Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Raja Ampat : Enjoy the real underwater paradise


Raja Ampat or "Empat Raja" is a name that is given for these islands. A name that comes from local myth. Four main islands are Waigeo island, Salawati island, Batanta island, and Misool island as producer of ancient rock painting.

The underwater lovers around the world come to Raja Ampat to enjoy the best underwater scenery in the world. Two days before, when you're in Bali which full of hustle wrapped with art and culture. If you're the true traveler, Raja Ampat is a place that must be visited whatever the reason. When you arrive by plane in the bird head of Papua island (New Guinea), get ready for the great adventure that can't be forgotten. Start your trip by diving in the most beautiful underwater. Explore the vertical sea walls and also feel the challenge when you dive in. Surely, it will be the personal experience that can't be forgotten in Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat Islands

Region of islands in Raja Ampat is very wide, about 4,6 millions hectare of land and sea. Raja Ampat is a house of 540 types of coral, 1.511 species of fish, also 700 types of molusca. The richness of biota has made Raja Ampat as living library for collection of coral reefs and marine biotas in the world's most diverse. According to the report of The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, there are 75% of world marine species live in this amazing islands. 

"I was like a five-year-old, seeing a reef for the very first time. I was awestruck, held by the incredible power of this richest reef. We must, with all available resources, preserve the beauty of Raja Ampat. This may be the last frontier."
(Michael Aw, taken from www.iriandiving.com)

When you arrive in Raja Ampat, the happiness will be felt fastly. People will praise their Lord's name as a sign that they're awestruck also as a admiration form of God's creation. You also will find some people that are silent as a sign that they're very impressed with a piece of paradise that is thrown to the sea, where the sea looks like a great glass. Very clear !!

“"Di sini bagus!” says from the friendly local guide of  tourist travel agent in Raja Ampat. It means that the visitors has arrived in one of the best dive site in the world. The tourist agent also has a side job as a fisherman if they are not working. The fisherman is very familiar with domestic and international tourist, they're very friendly especially if they're given candies. It can be considered as a form of courteous and able to make them smile.

The fishermen in Raja Ampat usually eat snacks while chatting each other. They will swap funny stories while they eat areca nut as their snacks. In everythings include natural similarity, culture and history, fisherman community of Raja Ampat has resemblance to the Moluccas.
                     
"I love the people, I love the diving, it's super! I've never been for a second time to the same dive destination but now I'm thinking about going back for the third time! Should I say more?"
(Peter van Dalen,  taken from www.iriandiving.com)

What Activties You Can Do?


Raja Ampat islands is amazing natural phenomenon with the rich natural biodiversity. There are 1.320 fish species in Raja Ampat ; has 75% of all coral species in the world (10 times the number of coral species that is found in whole Caribbean) ; 600 species of coral recorded, 5 species of rare marine turtle, 57 species of Mantis Shrimp ; 13 species of sea mammals ; 27 species of fish that can be found only in this area.

An amazing marine scenery from the all sides will give you a cue that photographing is one things that can't be missed. Natural condition of Raja Ampat is very unique and different as it has endemic ground structure, marine biodiversity, coastal ecology, aso its culture. Combined with residents tradition and their local wisdom, this is one of the perfect beauty in the world.

Please choose some activities below or maybe you can try it all.
  • Diving to see shipwrecks.
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Explore the island by boat
  • Visiting red birds of paradise
  • Enjoying the beauty of the Karst islands around Wayag island. 
  • Exploring the bat cave 
  • Make your own wood sculpture guided by an Asmat craftsman.
  • Fishing with traditional Papuan techniques.
  • Trekking to discover waterfalls.
  • Feeding the cuscus
  • Snorkeling
In Raja Ampat, you also can see "sea ghost", located in the east side of Waigeo, in front of Urbinaspoen village and Yesner village. There is a unique and interesting phenomenon and only can be seen at the end of year. The phenomenon is a light comes from the sea and surround the surface, lasted for 10 to 18 minutes. The local people call it as "sea ghost". The phenomenon is more than just beautiful sunset view and can be seen from the boat (Don't forget to record it by your camera)

In the west side and north side of Waigeo, you can see traditional show of bamboo flute usually called as "suling tambur". The traditional show is usually staged during religious festival, every Independence day of Indonesia on 17th August, and when the visit of the important leaders. If you're interested with Anthropology, the traditional show must be in your holiday schedule or in separated agenda.

