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Intrepid: Hinako Islands (Asu)

Travel tips for the curious surfer from our friends at World Surfaris.

Historical Facts

The breaking pattern of the waves at both Bawa Island and Asu Island were significantly affected by the March 2005 earthquake that measured 8.6 on the Richter scale. The seafloor raised by approximately two metres and evidence of this fatal earthquake can still be witnessed all around the North Sumatran Province.

Main Wave(s)

The Hinakos have a variety of waves, but perhaps the two most recognisable and well-known is Asu and Bawa. Asu is a long walling left-hander that can handle anything from three to 20-foot and Bawa is a right-hander that can be surfed from four to 20-foot. Most of the time these two waves are best surfed around six to eight-foot by intermediate plus surfers only.

Food

Depends on where you stay and what type of accommodation you opt for. Most accommodation is on Asu Island and the best choice is Puri Asu Resort. Here sits a beachfront resort with air-conditioned villas and food that is world class. Anything from fresh fish, chicken, pork, beef, lobster and an amazing variety of pastas.

Non-surf activities

In the rare occasion you aren’t surfing, or you want something for your partner to be doing. Asu is an aqua paradise with crystal clear waters perfect for snorkelling and spear fishing. Stand up paddle boards can be taken from the Puri Asu Resort (for guests only), massages are also available, and the fishing is world class, Either, off the rocks or trawling the local region.

Quirky Customs

The Hinako Island peoples have a welcoming culture with tourists often greeted as they pass through small village townships on their way to the waves by young kids shouting, “Selamat datang turis” (welcome tourists). War dance welcomings are often performed by men while the women play beautifully haunting music in the background.

Things to be aware of

The Hinako archipelago is nothing like Bali. Don’t expect raving night clubs, scooter hire or crowded waves. The majority of Indonesia is Muslim but the Hinako Islands (especially Nias) have the largest population of Christians.

Like the rest of Indonesia. The people are beautifully natured and very friendly. They love sarcasm and a big smile if you can muster one.

Mosquitos! Bring plenty of insect repellent. You are going to need it from about dusk. Puri Asu Resort isn’t too bad for the wretched little things but bring it anyway.

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