Described by our guests as “picturesque”, “untouched”, “a local wilderness”, the river tour captures the feeling of remoteness without feeling touristy, a truly authentic experience just 20 minutes from camp.
An amazing afternoon activity if it turns onshore in the afternoon. This river cruise is also the best opportunity to see different species of monkeys in their natural habitat, as the boat offers the best vantage point up into the canopy, allowing you to see much further than if you were walking underneath the trees. Siamang, gibbons, macaque and more come down to the river as the afternoon cools off, making this cruise ideal to take a few beers and drift downstream, bintang in hand and spot wildlife. Go Pro recommended.
An hour river cruise on a local river boat, a hike through the Sumatran jungle to a waterfall and ending the afternoon by drifting down river on tire inner tubes back downstream to the boat to head back to your start point.
How far away is it? The River cruise departs just 20 minutes drive from camp, on the far side of the village that lies inland of the camp itself.
How long is it? There are two options: 1/2 day or full day. Both tours include an hours’ river cruise to your hiking start point and tubing back down stream to the boat on your return journey but the main difference is the hiking duration. For the more adventurous hiker the full day experience takes you on a 4-hour hike deep into the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park to the base of a huge waterfall while the half day tour stays outside the national park, with a shorter 20 minute walk and a shorter tube section of around 1 hour.
Pulau Pisang or “Banana Island” lies just 45 minutes off the coast of Krui with both a right and left hand reef break, and is also home to some of the best white sand beaches, snorkeling and fishing in the Krui area.
The island is home to less than 100 people, with the population continually declining as the teenagers leave for a higher education and any able-bodied workers head to the mainland in search of work. The local people are able to grow most of their vegetables and can catch fish easily, but everything else must be brought in by boat. With no significant industry Pulau Pisang is a hard place to earn a living, and it’s strikingly evident that the population decline has been fairly recent, with many houses locked up and abandoned, overgrown with plant life or slowly falling to the ground, piece by piece. Even so, the local people are incredibly friendly and hospitable.
To get to Pulau Pisang, we catch a lift with one of the local fishermen from the beach or the harbour in the early morning as the sun rises over the hills.
Every trip is different and can be tailored to suit your tastes. As Banana Island offers one of the only right-handers in the area, it can be an absolute highlight if you’re a natural footer. The surrounding reef offers excellent snorkeling and spear fishing, and there is also a paved track that circumnavigates the island if you like bush walking, with monkey sightings almost guaranteed.
On our last trip we were stoked to score the right-hander for a few hours before heading back to the beach for some freshly caught tuna sashimi with lemon juice and soy sauce, to finish off the day with some spear fishing and a walk through the village before heading home for dinner.
Until next time
The Sumatra Surf Resort Crew
We affectionately refer to our home here at Sumatra Surf Resort as “the Jungle”. For a bit of background information, Sumatra Surf Resort lays in the town of Tanjung Setia, 20 minutes south of Krui on the south western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
While the coastal land is relatively flat and is used for farming, there are only a few rows of houses either side of the road, immediately behind rises a mountain range covered in the dense rain forest of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. This park is listed by the World Wildlife Foundation as one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world and home to species such as the sumatran rhinocerous, asian elephant and 40 sumatran tigers – 10% of the remaining population – just to name a few!
The nearest entrance to the park from Krui is an hour on the winding mountain road towards the town of Liwa where we found the ranger station on the left hand side of the road opposite the entrance to the National Park. With the help of two guides and a sharp machete, we plunged into the dense jungle and within five minutes saw a baby Owa, a member of the gibbon family and bright orange in colour, swinging through the trees.
The walk was not for the faint hearted, but then again, not many people find their way into the Sumatran jungle if they aren’t up for an adventure, and was well worth the effort as we emerged from the trees at an absolutely breathtaking waterfall.
On our return journey we started off to a choir of Siamang booming out across the valley, and later came across a family of golden orange Owa Sumatera, the white handed gibbon that can range in colour from black to almost white and all shades of orange and brown in between. The two species calls were markedly different, with the Owa much higher in pitch.
As the animals started to become more active after midday, we stepped quietly and tried not to talk to startle anything away, and managed to get right underneath the nest of a hornbill, a giant black bird that sounded like something straight out of Jurassic Park as it flew in to roost.
Although the density of the jungle and the thick canopy meant we heard many more animals than we saw, the opportunity to see and hear some incredibly rare monkeys was fantastic, and we found the fresh footprint of a tapir as we were walking out as well, which sent us home absolutely stoked.
Until next time Bukit Barisan Selatan NP!
Cheers from the SSR Crew
Well we are now coming into the start of the 2016 season, and if the pre-season swells are anything to go by, it’s gearing up to be a great few months!
This years pre-season has been fairly quiet, with the late arrival of the trade winds deterring many of the Australian travellers from booking trips until later in the season. Lucky for those of us here already, that means beautiful uncrowded breaks and your pick of the spots in any conditions. Even when the surf report has said ‘flat’, we’ve always managed to find a wave, and the shape of the surrounding coastline means there is an offshore wave to be found in almost all prevailing wind directions. Get in before the crowds and find out for yourself what makes Krui so special!
Although Surfing is the predominant reason for visiting the region, the region of Lampung is simply stunning, and is definitely not just a surfing destination. Situated a short drive from the Taman Bukit Selatan National Park, home to Orangutan, Gibbons (“Black Orangutan” to the local people), Sumatran rhinoceros including a recently found mum and baby, 40 tigers and numerous other interesting and exotic species, there are a number of trips available in the area that can take you into the park, or if you’re lucky, you might see the animals closer to town. Just a few weeks ago, we had gibbons swing through the trees near the beach in the middle of town!
The town of Krui is known for its Marlin, and is a fantastic place to head out fishing, and many of the best surf breaks are home to beautiful live coral reefs where turtles and tropical fish swim under you while you wait for a wave.
What are you waiting for? Get in before the crowds and find out for yourself why no one can keep Krui a secret much longer.
Low season still brings some quality surf to South Sumatra. If you like the solitude of searching for clean glassy barrels and uncrowded waves then you will find it here at Sumatra Surf Resort!!
Just mention Keg’s name when you make a booking between 1st November 2014 until 28th February 2015 and receive a 20% discount on the room rate.
Sumatra Surf Resort, the newest Surf Resort in West Lampung, is now open! To celebrate, we have some great offers available. Please visit our bookings page for more information.