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This Tiny Unknown Island Is Expected To Be The Next Tourism Hotspot In Southeast Asia

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As Southeast Asia continues to garner interest from tourists all over the world, some of the region’s hidden gems are starting to come to light thanks to their natural beauty, charming atmosphere, and reasonable prices.

Shadow Mentawai, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

According to a recent report by The Washington Post, there’s one particularly tiny island in the area, once a meetup spot for local surfers, that’s finally emerging into mainstream popularity.

Indonesia’s Best-Kept Secret

With Bali and Jakarta (one of the best cities for digital nomads) now feeling too touristy for those looking to experience the natural allure of Indonesia, travelers are turning their eyes to more obscure destinations that have yet to be affected by mass tourism.

A surfer overlooking a beach in Bali

Recently, Sipura (or Sipora), a 601 km² (232 mi²) island, has made rounds among travel circles, with many enthusiasts insisting that the tiny island, along with the others that are part of the Mentawai Islands Regency, will soon overtake Bali as Indonesia’s trendiest destination.

While Sipura is by no means a recent discovery, seeing as local surfers have favored it as one of their go-to meetup spots in the past, it has just now come to the forefront of international attention.

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Panorama of Sipora, Indonesia

Be it the pearly white sand, rich blue water, or abundant greenery, the island’s scenic splendor has been turning the eyes of eager travelers who’re after that authentic Indonesian island experience.

Why Visit Sipura Instead Of Bali

Boasting over 4 million residents, Bali dwarfs Sipura, home to just over 20,000 people, by a long shot.

So, why should someone with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Indonesia forgo the coveted experience of Bali in favor of this tiny, unknown island?

fishing boat one afternoon on the beach of teak, sipora island, mentawai, indonesia

Competitive Prices

Being a small, laid-back community, Sipura offers far better prices than tourist-filled Bali.

For example, most holiday rentals you’ll find in Sipura range between $25 and $60 a night

In comparison, if you were to spend a night in Bali, you can expect to pay anywhere between $45 and $120.

Those wanting to stay in private villas are looking at a fee of at least $250 a night.

a woman in a hat lounges by a pool

When it comes to the price of food and transportation, there’s even more of a disparity between the two islands. 

Though you can’t expect to find the same types of restaurants or high-end hotels in Sipura, you’ll still get great quality food and a comfortable bed for a fraction of the price. 

With that said, some areas on the island can still be relatively expensive, so if you’re trying to stay within a budget, try to plan your trip here between October and April, as that’s when tourism slows down and prices decrease.

Excellent Surfing Spot

There’s a reason why local surfers have been choosing Sipura as their meetup spot for quite some time now. 

Though surfers of all levels will find waves that suit their experience levels on the Island, the overall setup and terrain are better suited to more those who are more experienced.

With that said, there’s still enough wave variability to provide every surfer’s training session with both comfort and challenge.

Surfer in Mentawai Islands Regency waters Indonesia

However, surfing isn’t the only fun activity to do on the island.

Sipura is also known for its excellent snorkeling spots (complete with a diverse marine life) and fun jungle trails, perfect for an ATV ride.

Quiet, Laid Back Atmosphere

If there’s one perk that comes with staying on a small, relatively unknown island like this is that you won’t have to deal with chaotic crowds or loud music being blasted until the early hours of the morning.

Though this level of quiet can be deafening for some, those who want to get that quintessential island experience will have the time of their lives here. 

Gorgeous Views

While Bali’s natural beauty is undeniable, many consider it to be overrun by construction.

That’s why those who want to take in Indonesia’s beauty in its most pristine state will appreciate the virgin, picturesque beaches of Sipura island.

beach in sipora island, mentawai, indonesia

Keep in mind that visiting both destinations can be a bit tricky, as they’re over 1158 miles (1864 km) away from each other, and commuting would either require getting on a plane or taking a 10+ hour-long ferry ride.

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Friday 22nd of September 2023

Jakarta too touristy? Clearly have never been anywhere near Jakarta. Anywhere in Indonesia outside of Bali is not touristy, especially Jakarta. It’s also not a digital nomad hub at all. Like, I doubt there would even be one there.

Mr C

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

Harder to get to and, as mentioned by at least one other, more expensive than Bali! A hostel at $58 a night ($71 with taxes and fees!)? Please! Appears lodging options are severely limited, so the "gouging" has been activated.


Saturday 16th of September 2023

Nothing new to me. I've been a travel nomad for 57 years.


Friday 15th of September 2023

Article mentioned visiting "between October and April".. ----THAT'S high season with the most tourists and highest prices. - Think ++ tourists escaping cold winter in Europe. *** Perhaps it should have been "between April and October".

Mat Banga

Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Ok, if you spend more than $45 a night in Bali, you are doing something utterly wrong. Hotels go as cheap as $10 and hostels for less than 5$.


Monday 25th of September 2023

@Mat Banga, pls provide me with some names of hotels & hostels in Bali according to your comments/note above...thank you