One cannot talk about Ternate without mentioning Tidore. Situated at the south of Ternate, Tidore also holds significant importance along with its neighbor for its supply of spices, such as nutmeg and cloves, that attracted foreign explorers to the islands.
Compared to Ternate, Tidore Island is bigger in size but with smaller number of population. No wonder the city felt noticeably quieter and more laid back. After some observations, I could tell that everyone in this island was familiar with each other, as greetings became common practice.
From our hotel in Ternate, we took an angkot to Port Bastiong. Followed by a quest to charter a speedboat at reasonable price. It took only about 10 minutes to travel by speedboat from Port Bastiong to the Island of Tidore.
At the Rum Port of Tidore Island, my travel mates and I were welcomed by Alex and Bang Shul that practically would be our guide for the rest of our tour. After stacking our backpacks at the back of our rented car, our trip in Tidore Island officially began.
- Juan Sebastian Elcano Monument
First stop was the Juan Sebastian Elcano monument that was built next to Port Rum. The site was abandoned and mostly covered with fallen leaves.
Looking back to the history, initially, the first commander of the fleet that departed from Spain in 1519 in search for a route to East Asia was Ferdinand Magellan. However, the death of Magellan in Mactan, Philippines, raised Elcano into the position as the commander. He, along with other 18 crews finally found the Island of Tidore, came ashore, and hence, the name of the monument. A year later, they reached the Spain in 1522, and declared as the first men to circumnavigate the globe in a single expedition.
In regards of this past event, there will be an international commemoration to retrace the same route as five centuries earlier. Tidore is set as the final port of the event dedicated to the captain and the whole crew. The event itself is called as Ferdinand Magellan’s Voyage 500 Years Commemoration Sail Expedition, and they are scheduled to reached Tidore in 2019. It will not be a bad idea to visit Tidore that time around, where you can see dozens of ships sailing from all over the world.
2. Akesahu Mafumuru
For a region that is located in the ring of fire, hot springs are common phenomenon. You can find it in almost all active volcano throughout Indonesia. But, as I always mentioned, this place always has its own charm that is rarely seen somewhere else. Hot springs are normally found in mountains, or at least you have to travel to a higher land to enjoy bathing in a natural hot water. Here, hot springs are located at a beach, which is fascinating. Hot spring meets the sea, what a perfect combo!
There are two locations where people often visit, one of them was already developed and constructed, while the other one was still in its quite original state. Owing to our preference toward a more natural looking places, we chose to visit the latter.
The water flows from underneath, between the rocks structure, and creates some kind of knee-high pool of hot water. It will normally be piping hot during low tide. However, it was high tide during our visit, and the hot water was mixed with the seawater, making it a perfect temperature to just dip into the water
Locals usually gather here to swim, or just soak their feet into the pool of lukewarm water like we did. It was relaxing and helped to cure my sore feet. It made me feel more energized afterwards, and ready to discover all the new things this island has to offer.
3. Tidore Sultanate Palace
Tidore Sultanate is among the greatest Islamic kingdom across this archipelago, and its legacy remains until today. Given its long-standing and influential historical background, it is safe to assume the existence of great leaders as the essential factor, and the kingdom, or I should say sultanate, was blessed to have several of them. Among the notable king or sultan in Tidore was Sultan Nuku (1738-1805) which resting place is only across the palace. Due to his bravery in fighting Dutch which led to victory has earned him a title of national hero. Currently, the Sultanate is under the leadership of Sultan Husain Sjah whom has a noble vision to dig out and bring back the long forgotten Tidore’s own culture and tradition and use it as means to improve the life of its people.
It was all thanks to Mbak Evy whom happened to encountered a very helpful and generous acquaintance that gave us all the information needed to have a splendid vacation on the island and ultimately recommended us to visit the palace at the right time, so we could personally greet the Sultan himself. It was a rare chance for a common peasant, like me, to actually meet a royal or any notable figure outside of work. We got a chance to listen to his explanation pertaining the kingdom’s past glory. He also told a story about another Tidorean influential person named Tuan Guru which due to his tact and persistence to assure the rights of muslim to conduct their religious duties as well as contribute to the development of society through education has been named as one of South African hero.
While waiting at the lobby, we were treated to a special blended coffee named Kopi Dabe (Dabe Coffee) as a welcome drink. The coffee has a unique taste as it was mixed with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and pandan leaf, resulting in a richer flavor and less acidic drink. It did not leave my stomach full of gas the next day, which was a good news. In fact, I even drank another cup of the coffee in different place, which details will be in the later chapter of my trip in Tidore Island.