KEI ISLANDS DESTINATIONS
Technically two cities on two islands, majority Muslim Tual on Dullah and Majority Catholic Langgur on Kei Kecil are in fact joined by a bridge, connected by the city angkot that run right through from one to the other, and betwen them share the Kei Islands main port (in Tual) and airport (in Langgur). As such, they really form a single practical unit that should be treated as one. The two cities have pretty much everything visitors might need in the Keis such as supermarkets, internet cafes, travel agencies and a range of accommodation, so even though they have little in the way of actual tourist attractions, chances are you will be popping into them every now and then.
Bridging the two central islands, these twin towns form the Kei Islands’ main commercial centre and transport gateway. Christian Langgur is relaxed, strung along broad avenues. Tual, predominantly Muslim, is a jumble of ramshackle humanity which gives it a manic edge. Many of Tual’s ‘Arabs’ are (mixed) descendants of a migration from the Middle East 250 years ago
Geographically, the northeast islands are still part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The Aru Islands and Kai Islands lie to the northeast, and Babar Island and Timor lie to the west. The islands separate the Banda Sea and the Arafura Sea. The total land area of the Islands is 5440 km² (2100 sq mi).
The largest of the group is Yamdena. Yamdena Island has a range of thickly forested hills along its eastern coast, while its western coast is lower. Saumlaki is the chief town, located on the south end of Yamdena. Other islands include Larat, Selaru, and Wuliaru.
The population was 105,394 at the 2010 Census, of whom about 73% are Christian, and the remainder Muslim or unknown. The tiny island of Tanimbarkei is not part of Tanimbar, but of the Kai Islands and inhabited by less than 1000 very traditional people.
The Tanimbar Islands are part of the Banda Sea Islands moist deciduous forests ecoregion.
The Tanimbar Islands, southwest of the Keis, have a distinct culture most similar to that found in Southwest Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara.
They remain a major centre for the production of traditional crafts like ikat cloth and carved wooden statues in Maluku, and also have their own forms of music and dance, though as usual, you will have to be lucky (or pay up) to experience these first hand. Cultural attractions apart, the Tanimbars also have their own distinct fauna, including 8 species of birds endemic to the archipelago, and the usual fine beaches.
Most of the above attractions can be found on the main island of Yamdena, which is also home to the regional capital Saumlaki. This is the most accessible of the islands, and the main focus of most visits. Of the other islands, Larat in the north, with its town of the same name is the most accessible one, and the only one to offer any facilities.
The Place must be visit when at Kei Island