Exploring the surf at Negeri Ratu

Exploring & surfing beyond Krui & Tanjung Setia

The areas around Krui and Tanjung Setia in South West Sumatra have been well explored by travelers and visiting surfers. The many roads, lanes and tracks used by the local fisherman provide easy access to 'most' of the coast. If you're a surfer in search of a new major surf break it's unlikely you will find one along this stretch of coast. But if you're looking for a laid-back adventure there are many hidden beaches and bays to explore.

Jennys surf break Kruipan South Sumatra Jennys point surf break ~ 2014
The road to Jennys point lampung Sumatra One of the many bays on the way to Negeri Ratu

From Krui town the coastal road stretches 250km north to Bengkulu and 150km south to Belimbing.

The North

This is a well traveled route, serviced by a number of bus companies, but the Lemong district remains uncrowded, visited only by a handfull of tourists and surfers.

Penengahan to Bintuhan

North of Penengahan and Jimmy's Right the highway leaves the coast and winds it's way through the mountainous jungle for 40km before returning to the coast at Pantai Batas Manola.

The stretch of coast from Pantai Batas Manola to Kaur, north of Bintuhan, is well worth exploring. There are a number of surf breaks in the Bintuhan area, but the 9 hr return drive and difficulty in predicting the swell stops most day trippers from Krui.

Visiting this area in 2021 it was immediately noticable that you had moved beyond the influences of foreign tourist ventures and become immersed in a genuine Indonesian experience. 2022 saw this situation beginning to change with the opening of the first surf camp at Bintuhan. By 2023 a number of Krui area surf camp owners are already planning to expand to the Bintuhan area.

The next two years is probably the best time to experience the Bintuhan area ... before the Surf Culture extracts it's inevitable toll from the local community.

The South Pantai Siging Bengkunat

The south is far less traveled, (beckoning to those who can't get far enough off the beaten track) and it is here, south of Bengkunat, that new surf breaks could be found.

Beyond Bengkunat

There is little tourist information on what lies south of Bengkunat. Locals have reported (2023) that to explore beyond Bengkunat Belimbing district you will need to be accompanied by a driver who knows the area well.

Unfortuanately this area could be destroyed before it's been explored due to the massive and growing number of land based fish farming operations that regularly pour huge amounts of effluent into the ocean. Apart from the obvious pollution risk shark sightings around fish farms in the popular surf areas of Biha and Way Jambu have become more common in recent years.

Truck breakdown in Sumatra The road to Jenny's, washed out and blocked ~ 2016
Banana Island Lampung province Sumatra Banana Island 2017 ~ © Simone Corradi 2017

Once you step beyond the well worn track the language barrier could become a challenge. In some areas and villages the local dialect is more commonly used than the official language of Indonesia.

Wooden bridge Mandiri Sejati, Sumatra Exploring Mandiri Beach area 2022

Cultural Sensitivity

Behaviour that's acceptable in many western countries or tolerated in Bali is often considered in very poor taste by the modest people of South Sumatra. Becoming aware of some Sumatran culture and customs is highly recommended for a safe adventure that leaves good will and respect in the communities you visit.