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Take Me to Samalona

Craving for a enchantment of private island with beautiful beaches where you can go swimming and snorkeling as much as you want – that is easy to get to? You might want to visit Samalona, an island a hop away from Makassar, the capital city of South Sulawesi.

All you need to go there is a half an hour to jump in a boat, few friends to hang out with, enough cash on hand, and surely stock of energy to go wild and have fun!
Most of the boats available from the harbor are rent for round trip, so you should also make an arrangement with the sailor about your return time. The boat may consist of up to 10 person. The Sun was shining so brightly right when I and four crazy friends of mine arrived. A number of ladies welcome us in the harbor, offering the homestay and the services so spryly. And look at the plank hanging on right above us: a list of local names who seems to be the owner of the private island.

An old lady took us a walk around and showed us the available homestays with range of prices. The cheapest one cost IDR 300K, as the more convenient can cost you up until IDR a million, mostly meant for family. Me, as long as I have a beer and hammock, would be pretty content. The rest room was phenomenal. Located outside and was meant for public, the water from big water tank must be stored at a bucket and dragged inside. Never expect to take a bath with abundant water, it
can only be pumped up after the generator on, approximately after sunset.
But, the island was just incredible. Stunning white sands and pristine water are the kind of view wherever you land your sights. Who can resist such temptation? We changed our clothes in a speed of sound and splashed right away to the sea. The soft corals in some spot will allure you to dive deeper and enjoy the solitude of underwater.


Having enough swimming, we set up the portable hammock at the big shady tree and enjoyed the soothing wave of the ocean. Soon the sun was set leaving a heart-warming nuance while we were sitting right on the beach having a good laugh. The best part was, it was right at the backyard of the homestay! And what’s even better than having a special dinner? One thing worth noting is that there is no restaurant, eatery, or café in this island. The default system is, you need to talk to the lady that walk you to the homestay. And it got to be her! Because once you walk with her, you are forever tied with her, and no other lady will serve you. That is sort of agreed competition rule run there.

Later at night we after we had the fantastic grilled fish and stir-fried spinach, we took a walk the island, which didn’t need much time to round, and managed to borrow a guitar from a bunch of school guys. And that was how we spent the getaway at Samalona Island. In the end, we laid peacefully side by side, on a piece of trunk, with the boys singing so skillfully – Bataknese sings very well, by the way – beers, bonfire sent its flame to the sky, and star gazing.

/// Written by Eva Bachtiar, Indonesia