Paintings palm
In Timolol, you will be amazed with its cave. You can see big paintings of human and animal palms. It's painted by cave occupant from prehistoric era. Meanwhile in the north of Waigeo, you can also study the history by visiting cave from World War II era, the place for bunkers of dutch and japanese troops. Sometimes, local people over there dance the war dance that can be seen. Also a waterfall in Salawati, a view that can't be missed.

Meanwhile, there is an exotic island named Ayau island which consist of small islands in Karang Islands where its seabed has white sand and connect one island to another island.

Also there are unique sandy islands, local people call it "Zandplaat", a place of unique habitat of local vegetation. You can see mothers and her kids catch sea worms.

South Waigeo become favorite destination of diving enthusiasts. When you here, don't forget to visit Kabui Bay which has many karst islands, skull cave, and historic site of Raja Ampat in Kali Raja. You can see various types of bird in Yenwaupnor village and Sawinggrai village, Salay dance in Saonek, and woven craft in Arborek. In Arborek, you can dive again and witness a group of stingrays swim. In Sawandarek, white sandy beach with sea duck and beautiful corals should be visited. Moreover, there is a traditional village where you can walk around and enjoy unique atmosphere.

You can also dive in the west of Waigeo, Batanta, and Kofiau. Potential of tourist destination is the right place to be visited by house boats. Coral island (karst) in Wayag Islands has interesting natural object to be enjoyed.

Usually, the divers will be joined with travel tours and stay in diver resort during the visit to Raja Ampat. To access dive sites, you can contact the travel agents that can be found in Sorong. Some travel agents also offer tour options from the boat such as :
1. Tour from the boat surround Raja Ampat.
2. Dive in Raja Ampat
3. Raja Ampat.

From Sorong, there are two types of boat : speed boat and long boat. The speed boat can transport 15 passengers, needs one hours 40 minutes, the fare is Rp 2.000.000,00. By long boat, it can transport 10 passengers, needs 2 until 3 hours, the fare is Rp 1.200.000,00. You need to know that sometimes the fare can change depend on situation.

You can rent small boat if you want to explore more free. The islands in Raja Ampat has 4 mountainous main islands and hundreds small island around it that can be explored.

Moreover, Raja Ampat has many corals which are beautiful natural phenomenon. There are various unique faunas like birds of paradise, red birds of paradise, and cuscus. For the type of flora, you can see orchid, palm tree, and many more.

Try to do trekking by surrounding the island to find hidden beauty like waterfall and ancient cave.

For shopping, many divers say that the best gift from Raja Ampat is the story about your travel during your time in Raja Ampat. Surely, you have to show good photos. However, if you want the real gift in physic form, you need to give them gift that can be bought like :
  • Sculpture of Asmat
  • Traditional clothes
  • Traditional music instruments
  • Flute
  • Tambur (traditional drum)
The goods are usually sold in souvenir shops in various cities in Papua. It will ease you to don't bring many goods from Raja Ampat. You can buy woven crafts in Arborek if you visit the village in Raja Ampat.

How To Go There?

If you fly from Jakarta which need 6 hours by plane from Sorong and stop in Manado. Or, you can follow diving tour in Bali and fly from there. In Sorong you can get almost all your needs here, though its price is more expensive because of remote location.

Usually only the marine lovers that will come to Raja Ampat. You don't need to be an expert in diving to follow the diving tour, because of travel agent provide tour for the diver and non-diver.

Ship always depart everyday from Sorong to Waisai, mother city of Raja Ampat regency in Waigeo island. The ship depart from Sorong at 13.00 o'clock, travel from Sorong to Waisai needs 1,5 hours until 2 hours. The ship back to Sorong from Waisai at 11.00 o'clock. Also available speedboat in Sorong to be rented.

