Have you ever dreamed to completely disconnect with the World? Stay for a while on the small island where the only things you surrounded by are crystal clear water, palm trees and white sand. If your perfect dream holiday means having a moment of relaxation, becoming closer with the Nature and staying away from the hustle and bustle of cities, here I come with the story about absolutely stunning Tailana Island.
Tailana Island is a part of Banyak Islands archipelago and is situated about 30km from Singkil, Sumatra. The whole archipelago counts 99 mostly uninhabited islands located in short distances in the Indian Ocean. The land is still not widely discovered by tourists and that makes it so magical and unique. What I totally admire about Tailana is that there you won’t be able to find a single road, traffic lights or any buildings. The perfect word that comes to my mind when I keep thinking about the description of this small paradise is ”simplicity”. Simple pleasure, simple happiness and simple life are the values that Acehnese people follow in life.
Family of Tailana counts Mr. Mali and his wife, who are the owners of the island and usually 3 or 4 more workers. There are 8 simple bungalows equip with mattresses and mosquito nets, located just next to the beach. There is no electricity in bungalows, but you can use a petroleum lamp to walk from the meeting/dinning room to your bungalow. The island has solar panel and old generator, so it is possible to charge your phone or camera in the kitchen.
As I said, the life on the island is simple. In the morning, you wake up when the sun goes up and go for morning banana pancakes prepared by owner’s wife. Everybody sits around the table, drinks coffee and have a morning talks. Then, you can go fishing or snorkeling and discover an incredible underwater life. Walk around the island takes about 20 min, but I discovered this small paradise every day in different way. Also, you can rent a canoe to know better the islands around, see the real life of local people and learn about the Aceh culture.
The paradise-seeking travellers will not be dissapointed. The island’s soft white sand, sunshine every single day and blue lagoon at every corner with gentle waves only for yourself. This place feels like an escape from reality to the World of simple pleasure.
The local food consists most of fresh fruits, fishes and rice. There are three meals per day and honestly, they are absolutely awesome. Everything is freshly prepared, well seasoned and super healthy. Fresh coconuts and papayas are easy to find on the island, but most of the fruits are imported from neighbouring islands. In the afternoons, people go for finishing and then prepare their trophies for dinner, someone plays music on guitar, other makes a bonfire and this is how the evenings look like over there.
How to get to Tailana?
If you are in Medan, you have to take a direct car/van to Singkil. The ride takes around 8 hours and should cost about $10. Then, from Singkil, you have to get to the Balai Island, the main island where you get the access to the other islands. There are three options to get to Balai Island:
– ferry works 2 times per week. The all trip takes 5-6 hours and costs from $2 to $6 depends on the class,
– local wooden boat leaves every day at 9am, but in real the time depends on locals and amount of goods and things they have to load on the boat. The journey takes 4 hours and costs from $4 to $10 depends on your luck and negotiation skills.
From Balai Island, you charter the last boat that takes you on 1,5h journey directly to Tailana Island. However, if Tailana’s family knows that you are coming, you can expect someone in Balai’s Island harbour.
Also, there is an option to rent a speed boat, which goes directly to Tailana. The trip takes around 2 hours and costs around $25 per person.
Remember to withdraw your money from a cash machine in Medan or any other big city, because there are not any ATM’S in Banayak Islands and all purchase are payable in cash. In addition, most people living around the archipelago are Muslims, so show respect and cover your body, when you are on the local boat to Tailana.
It is a long time journey, but every Simple Step made toward to reach this little heaven on Earth, is worth it.