FAQs

A few questions you might need answers to

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is mandatory for your personal safety. It is mandatory for all our guest to have proof of insurance for the full time they stay with us which includes overseas medical and dental, emergency assistance and medical evacuation. Allianz Global Assist travel insurance can be purchased for Australian residents via our sales manager and in house travel agent Alexa from TravelManagers Australia.

Other insurance providers:

  • Cover More (Australia, UK, New Zealand)
  • Indo Surf Travel Insurance (Australians)
  • 1Cover (Australia, New Zealand)
  • World Nomads (International)

When contacting travel insurance providers, please make sure they have a detailed plan of action in place in case of a Medivac situation in the Mentawai Islands.

What documents do I need to take?

Citizens of the US, Australia, and Europe require a passport with a minimum six months of validity left from the day you arrive back in your home destination. If you do not have six months validity Indonesian Immigration will deny your entry. Indonesian Immigration will issue you with an immigration form that you are required to present to them on your departure at the airport. Please take good care of this form.

Visas and how long can I stay in Indonesia?

Most travelers coming from the US, Australia, and Europe are issued tourist visas upon arrival, but if you carry a passport from other countries it is worthwhile checking to see if you need a visa.
The standard tourist visa is applicable for up to 30 days and is USD$35 payable in Padang by cash only.

If you are intending to stay longer, you will need a 60-day visa from your country of origin. You can also enter Indonesia with a 30-day tourist visa and extend for another 30 days at the immigration office.

When you leave the country you will have to pay an airport tax of 150.000 Rupiah (around 15 USD).

GETTING HERE

How do I get to Padang?

Your trip starts with us at Padang Airport, Sumatra.

There are few different routes to reach Padang, depending on where you’re coming from. In most cases, our guests travel via Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Jakarta. Our sales manager Alexa is a licensed and qualified travel agent with over ten years experience and can advise or assist with booking your international flights, overnight accommodation in Padang and various transfer packages available.

How do I get to the lodge?

Fast ferry schedule:

  • Ferry departs Padang at 7am on Tuesdays & Saturdays arriving at Siberut 11am. You will need to arrive in to Padang the night before.
  • Ferry departs Siberut 2pm Tuesdays & Saturdays arriving at approximately 4pm. We strongly advise booking your flights for the following day to allow for delays depending on sea conditions.

Overnight ferry schedule:

  • Ferry departs Padang at 7pm on Friday arriving at 7:00am the following morning
  • Ferry departs at 8pm Saturdays arriving at 7:00am the following morning
Is there Duty Free at Padang Airport?

No, there is no duty free shopping at Padang airport, just some basic Indonesian style cafes

What happens if my flight is delayed or my boards don’t make it?

It’s very rare that we encounter problems with our guest’s boards.
In the rare instance that your boards do not make it to Padang airport we will make arrangements with Mentawai Fast to get your boards dropped off in Siberut with the next boat and we will organise boards for you to use locally till they arrive.

Is there anywhere to go out for a few drinks in Padang ?

There is some great traditional seafood restaurants around the town to start the evening and they all sell cold beer. Things can get pretty limited for late night entertainment, the Bat & Arrow has a full bar menu in an outdoor setting, this is where you are most likely to bump into other travelling surfers.
There is a variety of pool halls around town and for those wanting to rock on there is a recently opened modern disco in town called The Tea Box which goes till all hours. Dress code is long pants and shoes, no singlets or thongs.

What happens when I arrive in Padang?

This is one question we hear most frequently. Perhaps the best way to answer it is to show you step by step what happens between the time you touch down in Padang and when you reach the resort…
Please click the “ITINERARIES” link on the left side of this page !

ONCE AT THE LODGE

Can I be contacted if there’s an emergency situation while I’m at the Lodge?

For any urgent matters please email info@mentawaisurflodge.com or phone our sales manager Alexa on +61 0434968898and who will liaise with our ground staff accordingly.

What should I pack for my trip?

The best advice when packing for a surf trip is to pack as lightly as possible.
This fundamental rule of travel is especially true on a surf charter through the Mentawai Islands – when most of your time is spent in the water.
Please click the “ESSENTIALS” link on the left side of this page, it provides an extremely helpful checklist you should use for your trip.

Is there a photographer or videographer available for my trip?

Subject to availability.

Can I celebrate a special occasion at the resort?

Hopefully with enough advanced notice we can accommodate any and all requests.

Can I recharge my video camera etc.. at the Lodge?

The Lodge uses 220V electricity with 120V converters and we advise you to bring your own converters.
Be very careful before you plug anything in! GinGin Mentawai Surf Lodge does not take any responsibility for technical damage.

Can I buy souvenirs from local Mentawai people?

Yes, there is a few young kids starting to sell items at some breaks in their canoes. This is a great way of giving a little bit back and we encourage a bit of fun bartering and shopping this way – cash only.

Can I pay an additional services by Credit Card ?

We kindly ask all guest to finalise their bill the day before departure. We do have credit card facilities available however not on site, you will be required to fill out a credit card authorisation form. You can also settle your balance by cash.

How much money do I need to take?

As explained in the next section, we will only accept payments of extra items during your stay via Credit Card.
But you could need some cash for the following reasons:

  • Traveling Money: $150
  • Souvenir money: $50
  • VISA money: $35
  • Money for tipping the staff: $80 is average
What is your policy on illegal substances?

