Paradise on Earth: Ora Beach

This article is part 2 of 6 in the series Exploring Maluku

We wake up in the early morning of March 29th to the peaceful sound of waves crawling gently to the shore, crashing to the pillars of our wooden bungalow. It feels like a dream. The breath-taking scenery from the room balcony is to die for and if it was not because of the view, I would not want to get out of the bed. There is a spectacular limestone hill on our left, standing confidently as it shields us from the treacherous sea. The vast sea in front of us is a reminder how the Moluccans have relied on it as their most valuable natural resources for centuries.

Not to mention that the water is crystal clear, allowing us to see some small fish and angelfish swimming around the beach nearby our hut. It is SURREAL! This is heaven. No words can express this feeling. We are finally here spending our honeymoon, at Ora Beach Resort, after almost a half day of the difficult journey, passing through the worst unpaved road we had ever experienced. It is definitely worth the effort and time to get here!

Balcony of our bungalow Our room

View from our balcony
View from our balcony

Snorkelling

After spending most of our day eating and sleeping, we finally grab our snorkelling gears and get out of our small hut. With little expectation, we both snorkel our way from the pier to somewhere nearby the wooden huts. Believe it or not, the corals down there are still pretty much alive. They are quite preserved, knowing that this resort has been around since 1997. The corals are beautiful and colourful, even better than the ones I saw in Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. Some schools of fish of different sizes are seen wandering around the area. I saw a small swordfish too trying to run away from whatever threats it gets. I can’t believe that these living things are just next to our hut! How many times I say that this is indeed a hidden paradise?!?

The Caves, Dutch Spring, and Lobsters

The hut as seen from the inside
The hut as seen from the inside

The next morning, we do another round of snorkelling around the resort before setting off for an excursion by boat. The trip includes visiting some caves by the sea, mata air Belanda (“Dutch Spring”), and buying some lobsters. The excursion itself is already included in the package that we paid, otherwise I do not think it is worth to pay such trip. Pak Iwan accompanies us throughout the trip, navigating the boat through the choppy sea. He is originally from the village of Saleman, living just a boat away from the resort.

My favourite part of this excursion is visiting the wooden hut in the middle of the Seram Sea, nearby the village of Sawai. The hut is previously owned by a local pearl trading company – as seen from the signboard in the hut – and it is now owned by a small fisherman family who sells fish and lobsters for a living. As I go from one room to another, I realise that the rooms are all empty and not maintained. I am not sure if the family actually lives here or somewhere on the mainland. There were nets attached around the hut to keep the different types of fish and lobsters they caught at night. From the hut, I can see a stunning 360 degrees view of Seram Island. The glowing sun over the sea makes a perfect combination for a magnificent landscape. It’s just SO beautiful!!

The hut The view from the hut

Initially, I did not intend to buy any lobsters. But where else can you find 2 lobsters weighted 1 kg for only 250k Rupiahs? That’s quite a steal! Furthermore, Pak Iwan said that he can ask the resort to cook the lobsters for no extra cost. Yeah, what the heck! Let’s get those big lobsters! 🙂

The story of pearls

On the way back to the resort, Pak Iwan tells me how this region used to have abundant pearls. Pearl hunting used to be the main source of income for many people in the nearby village of Sawai, Seram Island. Pearl traders from different parts of Indonesia would come here to “steal” these precious pearls. It used to be so easy to catch them. There were some ships from other countries too who tried to get their share of luck.

The wooden huts floating nearby the village bear witness to the once thriving pearl businesses here. But now, the pearls in Seram Island are nowhere to be found. The pearl traders have long abandoned those huts and moved to Papua in search for more pearls. Unlike Lombok or Sumbawa, there are no pearl farmers exist and perhaps the pearl industry here is still an infant. So the numbers were not preserved and the existence of pearls had been sadly reduced to zero.

Romantic Dinner Awaits

Lobsters!
Lobsters!

