There is a village in one corner of central Indonesia which has a very beautiful underwater scenery plus the beauty of a stunning white sandy beach with clear blue sea water. The name is Mbuang-Mbuang Village, a remote, underdeveloped and outermost (3T) area. It is located on Salue Kecil Island, Bokan Islands District in Banggai Laut Regency, Central Sulawesi. Its area of only 725.67 square kilometers (km2) is known as a maritime district in Central Sulawesi because 85 percent of its area consists of waters rich in high-value marine products such as lobsters, octopus, skipjack tuna, snapper, grouper and seaweed cultivation.
Most of the area of Mbuang-Mbuang Village is open sea waters with clear blue, choppy waters surrounded by several uninhabited karst islands. The land area of Mbuang-Mbuang is around 200 hectares, inhabited by 100 households or about 500 people. The majority of the population work as fishermen and receive tour boat charter services and tour guides in their spare time. They also opened the door of their house to become a homestay.
There are several fine white sandy beaches stretching around Mbuang-Mbuang. Such as Pasir Panjang Beach, Kalambina Beach, with corals appearing when the sea water recedes and Pingo Beach with its coral reef clusters not far from the shoreline. There is also Pulau Lampu, as the local community calls it Pepelan Island because there is a lighthouse building.
To reach these beaches, you can use a fishing boat with a long journey of 20 minutes. So clear that the sea water around these beaches makes it seem as if the boat we are riding in is floating or sailing on a mirror.
Apart from beach tourism, the underwater scenery is no less stunning. Barrier reef clusters are still natural, including Gorgonians, which are red coral shaped like a fan. We can also find the proud cardinal fish (Ptepogon kaudemi), an endemic ornamental marine fish from Banggai waters.
In Mbuang-Mbuang Village there is also a 20 hectare lagoon. The local community calls it Lake Paisu Batongan and the water is salty. As well as the color of the surrounding waters, the clear blue water is slightly greenish and immediately refreshes the eye when stopping by this 12 meter deep lake. Uniquely, in this lake there are thousands of stingless jellyfish (Cassiopeiaini) with various colors ranging from transparent white, bright yellow, to orange. This tame animal can be seen immediately on the surface of the lake water. According to Irsan, a local resident, during the rainy season, thousands of jellyfish can cover most of the lake surface. We can swim with these tame animals on the condition that our bodies cannot be sprinkled with sunscreen or use swimming aids, such as frog legs because it will damage the jellyfish.
There is still a tourist attraction called Popisi Hill which is about 200 meters high to the top. On top of the hill we can enjoy the vast ocean as far as the eye can see and in other parts can see the ranks of uninhabited karst islands. At first glance, the view is exactly like us climbing Wayag Hill in the Wayag Islands line in Raja Ampat, West Papua. There is also Mount Baodean as high as 300 meters and has become an icon of this village with large words Mbuang-Mbuang on the top.
To go to Mbuang-Mbuang Village, from Jakarta, use a transit plane in Makassar or Palu to continue to Luwuk. The total time spent by air from Jakarta to Luwuk is around six hours. After that, from Luwuk to Banggai Laut, use the services of a ferry with a capacity of 100 passengers or a traditional boat with a capacity of 40 passengers. The journey time is nine hours. If using a fast boat that operates only during the day, the travel time is about three hours. Then if you continue to Mbuang-Mbuang using a people’s boat with a journey time of six or two hours if you use a speed boat with a capacity of nine people from Banggai City.
So, are you interested in visiting interesting and beautiful areas in Indonesia? Come on, visit Indonesia.