Kei, Pasir Panjang

Kei, Pasir Panjang

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The Kei Islands’ most famous tourist draw is Pasir Panjang, 3km of white sand so powdery it feels like flour, fringed with swaying coconut palms. And despite the brochure-cover beauty, the beach is almost entirely deserted – except at weekends when a couple of karaoke outfits crank up the volume near the beach’s access points: Ngur Bloat (south) and Ohoililir (north).

At the beach’s reputedly haunted north end, 700m beyond Ohoililir village, Coaster Cottages comprises a range of accommodation. We like the four, spacious new rooms. Think white-tiled concrete constructs with twin beds and mosquito nets, wooden table and chair inside as well as on the shared patio out front, where you’ll have audacious beach views. Oh, and those startling clam-shell mandis are well worth a photo op. Old rooms are actually closer to the beach, have brick walls and double beds and are a bit cooler, but have older basic mandis that are a touch slimy. The grand villa has character to spare with vaulted ceilings, an ornate sitting room and two bedrooms with a double bed in each, but it’s not necessarily worth the price jump unless you’re going family style.

There are also two wooden government houses for rent in the shady north end of the village, which you can rent through the kepala desa (village head). Other than Coaster Cottages, these are the only accommodation we can wholeheartedly recommend on this beach, though there are two bungalow properties on the south end, along with a handful of snack kiosks in Ohoililir proper.

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