Monday, 29 July 2013

Raja Ampat and Her Wondrous Beautiful Underwater Paradise

Have you ever seen sea water as clear as crystal? Have you dive and crossed paths with hundreds of fish while you swim? Swim with sea horses, turtles, dugongs, stingrays, baraccuda, or even a shark?

Have you ever felt white beach sand that is so soft? Stretch of white sand along the coast and surrounded by mangrove trees and green tropical forest?

Have you seen a cockatoo bird or wild bird of paradise perch really close to you in the trees?

In short, have you ever experience the Heaven on Earth?

Most people would say "Never."

Did you know that you can find all of these in one place? Yes, JUST ONE place.

Most people would say "No Way."

Believe it or not, you can find all of these in Indonesia, to be exact, in Raja Ampat Islands, Sorong regency, West Papua. And more over, you can experience all of these all year round! All you have to do is get over there, see and prove it yourself the natural beauty of Raja Ampat that is so amazing! You will instantly fall in love! Seeing is believing!

Raja Ampat Islands - journal.pbio.1001457.g001

After seeing the beauty of Nature themselves in Raja Ampat, then people will start to wonder "Why Raja Ampat could have such beautiful natural underwater paradise?"

To find out why Raja Ampat is so amazing and charming, let us examine more deeply one of the little secrets of nature that humans have discovered...

Raja Ampat or 'The Four Kings' is the name given to the four main islands. The Four Main Islands are Waigeo Island, Salawati Island, Batanta Island, and Misool Island. These islands are the islands that once inhabited by many rock painting craftsman since around more than 300 years ago. It is proven from the many artifacts found in the ancestral tombs, one of which is painted rock.

ID Raja Ampat

As you know, Raja Ampat is located in the Republic of Indonesia, which consists of thousands of islands, both large islands and small. And Raja Ampat is one of a cluster of small islands located in the district of West Papua Islands. West Papua Islands, especially the Raja Ampat, having studied, it has been discovered that it appears to be in the Marine District called The Coral Triangle.

The Coral Triangle is a reference to a geographic area that makes up the tropical sea area roughly resembles a triangle, that district spans from The Island of Bali, Lombok and Flores, then to the Islands of Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi, and ends up in Kalimantan or The Island of Borneo. Not only Indonesia, The Coral Triangle also includes the territory of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. For more details please see the Coral Triangle geographical map below:

√úbersichtskarte zur Lage des Korallendreiecks

But what is the Coral Triangle? Coral Triangle is the maritime area where the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean meet. The meeting between these two form a deep ocean currents that bring nutrients and coral larvae from one ocean to another ocean.

Not only that, Indonesia being at the equator, has a tropical climate that provides warm sunshine all year round, and thus the sea water also has a warm temperature. And this combination of nutrition, sun light, and the warm temperature of the sea water all year round makes The Archipelago of Indonesia, especially around the Coral Triangle, The best, most suitable habitat for many creatures to flourish, especially for underwater ecosystem consisting of coral and various fish and other sea creatures.

Amphiprion ocellaris at Raja Ampat

According to the study of The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, there are at least around 500 species of corals or 75% of the world's coral species grew and flourished in the waters of Raja Ampat. With a very suitable habitat for fish and sea creatures, the study stated approximately around 1300 species of fish have been found, and at least there are around 500 species of mollusks that live in the waters of Raja Ampat.

Even Australia's Great Barrier Reef, that is about ten times larger, despite having more species of fish (about 1500 species) has only around 400 coral species only. And The Caribbean sea only about 60 species of coral with about 1000 species of fish. This makes the Raja Ampat waters as one of the world's richest marine biodiversity.

Tropical climate that gives the intake of warm sunshine, turns out not only to have impact on the underwater environment, but also to the Mangrove Forest, The Tropical Rain Forests, and The Animals that live in it also grow rapidly. There are still many Cockatoo birds, Maleo Birds, The Cassowary, and other nocturnal mammals like the bats and kuskus is evidence that The Forest of Papua is still so beautiful and has been well conserved.

In addition to nutritional factors, climate, and the meeting between the two oceans, Raja Ampat can maintain her underwater Nature habitat to this date is because it's still relatively difficult for Indonesian Local Tourists to get to Raja Ampat because substantial cost factor.

