Starting from the island Tanakeke south of Makassar and stretching to the north as far as Pangkep and Barru lies a vast area with over a hundred small islands. This area is part of the Makassar Strait and is usually referred to as the Spermonde Archipelago. One of the numerous islands is Pulau Badi. It lies at about 22 km from Makassar and harbours a fishermen's community of about 400 families.

From Makassar the trip to Pulau Badi takes about one to one and a half hour by 'skotsi' (small motor boat). On the way you pass the island Barrang Lompo and the sandbank Bone Batang. Most visitors to Pulau Badi will arrive at the long jetty pointing to the south. Automatically this makes this area the place of activity where people like to gather.


Like the people of many other islands at least 80% of the inhabitants of Palau Badi live of fisheries. Much of the fish caught does not enter the island, but is brought directly to the main land or sold to collectors. A part of the fisheries is life fish trade. Some small fish caught are reared in special areas in the sea closed by nets.

Walking around you usually many bright colored boats on the beach. Most boats go out during the night. These wooden boats need much maintenance, especially regular painting.

Around noon the streets are nearly empty. This hour of the day most people prefer to sit in the shade of a tree or in the room between the stilts of the house. From there you will hear women chatting and the voices of children reciting verses from the Koran. Just under the roofs of the house the temperature can be like in an oven when the iron sheets are hit by the midday sun.

The main streets on Pulau Badi are paved with concrete blocks. A few side roads have coral debris as surface, all others are sand roads. 
Most people use wood oil for cooking. Fire wood is often dried on the pavement and stored in stacks next to the houses. Above the streets hang the cables of the electricity network. The generator of the island provides electricity from sunset until midnight. There is no water piping system on the island. At several places there are wells that give reasonable quality water during the rainy season. Towards the end of the dry season the water becomes brackish. During that period much of the drinking water comes all the way from Paotere harbour in Makassar.

It is not difficult to make pictures of children and youths. Many of them will ask you to be photographed and will pose showing typical hand signs.

The youngest kids are clever in imitating their older brothers. On the beach three children proudly show their colorful kite. Some young men painting their boat and covered heavily against the sun, like to have their picture taken while laying in the sand. At a ice-syrup seller a guy poses with a one string guitar. Everybody is just relaxed. Nobody asks me why I make so many pictures.



Roughly the pattern of Pulau Badi can be drawn as an oval with four to five rows of houses along the beach and a sandy open field and a group of old trees in the centre. At the edge of the open field is the primary school building and the mosque. Under the group of old trees is the island's graveyard.

Primary school facing the open ground in the centre of the island

Together with the neighbouring island "Pulau Pajenekang" the island "Pulau Badi" forms the administrative village "Desa Mattiro Deceng". The village head lives on Pulau Badi and has his office there. The village belongs to the sub-district ('Kecamatan') Liukang Tupabiring, what is part of the district ('Kabupaten') Pangkep (source:

Village offices of "Desa Mattiro Deceng"

You will not find any restaurants on the island. Sometimes there are some girls going around selling snacks though. There are a few little shops where you can buy soft drinks, biscuits, cigarettes etc.

Later in the afternoon the people slowly appear in the streets again. Now the position of the sun is lower, there are plenty of shady places to work, sit or play.

Children playing chess their way

The jetty of the island is a popular place to gather. Next to seeing people arriving and leaving it is as well liked for catching a breeze under the roof at the end of it. Some people go there for just a short visit, others might work on some boat engine parts, or might just take a nap. For many visitors it is the place where their boat leaves again to bring them back to the mainland.


 islands | travelling | home