Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Swedish Girls in Manokwari

Last Sunday (12 Oct. 2014) I was called by two Swedish girls who had just arrived in Manokwari by Sriwijaya Air. They were Catarina and Cait. They wanted to meet me to ask for information about tourist attractions in Papua. From our conversations that afternoon, I suggested that they go to Raja Ampat. They said that their plan was to go to Asmat. I made a few phone calls to my friends in Jayapura and Mapi regency to get more info about flights to Asmat.
Catarina and Cait - two Swedish girls were tasting red fruit paste in Manokwari
While waiting for their detailed information, I brought them to West Papua Art and Culture Festival in Valeria area. It was the final day of the festival. Fortunately there were still some stands open for visitors.
Most of the participants of the festival were happy to receive these Swedish girls. They showed them how the tradional Papuan cloth was made. There were several stands that exhibit Papuan food. Catarina and Cait were given the opportunity to taste some of the foods.
When they were offered to taste the red fruite paste, I quickly turned my smartphone camera on and took some pictures of them. The women who served these Swedish visitors explained that the paste was good for their skin because it contains a lot of vitamins and other nutrients that were good for human health.
The tour to the festival was only as short trip but Catarina and Cait looked happy about it. The next day, they continued their trip to Sorong and then to Raja Ampat. Perhaps, they would fly to Asmat after spending one week holiday in Raja Ampat. I hope that they will return to West Papua again to explore the Arfak mountains or enjoy snorkeling in Bitsyari bay of Kaimana where they will be able to see whaleshark. Written by Charles Roring/ E-mail: peace4wp@gmail.com

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cruise Ships in Manokwari

Several cruise ships have visited Manokwari this year. They are guided by Oswald from Cruise Asia. The first one was Caledonian Sky. It entered Dore bay in August and was in the harbor of Manokwari from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m..Guests from the ship watched traditional dance at Abasi beach and enjoyed lunch prepared by the indigenous people who cooked the food using traditional barapen style. The villagers burn stones first and then with the hot stones they cooked the food.
Then, they continued their trip to Table Mountain where they walked through and under the canopy of tropical rainforest.
Cruise ship Discovery Explorer in the Dore bay of Manokwari
The second cruise ship that entered Manokwari was Discovery Explorer. This was a small cruise ship that visited Mansinam island on 11 October 2014. It anchored some 200 meters off the coast of the island from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Using a small boat, the crew of the vessel transfered around 50 passengers to the pier of Mansinam for a welcome ceremony. They were received by the village chief, priests from the local church and the villagers.
After that some of the guests went snorkeling and scuba diving around the waters of Mansinam. There are several shipwrecks in the bay of Manokwari. Because the weather was not really good that morning, they could only dive in front of Cross Monument of Mansinam island.
Traditional Dance Performance by people from Arfak Mountains
Most of the guests from the ship was later transferred to Manokwari town to see the West Papua Art and Culture Festival. There they watched traditional dance performance, and handicrafts made by Papuan men and women artists.
We hope that more cruise ships will visit Manokwari in the future and we will do our best to serve the guests who come with the ships.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rainforest Tour in Sorong Regency

Klasow river in Sorong regency of West Papua
Sorong regency is the "entrance gate" for tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat islands. Many people consider it only as a transit point. As a matter of fact, the regency has got a number of tourist attractions that visitors can see. Most of the suburban areas of Sorong consists of mountains, lowland and swamps. They are still covered with tropical rainforest.
Klasow valley
There is a huge area of lowland rainforest in Klasow valley approximately 1 hour by 4WD pick-up car to the east from Sorong city. There is a village in the valley near Klabolo stream. Various species of tropical trees such as ficus, African tulip, matoa and merbau can be found in the region. It is also the natural habitat of Greater Birds of Paradise, Blyth's hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Kingfishers and Casuari birds. There are also deers, wallaby and wild pigs that live in the jungle.
Ficus tree in the rainforest of
Klasow Valley - Sorong regency
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in
the rainforest of Klasow valley
Because much of the land is flat, visitors will be able to enjoy an easy nature walk find while exploring the forest.
Use digital camera with telephoto lens or such bridge camera as Nikon Coolpix P900 to take pictures of Blyth's hornbill, cockatoos, butterflies, terrestrial orchids, cuscus possum, snake, riverscape and wild vines that are seen during the jungle walk.
Blyth's hornbill in the rainforest of
Klasow valley - Sorong regency

Where is Klasow valley?
Please look at the following map to see where the valley is located.
Map of West Papua Province

How to get there?
  • If you are still in your country, fly to Jakarta
  • Then continue your trip to Sorong city by a domestic flight. Check the websites of Garuda Air, Sriwijaya Air, Express Air, and Lion Air for flight schedule between Jakarta and Sorong city.
  • At least, one week before flying to Sorong, please contact me Charles Roring by calling or sending text message to my cell phone number +6281332245180. I will arrange a 4WD pick up truck, prepare the logistics, and contacting local villagers for your trip in Klasow valley.
Cost
Every tour in the rainforest is unique. The cost depends on the number of participants, the number of days visitors want to stay in the jungle and the distance visitors want to cover while walking in the jungle. We can customize the tour based on the duration of stay and the number of participants of the forest tour.
We can calculate the cost including chartered 4WD car, food, cook, local guides, chartered boat, snorkeling mask, camping gear, cooking and eating utensils, rechargeable lamps and etc. Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com for further information about the cost and itinerary of the tour.
What you need to prepare
Because you are going to have a tour in the rainforest, do not expect to stay in a comfortable hotel. You will stay in a tent or a camp. Bring a thin sleeping back that will cover your body from insect bites. Buy a bottle of insect repellent lotion and apply it on your skin. 
Terrestrial orchids in the forest of Klasow valley - Sorong regency
The villagers of Malakutuk are still in the very early stage of developing their eco-tourism. So, visitors are advised to be more tolerant to their lack of skills and experience when serving you as visitors. We greatly hope that the villagers of Malakutuk in the Klasow valley will stop logging activities and preserve their precious environment for future generation of Papua. You could do the rainforest tour in this valley alone or with your friends before or after visiting Raja Ampat.

Wildlife Tour in ASES river valley of Tambrauw Mountains
Another land tour that can be arranged from Sorong city is the Wildlife Tour in the tropical jungle of Tambrauw mountains. Visitors need to be physically fit to do the trip. The tour will include trekking in the pure jungle, camping, swimming in the clear water of Ases river, watching birds of paradise.
The Ases valley is located in remote area. That's why the transportation cost is very expensive.
See an oval green shape below Fef. It is an approximate location of Ases river

The duration of the tour is 7 days with itinerary as follows:
Day 1 Leaving Sorong city for Fef town
Day 2 Trekking to Ases valley
Day 3 Trekking and wildlife watching
Day 4 Trekking and wildlife watching
Day 5 Trekking back to Fef, overnight stay in town
Day 6 Transfer to Sorong city, overnight stay in a hotel
Day 7 Transfer to airport

If you are interested in taking a rainforest tour in Sorong and Tambrauw mountains and still need my help in providing more info about costs or in arranging your trip, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my cell phone: 006281332245180

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