Now, you’re sitting nervously in the waiting room of an airport with a beaten passport in your hand. You’re about to embark on a really long journey to Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia.
“But I’m not really sure about the journey. Is Raja Ampat worth a visit? I mean, I’ve already visited Bali. But isn’t Raja Ampat in the other part of Indonesia?”
Chill out. Perhaps these 10 jaw-dropping photos of Raja Ampat will answer that.
“The shadow puppet?” No, that’s “wayang.” This ones’ Wayag.
As one of the most popular destinations in Raja Ampat, the photos of Wayag have already spread throughout the Internet. It’s a group of small islands surrounded by a gigantic pool of crystal clear water, which is also home for the mantas.
Located in the northwest of Waigeo island—the biggest island in the regency of Raja Ampat—there are several ways to reach Wayag from Sorong in the mainland Papua.
If you’re on the budget, you can take the speedboat from Sorong to Waisai in Waigeo (2-4 hours) before continuing by a long boat for 6-8 hours. If money is not a problem, you can rent a boat in Sorong and sail directly to Wayag which only takes 5 hours!
The Little Finger Beach of Wayag
There are so many islands in Wayag, each of which has its own distinctive charm.
The image above is a small cape in one of the islands which have the semblance of the renowned “Little Finger Beach” in Nusa Penida, Bali. But don’t bother finding it with your own two feet unless you can fly; the image was taken by a drone.
However, there are two regular tourist hiking routes in Wayag from which you can gaze at the mini-archipelago from above. Going up one of those hills will surely get you an interesting tale to tell.
Mioskon, the Bat Island
There’s a small island, 1-2 hours from Waisai, inhabited by the bats. (Though no one has yet spotted Batman … or Batmobile on the island.)
As the bats are nocturnal, the best time to visit this island is by the end of the day when the mammals wake up and flap their way up to the horizon.
There is another thing to see around Mioskon though: an underwater wonderland. The water surrounding the island is so rich it becomes one of the most interesting dive spots in Raja Ampat.
Pianemo, “The Mini Wayag”
If the 6-8 hour journey from Waisai to Wayag is too unbearable yet you still want to have the similar experience, go to the more accessible Pianemo island.
Only 2-hour journey by boat from Waisai, Pianemo islands look like the mini Wayag. That’s why they call it—well—”The Mini Wayag.” It also has a nice instagrammable spot overlooking the islands.
Joan Baez’s “Green Green Grass of Home” is obviously irrelevant to the people of Arborek Village. Their courtyard is blue. “Why? Did they paint it?” No, because their lawn is the ocean.
Floating in the heart of Raja Ampat, 2-hour speedboat journey from Waisai, it is a nice place to drink the local atmosphere of Raja Ampat.
Walking around the island, mingling with the locals—and buying nice handmade bag or hat—are gonna be really fun!
Jefman Island and the floating out-of-place Sphinx
Strategically located on the Pacific rim, Jefman island was once an airbase in World War II. Although it is not so popular as the island of Moratai in the northern part of the Moluccas, many remnants of the late war are still preserved, untouched.
Take a look around and you’re eyes will stumble upon an absurd object: the Sphinx floating on the ocean. “Really? The Sphinx?”
Well, it’s not really the Sphinx. It’s only an island consisted of rocks which—seen from a distance—looks like the guardian of the Pyramids.
A stone’s throw away from Waisai, Batu Pensil in Teluk Kabui, is a small island towering like a giant pencil. (“Pensil” means pencil in bahasa Indonesia.) The tourists usually visit it on their way to Pianemo.
There’s a wooden platform on which you can walk and take a nice selfie. Swimming the rather bluish water would also be nice.
Dafalen, the heart of the ocean
Perhaps you’ll get the meaning of love while visiting this spot. Dafalen is literally the heart of the ocean because … there’s a love-shaped drop-off fenced by the limestone islands.
Dafalen is located in the district of Misool. You can get to Misool directly from Sorong, either by speedboat (IDR 200,000, 4-5 hours) or by the regular ship (IDR 70,000, 10 hours).
The green shoal in Misool
Around Tomolol Bay in Misool, there’s a shoal whose water is translucent green instead of turquoise or bluish.
It’s gonna be nice to swim in the calm water, enjoying your unforgettable days in one of the beautiful islands in the world.
The peculiar “Blue Water Mangrove” in Misool
Blue Water Mangrove in the western side of Misool is not like any other mangrove. Instead of pitch black, the water is so clear that the sandy bottom of the ocean is full of soft and hard corals.
But beware of the salt-water crocodiles. Make sure that your operator knows what they’re doing.
So is Raja Ampat worth a visit?
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