The Pulau Banda got its name as the spice island as it was the original and the only location for the production of spices during the colonial period of the Europeans, Portuguese and Dutch. Most of the present inhabitants of Banda are the second or third generation of migrants from various parts of Indonesia. The Bandanese here speak Malay language but with a peculiar dialect. The island is a volcanic island with a number of active volcanoes. The place is also known for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Banda's another distinct feature is that it is a cluster of ten islands together which forms the Banda island. Banda has a rich variety of multi-coloured corals making it the perfect spot for diving.
The main attractions here are the Benteng Belgica fort built by the Dutch in the 17th century, in January 2015 the fort was recognised as the UNESCO World Heritage site. Banda Api, which is an active volcano located at the centre of the Banda Islands in the Banda sea.
The next fort is the first fort ever built by the Dutch in Banda Islands, this site is open 24/7 for the visitors and was built to control the nutmeg trade which had only been grown in the Banda Islands during those days.
The Hatta is the best place for snorkeling where one can find all kinds of colourful fishes like the lionfish, black tip sharks, parrot fish, napoleon fish, hammerhead shark and even the trigger fish.
Don't forget to visit the Istana Mini the Dutch palace built in the 18th century. Interested in the ancient designs and architectures then don't forget to check out the Schelling House which was the house of the daughter of the last Banda king, it is a massive house with a leafy courtyard, this is open to the public during some events or some exhibitions.
The Sun Tien Kong Chinese Temple is an evidence to the involvement of the ancient Chinese in the spice trade and a beautiful specimen of the Chinese architecture.
In the Banda Islands group, the main group of islands consists of the Banda Neira, Banda Api and Banda Besar. The Banda Neira is the main island and the only island which has an ATM so while planning your visit to the other attractions at Banda make sure you take enough money for the stay and for tour to different places.
The other islands in the Banda Island group are Pulau Ai, Pulau Run, to the west and Pulau Pisang to the east, to the southeast are the Pulau Hatta, The Nailaka, Batu Kapal, Manuk, Pulau Keraka, ManuKang and The Hatta Reef.
The Banda Islands is also the best place to try the Indonesian Street food which is mostly a variation of the yellow rice, coconut and fish. Smoked tuna and local ice desserts are also popular dishes are also available for cheap rates across the street which mostly costs around 10-15 Rp.
The Banda Islands are the remote areas of Indonesia and the perfect place to visit by a traveler if you want to get to know more about the Indonesian culture and its history.