Posted by: Johan Normark | July 30, 2010

Pangempa and Bolilangga

Today the weather has been quite miserable in Göteborg and I wish I could have been elsewhere. I have no inspiration for a blog post either. For some reason I came to think of Indonesia, which has turned out to be one of the most frequently visited countries for me. The last time my wife and I visited this large archipelago (2008) we went to the Togean Islands in the Tomini Bay which separates the northern “arm” of Sulawesi and its main “body”.

Two of the smaller Togean Islands are Pangempa and Bolilangga. We first tried to get accommodation on Bolilangga but the only place to stay there was under restoration. The water was pretty nice there.


We ended up staying in a rough place called Fadhila cottages on the nearby island of Pangempa. The main drawback on these islands is that the owners of the places you stay insist that all guests eat together at the same table and at the same time. Basically, you had to eat with strangers all the time and I am not that much of chatting with people I do not know. However, the beach was good here as well. From here it was only a five minutes boat ride to the village of Katupat to catch the ferry.

Katupat seen from Pangempa

On the island they have huge tree climbing and coconut eating crabs. They are not only the world’s largest terrestrial crabs, they are the largest terrestrial arthropods as well. These nocturnal animals crack open coconuts with their pincers. The body can be 40 cm long, the leg span 91 cm and it can weigh up to 4.1 kg. The largest known weighed 14 kg.

Coconut crabs

Here we have just left Katupat with the ferry to Gorontalo, a pretty shaky overnight journey.

On the way to Gorontalo



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