Day 1 - 1 Nov 2018
Content: With my friend, I decided to spend a week adventurously. We picked Raja Ampat in Indonesia for our trip. It is a district in West Papua Province that consists of four large islands with charming island clusters. Indonesia’s white-sand beaches and lively beaches trigger our attention. Raja Ampat is one of the most isolated groups of islands in the world. The journey to this island was not simple but memorable in life. To access the islands you must travel via the city of Sorong. There are no direct international flights into Sorong. The best way is to choose via Bali or Jakarta. We took an Indonesian airline from Jakarta. We arrived at Sorong airport. When we landed at Sorong city, many taxi drivers were bombarded for business. We bargained for the best price and hired a taxi to Sorong seaport.
Content: We stopped at Rumah Makan Mini for breakfast. It was located on a small side street behind the supermarket Yohan. They offered wide varieties of Indonesian and Chinese foods. The food taste was average.
Content: The taxi ride from Sorong airport to the ferry harbor took around 10-20 minutes. The road was traffic-free so that we reached the port on time. We reached the ferry point for our ferry to Waisai, which is on the island of Waigeo. It is the capital of the Raja Ampat. Express ferries or slow boats are available for the journey. Usually, the express ferry takes around 2 hours and the slow boat takes around 5 hours. Bahari Express ferries are the fast boats and Fajar Mulia is the name of the slow boat. The sea was smooth and seats on the ferry were comfortable. We enjoyed the ride!
Day 1 - 1 Nov 2018
Content: Waisai is a town located at the southern end of the island of Waigeo in the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia. Because of the diving and sightseeing spots, it becomes the most popular place. There are many homestays and hotels available in the town. Waisai is the hub of transport for Raja Ampat, large ferries connect Waisai with Sorong.
Content: We checked into Raja Ampat Dive Resort located on the edge of the famous Dampier straits on the South of Waigeo Island. There are only two types of accommodation available on the island- Homestay and relatively expensive resorts. Raja Ampat Dive Resort was a modern resort located on Waigeo Island. They offered deluxe cottages with their private terrace or balcony. The room was very spacious and the wood finished.
Content: By evening we took a short walk through the streets of Waisai town. We found a long desert beach with low tide. We watch the sunset and enjoy a relaxing swim. The resort was surrounded by beautiful butterflies and native birds. The beach seems like the local's favorite spot as it was crowded with many local people. We enjoyed the evening walk.
Content: We had our dinner at the resort restaurant. Their cuisine included both international as well as local dishes in a buffet. We enjoyed the unique taste of the dishes. Fruits are always available so that we got the chance to order fresh juice anytime in the day.
Day 2 - 2 Nov 2018
Content: We had a simple breakfast from the hotel and started our day with full excitement. The natural beauty of Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua lies in Wayag Island. The Raja Ampat translates as ‘Four Kings’, referring to the four main islands of Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo, and Misool. The raw natural beauty is the attractive aspect of the island. To reach Wayag Island, it takes around four hours by sea from Raja Ampat port in Waigeo District. The cost of the longboat was not cheap but worth paying. The most beautiful beaches and most exciting dive sites are only accessible by sea.
Day 2 - 2 Nov 2018
Content: We reached incredibly picturesque, Wayag Island. It is the icon of Raja Ampat known for its extraordinary underwater life. A fairy tale panorama definitely entertains visitors with its crystal clear waters and marine flora and fauna. We set out by boat heading North in the direction of snorkel site, “Eagle Rock” at Kawe. There are so many black tip sharks that swim freely. The sound was extremely scary but they are harmless as long as there is no smell of blood. These little sharks are independently maintained by local residents so that all are trained and harmless. Therefore, tourists can freely play and swim with the sharks.
Content: After lunch at boat, we stopped for a moment at Sarpele Village. We paid an amount at a booth to improve the welfare of the surrounding community. We required to show Raja Ampat pins worth around 500 thousand rupiah for local tourists and 1 million rupiah for foreign tourists.
Content: The real beauty began once we started to climb to the top of a fairly steep rock. It took about 30-45 minutes to climb to the top. We could look at the natural beauty of Wayag more freely. Once the summit is reached, all your efforts will be replaced with a sense of satisfaction and emotion from watching the blue seawater. There are two choices of two peaks which are popular among travelers, one higher and lush with trees while the second peak is lower. The view from the top of the peak was incredible and mind-blowing. A sign of courage is needed to climb and passing sharp rocks which take time one to two hours. We realized the fact that Wayag island is a magical lagoon surrounded by conical karst hill. We spent the day with some interesting activities such as snorkeling, climbing the conical hills, and just relaxing on the water enjoying the sunset. Then return back to resort.