Gin Gin Mentawai Surf Lodge STRICTLY PROHIBITS the use of any drugs.
The Indonesian Government has strict penalties for drug possession and trafficking which include the death penalty. Guests found with drugs on the property will be asked to leave IMMEDIATELY and no refunds will be given. Guests will also have a lifetime ban from our lodge. We will not sacrifice the safety of our guests and staff, nor our lodge’s reputation for illegal behavior.

SURFING AND DAILY WATER ACTIVITIES

Can you give me an idea of how many other people I’ll be surfing with?

This question really depends on where you want to surf.
It is possible to get away from the main spots and surf in solitude – everything really depends on the conditions for that day and the consensus among the group.
You’ll definitively get surfs by yourself on the wave breaking at the front, the funny BengBeng, as it’s only a 5 min paddle out, and you can be first or last in the line up everyday.
The “shoulder months” of March, October, and November are a great time to get good waves and escape the activity of summer.
During the peak season, it’ll be less easy to find a totally empty line-up on the most famous breaks, but there’s always a secret spot somewhere…

Is there a ding repair Service at The Lodge ?

We do have all the materials to fix you board, and Regan is really good at it.
Prices start from around AUD$10 for an average reef ding.

What time is Sunrise / Sunset?

Roughly 0600hrs and 1900hrs.

ITINERARIES ~ VISAS

Arrival in Padang Airport

We offer the option to take you out for diner that first night, in one of these local places only known by true locals…

A great way to get to meet the group you’ll be staying with for your trip and get a glimpse of Sumatra’s busiest city.
Note : transfers from your hotel to restaurant will be at your own charge. We can assist in booking taxi for you.

We advise that guests have flexibles schedules. Weather conditions can potentially cause delays to further travel connections. GinGin MSL will always do the maximum in the respect of security rules to ensure guests will be able to make their connecting flights but we reserve the right to not be responsible for unforeseen delays during the transfer process.
We thank you for your understanding.

Departure from Padang Harbor

You’ll be picked up at your hotel the next morning (a Tuesday or Saturday) by our driver no later than 6’15 am, who will drive you to the harbor.
We will then embark on Mentawai Fast, to cross the 150 km of Indian Sea to Siberut, in 3 to 4 hours, depending on sea conditions.
It is a 200m long ferry that can fit 200 persons. Apart from surfers from all around the world, it is mostly used by locals living in the Islands and travelling to and from the continent.
You’ll be complimentary given a bread bun and a small bottle of water, but you can also purchase other items at the Snack Bar, such as cup noodles, soft drinks and beers.
The cabin is equipped with A/C, and individual comfortable seating. There’s an outdoor viewing area and 2 toilets.

Arrival in Siberut and transfer to The Lodge

Once arrived in Siberut, we will have a 30 min break, time to get gear and boardbags out of the ferry.
There’s a small café selling snacks and beverages, with a friendly staff if you feel like having your first Mentawai beer !
We will then embark you in our speedboat for the last 30 to 45min ride to The Lodge, while the surf guide will go over the basic flow at the Lodge, the past week’s swell and what to expect on arrival.

Arrival at GinGin MentawaiSurfLodge!

Here you are ! Final destination, welcome to GinGin’s !
You’ll be greeted with a welcome mocktail, and we will go for a quick tour of The Lodge, before you get to your home for the next week or so.
At this initial meeting you will be met by our resort manager, your surf guide, and a few other members in our staff to help carry your belongings to your room. In each room we have towels, hot water, almost everything a normal hotel room would have
Once your gear is in the room it’s time for dinner.. We also encourage you to bring your own laptop but ask that you try to keep it in your uma to prevent damage or it getting lost. If you prefer to work in the restaurant please try to take it back to your uma at night.

Before Leaving GinGin MSL

The day before departure is better to settle your bill for any items you may have purchased during your stay (alcohol, photos, internet, souvenirs…) so we don’t have to rush in the morning of departure.
You can ask for a review of your Tab anytime during your stay, and pay day by day if you prefer too.
We ask our Guests to sold their balance by credit card payment only.

On departure day, Saturday or Tuesday, two surfing options will be available : either get a last surf at the front for as long as you want (Beng Beng will be happy to see you for the last time !) or get a quick boat ride to Pistops or Nipussi, to the furthest, having to be back at The Lodge at 11 am for quick shower and lunch before departure.
We’ll have to leave the Lodge with our speedboat no later than 12’30, as Mentawai Fast will depart Siberut at 2pm.

Our representative in Padang will be there to pick up the group upon arrival at Padang harbor and make the necessary arrangements to take everyone back to the airport or more than likely to a Hotel as in most cases, all flights will leave the next day.

Flying to Padang, Sumatra (PDG) from Overseas

Coming from anywhere in Indonesia

  • www.garuda-indonesia.com
  • www.lionair.co.id

Coming from Australia

  • www.airasia.com
  • www.garuda-indonesia.com
  • www.malaysiaairlines.com
  • www.tigerair.com

Coming from Europe or North America (East Coast)

  • www.emirates.com
  • www.qatarairways.com
  • www.etihad.com
  • www.airfrance.com

Coming from North America (West Coast)

  • www.china-airlines.com
  • www.emirates.com

Coming from South America, expecially Brazil

  • www.jal.com
  • www.china-airlines.com
  • www.koreanair.com
  • www.cathaypacific.com
  • www.singaporeairlines.com

Coming from South Africa

  • www.emirates.com
  • www.qatarairways.com