Difference between revisions of "Banda Islands"
Revision as of 13:12, 12 January 2010
Once known as the Spice Islands, an epithet also applies to the entire Maluku area, the Bandas were famous as a source of spices, especially nutmeg. First colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch soon wrested control of the islands and fought the Spice Wars with the British. In the Treaty of Breda in 1667, the British agreed to withdraw and gave up Pulau Run to the Dutch, partly in exchange for one small island on the other side of the world: New Amsterdam, now better known as Manhattan.
The Bandas are really off the beaten track. Most roads lead through Ambon, from where you can attempt to catch the exclusive perhaps-once-weekly flight with Merpati (Saturday, IDR 125.000 one way). Flights oftenly get canceled due to bad weather and engine problems, so keep reconfirming! Please note that you cannot book a round trip from Ambon. You will need to book the return flight in Bandaneira! Occasionally Merpati serves Bandaneira from Amahai on Pulau Seram. Check upon arrival in Ambon!
An alternative is the rather more regular but still unpredictable twice-weekly Pelni ferry (KM Ciremai) to Bandaneira. Every other week a 150 passenger boat (KM Gravilla) is leaving for Banda (IDR 155.000, around 15hrs). Check at the small harbour in Ambon!