Back at the resort, we spent our time chilling at the restaurant nearby the pier, having lunch, then snorkelling again! The snorkelling gears that we bought in Jakarta are put in a great use here in Ora. It’s a non-stop daily snorkelling for us :). By the time we finish snorkelling, it starts to rain, so we go back to our bungalows and chill. Since we are on our honeymoon, Ora Beach Resort is putting a so-called romantic dinner for us. They set up our balcony with a table and chairs decorated with some fake flowers. The menu for today is grilled fish, chicken, and of course the lobsters! The fresh lobsters are SOO delicious. No seasonings are needed to cook this as the meat is quite sweet. What a feast!! I have to say that the foods at the resort have been quite satisfying!

In Conclusion…

Ora Beach Resort
Ora Beach Resort

Staying at such a hidden jewel comes at a price, of course. As a person who loves to do backpacking and always opts for cheap travel options, Ora Beach is my most expensive holiday that I ever spent. Being a secluded and hard-to-reach resort (perhaps) makes the rate cheaper than other resorts available in Indonesia. In fact, it is much cheaper compared to Raja Ampat or other famous holiday destinations like the Maldives.

The big win is that not many people know the existence of this resort. Those who know it are not willing to take that journey to this beautiful island. So in the end, we almost have the whole resort to ourselves! 🙂 Its secluded location means that it is far away from the hustle bustle of big cities, developments, big ships, and civilisation. Not to mention that there are many activities you can do around the resort, from hiking, jungle trekking, non-stop snorkelling in and around the resort, island hopping, or just chilling by the beach. Boredom will no longer be in your dictionary if you stay here! I can tell you that it is worth every damn penny!

We love this place so much that we decided to extend our stay for another night here and take an excursion to Pulau Tujuh (Seven Islands) for snorkelling.

Bungalows at Ora Beach Ora Beach Resort

If you are not convinced then check out our video 🙂

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17 Responses

  • I always travel on a budget but it is really good to reward ourselves with luxury once in a while… Like you I would pay for a price to get to Ora Beach! Glad you had a great time!

  • I had to admit to never having heard of this place so I had to google it and look it up. Now that I know exactly where it is I have to say it looks incredibly appealing and perfect break from reality. Putting it on my bucket list.

  • What a beautiful place to celebrate your honeymoon (congratulations!). This place looks absolutely amazing and I probably shouldn’t be looking at pictures of places like this on a cold, gray day in Europe! The only concern I have about visiting places like this is that I don’t eat fish or seafood. Did they have other types of food on offer?

    • Amalia

      There are always other choices of foods available, although for local standards, it’s more pricey than seafoods. If you stay in this kind of resort, you should be able to request for this! That’s why you spend quite a bit of money 🙂 In fact, in certain occasion they served chicken too for our dinner.

  • Great post! Reminded me of what a real travel post should be. Thanks for the story!

  • Oh yeah, this really looks like paradise to me! I could spend my whole life there I guess 🙂

  • This looks like an absolute dream of a place to go on honeymoon! One of the first things I thought as I began reading was that such a beautiful, secluded spot must have cost and arm and a leg, so was surprised when you mentioned it’s generally less than the Maldives. Future husband, watch out!

  • Wow this place really is paradise! Some stunning pictures – it is on my bucket list!

  • Wow, the photos are just amazing. You make me feel like diving in the clear water of the beach. It really appears as the Paradise on Earth. Will definitely try to visit here by the end of next year.

  • I’m an experienced traveller but have never heard of Ora beach, it looks idyllic!!! I am hoping to get to Indonesia soon so I will investigate whether this will fit into my itinerary! 🙂

    • Amalia

      If you are looking for non touristy areas, Eastern part of Indonesia is the place to be! Bali and Lombok are too commercialized!

  • That sure is one exotic location, I would love to visit Ora Beach and experience it first-hand. Thanks for sharing this hidden gem. 🙂

  • Wow, my kind of paradise! What a beautiful beach. Love the view from your room! Polly 🙂

  • Mri

    I love off the beaten path destinations like this, especially if they have amazing clear waters fit for snorkeling! Was the coral right off the pier or did you need to swim further out? And do you know if you’re allowed to snorkel here without staying at the resort? Not that it doesn’t look just stunning! (just small finances, you know?)

    • Amalia

      Yes! The corals were right off the pier nearby all the cottages! We also went to Pulau Tujuh with the boat and it has even better corals. See here: http://amellie.net/2016/11/pulau-tujuh-must-see-spot-ora-beach/

  • daaaayum that looks like some baller living right there!

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