Pasir Timbul – Most Beautiful Island Of Raja Ampat, Indonesia


Pasir Timbul is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. In the middle of nowhere, walking on its waters is like floating in the world of dreams. Come with me on my journey to this deadly combination of white sands and the water that carries hues of aquamarine, turquoise, and midnight blue.

Pasir Timbul Island - Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Pasir Timbul Island – Raja Ampat, Indonesia

After soaking in the beauty of Pianemo Islands we retired in our cozy Raja Ampat Dive Lodge. I woke up to the music of sounds made by a hornbill. Took a walk to the deck, which was the only place to get some mobile signal, and was welcomed by the chiming of wind chimes. I looked around and asked myself, can there be a more beautiful and more peaceful place than this? As they say, you should be careful with what you ask for, the universe conspired to show me one of the most beautiful beaches in the world later that day.

Arborek Village

Our first half of the day was spent at a lovely Arborek village. This visit to Arborek introduced me to the culture of the Raja Ampat islands. I got to hear the music played on basic instruments, I got to eat their food, and soak in a bit of island life.

Read More – Arborek Village – a Piece of heaven called Raja Ampat

Pasir Timbul

Hues of Blue color at Pasir Timbul - Raja Ampat
Hues of Blue color at Pasir Timbul

Post lunch at Arborek we sat in our speedboat and most of us dozed off. The motion of the speedboat was a perfect lullaby. After a few minutes, we woke up to the jerky motion of the boat. I still remember opening my eyes, looking out of the window, and seriously wondering if I am awake or in some dream sequence.

The boat was surrounded by blue waters. The lone circular island stood in the middle surrounded by white sand. I stepped out on the deck, looked down and I could see the seabed. There was no marine life to be seen but the sand and the small pebbles were clearly visible.

Pasir Timbul - Panorama view
Panoramic view of the island and the colorful seascape

The captain soon parked the boat and set a ladder again the boat for us to get down. The first to go down was Budi Doremi – the famous musician from Indonesia who was accompanying us on this trip. Budi standing in the waist-deep blue water with his guitar just added a musical aura to the ambiance.


We all stepped into the waters. I could sense that most of us were jumping with joy. There was a sense of euphoria in the air as we tried to absorb the magic around us. We all wanted to pick up the surrounding and pack it in our bags.

Budi with his Guitar at Pasir Timbul
Budi with his Guitar

As I walked from the boat towards one of the sand islands – the color of the water moved with me. The water would be transparent where I stood, with 100% visibility of the ocean bed. After 4-5 feet it started acquiring color – a light hue of aquamarine, the color then keeps getting darker. You realize the illusion as you move – colors keep moving with you. They make you feel you are the center of the universe and the colors you see depend more on where you stand.

Travelers enjoying the magic of Pasir Timbul
Travelers enjoying the magic of landscape and seascape

Double Beach

Two sand patches stood out on either side. I decided to walk to the one on the right. It was not easy to walk holding a camera, but when nature calls you-you must walk. At one place on a narrow strip of sand, I saw the waves hitting from both sides. It was a unique sight. How many times do we see a patch of sand that can technically be called a double beach? Sitting on the patch of pearly white sand, I looked at my fellow travelers. All of them jumping around, playing with the waters, and trying to click the best images possible to take back. We all tried but like anyone who has been to this amazing island will tell you, you cannot capture such places. They capture you.

Pasir Timbul Raja Ampat Trip Video

After spending an hour or so, we bid goodbye to this gorgeous island promising to come back with our family & friends.

This is a place where I missed having a camera that can go underwater. Thanks to Sonal Paladini for clicking some of my lovely pictures there.

Kabui Islands

Rock formations at Kabui Islands
Rock formations at Kabui Islands

On our way back from we took a tour of the Kabui Bay – where again we met islands and islands. It was like driving through a maze of big and small islands. The setting sun provided a perfect backdrop to these islands.

We stopped by one of the islands and stood on the wooden platforms around it. Right in front of us was the island that looked like the face of a society woman. You could look at other islands and make your own guesses about what they looked like.

Just like Pianemo islands, the islands of Kabui Bay also attract a lot of visitors.

Pre-historic handprints or hand stencils

Pre-historic hand prints & hand stencils - Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Pre-historic handprints & hand stencils

I have been following rock art at various places in India – Bhimbetka, Chhattisgarh & in Spiti Valley at Tabo. This rock art is like looking at the photographs taken for us thousands of years ago.

The oldest of such paintings were believed to be in Europe but lately, some of the paintings have been discovered in the islands of East Indonesia. It reveals a lot about human evolution and human migration. The paintings at Raja Ampat region are in the form of hand stencils also referred to as handprints. These hands are of the same size and seem to belong to a teenager. However, elsewhere they have been found of all kinds – male & female hands, left & right hands, big & small hands. Mostly they are found around the mouths of caves although at Raja Ampat we saw them on rock surfaces. Who knows they may have been caves 40,000 years ago.

I had goosebumps when I saw those handprints 20 minutes away from Kabui Bay. It was like looking at a communication written thousands of years ago. I wondered what they wanted to say, have we been able to decipher their message? Archaeologists guess that these were some kind of message or marking to indicate dwelling caves or to indicate animal hunts. There is no concrete consensus, though. Is it not intriguing that this kind of hand stencil is found in so many distant places?

Read more about hand stencil rock art and cave art at Sulawesi.

We, humans, are no less in creating mysteries for future generations.

Travel Tips

  • It is 20-30 minutes from major tourist spots like Wasai Island or Arborek Village.
  • Most lodges in Raja Ampat would be able to arrange a trip to Pasir Timbul island for you.
  • Most sand islands are visible during the low tide, so do check with your lodge for the right time to visit. Visiting during high tide would keep the sand islands hidden, though you can still appreciate them from the comfort of your boat.
  • Carry an underwater camera or a cover for your camera. You will miss it like I did if you don’t carry it.
  • Use the sunscreen or your skin will remember it for many days to come.


  1. Anuradha,

    I commented on a different post regarding Indonesia, however I specifically wanted to do this one because this post relates most with my passions, The photography, the subject of these photos, and especially the subject of writing correlates most with what I enjoy because it’s primary focus is the beach. Beaches are one of my favorite places so I really enjoyed this piece.

  2. Thank you for this incredible post, it’s hard to not keep starting at those first two photos. I’ve been living in Indonesia for a year now and Raja Ampat is still on my bucket list (because it’s so expensive to get there), but after seeing this post I definitely want to add Pasir Timbul to the Raja Ampat package.


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