasses of jellyfish shimmering in purple lined the seashores – a mysterious phenomenon I couldn’t perceive. The lifeless jellyfish had been then collected and burned by the janitor. Additionally within the sea whereas snorkeling we might see quite a few residing and lifeless jellyfish.
On the primary day I unintentionally brushed one out of the best way whereas swimming, which led to a painful burn on my hand – however after a couple of hours and a dab of vinegar it was all good once more and didn’t cease me from persevering with to swim within the fantastic water (the jellyfish abundance decreased quickly after day 2). The proprietor knowledgeable us that black and white water snakes nested within the wood stilts on which the jetty was constructed. We had been fortunate sufficient to not encounter any of those wondrous creatures, that are toxic however supposedly docile.
The sky lights up in all shades of the rainbow
Each night round 5.00 P.M. we sat down on the jetty with a chilly drink and watched how the colors of the sky modified from mild blue to orange, purple, purple after which darkish blue – I simply NEVER become bored with this.
Key phrase boring: this island will not be the precise place for folks searching for an lively vacation. There’s not a lot to do besides swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, diving and climbing up the hills – however there’s peace, quiet and tranquility as a lot as you need. I like to recommend it particularly for individuals who have maybe already carried out a spherical journey of Indonesia and have already seen the opposite hotspots of Sumatra. It’s the excellent end result of a visit to Sumatra.
From Padang airport you’ll be able to simply get to many different locations in Indonesia. There’s even a flight connection to Singapore. Two or three days on the island needs to be sufficient to recharge your batteries. Cubadak is a extremely uncomplicated, lovely little island for a fast break from civilization.
In regards to the writer
If she’s not doing yoga or racing round Indonesia on a motorbike, Lisa will probably be discovered near a turquoise seaside, ideally a glass of purple wine in her hand and sand between her toes. Having lived in Southeast Asia for greater than Four years, she’s fallen deeply for this a part of the world – if solely there was extra ‘actual’ Pizza round! You possibly can observe her travels and hunt for Pizza on Instagram: @lisa_asia
In case you are planning a visit to Cubadak Island your self or have any questions, please write it within the feedback.