Ambon Island: Wikis


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Ceram tpc 1967.jpg
Ceram and Ambon Islands (Operational Navigation Chart, 1967) Not for navigational use.
Ambon Island is located in Indonesia
Ambon Island (Indonesia)
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 3°42′S 128°10′E / 3.7°S 128.167°E / -3.7; 128.167
Archipelago Maluku Islands

Ambon Island is part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. The island has an area of 775 km2 (299 sq mi), and is mountainous, well watered, and fertile. It is one of the 3 main island of the South Moluccas. The main city and seaport is Ambon (1990 pop. 275,888), which is also the capital of Maluku province. Ambon has an airport, and is home to the Pattimura University, a state university, and a few private universities.



Ambon Island lies off the south-west coast of the much larger Seram island. It is on the north side of the Banda Sea, part of a chain of volcanic isles that form a circle around the sea. It is 51 km (32 mi) in length, and is of very irregular shape, being almost divided into two. The south-eastern and smaller portion, a peninsula (called Leitimor) is united to the northern (Hitoe) by a narrow neck of land. Ambon city lies on the north-west of Leitimor, facing Hitoe, and has a safe harbor on Amboyna Bay.

The highest mountains, Wawani 1,100 m (3,600 ft) and Salahutu 1,225 m (4,019 ft), have hot springs and solfataras. They are volcanoes, and the mountains of the neighboring Uliaser islands, extinct volcanoes. Granite and serpentine rocks predominate, but the shores of Amboyna Bay are of chalk, and contain stalactite caves.

Wild areas of Ambon Island are covered by tropical rainforest, part of the Seram rain forests ecoregion, together with neighboring Seram. Seram, Ambon, and most of Maluku are part of Wallacea, the group of Indonesian islands that are separated by deep water from both the Asian and Australian continents, and have never been linked to the continents by land.

As a result of this isolation, Ambon has few indigenous mammals; birds are more abundant. The insect diversity of the island, however, is rich, particularly in butterflies. Seashells are obtained in great numbers and variety. Tortoise-shell is also exported.


The average temperature is 80 F., rarely sinking below 72. Rainfall can be heavy, especially after the eastern monsoons, and the island is vulnerable to violent typhoons. The dry season (October to April) is coincident with the period of the west monsoon.


Cassava and sago are the chief crops, which also include breadfruit, sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, pepper and cotton. In addition to these, hunting and fishing supplement the local diet. Nutmeg and cloves, were once the dominant export crops, but are now produced in limited quantities. Copra is also exported. Amboina wood, obtained from a local tree (Pterocarpus indicus) and highly valued for ornamental woodwork, is now mostly grown on Seram.


The Ambonese are of mixed Malay-Papuan origin. They are mostly Christians or Muslims. The predominant language of the island is Ambonese Malay, also called Ambonese. It developed as the trade language of central Maluku, and is spoken elsewhere in Maluku as a second language. Bilingualism in Indonesian is high around Ambon City. There are strong religious tensions on the island between Muslims and Christians[1] and ethnic tensions between indigenous Ambonese and Javanese transmigrants.


In 1513, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Ambon, and it became the new centre for Portuguese activities in Maluku following their expulsion from Ternate.[2] The Portuguese, however, were regularly attacked from native Muslims on the island's northern coast, in particular Hitu, which had trading and religious links with major port cities on Java's north coast. They established a factory in 1521, but did not obtain peaceable possession of it until 1580. Indeed, the Portuguese never managed to control the local trade in spices, and failed in attempts to establish their authority over the Banda Islands, the nearby centre of nutmeg production.

The Portuguese were dispossessed by the Dutch already in 1605, when Steven van der Hagen took over the fort and without a single shot. Ambon was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) from 1610 to 1619 until the founding of Batavia (now Jakarta) by the Dutch.[3] About 1615 the English formed a settlement on the island at Cambello, which they retained until 1623, when it was destroyed by the Dutch. Frightful tortures inflicted on its unfortunate inhabitants were connected with its destruction. In 1654, after many fruitless negotiations, Oliver Cromwell compelled the United Provinces to give the sum of 300,000 gulden, as compensation to the descendants of those who suffered in the "Ambon Massacre", together with Manhattan.[4] In 1673 the poet John Dryden produced his tragedy Amboyna; or the Cruelties of the Dutch to the English Merchants. In 1796 the British, under Admiral Rainier, captured Ambon, but restored it to the Dutch at the peace of Amiens, in 1802. It was retaken by the British in 1810, but once more restored to the Dutch in 1814. Ambon used to be the world center of clove production; until the nineteenth century, the Dutch prohibited the rearing of the clove-tree in all the other islands subject to their rule, in order to secure the monopoly to Ambon.

