I think I’ve never found any place where people are so eager to interact with foreigners as in Krui… there are “hello mister” coming from everywhere, no matter if you are a man or a woman. Almost everybody is willing to communicate with foreigners, which are not so rare in these places because Krui is famous for the good surf breaks, which attracts people from several countries, but the level of the English spoken in this remote village of the South of Sumatra creates a barrier in the communication for those that don’t speak Indonesian.
If you are not in the surfing mode, or if your skills aren’t good enough for strong waves, Krui is still a pleasant place to stay: quiet village, nice people, warm weather and a sea with a perfect temperature… let’s say, something around 27 degrees all year round. But… there’s always a “but”… the currents are strong and the waves break hard on the shore.
So this makes swim a danger activity, but with the low tide the reefs create a barrier that makes the waves break offshore, and just small waves reach the beach. Perfect moments, sitting in the shade of a tropical tree, watching the clear blue water and feeling the warm wind coming from the ocean heating my wet clothes… as in this area, swimming suits are just allowed to men!
But Krui, located between the tropical jungle and the sea, is more to offer than just the waves… there are rice fields to walk through, waterfalls to discover, rivers to swim and a market to visit in the centre of the village, that during the Ramadan get’s alive and makes us forget the sleepy mood that warps Krui during the day.
Where to sleep in Krui:
There are a few hotels along the main road, but the best places to stay are nearby the beach, usually identify as surf camp or losmen, and close by the surf breaks.
Fortunately, by chance, the Losmen Palm Beach Krui crossed my way and there I found a very nice room and a chill atmosphere, which make me stay longer that I planned. The owner, a German guy a long time living in Indonesia, is a friendly host and help me a lot with information about how to reach Krui and how to move on to the next destination.
There are different kinds of rooms in this surf camp that is also prepared to receive big groups. I stay in a single room in a cozy wood house, with a fan and with outside toilet (but not shared)… the cheapest options for a solo traveler is 100.000 Rp a night. There are quite some social areas to chill and interact with others guests.
Meals and breakfast are not included but can be ordered on the day before, or even include in a pack along with the room price…. but there’s always a tasty morning coffee for free. Nearby, less that 5 minuts walking there are a few warungs serving the standard Indonesia food.
Losmen Palm Beach Krui is located a few meters from the beach, and about 25 minutes walking from the local market, where you can find the commercial area, restaurants and street-food.
The wi-fi at Losmen Palm Beach is very good, fast and reliable.
Where to eat in Krui:
Along the main road that crosses the village there are many warungs with the usual Indonesian food, but during the Ramadan, most of them are closed.
The Warung Nasi “Dua A” is open early morning (around 6 a.m.) serving tasty food for a cheap price; is located next to the P.O. Krui Putra, where the buses stop from Bandar Lampung and Bengkulu stop (close from a roundabout with a fish statue).
During the Ramadan, around 3 o’clock the crossroad nearby the pasar (market) get full of people selling food, lots of fresh fish but mostly sweet drinks, sweets and snacks, usually gorengan (deep-fry stuff)…. there are lots of choices, all home made treats.
If is difficult to find an open eatery in Krui during the Ramadan, it’s also a excellent opportunity to try the home made treats made specially to break the Ramadan fasting…. but be quick, as around 5 p.m. this street market closes.
During the day there are a few fruit shops as also supermarkets, open until 10 p.m.
How to move around in Krui:
The village of Krui is not that big and can be done on foot, but the warm temperatures make a walking during the day in hard task… you’ll be the only one walking in the village as everybody move by scooter!!!
But to explore the surroundings is better to rent a scooter.
- you can drive along the coast and spot other beaches and surf breaks.
- drive through the small fishing settlement and enjoy the “hello mister” from the villagers and pass by the Krui´s small fishing harbor.
- walk along the rice fields until finding a waterfall… but you gonna need a guide for this!!!
- swim in the river along with the local kids… for that ,you need to drive along the Krui-Liwa road until you find a turn to the right side; from there drive all the way until the end of the road that crosses a beautiful countryside landscape and you’ll end up in a wide shallow river…. I’ll not be alone there but is an enjoyable experience swim in the fresh water at the end of a hot day!
- drive through the jungle until Liwa and from there visit the lake (Danau Ranau)… but this is a long trip through a winding and steep road!!!
A a scooter for 70.000 Rp for one day… but long term rentals are much cheaper.
ATMs and Money exchange in Krui:
There are an ATM in Krui but be prepared because sometimes it can run out of money. The closest ATM is at Liwa.
Didn’t saw any money changer.
How to go from Krui to Bengkulu:
There are two bus services from Kuri to Bengkulu:
- O. Krui Putra… it arrives at Krui around 6 a.m…. but can be later depending on the traffic and many others factors, as this bus comes from Jakarta. The bus stays about 30 minutes at Krui to allow the drivers to rest. The trip took 11 hours with 2 stops for rest and food (30 minutes each) and a few more stops to drop passengers and cargo.
The road until Manna is very beautiful, with the sea in one side ant the jungle on the other side (you can spot monkeys) and the pavement is mostly in good conditions, but after that is getting worst. As the bus get close from Bengkulu the traffic increase significantly. You can ask the drivers to drop you at your hotel or nearby the bus travel agents of Jalan MT Haryono.
You don’t need to book or buy the ticket in advance, just show up at the P.O. Krui Putra “office” (nearby the roundabout with the fish statue, just next to the “Dua A” warung) and wait for the bus. The ticket cost 130.000 Rp.
The Krui Putra bus is old and doesn’t have much confortable. I ask to seat on the front as there is more space… but here is air-con; be prepared for loud music all the way!!!!
- San Travels… they have a bus that passes at Krui daily around 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. and the ticket to Bengkulu cost 175.000 Rp. The trip takes about 8 hours, according to the information of the guys who are selling tickets but I couldn’t get confirmation). The San travel has more modern and comfortable buses but this option has the inconvenient of making the most interesting part of the trip – Krui to Maans – during the night but MAYBE it arrives before 1 a.m., on time for you to get the bus to Padang on the same day… but nothing is guaranteed!!!
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