Seram Island

Masohi the capital of the central Maluku district is on Seram’s south-central beach. The plains around the town have received a population boost, with migrant from overcrowded Saparua and some of the isolated islands to the south, as well as resettled mountain dwellers from Seram itself. One group of mountain people, the Naulu with their familiar red headbands live fairly close to Masohi.

Mount Api, active Volcano Island directly opposite Banda Neira last erupted in the late 1980s but fortunately almost all the lava and ash fell on the side away from the town. The view from the summit is spectacular. To climb, go with a guide and get start early to beat the heat of the day. Count on 20 – 30,000 for a guide, including the canoe ride to and from Banda Neira. A guide isn’t really necessary since once you land on the dock on the East Side of Mount Api, there’s only one way up and it’s pretty obvious. If you’re alone and safety conscious, you may wish to take a guide since the trail is quite treacherous.

Tual is the capital of Southeast Maluku district and the transportation for an extensive network of roads and sea-lanes. A half an hour drive away is Dullah village, where Belaway Museum boasts a splendid ceremonial conoe, complete with carved decorations. From Tual, canoes depart daily to the mysterious island of Kei Besar. Occasionally, the boats from Tual also head for Dobo, the largest town of the Aru archipelago. This spread of some 25 islands, all mangrove swamp and low-lying palm forest, is the home of unusual butterflies and flocks of birds-of-paradise.

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