sign in a cave in Laos

24 February 2008

Sawai, Seram, Maluku

Sawai is a small Muslim water village on the north coast of Seram Island, in Maluku, Indonesia.
To reach it we drove across the island from Masohi, going through the mountainous Manusela National Park. Our first view of Sawai was looking down on it from the hill above.

The mosque is a prominent feature. Much of the village is a water village, with the houses built on stilts in the sea. There are only a couple of lanes through the village, barely wide enough to take our car.

The water supply for the village comes from a cave and the ladies do the washing in the canals.

We stayed at Pak Ali's, a house on stilts.

View from the house -

We did various trips. One to Pulau Raja to see the fruit bats but none are left. The government built boardwalks through the mangroves to see the bats, but now no one goes.

We went along the scenic sea cliffs to the Muslim village of Saleman, to watch the evening bat flight from a cave. On the way we stopped at a sea cave.

Views of the village

We walked through areas of nutmeg and cocoa trees to Gua Lasai.

Gua Lasai was short but quite interesting -

 mossy bird nests

Later that day a welcoming dance was laid on for me by the villagers of Masihulan .

We did a trip up the Salawai river and watched sago being processed.

 Salawai river  -


 Shipwrecked !!
but we had lunch

We stopped at another sea cave and the boat went in most of the way -

Back at Pak Ali's -

 Dinner -

On the last night another cultural dance was held for me by the villagers in Sawai.

Next day it was time to leave

For other albums on Seram, see Maluku Seram and parrot rescue centre and Akohi Cave.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission


  1. Dear Liz,
    just wondering if we can set up an album under your name on the "Maluku Spice 2010" Facebook page. This is not a commercial site and is hoping only to help the promotion of Maluku in a non political, non religious manner. My husband and family are from Maluku, hence my interest.
    We have around 2000 photos on the site to date under the names of the various photographers and authors. The concept is to encourage people with links to Maluku to return for a visit in 2010...helping hopefully the local community and economy. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. thanks fot the information about Sawai........

  3. Sama sama!!. Hope you liked it.