"Fascinating Nias Island." Pulau Nias by EricLe_Rouge
Pulau Nias Travel Guide: 27 reviews and 15 photos
Nias isn't big: it's 140km (85mi) long and 50km (30mi) wide, but its isolation and rugged terrain have combined to make it a unique place. Before Nias was known for its tubes, the island was a hip anthropologist hangout - head-hunting and human sacrifice played a part in Niassan culture and that's always guaranteed to bring the anthropologists out in force. These days, travellers to Nias are less likely to be toting a clipboard, and more likely to be armed with a double board bag - 90% of visitors to the island are now surfers.
The reputation of this island among surfers started as a whisper - wave riders round the world talked about it the way little children talk about Santa's workshop - and gradually became a roar. A swathe of surf movies followed, and soon tiny little Lagundri Bay - where Nias' best surf can be found - became Surf Central. Unfortunately, it's also become scam central, with travellers reporting that Nias is now one of Asia's conman hotspots.
Today the beachfront is littered with tiny losman, warungs and a few western-style cafes; so far only one luxury resort hotel has opened, though there's talk of more of its ilk. But Nias' small size and the huge effort it takes to get there should ensure that this place doesn't undergo development on a Baliesque scale. That should make all those who want to come here for some of Asia's best surf happy indeed. (Lonely Planet's website on beaches)
- Pros:Very undisturbed and cheap, back in 1992.
- Cons:Filled with nostalgia for the times gone by...
- In a nutshell:Surfers' paradise with a fascinating culture.
Copyright 2001 The New York Times August 1, 2001 JAKARTA, Indonesia — After days of torrential rains, floods and... more travel advice
Ever since 1975, the year a trio of wandering surfers discovered South Nias legendary point break at Lagundri Bay, this... more travel advice
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