It was the serenity that caught me, as I was sitting at the front porch of my friend’s house after spending a whole day exploring Tanjung Bira area. The sun was just about to set, leave the trail of dark behind it. The wind was calm, but enough to stir-in coolness in a hot tropical weather. I took a deep breath, let the fresh seashore air filling my lungs. And right there, all I can feel was the serenity surround me.
Tanjung Bira (Cape Bira) is located on the foot of “letter K” shaped Sulawesi Island. It is the southernmost point of the island. Being a cape, it is surrounded by sea from two sides, creating a long beach line. Not as famous as other beach destination in Indonesia, such as Bali or Lombok, Tanjung Bira offers calmer and less-crowded ambient, perfect to enjoy its beautiful beaches and clear turquoise water. It also certainly confirms that South Sulawesi is not just Makassar and Tana Toraja, two famous cities/ tourist destination in South Sulawesi that I also visited in this trip.
My day in Tanjung Bira was started the night before, after 12 hours road trip returning from Tana Toraja. I arrived at a perfect time, just before the midnight of new year 2016. The main beach: Pantai Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach) was already packed by people waiting for the fireworks show. Right on 00:00 o’clock, the fireworks show was started, presenting all kind of shape and color in the sky, in addition to bright stars and half-moon that have been there already. The fireworks show was not as big as the one in Ancol – Jakarta, but there were less people too. Even that I arrived late, I still can find a spot on the beach, got a perfect seat on its white sand to look-up to the sky and enjoy the show, which was lasted for about an hour. After that I was lucky to experience another Tanjung Bira tradition, fresh seafood barbeque to celebrate the new year.
Then earlier in the morning, my tour was started by hiking to the peak, which called “puncak” by the locals. I went up there by motorbike, but I recommend to do the real hiking to the peak, as the distance is short and the road to get up there is beautiful. There is an observation deck at the peak, where I can get almost 360 degrees view of Tanjung Bira area. The color combination which was so fresh to my eyes, blue of the sky and the sea, green of the trees, white of the cloud and flock of houses down there.
The tour then continued to the Pasir Putih Beach which I have visited the night before. It was so crowded with visitors. From there I could see the nearby island, so I was attempted to go there. Liukang Island is only 15 minutes from Tanjung Bira by speed boat. It is a fishermen village. If you hate crowds, it is the perfect place to spend time. It is like having the whole beach for myself. It is a perfect place to enjoy coconut freshness.
Coming back from Liukang Island, we did “The Resort Tour” – thanks to connections that my friend has, we can take a peek of this resorts. They were all so beautiful and secluded. My favorite spot is the terrace overlooking the ocean. It was like living an episode of TV series: Beach House as their tag line is “hey, I have the ocean on my front yard!!!”
What a wonderful journey!! Tanjung Bira is definitely join the list of the places that I would like to visit again someday.
How to get there
Tanjung Bira is 4 hours drive from Makassar if you use private car.
For public transportation option, use the Bus to Selayar Island then get-off in Tanjung Bira Harbour. Bus fee is IDR 70k and it is 5-6 hours trip.
There are plenty accommodation choices in Tanjung Bira, from simple guest house (IDR 100-300K/night) to Resorts (IDR 700 – 2000k/ night). Most resorts can be booked in advance from their own website or booking site like Agoda.