No trip to Wakatopi is complete - without a visit to the largest Bajo settlement in the region.
The village has a well-run community-based tourism office that offers regular tours. The most popular among them is the dolphin-watching tour, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with the best friends of the Bajo Mola fisherman. Visitors will be taken at dawn to the waters around Kapota Island, where the dolphins usually gather. You can also go on a cultural walking tour, in which a guide will take you for a stroll through the narrow alleys of Mola village to show you the everyday life of villagers as well as the traditional food and snacks of the Bajo. End your visit with a star gazing tour, and listen to stories of how the Bajo have used the stars to guide them in life and their travels across the seas for centuries.
In the middle of the traditional Bajo village, crossing one the many small wooden bridges that make up the village, you will find a small house. Here a gentle old lady named Ibu Hapsah greets her visitors to her handicraft store. Ibu Hapsah is some-what of a celebrity among the community of Bajo Mola. She has been making handicrafts for over 50 years. She was also the first in her community to make them, which brought her some well-deserved fame. Despite her years she continues to be busy running her store and offers regular lessons for various organizations on traditional handicrafts. She uses materials from the ocean as well as recycled plastic and newspapers to make an array of products including jewelry, handbags, decor and key-chains. When asked about her wish for the future, her eyes turn bright, “My biggest wish would be a big educational center for handicrafts in Wakatobi. I would give all the lessons for free,” she says. If you would like pay a visit to Ibu Hapsah, just head to Bajo Mola village on Wangi-Wangi and enquire at the tourism information center, the first building on the left when entering the village.