During the Dutch period, Ambon city was the seat of the Dutch resident and military commander of the Moluccas. The town was protected by Fort Victoria, and a 1911 encyclopedia characterized it as "a clean little town with wide streets, well planted". The population was divided into two classes orang burger or citizens, and orang negri or villagers, the former being a class of native origin enjoying certain privileges conferred on their ancestors by the old Dutch East India Company. There were also, besides the Dutch, some Arabs, Chinese and a few Portuguese settlers.

Ambon city was the site of a major Dutch military base, which was captured from Allied forces by the Japanese in the Battle of Ambon (1942), during World War II. The battle was followed by the summary execution of more than 300 Allied POWs, in the Laha massacre.

Indonesia declared its independence in 1945. As a result of ethnic and religious tensions, as well as President Sukarno's making of Indonesia a centralised state, Ambon was the scene of a revolt against the Indonesian government, which resulted in the rebellion of Republic of the South Moluccas in 1950.


  1. ^ Mardai, Gadis (30 January 1999). "Ambon rioting leaves 100 dead in Indonesia". World Socialist Website. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  2. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. 25. ISBN 0-333-57689-6. 
  3. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. 28. ISBN 0-333-57689-6. 
  4. ^ Milton, Giles (2000). Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: How one man's courage changed the course of history. Sceptre. pp. 400. ISBN 0374219362. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Ambon article)

From Wikitravel

South Maluku : Ambon

Ambon is an island in the Maluku region of Indonesia.

  • Ambon (city)


Ambon, the provincial capital of Maluku, is built on a hillside overlooking the bay. It has a number of interesting historical and cultural sites, among the remnants of forts built the the Dutch East Indies Company during the heyday of the spice trade. The ruins of the Pourtuguese fort at Hila are almost entirely hidden beneath the contorted roots of a giant Banyan tree. The ANZAC War Cemetery near Ambon town is the site of serviced held every year on April 25, to commemorate the Allied soldiers who died in region during World War II. The museum Siwa Lima has a fine collection of local arts and crafts. Ambon is at the Maluku end of the annual yacht race between Darwin, Australia and Ambon. The race usually takes place in July and August.

Get in

There are daily flights from Jakarta to Ambon, via Makassar or Surabaya. Alternatively there are boats from various parts of Indonesia. Schedules change frequently, but any travel agent in Jakarta or a major Indonesian city can arrange this.

Get around

Bemos and some buses around the island, becaks for shorter distances and now we have lots of ojeks around the island. Taxi is also available for hire and can be found mostly in major hotels.

Ojek is a public transportation by motorcycle.

  • Siwa Lima Museum
  • Commonwealth war graves
  • Namalatu beach area
  • Pintu Kota
  • Waii eels


Various seafood, Batu cake (translate to rock cake, eat with tea or coffee).

  • Restoran Tantui Seafood / Hygenic Market or Pasar Higenis in Jalan Tantui. Favourite dish: Fish in Almond Sauce, Yellow Soup Fish, Rica-rica, Balado Shrimp, Black Pepper Crab, Black Pepper Lobster, Bitter Mellon with fish, Papaya flower. (Price range: Rp. 25.000,00 to Rp. 100.000,00 per Fish/lobster)
  • Manise Hotel, Jl. W.R Supratman No.1, Ambon 97124, +62 911 354144 (, fax: +62 911 354145). Manise Hotel [1] A family owned hotel, this hotel has an unbeatable location in town which is very accessible from every part of the city.  edit
  • Mutiara Hotel.  edit
  • Aston Natsepa Ambon Resort & SPA .JL. Natsepa No 36 Suli Salahutu Maluku Tengah 97582". ph "+62 911 362257" fax "+62 911 362256" email "" [2] Enjoy a beautiful hotel located in one of the most beautiful locations in Indonesia that combines exceptional service and attention to detail to ensure a most memorable stay. </sleep>

Stay safe

Ambon has been wracked by ethnic and religious violence since 1999. While tensions between the main Muslim and Christian factions have been slowly waning, there were still scuffles in spring 2004 and caution is advised. In 2007 there were minor bomb blasts in March and April.

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