Masohi, the Sleepy Town

Road to Masohi
This is our travel story when we had a long weekend holiday in last months of our presence in Moluccas land. The exploration would bring us to the furthest point we ever stepped on this province. Before going to that point however, we had a transit in a small lovely town called Masohi. This posting will provide some valuable info for those who want to go to that very place.

There are two ways to get into Masohi from Ambon. The faster one is by taking fast boat from Tulehu to Amahai. It's only about 10 to 15 minutes from Amahai to Masohi by ojek. The slower and cheaper way which we took is by taking ferry from Hunimua to Waipirit then proceeded by land for 3 hours toward east.

Going to Masohi was actually our Plan B. Our initial destination was Saparua. However after getting information at the Tulehu Port that the ferry to that island only depart on Wednesday and Saturday, we suddenly switched to this plan. We were afraid of not being able to go back to Ambon on time. Therefore, we did not make it early to Hunimua. The port was quite crowded by people unlike the first time we crossed to Seram. It was kind of rush hour I guess. The ferry cost IDR 42,500 for motorcycle and 2 persons. On the ferry, we took a seat in the VIP Room which cost IDR 5,000 extra per person. The ship crew would show up and ask for the money. Equipped by AC and TV, the room also had an access to a small deck which was our favorite place to hang out before the ferry landed in Seram. Not all ferries between Ambon-Seram has these facilities though. We once took Ambon-Seram ferry with VIP Room but without any access to the deck. Even we ever took one without any VIP Room at all.
Arrived at Waipirit, the sky was so cloudy. We were finally poured by rain on the way to Masohi. It's somewhat surprising as it was not raining in Ambon recently. We stopped for a lunch break in a nice small foodstall selling slightly cheaper food than in Ambon. Here we found one from Noaulu tribe as the other costumer than us at that place. Outside we found some more. Noaulu tribe of Seram is among the most primitive tribes in Indonesia. The men always wear red turban. They have some unique and controversial culture such as pregnant woman's exile and cutting others' head for reaching adulthood. Only after the year 2000's the second one has not been conducted anymore.
From Waipirit to Masohi we passed through more than 20 bridges like this.
After a long and tiring journey, we finally arrived at Masohi in wet condition. It was still raining and many parts of the main road was flooded. We were wet and cold, also the scooter was almost out of gasoline. So we needed to find a shelter ASAP. But the worst thing is this; the electricity had gone out from the morning. This was just the beginning of our sacrifice for this long weekend refreshment.
A welcome board to Masohi
Very similar to Ambon, Masohi is divided into Muslim and Christian neighborhood. However, Masohi is a quiet small town and there is no any traffic congestion here. In the evening after the rain stopped, we explored this sleepy town a bit. There is a gas station on the way to Amahai. There are two more actually we found before getting into Masohi. But the reliability of both is so questionable. When we were there asking for a refill, they rejected us by saying out of stock.

We simply did not visit any tourist attraction at that night. But we learned something really important here. The food and drinks in Masohi are cheaper than in Ambon! For example, the price of ice tea is IDR 3,000 instead of IDR 5,000-6,000 (Ambon's price). In fact, Ambon imports so many raw things from Seram such as rice, vegetables and fruits.

It was sunny on the next day so we could visit some places around. We needed to buy some equipments so first of all, we came to Pasar Binaya Masohi which was located just next to Terminal Binaya Masohi, the main public transport hub in the town. Across the street, there are public taxis to Sawai. Please note that public taxis in Maluku are like usual private cars in appearance

The main lane in Pasar Binaya Masohi
Terminal Binaya Masohi
Pasar Binaya Masohi or also called as Masohi Plaza
We then visited the great mosque of Masohi we saw last night. Compared to the one in Ambon (Al-Fattah Mosque),the mosque construction is not very big, but the land area is way more vast. The most attractive place of worship here, however, was Pura Mandala Giri. It was one day before Nyepi (Hindu New Year) so many people in Balinese traditional costume were at the temple, doing a special ceremony.
The Great Mosque of Masohi
Pura Mandala Giri
The luxury church is another religious site worth to visit in Masohi
From the Hindu temple, we moved on till we found ourselves in a hill where we could see the beautiful Tanjung Kuako (Kuako Cape) from above. Then we couldn't wait to come to the cape. The cape is normally accessed via road to Amahai. The most interesting thing in Tanjung Kuako was the small stones which stick on big rocks. Besides, there were many stones with very thin in shape. Don't expect a white sand beach there. Tanjung Kuako has its own way to attract people. Clear sea water combined with wild rock formation makes the cape also an excellent place for photography.

Tanjung Kuako seen from a hill
A rocky beach in Tanjung Kuako
Well, Masohi is a right place to go when someone is looking for a quiet escape. Sleepy doesn't mean sleep nor dead. The city provides all basic needs you need, only without typical drawbacks of modern towns like traffic congestion and much pollution.

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