STEP TWO: Get a taxi from the airport to the small port town of Singkil on the west coast of Sumatra. The journey is about eight hours, depending on traffic and weather. That might seem crazy (and sound expensive) to you or me, but it’s standard practice for the taxi drivers who make the trip almost daily. The journey is an experience in itself, taking you through the Sumatran jungle, and the countless tiny communities that live alongside it on almost every stretch.If you need a hand booking your van, drop us a line. When you arrive in Singkil You may need to stay overnight, but don’t expect to find any accommodation on tripadvisor or hotels.com. Accommodation here is simple, and we know a very hospitable local family who cater for the thin trickle of travellers who pass through here. As well as putting you up in a comfy and clean bed, they’ll serve you delicious local pancakes for breakfast, and help you get to your pick-up point to take you to the islands.
STEP THREE: To get to the islands you can take a longer local ferry for cheaper, or you can get the fast boat that takes one and a half hours. Once you arrive in Pulau Balai, jump on the boat, shake off the travels and relax. Deny will update you on the swell forecast and together you will agree a plan for the next few days. Eat, surf, sleep, repeat.