You can go to Nias by buses or airplanes but to get around the island, there are not many choices of transportations you can take. There are a number of illegal transportations in Nias that you can use. Illegal means that they don’t provide insurance and they are not legally listed as a service; but they do exist and do a good job!
THE ALTERNATIVE SAFE TRANSPORTATION TO GET TO NIAS ISLAND
Indonesia is a mix of urban and village livings. Lots of surf camp in Indonesia are mostly located in rural areas which could take hours to get there. For rural places like Nias island, the transportation infrastructure may not be well established like in the capital cities. However, you can still count on the extremely friendly people that will help you get around the island – safe and sound and happy.
Indonesians call it “Becak”. The traditional transportation has been around for ages in the country. It’s a tricycle that carries passengers around the town. The three-wheeled vehicle can take up to 3 passengers maximum and you really need to bargain the price before you hop in. As a short distance transportation, becak can be a fun thing to try as you go surfing in Nias Island. The fare starts from Rp. 5,000,-
Angkot is a minibus that takes up to 10 passengers for a specific route. Be prepared to get cramped by other passengers as drivers are usually taking more than 10 people. Most angkots have standard routes but they could actually pick up and drop people off in the streetsides as there are no brick and mortar stops along the way. The fare starts from Rp. 4.000,- per person depending on the route. Finding an angkot is quite easy as you will see them around the markets or crossroads.
An ojek is a more private transportation where you can get around the town by hopping at the back of motorcycle. The rate can be more expensive than angkot but ojek can cover more places without hassle. Whether it’s a short or long distance, ojek can be a good transportation as you go surfing in Nias island; especially when the angkots are not available in your route. You can carry your surfboard with you while the rider takes you to the best beach in town.
For a more convenient and private transportation, you can rent a car. Expect cars from Toyota or Daihatsu brand that could be fit for 6 or more people. If you travel in group, taxi can be a great alternative to reach various areas in Nias island. Depending on your needs and how you negotiate, car rent service can charge you based on hourly rate or the distance covered.
Wise tips to note:
- Always ask for recommendations from the locals, or the staffs at your accommodation in Nias Island. Most accommodations can also recommend you to their trusted taxi vendors.
- Always ask for the fare before you take the ride. Perhaps a little bargaining skill and some Indonesian words will help you in this case!