Day 3 - 3 Nov 2018
Content: We set this day to visit Kabui Bay, another most popular destination on the island. It is located around Gam Island and Waigeo Island. It separates Gam and Waigeo islands. Sailing into Kabui Bay was the most popular activity on the island. We took an hour's drive from Waisai to Kabui Bay by speedboat. Through our journey, we saw rocks emerging vertically from the sea covered with tropical vegetation. It is the most visited place for travelers who like diving and snorkeling. The hidden beauty of the place was revealed once we enjoyed its beauty by crossing a small lane between two great coral islands.
Day 3 - 3 Nov 2018
Content: Kabui Bay is located around Gam Island and Waigeo Island. It is popular with its cute great coral islands around which are called Karst. We could see crystal clear water around us with a lot of beautiful underwater views such as the beautiful corals, fishes, and also other kinds of marine species. Sailing between the island was an amazing activity we had. We got surprised to saw the seascapes, especially across a narrow strait that is called The Passage. It is the gateway to the northern islands of Raja Ampat, a narrow, river-like strait at Kabui Bay. Our eyes got caught by the beautiful view of the blue mangroves and rainforest meets the reef in a maze of limestone cliffs. One of the most picturesque landscapes we ever saw. We visited a viewpoint at the entrance to The Passage. After a short hike, we saw a panoramic view of Kabui Bay’s karst islands. We were trapped with the wild beauty of the island. Several cliffs can be climbed and even have man-made stairs on the island.
Content: We stopped at Batu Pencil, the icon of the island. We saw a stone island that looks different from other islands around. It is starting to appear clearly above sea level. It was in the shape of a sharp cone and soared up into the sky. It shows a resemblance to a giant pencil that appears from underneath sea level. Because of its freakish shape, it stood as the spotlight of tourists as a photo spot.
Content: We moved to our next destination, Friwen- a small island. It was located a kilometer offshore from eastern Gam’s Yenbeser village. It was a perfect spot to explore the rest of the day. We spend some time sock ourselves in Friwen Beach's clear water. White sands beautify the coast and the shady trees surround the beach ideal for relaxation. Several shops sell various foods and drinks are available. We ate fried bananas served with hot chili sauce. After enjoying the sunset view we retuirn to our resort.
Day 4 - 4 Nov 2018
Content: Today, we decided to visit Pianemo island, another famous spot. Undoublty, this island was packed with a spectacular viewpoint. We took a speed boat from Waisai to reach this island 2 hours away. The journey through the crystal clear blue waters was extraordinary. We could catch glimpses of green forests, birds, as well as growing hilly islands. The Pianemo Islands are seen as tiny islands scattered in the sea just like the gems thrown in the ocean. The boat kept moving between the islands and stopped at Laguna Bintang or the Star Lagoon. This is a popular tourist spot to see in the Pianemo Islands.
Content: Onshore we saw many Curio, they are small shops mostly selling items made of seashells. We got fresh and sweet coconut water, the only drink available there. We were very excited to climb up to the viewpoint. We reached the viewing deck through wooden stairs. Atop we could see tens of small islands covered in lush greenery. The climb can be a bit challenging due to the steep incline but it’s worth the effort. There are three commonly used Hill pathways on Pianemo—Tanjung Bintang, Bald Hill, and a final hill. We spend some time around to click the most beautiful views.
Content: We sailed to Telaga Bintang, also known as Laguna Bintang. There were no stairs or sidebars, it was just pure hiking up a steep rock. Because of the interesting factor that we could see the shape of this Star Lake, we started to climb up. We reached the top through the narrow and steep path. We saw an amazing view of the bunch of islands around it forms a star. Of course, this area has become an icon of pride for the Indonesian nation.
Content: By evening, we moved to the most interesting part of our trip. We reached the tiny island of Arborek. We found a couple of small shops selling fresh coconut, coffee, and noodles. It was a fabulous spot to snorkel. The waters just off the beach are very shallow. After enjoying the day, we return to our resort.
Day 5 - 5 Nov 2018
Content: After breakfast, we thank our hotel staff for their great service. After checking out, we headed back to Sorong. We took a flight to Bali from Sorong. The airport was crowded with tourists. We enjoyed this trip.