Monday, October 11, 2010

Christmas Vacation in Tropical island of Papua

Where will you go during this Christmas holiday?
Christmas time is coming. Europe, Northern China, Japan and the United States will be in Winter again. Some people have already planned to spend their holidays in the Caribbean islands while others are probably willing to dive in Sinai region of Egypt. Well, I have a better offer to you, the tropical island of Papua. It is the largest tropical island in the world. In the world map, Papua is also called New Guinea. The eastern half of the island is administered by a free independent state of Papua New Guinea whereas the western half - the Republic of Indonesia. Indonesia is located between the continents of Asia and Australia and the Pacific and the Indian Oceans.
Beautiful coastal city
Manokwari is a very beautiful city. It stretches along the Dorey bay that is surrounded by Arfak and Table Mountains. Along the coastal region of the inner side of the bay, tourists can enjoy swimming and snorkeling at Pasir Putih beach, Maruni beach or around the Mansinam, Lemon and Raimuti islands. There are around 4 small and big lakes in the southern area of the city at the foot of Arfak mountains. 
From snorkeling to deer watching and bird watching
There are a lot of ecotourism activities which tourists can choose while traveling to Manokwari. Those who love sun bathing can go to Mansinam island. Those who love surfing can go to Pantura beach where waves from the Pacific Ocean can reach up to 3 meters on certain months from December up to April. If you are somebody who likes taking photographs of nature, Manokwari regency has a lot to offer. From underwater world of coral reef and ornamental fish in Kaki island, to lesser birds of paradise, doves, cockatooes, deers and kuskus in the head water of Kamundan river in District of Senopi, wildlife photographers will  have plenty of objects to shoot while being in tropical nature of this Papua island.
Watching Birds of Paradise in District of Senopi
Senopi is located in Kebar valley, a great savannah between Manokwari city and Sorong city. Here in this district, you can enjoy natural hot spring water that is good to cure various kinds of skin diseases. Or if you are a bird lover, you  can hike through the tropical rainforest to see cockatoo, lory and crown pigeon, or birds of paradise perform courtship dance early in the morning or a few hours before sunset at quiet slopes to seduce their female birds. In the middle of nowhere, you can soak yourself in the fresh water of Kamundan river. You will frequently hear the sounds of deer like horns of big trucks in highway. At night, accompanied by a local Papuan guide, you will have the chance to see some kuskus with their bright red eyes coming out of their hiding places. Read my other article: Birding in Senopi to know more about it.
Learning Herbal Medicine from Kwau village in Arfak Mountains
Suppose that you are a nature lover, and you are interested in studying herbal medicine. If this is one of your dreams then Kwau village is a place that I'd like to recommend to you. I know someone there who is expert in curing many kinds of diseases using herbs that grow inside the tropical rainforest of Arfak Mountains. From the treatment of intestinal worms in children's stomach to the treatment of malaria tropica, Samuel Mandacan - a "herbsman" can teach you the local wisdom of the indigenous people on how they cure diseases and ailments. His knowledge of herbal medicine is an accumulation of hundreds of years of healing tradition which has been preserved and passed down inside his family as natural healers.
Why I promote this eco-tourism destination to you?
I have been promoting eco-tourism for Manokwari regency since last year. The number of foreign tourists coming to Manokwari and its surrounding districts is increasing steadily. I hope that more tourists will come so that we can provide alternative jobs to the indigenous people both in the islands near Manokwari city and in the Arfak and Tambrauw mountains. When these indigenous people get money from providing services and goods to tourists who come to their villages, they will be more appreciative to their environment. This will greatly prevent them from giving up their lands and forest to greedy loggers and palm oil plantation investors who have caused massive environmental destruction in Prafi valley.We know that tropical rainforest absorb great amount of CO2 gases which we emit everyday. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of us around the world to help preserve this precious environment.
How to get to Manokwari?
Well, it is not difficult to come to this city. Manokwari is the capital of West Papua province. Just check a flight to Jakarta or Denpasar (two important cities) in the Republic of Indonesia. From those cities, you can book a flight to Manokwari. Several domestic airline companies such as Batavia Air, Merpati Airline , Express  Air and Lion Air provide direct flight service from Jakarta and Makassar city to Manokwari. If you plan to spend your holiday in a tropical island this Christmas, then Manokwari city should be in your list of consideration. When you arrive in this city, it is not only one island that you  will get see and enjoy but 5 tropical islands. You can even enjoy many more if you are willing to spend another week of your Christmas holiday in this West Papua province. by Charles Roring

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