Travel from Banyak Islands to Ketambe
From Pulau Banyak to Ketambe
If you want to leave Pulau Banyak usually you go first with a local boat from one of the islands with accommodation (Tuangku/Haloban, Tailana, Bangkaru, Palembak) to the main island Pulau Balai. From there you need to go to Singkil by the car ferry or by a local passenger boat. From Singkil there is a shared taxi direct to Kutacane. There are minibuses in the direction of Kutacane, but you need to changei n between. The last 30 km from Kutacane to Ketambe goes by local transport with Labi Labi.
1. Local boat from your guesthouse to Pulau Balai - 1 to 2 hour
2. Car ferry or passenger boat from Pulau Balai to Singkil - 3.5 to 4 hours
3. Shared taxi or minibus from Singkil to Kutacane via Subulussalam - 9 to 10 hours
4. Labi Labi from Kutacane to Ketambe - 1:00 hour
1. Local boat from your guesthouse to Pulau Balai
Before you can travel by minibus or shared taxi on the road to Ketambe you need to reach the mainland Sumatra in Singkil. Therefore you have to go first to the main island of Pulau Banyak - Pulau Balai.
Please organize this boat ride with your guesthouse. They know which time you need to start from the guesthouse to reach the big car ferry or the passenger boat from Pulau Balai to Singkil in time.
Local boat to Pulau Balai
2. Car ferry or passenger boat from Pulau Balai to Singkil
From Pulau Balai the car ferry (see pictures right or below) departs only 3 times weekly. The schedule changes quite often. Thats why its best you ask at your gusthouse or local people. Mostly the ferry starts between 10 and 11 AM and it takes 3.5 hours to reach Singkil harbour.
Another possiblity, especially on the days where no car ferry departs, is the daily passenger boat (see pictures right or below). There is no schedule for this boat. Usually it goes when there are enough passengers. It departs before midday and the travel time to Sinkgkil is 4 hours.
Usually you will arrive in Singkil with the car ferry or with the passenger boat in the afternoon.
Car Ferry between Pulau Bali and Singkil
Car Ferry - Arrival
Car Ferry - Inside
Passenger boat between Pulau Bali and Singkil
Not much space on a passenger boat
3. Minibus or shared public taxi from Singkil to Kutacane
After arrival at Singkil harbour you can go direct to the bus station. Its a short ride with a moto-rickshaw.
There is at least one company which has a shared taxi direct to Kutacane. It departs when there are enough passengers. It can be happen that you need to wait few hours. The shared taxi goes overnight and it takes about 9 to 10 hours to reach Kutacane in the morning.
There are also infrequent minibuses on the same route during day, but you need to change in Sisikalng or Subulussalam and Tigabinanga.
4. From Kutacane to Ketambe
The distance from Kutacane city to Ketambe is about 30 km. There are frequent mobil or Labi Labi (local transport - see picture beside/below), leaving from a small place near the old market opposite the Telkom office. You can ask the minibus driver to drop you off at this place.
Labi Labi start when full about every 30 minutes. The first Labi Labi departs about 7 AM, the last transport will leave from Kutacane about 5:30 PM. Normal price is 20,000 IDR, but sometimes drivers ask a little more from foreign tourists. The Labi Labi stops everywhere on the way to pick up or drop off passengers. This is the reason that it can take up to 60 minutes to the last stop Ketambe. Please ask the driver to drop you off at Friendship Guesthouse.