Exotic Natural Landscape, Nyang-nyang Island

Nyang-nyang may just be a small island among the Mentawai Islands off the coast of West Sumatra, however, it has a huge reputation among avid surfers around the world as one of the best surfing spots among the islands, in Indonesia, andeven in the world. For Mentawai is known for itsconsistently high and exceptionally long rolling waves.

With its exotic natural landscape, Nyang-nyang Island is located southeast of Siberut Island, within the South Siberut district in the Mentawai Islands Regency.

Mentawai's Nyang Nyang Island, Sumatra
Mentawai’s Nyang Nyang Island, Sumatra (Source : mojosurf.com)

Vast stretches of pearly white sandy beaches line  the shores of the island, while rows of coconut trees and green tropical forests decorate its interior. With soft winds blowing through coconut leaves and nothing but the sound of the incoming waves breaking onto the shore, this place truly indulges those who are fortunate enough to set foot on it. For surfers, this is truly a perfect setting as they wait for the next roll of huge waves.

Acknowledged to have the 3rd best waves in the world, there are at least 400 surfing spots all around the Mentawai Islands. Some of the most thrilling  are located at Nyang-nyang Island.  From June to August waves can reach 4 meters high here. Some of the best surfing spots at Nyang-nyang are given the names: Nifusi, Bank Vaults, Pit Stop, E Bay, and Beng-Beng.

Mentawai Surf Spots
Mentawai Surf Spots (Source : mentawaisurfingretreat.com)

These spots earned their titles from surfers who associated them with different characters of waves or for other reasons. The Pit Stop marks the first surfing spot that one comes across upon arrival at Nyang-nyang Island  coming from the Muara Village on Siberut Island;  while the Bank Vaults got its name from the tightly locked rolling waves that resemble Vaults in Banks. Some refer to E- Bay as short for Emerald Bay for its crystal clear waters, while others suggest that the name comes from the  shape of waves here that resemble the letter E when viewed from the sky. While, the inspiration for Beng-beng is said to have come from one of Indonesia’s chocolate snack brands of the same name,  since the waters in the area are brownin color, like chocolate.  But the waves of Beng-beng are those that can be surfed only by experienced surfers since the spot has some of the most extreme waves that crash on nearby dangerous rocks.

Among surfers, the waves of Nyang-nyang Island have their own appeal. The island is known to have attracted a significant number of surfers who wish  to conquer its challenging waves. Some of the world’s finest surfers, among whom, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, and Indonesia’s own Rizal Tanjung are often seen on this island demonstrating their fascinating surfing skills against the challenging tide of the island.


Those who come here are  usually prepared to stay in simple wooden cottages with minimum facilities which are provided by the local population at quite affordable price. However there are several surf camps that also provide accommodation such as the Pitstop Hill Mentawai.

While surfing obviously sits on the top of your bucket list, there are other exciting things you can do while  on Nyang-Nyang.

The island is  where the local people grow coconuts. At certain times you can catch them harvesting coconuts using nothing but bamboo poles.

After a long day of dancing with the waves, you can relax in the afternoon and observe nature display one of its greatest spectacles as the sun sets beyond the horizon, and you gaze upon its beauty  accompanied by a fresh drink of pure coconutwater.

The seas around the island are also great for scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing.

You can also expand your quest for thrilling waves around the nearby islands of Karangmanjat, Masilok, Muaro Limo, Mainuk, Botik, Kroniki, and others.

At Karangmanjat there are a number of renowned surfing spots such as the 4 Bobs, the Rifles, John Candy, Karambak Left, Pistol, Resort Black, Crystal, and No Kandui. The Rifles got its name from the very fast pace of waves as they roll in as if they were shot from a rifle. No Kandui actually comes from the English phrase “ No One Can Do It”, so you can just imagine andfigure out how challenging the waves must be.


To reach Mentawai, you must first fly to Padang, capital of West Sumatra. Sabang-Merauke airline flies Padang-Mentawai, or you can take SMAC charter flights to Sipora islandwhich lies south of Siberut. Alternatively take a ferry boat to Mentawai, which takes around 12 hours.

Nyang-nyang Island can be reached from Muara Siberut on Siberut Island by renting a motor boat. With a distance of approximately 21 miles, the boat ride will take about 1 hour with costs ranging between IDR500,000 to IDR600,000. If you are travelling in a group or can join other travellers, you can also together rent a larger boat which can accommodate up to 8 passengers with costs ranging between IDR 700,000 to IDR 900,000.


The best time to catch the waves at Nyang-nyang Island is from June to August. You should pack your own food supply anddrinking water before leaving for Nyang-nyang Island since there are no shops or fresh water sources on the island.

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