Pulau Tujuh (literally Seven Islands) was not on our to-do list for Ora Beach. But after reminiscing the long and exhausting day of trying to get to Ora, we decided to stay for another night and visit these seven islands in the end. The drawback of going to Pulau Tujuh is the boat rental that costs 1.5 million rupiahs (around 115 USD). It is certainly cheap if you get to share the cost with 10 other people, but unfortunately, there are just the two of us. We did ask around and met one couple who just arrived in Ora but they were not planning to go to Pulau Tujuh. So there is no way we can drive this cost down as there are no other people to share the cost with. We have to bear it ourselves.
In the morning, Pak Iwan the boatman arrives at the resort from his village of Saleman and prepares the boat for us, loading it with 3 gallons of fuel for this trip. The fuel here is not exactly the cheapest, so the price that was offered to us sort of makes sense now. We take our snorkelling gears and packed lunches prepared nicely by the staffs. The journey to Pulau Tujuh is surprisingly long and choppy. After about an hour, we can see these islands one by one. In reality, though, Pulau Tujuh only consists of 6 uninhabited islands. Locals believe that the missing island was swallowed by the sea long time ago. Pak Iwan can’t even remember when it disappeared!
Suddenly, the boat slows down in the middle of the choppy sea. I can see some islands in the “non-swimmable” distance. I initially feel a bit scared – the sea is so blue, the waves are quite rough, and I am not able to see what’s underneath our boat. Is that a big fish? A coral? Or something else? I tell my husband, Foogie to jump to the sea first and have a look at what exactly it is. As soon as he catches a glimpse of the underwater world, he screams, “Oh my God!!!”. Of course, my initial reaction is, “What?!? What’s wrong?!” He answers with excitement, “It’s sooo beautiful!” then he continues to snorkel. Equip with my snorkel gears, I immediately jump into the sea. For few seconds, I am taken aback by the sight in front of me. I cannot believe what I see. Is this for real?! I have never seen anything like this before! These are the most beautiful coral reefs I’ve ever seen, hands down! These are the kind of corals you see on TV; those colourful ones with some fish swimming around them. The diversity of these corals is quite insane – there are just too many distinct types of them in all sizes covering a huge part of the seabed. The coral reefs stretch as far as your eyes can see and continue even deeper that only divers can explore. I am completely AMAZED!!!
These pictures don’t do justice, so please watch our video here:
Pak Iwan and two other staffs from the resort snorkel with us too! The fact that they join my husband and me to snorkel signifies how beautiful these reefs are! Usually, the locals don’t really do what the tourists do – but somehow this is different. I would be extremely sad to see these reefs destroyed… I really hope the locals take a good care of it!
We spend quite a bit of time snorkelling the entire area. We call it a day when we realise that the sea is getting rougher and rougher. As soon as we start moving, Pak Iwan points towards a sea snake – which I can barely see). The snake may attack humans if it feels threatened – and that’s the reason why Pak Iwan did not bring us to that side of the coral reefs.
Our journey continues to one of the six islands, located across the North Western part of Seram island. The small island has a beautiful stretch of beach with its white soft sands. We sit underneath a tree and have a picnic while enjoying the beautiful view of the island. The corals are surprisingly still quite good, although not as diverse as the ones we saw earlier.
The journey back to the resort is not as pleasant as going to Pulau Tujuh. Huge black clouds appear and it starts to rain heavily. Luckily, the ride is not as choppy as I thought it would be. After passing by an island filled with mangroves, we arrive safely in Ora.
If you are in Ora or Seram Island, Pulau Tujuh is indeed a must-see and a must-visit spot that you can’t miss!