Bangka Lihunu Village Tour and Jungle Trek
Do you like to meet the local people and explore when you are travelling? Are you interested in traditional culture and way of life? As a remote tropical island, the local villagers on Bangka Island live in much the same way that they have for generations. It’s a fascinating experience and extremely rewarding to meet the local children and learn about village life on Bangka.
Our nearest village on the island is the village of Lihunu which is around 3km away from Murex Bangka Resort. It’s possible to take a trek to the village – which is an adventure in itself! The trek takes around 1 hour and is a light to medium level trek which takes you through some of the most fertile natural rainforest on the island. Along the way it’s possible to spot unique birds, lizards and other species of Sulawesi wildlife and for those who are interested in tropical flora there is no shortage of trees, shrubs and wild flowers.
The trek to Lihunu Village is best taken after breakfast at around 8.30am to avoid the mid-day sun. We leave Murex Bangka from the back of the resort and begin by following the coastline, through the mangrove area. Some parts of the beach are quite stony in places so running shoes (not flip-flops) are recommended). After following the edge of the bay we reach a small path which leads into the rainforest. Upon entering the forest, the sounds of the jungle come to life – crickets and other tropical insects “sing” and listen out for the call of exotic birds.
The path winds up into the the forest (there is a small hill) before widening out on to a flat plain of coconut palms. As we walk through the widely spaced palms we often see coconut farmers at work. After a few minutes the white sand beach of Lihunu and the ocean comes back into view. From here there is a concrete walkway which leads to the village. Along the side of the walkway there are small fishing boats and usually some cheerful locals who will greet you with a friendly smile as you pass by.
Once we arrive at the village the curious locals are always keen to say hello to the “Bule” (meaning foreigner in Indonesian). The children love to try out a few words of English and if you have a camera, you’ll find they can’t help trying to pose for photographs.
In Lihunu Village most people are employed in cottage industries including fishing, coconut farming and small scale agriculture. Lihunu has around 2,000 residents who live in colorful houses in this small settlement. The village “roads” are just over a meter wide and neatly intersect the houses on a grid-like basis. Each house seems to have a small garden at the front and most are awash with color from a variety of flowers and shrubs. Many of the gardens also have fruit trees – ranging from banana and guava through to lime and jackfruit trees.
The village has 5 churches with tall spires, one of which has a fish which appears to have been speared as a motif, and 2 village schools. The children are often playing outside and always seem to be carefree, laughing, smiling and curious to meet visitors. On almost every street you’ll find a small shop (toko) or restaurant (warung) which, unless you look closely, appear to be houses – which they actually usually are!
Fish and pork are the mainstay proteins in Lihunu village and just as fishing is evident from the small boats lining the shoreline don’t be surprised by pigs and their young wandering freely around the coconut palm growing area close to the beach. After touring the village, you will be met by boat at the village jetty (15 minutes boat ride from Murex Bangka) and you will be back in the resort in time for lunch.
The people of Lihunu village are endearing, the village is charming, there is a strong sense of community and you’ll gain a real insight into the simple lives of the locals. The trek to the village is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys walking, nature, culture or exploring. All village treks and tours are accompanied by one of our experienced, English speaking guides.
Recommended to bring with you:
Bottle of water (you will receive a complimentary stainless steel drinking bottle upon arrival at the airport)
Mosquito repellant or long pants for jungle trekking
Running or walking shoes for trekking
We look forward to welcoming you to Murex Dive Resorts and exploring North Sulawesi with you soon!