by Abraham Soyem
Located nearer to Darwin and West Papua than to other parts of Indonesia like Jakarta, the Aru Islands in eastern Maluku are home to very small wallabies similar to the types you’ll see in Australia. Ambon is the capital of the entire province of Maluku. Here are top five places to visit in Ambon.
1. LIANG BEACH
Located on the north-eastern point of Ambon, Liang Beach is located some 30km north of the city centre, with a picturesque jetty and sand fence. The beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of the one-kilometre long Hunimua, its local name, is ranked one of Indonesia’s most beautiful beaches.
2. PINTU KOTA AMBON
Located 20km south of the city in the Nusaniwe district, Pintu Kota, which translates literally as “city gate”, is a unique beach with a natural rock formation that resembles an archway. A steep staircase takes you down to the rocky bay, with fascinating views of the Banda Sea.
3. AMBON WAR CEMETERY
Also known as the Commonwealth Graves War Memorial (CGWM), the carefully-maintained memorial, has two weeping figs in the centre shading the tombstones of over 2,000 graves, mostly belonging to Australian prisoners of war following Japan’s occupation in 1942.
4. WAAI VILLAGE EELS
Nestled in the village of Waai is a freshwater spring that is home to a population of large eels. Believed to be good luck if witnessed, the Morea eels are lured out by an “eel man” who snaps his fingers on the water surface and feeds it raw eggs. Visitors are allowed to pet the eels and feed it.
5. WORLD PEACE GONG
The World Peace Gong stands in the middle of Ambon city centre, erected in 2009 as a symbol of security and reminder of the island’s safety after the Muslim-Christian conflict between 1999 and 2002. The gong is designed with international flags and symbols of major religions in the world.