The Moluccas are an Indonesian archipelago with around 2.3 million inhabitants. The islands are geographically located in the Banda Sea between New Guinea/West Papua and Sulawesi.

The Moluccas are also called the Spice Islands and consist of a total of 22 inhabited islands or groups of islands.

The main islands of the Northern Moluccas include Halmahera - the largest island in the Moluccas, the Bacan Islands, the Obi Islands, Morotai, the Sula Islands, Ternate and Tidore, and in the Southern Moluccas, the main island of Ambon, the second largest Moluccan island. Seram Island, Aru Islands, Babar Islands, Banda Islands, Barat Daya Islands, Buru, Goromin Islands, Kei Islands, Lease Islands, Semata Islands, Tanimbari Islands, Watubela Islands as well as Wetar.

The islands of the Moluccas are a highly earthquake-prone area and have experienced frequent severe earthquakes in recent years.

The most famous creature on the islands is the Moluccan cockatoo.

The archipelago is known for its spice cultivation, including nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves, which have been grown there on a large scale since the 16th century.

The capital and largest city of the Moluccas is Ambon with around 310,000 inhabitants. Ambon has the most important port on the island of the same name and has an international airport. The town is the only tourist attraction in the archipelago and is particularly popular with scuba divers.

The main attractions of Ambon include Merah Putih Bridge, Al-Fatah Mosque, Fort Amsterdam, World Peace Gong, Namalatu Beach, War Cemetery, Batu Layar Rock, Pattimura Statue, Morella -Beach, the Waai waterfall, the Old Wapauwe Mosque, Naku Beach, the local history museum and the lively center of the capital.

In May 2018 I visited the Moluccas and the city of Ambon for two days. I took the airline “Batik Air” from Sulawesi with a short flight to the capital of the Moluccas.

The city's airport is located on the opposite side of the large bay of Ambon, making the approximately 30-minute drive through the tropical rainforest to the city center a real experience.

The landscape of Ambon Island is beautiful to look at and very comparable to the nature on the Thai island of Phuket or India's Goa. The city center, on the other hand, is more chaotic than in a major Indian city.

As a little insider tip, I recommend the City Hotel, right in the city center. The rooftop restaurant offers delicious international dishes and breathtaking views of the bay and the city of Ambon.

After a relaxed and pleasant stay in the Moluccas, I continued on to West Papua the next morning.