Pulau Tailana

ISLAND STILL UNDISCOVERED

Location & Directions

 

Finding your bearings

 

Understand: Pulau Banyak is an archipelago of islands situated off the northwestern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, belonging to the province of Aceh. The term "Pulau" is an Indonesian word for "island".

Pulau Tailana and Pulau Balai are islands that among others make up the archipelago Pulau Banyak. Pulau Balai is the main island with a village functioning as a gateway for Pulau Tailana and other islands within the archipelago.

Most tourists start their journey to Pulau Banyak from a city of Medan located in North Sumatra. However, a percentage of people set off for the place also from the area around the lake called Danau Toba; hence here possible itineraries go:
Medan - Singkil (aka Singkilbaru) - Pulau Balai - Pulau Tailana
Danau Toba - Sidikalang
- Singkil - Pulau Balai - Pulau Tailana

 

Medan - Singkil

By road: 

In Medan take either a minibus called L300 or so called Kijang, which is basically a 4-wheel model of Toyota with 7 seats for passengers. Kijang is a lot faster and more comfortable and costs only a little more than the bus. The fare is 110.000 Rp, and the journey from Medan takes up to 6hours. The minibuses tend to be slow and crammed with locals.

List of companies running transport between Medan and Singkil: 

1) Halim Perdana (buses L300 and Kijang), InMedan: Jalan Sun Yat Sen/Laksana 71A, ph: 061-7348322. In Singkil: Jalan Mesjid, ph: 0658-21168. 

2) Buraq Transport (Kijang), In Medan: Jalan Gajah Mada 50 (next to the Banda Aceh busses), ph: 061-4520456. In Singkil: Jalan Mesjid 4, ph: 081533743235. 

3) Rundeng Indah (Kijang), In Medan: Jalan Utama 109 AA, ph: 061-77083239. In Singkil: Jalan Bahari, P. Sarok, ph: 081534067827.

 

 By air: 

NBA airline regularly flies to the town Singkil from Medan and Banda Aceh. Their planes take off early in the morning, so you can be in Singkil in time, although the planes are more than 25 years old, so be aware of this fact. Tickets can be booked only by visiting one of their office in Medan or via phone: Jalan Brig. General Katamso 100, Phone: 061-4534680; in Banda Aceh: Jalan Tengku Nyak Arif 1, Phone: 0651-333777 or in Kutacane: Jalan Gen. Ahmad Yani 33, mobile phone: 0812-6003434. 

Another flight option is with SMAC airline, which operates links from Medan and Banda Aceh to Singkil. Both routes have flights twice a week, Monday and Friday. You can contact them by phone on +62 61 415 5116.

Both companies are according to this website blacklisted in EU.

 

 

Lake Toba - Singkil

 

By road:  

Unless a tourist charters a whole car (Kijang), there are neither direct nor regular transportation links between Lake Toba (locally knows as Danau Toba) and Singkil. Tourists have to improvise a bit while taking this route depending on which part of Lake Toba they are coming from. The trick is to start early as you may not get to Singkil by night as the trip may take up to 10 hours. The journey is also more fractured, but not that complicated. Supposing you start your journey in a town of Tuk Tuk on Pulau Samosir (Samosir Island), you have to get all the way around the island to a town called Pangururan by local bus.  From there, you have to change for a bus heading the Sidikalang direction.  Sidikalang is a small town at the crossroads where your road from Lake Toba meets the main Medan road. Then, if you are lucky, you may catch a bus or Kijang heading directly to Singkil, or simply catch any other local bus going southbound. Get off at in a town called Subulus Salam where you are to wait for another one. This one should be the last one and should take you directly to the place where you want to be for the night - Singkil.  

 

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Note: 
The term "Jalan", also abbreviated as "Jl." means street in Indonesian. 
 
We strongly recommend tourists withdraw enough cash already in Medan before heading down to Pulau Banyak. See the section Rates.    
 
Since your arrival is highly likely to be at afternoon or evening hours, you are going to have to stay in Singkil overnight unless you are in a hurry and choose to charter a speed boat. If you are in need of staying over in Singkil until the next day then, you can select from several lodgings, e.g. Melly Home stay, Mona Lisa Home, Indra Home stay, hotel Harmonis, etc. Rates vary from 30.000 - 130.000 Rph.
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Singkil - Pulau Balai

   

By boat or ferry:

When in Singkil, you have three options of boats to get to Pulau Balai to choose from, depending also on when and in what part of the day you have arrived.

1) Speed boats: available anytime to charter. Cost 700.000 Rp - 1.200.000 Rp per boat. They depart from the jetty in Kilangan or Jembatan Tinggi area.

2) Local boats: depart Singkil at the Jembatan Tinggi area (under the bridge) on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 8 am onwards. Cost 30.000 Rp per person. 

 

 

3) Car and passenger ferry: departs Pulo Sarok harbor in Singkil on Tuesdays at 8.30. am onwards. Cost 16 - 26.000 Rp per person. 

On your arrival in Pulau Balai, you will be asked to fill in a registration form and attach a copy of your passport. This procedure is a common formality while the documents are archived by the local authorities. You are not expected to pay any fees or any charges, for that matter, associated with your entry and stay in the archipelago.

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Note:
"Rubber time" is a term referring  to a casual time perspective, which is widely adopted by Indonesians and plays important role also when travelling to and from Pulau Banyak. Therefore, the times of departure stated above are for orientation only and should be consulted and confirmed by locals before you rely on them. As a result, your local boat may as well leave the port as late as 12 pm. Please, take this into account. 
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Pulau Balai - Pulau Tailana

By boat:

Pulau Tailana is one few islands that provides accommodation within the whole Pulau Banyak archipelago. Charlie who runs the Pulau Tailana bungalows will wait for guests the at the pier or port upon their arrival in Pulau Balai. Then, they already proceed together. In order to get to Pulau Tailana, Charlie arranges a speed boat (charter 150.000 Rp). This is the fastest and the only reliable option of getting to the island. The speed boat trip takes 1 hour at full speed.

 
   Photo courtesy of Mahmud Bangkaru 

 

 

 

 *Disclaimer: All the information provided above is subject to change. The details are relevant as of 2011. I strongly advise one crosscheck the schedule times and prices with competent persons on the spot. 


Testimonials

  • "Stayong there its worth 1mln dollars! Pak Daswan were preparing delicious food everyday including octopus, mantas and all these colorful fishes... Islands itself its a paradise!..."
    Bartek & Ewa
    Stay on Pulau Tailana 2014
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    Pharmd71
    Good info