Way out in the Indian Ocean lies this remote paradise for surfers and lovers of coconut trees, white sand beaches and clear blue waters (yes, us! You too?): meet The Mentawai Islands in West-Sumatra, Indonesia. Mentawai exists of four islands in the group with Tuapejat as the capital city. The Mentawais are known as a surfers paradise!! We’ve surfed heaps of breaks around all the islands in 2014 during a surf trip by boat. And now we went back to explore more, so stoked!
Last November Pris went on a little adventure with her boyfriend Arnaud. Our good friends Teiki and Vincent followed their dreams and took over HT’s Resort on Sipora Island and renovated the whole place into the perfect surf resort. The venue is beautifully located on a white sand beach only a few steps away from the ocean. Of course we couldn’t wait to see what they created and went off to experience this slice of paradise!
Enjoy our photo diary and tips if you’re planning to travel to The Mentawai Islands. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever been there, your favorite (surf) spots or other tips for everyone who loves to travel here!
How to get there
Hollow Trees is located in a remote area. The journey to the island can be quite challenging. We flew to Padang – Sumatra, stayed the night at the Axana Hotel (arranged by the lovely team of HT’s) and took the Mentawai fast ferry early in the morning from Padang to Tuapejat. From there you can use the HT’s speedboat service to the resort. The travel to Tuapejat is easy and absolutely safe. If you are sensitive to seasickness, we would say pop a seasickness pill and you’re good.
The boatride from Tuapejat to HT’s is a tricky one. If the ocean is peaceful it’s totally fine, but if there is a storm or rain coming we would recommend to discuss with the people from the resort what the best thing is to do. After a 2 hours’ bumpy ride (ours was tricky eeeek) we arrived at one of the most divine places we’ve ever seen. Empty long stretches of white sand beach, a million of green leafy palm trees, super cute white with blue beach bungalows and everything a surfer could dream off: a perfect barreling wave right in front of your front door. Oh yes, heaven on earth exists!
Surf Surf Surf
As you know we are obsessed with everything ocean. It’s our happiest place of all places. This was our dream and now it became reality! HT’s, short for “Hollow Tree’s” and also known as “Lances right”, was discovered in the early 70’s and named by surfers due to the huge hollow tree standing tall on the reef. In 1999 a huge swell tore the tree down, leaving only the legendary name. This wave is one of the best and most awesome barreling right-hander in the world and rated as one of the top 5 waves in the world. We woke up every day hearing the sound of the ocean & watching the waves rolling in with only one step out of our island home. Arnaud got barreled about a hundred times, Pris just once but was the happiest kid in the world! What more do you need? Total bliss!
If you want to surf a less heavy wave, there are a few super fun waves within a short boat or bike ride from the resort.
Nothing better than sitting on your veranda, being kissed by the sun…feeling that breeze through your salty hair, sipping on a coconut (or a bintang hehe) watching the surf. HT’s has 4 cute villas with 8 rooms in total. We we’re lucky staying at the one looking at the wave. Every day we rolled out of bed at 4.45am excited about what was gonna surprise us. Every villa has its own plunchpool (yes!) and a shared bathroom. Which was totally fine!
All day long, haha! The restaurant concept is a combination of French, Thai and Indonesian cuisine. Ask Teiki, one of the owners, if he can make you his famous papaya salad. Best ever! Breakfast and dinner are served buffet kinda style (eat as much as you can after surf) and for lunch you can choose from the menu. There are basically no other warungs or café’s where you can eat.
Tip: bring healthy snacks for during the day if you are craving something yummie in between meals.
- Rent a bike at the hotel and go on an adventure, explore, drive on the small paths through the jungle. You’ll find the most amazing coconut tree valley views & crystal clear blue bays to swim.
- Visit the local villages, the people are incredible sweet.
- Go surf the other breaks around the island, the views to get there are beyond amazing
- Try the beach yoga class at HT’s in front of the ocean. Not only for the heavenly view but also to keep you flexible before and after your endless surf sessions.
- SUP, take a big paddle board and spend a few hours in the ocean. There is a channel in between the waves. You’ll see the most beautiful fishes, clear blue water and colorful reefs.
- Snorkeling, just right out front the resort. Watch out, don’t swim in the current!
- Beach walks, the white sand stretches of beach are empty, endless & breath taking. You’ll find the rarest little shells & will see the tiniest crabs in many different colors cruising down the beach.
- Chill, tan, swim & dip in your own plunch pool right in front of your door.
- Make sure you’ll catch the magical sunrise and/or sunset everyday.
A special thanks to Teiki, Vincent & Sina for having us at their magical islandstay. What an unforgettable trip it was. We certainly will go back one day, to surf this heavenly wave and enjoy islandlife to the fullest!
Photo’s by Margarita Salyak