The cylindrical cone of Tidore resonates from the sea dominating the entrance to North Maluku like a protective older brother. When the suns day is over, luminous pink swirls of cloud dance gently behind Tidores’ peak softening its’ overbearing exterior. The mesmerising views of this immense volcano from Ternate tantalised us to visit the iconic island. A short day trip from Ternate, we were greatly rewarded and it is definitely a must see in Eastern Indonesia.
Photoshopped coastlines stretch along Tidores’ south coast. The picturesque blue water we see in ‘paradise’ laps at the almost litter-free beaches (It is worthy to note that this is an extremely rare occurrence in Indonesia). A cool breeze meets our smiles from the window of the bemo, which takes us for a cruise of the coastal ring road. Streets are clean and sunny, colourful homes with matching picot fences dot along the beaches between the palm trees.
Other than the enormous volcano, Soasio town hosts the main attractions of Tidore with a few historical sites clustered together along with a basic home stay for convenience. Two 17th century Spanish forts arise from the hillsides with glorious scenic views over the coast, the outskirts of Halmahera Island and the colourful island capital. Nestled between them and barricading off the visitors of today, the Sultans museum is locked up tight. Unable to find a caretaker we asked around the locals. It appears that the person with the only key had made a day trip to Ternate.
It is not necessarily the sights which draw you to Tidore, it is the islands’ tranquility and beauty. Come here to relax, to wave at the friendly locals and to snorkel the dramatic drop-offs that lie metres away from the coast.
From Ternate’s Bastiong Pelabuan (Bastion Port) take a local speedboat for 10,000 rupiah p/p one way. Boats leave when full (they leave every 1/2 hour or so) and the trip takes 30 minutes from Ternate.
Take a bemo from the port to Soasio from 10,000 p/p which will give you 30 minute scenic tour of the Tidores south east. Stop off wherever you like and flag down the next bemo to continue your journey.
Penginapan Sejorah, near the Museum and the fort a few kms south of the Soasio.