The Pristine Archipelago of Kei – Part 1

 

Kei Archipelago is a hidden heaven located on the province of Maluku, Indonesia. The archipelago has lots of nature’s beauty to offer. Another incredible thing about this object is that it is not very famous, so not so many people come over there. Thus, you can enjoy this place by yourself just like it is your private island. On the previous article, we have already discussed about amazing beach you can explore there. Now, we would like to recommend other fascinating attractions available on this pristine archipelago.

 

Other Objects

  • Masbait Hill

Masbait Hill is located on Tual city, Dullah Island. Reaching this island is very easy as there is a connection bridge from the island of Kei Kecil. The hill is the perfect spot to enjoy the view of Kei Archipelago from height. At the top of the hill, you will see the wide open sea with the color purple blue of the water. It is surrounded by vast green fields of other island around Dullah. When it is late afternoon, the peak of this hill becomes a great spot to see the sunset.

The View from the top of Masbait Hill (Source: wisata.kompasiana.com. Credit: Fajar Gilang Ramadhan)
The View from the top of Masbait Hill
(Source: wisata.kompasiana.com. Credit: Fajar Gilang Ramadhan)

Besides being a natural object for enjoying the scenery, Masbait Hill is also a religious object for Catholic believers. At this hill, there are several interesting and sacred object for Catholic, the major religion on Maluku. Thus, during the holy days of Catholic, the hill would be crowded by the Catholic people.

The most famous attraction is the statue of Jesus Christ named “Patung Kristus Raja”. This monument shows Jesus Christ is standing on the top of a globe. He makes a position like he is giving out blessing. This statue means that Jesus Christ would give blessing to the whole world eternally. This statue is located on Jalan Salib. Not very far from the statue, there is also a giant cross of Jesus Christ.

Still at the area of Masbait Hill, there is a cave named “Goa Bunda Maria” (the Cave of Mother Mary). This cave is provided for Catholic people to pray. In front of the cave, there is a statue of Jesus Christ when he was about to be crucified.

  • Hawar Cave

At the Letvuan Village, Kei Kecil Island, there is a cave with wonderful formation called Hawar Cave. On folk language, Hawar means “Ghost”. The cave is named that way because the locals believe that this cave is occupied by the evil spirits.

Inside the cave, there is a pond surrounded with stalagmite and stalactite. The water is so clear you could even see the base of the pond. People believe that this water is magical. It could make skin look brighter and prettier. Thus, some girls would love to come to the cave and soak themselves in this pond.

The Magical Pond inside the Cave (Source: travel.detik.com. Credit: Nur Akbar)
The Magical Pond inside the Cave
(Source: travel.detik.com. Credit: Nur Akbar)

That story of evil spirits came from the myth regarding the history of this cave. It is said that long time ago, there is a man went into the forest with his two dogs to hunt some boars. He saw a boar rushing inside the cave so he ran after it with his dogs. But when he was already inside the cave, the boar was nowhere to be found.

Feeling exhausted, the man drank the water from the pond inside the cave. But he felt that the water did not taste good so he said bad words about it. Due to that, he got cursed to be a rock. His dogs got cursed as well. If you pay more attention, you will see a rock with the shape similar to a man holding a spear. Nearby that rock, there are two other rocks. Those are the dogs. After this event, people believe that that man’s spirit is still staying inside the cave. He became an evil spirit of the cave.

This fascinating pond is naturally connected to Evru Spring through an underground river. Evru Spring is a natural water spring that is quite important for the people of Letvuan Village. It is the main source of clean water for the village. It is also the biggest water spring thorough Kei Archipelago.

 

  • Tanimbar Kei Island

Other unique attraction at the Kei Archipelago is the Tanimbar Kei Tribe, a native tribe from Kei who still live primitively. To explore this unique tribe, you need to go to Tanimbar Kei Island. It is not very far from Kei Kecil Island.

The island of Tanimbar Kei has the largest population of the primitive tribe. They have a village there where all of the houses are made using traditional architecture and materials taken from the nature around the island. There is no electricity or internet connection at this island because they live far from modern lifestyle.

The Traditional Dance of Tenimbar Kei Tribe (Source: 5power.blogspot.com. Credit: power hatake)
The Traditional Dance of Tenimbar Kei Tribe
(Source: 5power.blogspot.com. Credit: power hatake)

Exploring this village, you can see the unique way of life they are living. You could also see their unique culture such as traditional dance and sacred ritual. You can also see the local crafts such as pottery. And if you are interested, you can also taste their traditional food. These local people are very nice and friendly so you can comfortably blend in, even if you can’t understand the language.

 

Shopping for Souvenir

After done exploring the archipelago, it would not feel right to leave this beautiful object without buying something as souvenirs. In Kei, the most unique and popular thing to buy is pearl crafts. The pearls are indeed real, taken from the sea directly by local fishermen. And the best thing is, it is way cheaper than the pearl crafts you buy at the mall in a modern city.

If you feel worried that the pearl would turn out to be fake, you can run some tests to the pearl before buying it. You can bite it, smash it to the ground, or even hit it with a hammer to make sure it is real pearls.

Besides pearls, you can also buy some souvenirs made from sea shells and other traditional items. These crafts were handmade by the local people to promote their local culture.

 

Tips

  • Best time to visit the archipelago is during the Dry Season. It is around April to September. During the Rainy Season, the chances of unpredicted hindrance are bigger as the rain could make it difficult for you to travel and some places might get muddy and slippery.
  • Several islands are inhabitant and have no facilities. Therefore, it is important to have everything prepared before going around from island to island. Make sure you have sufficient supply of foods, beverages, and cash.
  • Make sure to wear appropriate clothes and footwear if you wish to visit the cave and hill. Wrong choices of wardrobe might cause a danger for you.
  • Phone signal might be unavailable at some objects.

 

Tourism will be more exciting if the destination is hard to reach but is beautiful beyond belief. That is what the archipelago of Kei is all about. So if you wish to escape from your stressful life at a modern city, then Kei Archipelago is your ultimate choice.

 

other related articles

Halmahera : an Island of History and Nature

Tour to Morotai : Combining Nature and Epic History