The Beauty of Ambon Manise

Namalatu BeachAmbon will organize an International event this year. The World Assembly of Youth will take place from September 23 to September 29, 2011.

About the Island: The small island of Ambon was the centre of Dutch administration in Maluku, and today bustling Ambon city remains the capital of majority Christian southern Maluku province.

The island is made up by two "peninsulas", which are almost separate islands, joined by a narrow isthmus. Leitimur, the smaller, more densly populated half is majority Christian, and is also where Kota Ambon, Maluku's capital is situated.

Leihitu, the larger peninsula is more sparsely populated and has a majority Muslim population. Due to its relative remoteness from Kota Ambon it recieves fewer visitors and has preserved its traditional culture better.

While many visitors only ever see the city itself, they are missing the best of Pulau Ambon. Everyone should visit the beautiful rural parts of the island, and those with a few days to spare should also make an effort to visit the delightful, nearby Lease Islands:

Natsepa Indah BeachHaruku makes an interesting day-trip, Saparua is the best relaxing getaway for an overnight stay, while tiny, unspoilt Nusalaut is totally off the beaten track. With a week or so extra time, you could also consider visiting the large island of Seram.

If you only pay a short visit in Kota Ambon, here are the sightseeing opportunities in and around Kota Ambon. Choose from any of these must-visit spots:

1.Pattimura Statue (a national hero from Ambon), at Lapangan Merdeka
2.Tugu Dolan at Kudamati
3.Tugu Trikora at Urimesing
4.Franciscus Xaverius (St. Francis Xavier) Statue (a catholic missionary) at Batumeja
5.Rumphius monument at Batu Meja
6.Namalatu Beach at Latuhalat
7.Natsepa Indah Beach at Natsepa
8.Santai Beach at Latuhalat
9.Pintu Kota at Airlow
10.Gong Perdamaian Dunia (World Peace Gong)
11.V.O.C. Bunker at Benteng Atas

Ambon is blessed with many white beaches ideal for skin diving and snorkeling. Experienced divers should try diving off Tanjung Setan (Satan’s Cape) at the far southern tip of Seram.

Don’t miss a visit to the sacred eels at Waai near Tulehu, 24 km. from Ambon. Here the sacred giant eels emerge from underwater caves when their keeper signals and feeds them with chicken eggs. The locals believe that when the eels and carp swim away, a disaster will occur. In 1960 an epidemic struck the area but once offerings were given, the eels returned and the epidemic stopped.

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