Maluku Travel Information - Kei Islands

The Kei Islands: Perfect Paradise?

The most accessible part of southern Maluku, the Kei Islands are rapidly regaining their reputation as the place to go to look for perfect, unspoilt beaches.
The most popular destination is the island of Kei Kecil, which is connected by a bridge to the neighbouring island of Dullah. The bridge also connects the twin towns of Tual and Langgur that make up the capital of the entire Kei archipelago, and as such, the two islands form a practical unit.
In contrast to these two flat, deforested islands, Kei Besar, the largest of the Keis, is long, mountainous and forested.
The other islands in the Kei archipelago tend to be of the little white sands and coconut palms type, but the remotest of them, Tanimbar Kei, is noted for its traditional culture.

Local Culture


The main religion in these islands is Christianity, with Kei being one of the few islands in Maluku where Catholics, rather than Protestants, dominate.
In fact Kei is seen as the centre of Catholicism in all Maluku!
Churches dominate most villages, and you may well be invited to join services on Sundays.


Away from the city of Tual which has plenty of non-native inhabitants from western Indonesia, Muslims are very much a minority in the Keis.
Keiese Muslims, like most in Maluku, tend to follow a very mild form of Islam, with veiled women a rarity. Mosques are mostly low-key affairs, too - however this shining new, Persian-style one is worth a look in its own right. It is on the outskirts of Tual, along the road leading towards Dullah village and Difur.

Getting There

By Air

There are three and flights daily betwen Ambon and Langgur on Wings and Trigana. Trigana also flies  between Langgur and Dobo (Aru Islands) both ways, and from Saumlaki (Tanimbar  Islands) to Langgur. Merpati also flies VERY irregularly from Langgur to Larat and Saumlaki.
There are plans to open a new airport with a longer airfield, which would enable larger aircraft to land here directly from Java and Sulawesi.

By Sea

Pelni ships conect Tual with Ambon, the Bandas, Dobo (Aru) and Saumlaki (Tanimbar).
They also continue on to Papua, Sulawesi, Java and even all the way to Bintan opposite Singapore.
The KM Koromolin car ferry goes from Tual to Larat in northern Tanimbar (on Tuesdays), and to Kur via Tayando (on Saturdays) weekly, while the similar KM Lobster goes twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) to Dobo in Aru. Unlike the Pelni ships, these ferry runs are often cancelled when the seas are rough.