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South Pagai Island, the Developing Island in Mentawai Archipelago

South Pagai Island is one of the islands of the Mentawai Archipelago. This island had gone through a terrible disaster in 2007. At that time, there was an earthquake near the island. The earthquake caused coastal uplift, enlarged the islands nearby and even produced 6 new islands. The disaster didn’t stop at this terrible incident. In 2010, another more terrible earthquake occurred and caused tsunami. The tsunami swept the entire island leaving the people homeless. 
Almost all houses and buildings were severely damaged. The government of South Pagai is trying to rebuild the island up to now. Today, the most densely populate towns in this island are Penempet, Bulasat, Bake, Talopulai and Tapak. The number of population is difficult to estimate because of the lack of infrastructure and communication.  
          As previously mentioned, South Pagai Island is one of the islands in Mentawai. The island lies off the west coast of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. The nearest island of South Pagai is North Pagai. The distance between the two islands is only about 2 km. There are several smaller islands near South Pagai. They are Saumang (31.1 km), Sibigau (34.6 km), Labajau (38.7 km), Pitojetsabeu (38.9 km) and Kainangmuri (43.9 km) Islands. The island has prominent stream, i.e. Simatobat River and mountain, i.e. Mount Muntai.  The mountain stands high above the surrounding island. The steep sloped and local relief of the mountain are 300 m and more. Most people of the island live in remote areas, and therefore they still maintain their traditional way of life. You can easily find nuance of traditional culture when visiting the island.

          When visiting the island, you can plan to do various activities. The activities vary from jungle adventure to marine activities. You can do hiking or trekking in beautiful natural forests of the island. While hiking or trekking, you can observe the primates living in the forest, such as macaque. This is one of the rare monkey species. In addition, you can visit the villages with local culture. You will find it interesting learning the local culture of the people. You can also learn how the people of this island live. Most of the people live from agriculture or fishery sector. They live as farmers or fishermen. When visiting the island, you can observe about their way of life. You can also do marine activities such as swimming, snorkeling or diving. However, it is quite difficult to find rental equipment for diving and snorkeling. Hence, it is better for you to bring them yourself.

          Some tourists prefer to stay at local families in Tua Pajet. Others like to stay on yachts which can be chartered from Padang. Some others like to stay in resorts. However, there are only a few resorts in South Pagai Island. The resorts are not big either. Hence, you need to book early when you are about to visit the island. Especially at holiday seasons, the resorts will be fully booked. You need to plan your accommodations carefully.
          Visiting South Pagai will give you a fantastic experience, especially when you visit the surrounding islands as well. South Pagai Island is the one of the most beautiful islands in Mentawai. 
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