Flights from Jakarta / Bali to Sorong which later will be connected with flight from Makassar or Manado which is provided by : 

Travel Tips and Accommodation

Nowadays in Sanoek Monde, there is a harbour where 3 resorts (Batbitiem, Waiwo, and South Waigeo) over there are under construction, the resort are located at Nyandebabo island. However, during the construction isn't finished, you can stay in some these places :
  • Sorido Bay, famous with its coral reef
  • Kri Eco Resort, traditional resort built on the sea.
  • Encampment island.
  • Boathouse (Many travel agents provide it)

For travel tips, please read the tips below.
  • On October or November is a very right moment to visit Raja Ampat because the sea is calm and perfect for your camera.
  • Please bring underwater camera or water resistance wrapper. Use your underwater photography skill because take some photos under the sea isn't easy but also it's a remorse if you miss it.
  • Bring sunblock, sunscreen, and hat also comfortable T-shirt for the beach weather.
  • Bring some insect repellents and anti-malarial drugs. 
Wanna come to Raja Ampat and get your perfect holiday there? Collect some information accurately. You can also get the information in the office of Dinas Pariwisata Raja Ampat.

Office of Dinas Pariwisata Raja Ampat
Waisai village, South Waigeo regency
Contact number : (+62) 81344422779
Or visit : www.gorajaampat.com


More information about Raja Ampat and another tourism objects in Indonesia especially in Papua, please visit Wonderful Indonesia
May be useful and thankyour for your visit :)

6 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
  2. permisi....
    wisata ke belitung yoook... laskar pelangi of island.
    (jointrip). untuk menekan cost para
    traveller.Target kami cukup 6seat untuk 1grup keberangkatan.
    Kalaupun anda mempunyai team sendiri, berjumlah 6orang, anda bisa
    menentukan sendiri tanggal keberangkatan.
    Paket ini sengaja di design se hemat mungkin. Sayang jika dilewatkan. Murah
    meriah tapi tidak terlantar... (he hee heee)
    * Durasi kunjungan 3hari 2malam.
    * Season ini dibuka untuk tanggal 14-15-16 februari 2014
    Dengan perincian biaya,
    * Tiket pesawat PP ± 1jt.
    (Jakarta~tanjungpandan~jakarta) untuk maskapai yg dipilih, silahkan
    konfirmasi dulu..
    kami hanya menetapkan maskapai apa???
    * 800.000/orang
    ( sudah termasuk ; mobil,hotel melati,boat ke pulau, alat snorkl kacamata &
    pelampung, karcis masuk, makan 4x )
    ###
    Jadwal kunjungan ;
    ***
    Hari pertama (belitung timur area) dengan penerbangan pagi, tamu dijemput
    dibandara. & langsung menuju belitung timur.
    - laskarpelangi of school
    - museum Andrea Hirata
    - pantai lalang
    - makan siang
    - pantai burung mandi
    - vihara dewi kwan im
    Lalu pulang ke tanjungpandan,
    - nongkrong dl dipantai tanjungpendam, sambil menantikan sunset.
    - pulang ke penginapan
    - makan malam
    ***
    Hari kedua :
    - breakfast
    - bukit berahu
    - tanjungkelayang, akses boat menuju pulau2... (makan siank dibungkus)
    - pulau lengkuas
    - pulau pasir
    - pulau batu berlayar
    - pulau kepayang
    - pantai tanjung tinggi (pantai laskarpelangi) sampai sunset.
    - balik penginapan
    - makan malam
    ***
    Hari ke3
    - breakfast
    - danau kaolin
    - rumah adat
    - transfer bandara tuk kepulangan

    Contact Person : +6281331939505 / 219ac6dc

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those photo are so beautiful! I love to see them. Can't wait to go to my next travel after Jogja XD

    ReplyDelete
  4. papua is an incredible place to enjoy the nature, that's what my father said. i hope i can be there soon. thank u for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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