This previous month I have an opportunity to visit Sibolga again. It is different compare to my previous visit to this part of Northwest coast in Sumatra, Indonesia. Previously, I used car; It might take 10-12 hours of bumpy journey from Medan city which is one of the common way everyone that want to visit Sibolga. But now, I took Garuda Indonesia flight which was just commence their flight several months ago. With their new CRJ-1000 jet plane, 20kg check-in baggage for each passenger, 30 minutes flight time direct from Medan (KNO) or almost 2 hours flight direct from Jakarta (CGK) and small snack during the flight. This is really the way to go when you want to visit Sibolga. The flight route is like this:
- Medan (KNO) – Pinangsori/Sibolga (FLZ) – Jakarta (CGK)
- Jakarta (CGK) – Pinangsori/Sibolga (FLZ) – Medan (KNO)
After you arrive here, you can rent a car/taxi to transport you to the Sibolga city around 45 minutes but make sure you make a stop in the restaurant half-way from the airport to Sibolga in Kalangan to try their local ‘Pesisir‘ food which mostly a very fresh seafood with special spice ‘Pacak‘.
You can stay at one of the best hotel in town ‘Hotel Wisata Indah‘ with its strategic location on the beach with its own private beach and jetty for you to get on and off boat. Make sure you get the ‘Nauli Suite‘ room for spacious and more comfort during your stay, because it has its own living room and with a view of the ocean and a great place to enjoy the sunset through your room window.
Many people still wondering, what’s good in Sibolga, and many actually overlook the many great possibilities that they can get or Sibolga can offer, all you need is by chartering a speedboat to explore the surrounding islands or boarding the only mini-cruise (KM Nauli) which is considered a floating hotel that can bring you to the surrounding islands and stay overnight in the middle of the ocean or you can even at the resort on the island of Poncan (Sibolga Marine Resort) with its beautiful chalet overlooking the ocean.
I was invited to be on-board this KM Nauli mini-cruise and stay overnight at Pelabuhan Kapal ‘Mursala Island’. The cruise can fit for 15 passenger to stay overnight or if you do day-trip without staying overnight, it can fit up to 100 people and perfect for group/company gathering. The first stop from the trip is ‘Pulau Putih‘, Nauli will anchor just in front of the island, and we will use the included ‘Glass-Bottom Boat’ to go around island where you can see the beautiful coral reef and the fish. You can also swim around the island or even do snorkeling or diving here.
Then we get off to the island, and we are welcome with the fresh coconut from this island which has unique soda like taste. Walking around the white sand beach, sitting in one of the bungalows with friends and enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean with the ocean breeze.
Since the cruise is also a floating hotel, it comes with kitchen and great chef, we have our meal inside its beautiful air conditioned saloon. After finished from Pulau Putih, we get back to the cruise and welcomed with the delicious buffet meal while sailing to our next destination Mursala island. Whenever you feel hungry, you can always have a snack here which is always available.
After done with our lunch, we decided to hang around the top deck, because we sail around the coast side of the beautiful Mursala Island and also around the sunset time. This is also the time to take out your camera and take lots of photos. We will head to the amazing Mursala waterfalls.
What makes the island special is its 35 meters high waterfall that tumbles down over granite cliffs directly into the ocean. Known as Mursala Waterfall, this amazing panorama faces the Indian Ocean. The source of the waterfall is a river of only 700 meters long – the shortest in Indonesia- that flows down over reddish-grey granite cliffs on the side of the island’s outer walls. Accompanied by the rushing sound of the water hitting the sea, the view of Mursala Waterfall from the sea is truly one of a kind. — Wonderful Indonesia.
The water around here and also the surrounding island is a heaven for fan of diving or snorkeling, because of the clear and pristine island and beaches. So, from here we head to the ‘Pelabuhan Kapal’ and anchor there for overnight and have our dinner.
Make sure you wake up early though, because the sight around this area is very unique, one side it is a peaceful nature, clear water with the reef and the other side is the sight of busy fishing boat head back to the sea to catch some fish after resting in this area.
Then, we head back to Sibolga, but make sure you also stay outside to see the many beautiful and clean beaches and unoccupied islands along the way back.