Banda Neira or Banda Naira is one of ten volcanic islands in the Banda Archipelago in the Maluku province, in eastern Indonesia. Known as a charming island and a historically significant destination. To reach Banda Neira, you can take a domestic flight to Pattimura Airport, Ambon. Here are the top spots in Banda Neira that a must visit once you get there.

1. Fort Belgica

The construction of this Dutch fort began in 1611, under the direction of Pieter Both. He had been appointed governor-general of the region to create a monopoly and expel the English. I was maintained as a military headquarters until 1860 and then lapsed into ruin until it was magnificently restored a few years ago. Gunung Api or Mount Fires stands out in Banda Neira and gives such a stunning setting. It is a perfect place to wander around and imagine its former opulence. Visit this place, you must report and pay a donation.

2. Fort Nassau

It was used as a port in the 16th century for Portuguese send troops from their base in Ternate Island (northern Maluku). Fort Nassau or Benteng Nassau then being restored and used as a warehouse by the British in the early 19th century. Sadly, the fort is overgrown and remains only three walls, gateway, and cannon that lies on the ground. But still, Benteng Nassau is still a pleasant place to visit. You can clamber around and see the beautiful view of Benteng Belgica.

3. Hatta’s Residence

Of three early-20th-century ‘exile houses’ in Banda, Mohammed Hatta’s house is the most appealing. It’s partly furnished and photos of the dissident, his typewriter, distinctive spectacles, and neatly folded suit are all on display. In the courtyard, where there are vintage clay cisterns and an old brick well sprouting with bromeliads, you’ll also find a schoolhouse that Hatta founded during his exile. Ask at your guesthouse to find the key-holder. (Source)

4. Rumah Budaya

The Rumah Budaya (Culture House) is a museum made of and basically an old Dutch villa. It consists of a small collection of cannons, muskets, helmets, coins, and maps. There’s also a smattering of Bandanese stuff, including the parang (machete) and kapsete (helmet) used in the cakalele (the warrior dance once performed by up to 50 young males that went underground following the 1621 massacre). The museum also sells the book Indonesia Banda, as well as souvenirs made by the locals.

5. Istana Mini

Photo: TripTrus

Istana Mini or in a literal meaning is Mini Palace was build in 1622 and used as an administrative office for the Dutch. This was also a mansion for the Dutch governor at that time.  You can find 19th-century plaques and a bust of Willem III in the shady courtyard. The doors at the back of the building are sometimes open, revealing a tiled floor and a sole chandelier inside.