When one thinks of West Sumatera, one might be reminded of the richly spiced food, horn-shaped houses, beautiful woven cloth, or the many lakes and mountain dispersed across the province. It’s less likely that anyone would think of white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters, especially with the hype of eastern Indonesia having the best beaches in the country. Thus, I kept my expectations low. I was ready to accept whatever kind of beaches the locals said were beautiful. I had the privilege of traveling to four of the most famous islands of the area and I was blown away by how beautiful the beaches were; it proved my expectations wrong about beaches in West Sumatra. Just off Bungus Beach, south of Padang, islands are scattered about with beaches waiting for those in need of a little bit of sun and sea. Most of them are deserted, some of them inhabited by a few people. On a charted boat, visitors can hop from one island to another, until they finally find the right island to stop and take a nap. Pasumpahan Island A long time ago, the Dutch and Minang people made an agreement regarding the peace of the land. The pact was violated and there were casualties. This island is said to have been witness to the violation, hence it is called Pasumpahan Island, after the word sumpah, which means vow. Aside from the tragic story, this small island is a serene getaway. Once we arrived, our group wasn’t the only one there. Fishermen were just off the beach in boats, gathering their nets. The colorful boats floated on the crystal blue waters that quickly turned from light to dark. The seafloor must drop pretty drastically. The white sand is as soft as you would expect and the gentle water coming in that morning called for some paddling, if not swimming. Pagang Island I was stunned coming to this beach. The white sand stretched quite a distance to the south. Palm trees bowed enough to keep in sight of anyone admiring the beach. Pagang Island is located south of Pasumpahan Island. It has little huts where we could leave our lunch and swimming gear. An extended worn-out wooden pier completes any beach. It is the place to jump in liberation for a second or two before dropping into the deep cool water. The pier was long enough to reach the deeper part of the water, where the water turns into a darker blue. After jump, it is a free swim to anywhere the heart desires. This beach clearly has it all. There is an area where visitors can snorkel more to the north west of the island but I failed to visit the area as we had too much fun on the white sandy beach and had to head to the next island just across the strait. Pemutusan Island This place is not technically an island; Pemutusan Island is named from the world putus, which means disconnected. Pemutusan Island is a piece of land that is separated from the main island of Sumatra but connected by a thick sand bar. Underwater, there isn’t much to admire but I could have been looking in the wrong place. On the northern side of the sand bar, the ocean floor is relatively flat for about 20 meters before coming to a drop-off. The only thing that was interesting about the underwater view was the large collection of clams that were very colorful and varied in type. It was heartwarming to see these natural water filters were around and numerous. I spent the rest of the day on a worn string hammock until it left marks on my thighs and the sun penetrated too much through the palm leaves. I then enjoyed the juice of a freshly opened coconut and chatted with my friends. With the ocean crashing gently and enough of a cool breeze, everything was pleasant. For whatever purpose we were there for, it felt like a holiday indeed. Sikuai Island This island used to have its own name instead of Sikuai, which is the name of a resort that used to occupy the island. However, the management of the resort failed to continue for a fourth year and left the island. Three months later, the resort is abandoned, with buildings slowly being dismantled by locals. On another note, it is now accessible to public. Anyone can enjoy the white stretch of sand in front of what used to be the location of the resort. The resort picked this part of the island for a reason. The white sandy beaches, turquoise water, gentle sea, and the stunning views of the neighboring island are the things that make this beach still worth visiting. There are some areas with coral remaining beneath the water’s surface, but most of it is just rubble, though still with the presence of colorful fish. Unfortunately, I have to say that these beaches aren’t the cleanest in the world. Garbage is visible on each beach. Hopefully, the local government will take the time to manage a sanitation program to keep the islands clean, for better travel experiences for both local and international tourists. Nonetheless, I still had a lot of fun on these islands, which goes to show that the beaches really were that good.