To get over to Raja Ampat You need to buy return tickets Jakarta-Sorong (transit at Kota Makassar, Manado or Ambon, or possible routes from Bali) for at least Rp 3 million, not including the cost of renting a boat from Sorong to Raja Ampat which could reach up from Rp 1 million to 6 million. Journey time from Jakarta to Sorong takes about 6 hours.

Or if You are taking route Jakarta-Papua, round trip airfare at least Rp 6 million. From the city of Jayapura You can rent a small plane to fly to Sorong. From Sorong then you can continue to Raja Ampat by renting a boat. You have to prepare and take into account any additional cost when in Raja Ampat, bring enough cash for emergency, because you will not find an ATM or bank there.

One of the things that you can do to reduce your cost is from the ship rent to Raja Ampat and the cost of accommodation.

Boat rental cost heading to Raja Ampat mentioned above ranged from Rp 1 million - 6 million, depending on the travel distances. You can choose to use the Ferryboat, rent a speed boat, or renting a cruise yacht from Timor or Manokwari (Papua). Ferryboat leaves every day at 1 PM from Sorong to Waisai (Raja Ampat Regency Downtown at Waigeo Island), and back to Sorong around 11am.

Raja Ampat 1

Ferryboat heading to Raja Ampat can accommodate up to around 15-20 people. So if you go with your friends, you can save boat rental cost with your friends. The more friends you've got, the merrier, and the more you can save on boat rental. : D

For accommodation, there are many resorts in Raja Ampat. Starting from modest accommodation, homestay with local residents, or a more luxury and exclusive accommodation. These exclusive resorts are mostly managed by expats, the room rates are in Dollar. Your cost per night could reach up from U.S. $ 100 to $ 500 dollars.

Well, it's best to try resorts that are managed by the Indonesians themselves, the fee usually ranges between Rp 400 thousand - 600 thousand per night.

Or maybe if you want to try blending more with the locals, staying with the villagers, try Homestay in Arborek or Sawing Rai village. They do provide or share and rent part of their homes for tourists, especially local tourists alike. It costs between Rp 300 thousand to 500 thousand per room (up to two persons).

You can do many activities in Raja Ampat. And because of its unique environtment and new experiences coming up every day, you will never feel bored. Therefore, it is a pity if you stay only for one or two nights only. For the best experience and satisfaction, it is advisable that you can stay in Raja Ampat for at least 3 to 4 nights.

One of the activities that you can do in Raja Ampat is feeding the fish. You will be given a mixture of flour in your hand, which then dipped into the water, and soon fish will come and start nibbling your fingers.

In addition, you can of course do scuba diving activities and snorkeling. If you have never scuba dive before, it's no problem at all. You can still do it because there is an instructor who will guide you along the way. Scuba-diving is not too difficult, especially if you are familiar with snorkeling. But if you lack confidence, feel free to go snorkeling or even just looking at the fishes from the dock.

With crystal clear waters, underwater visibility can reach a distance of up to 10-30 meters, making the scuba diving and snorkeling experience to be doubled, because all of the fish and sea creatures can be seen clearly.

Swim with a variety of fish such as Nemo (clown fish), are very common in Raja Ampat, if you're lucky, you can swim with pygmy seahorse, sea turtles, dugongs, manta rays, or even with black tip sharks ... WOW!

Raja Ampat 2

You should bring an underwater camera to capture the natural beauty of Raja Ampat. Do not forget to also pose with your own camera to share the experience with your friends later on your return from Raja Ampat. : D

You can also walk around the island and observe wildlife in the forest. If you're lucky, you do not have to use your binoculars, because these wonderful Cendrawasih (birds of paradise) can be just two meters away from the top of your head. And for this event, you are also advised to bring a digital camera to be able to take some pictures of these unique Papua and Raja Ampat wildlife.

If you would like to feed the fish or go bird watching, you will need to pay Rp 100 thousand for the guide and fish or bird food. Besides wildlife, you will also find ancient caves and waterfalls in this archipelago.

What do you think? Very interesting is it not? Out of this world! After you have experience it yourself, I'm sure you will be excited to help conserve them! Let's go to Raja Ampat and enjoy the natural beauty of our beloved Indonesia. Let's together protect and conserve Our beautiful Nation!

Short story:

Raja Ampat is one of Indonesia's underwater paradise of nature's richest which are located in the Coral Triangle region.

You can enjoy a range of activities in Raja Ampat such as scuba diving, snorkeling, wildlife watching, and cave-exploring caves and waterfalls.

Raja Ampat is one of the Ultimate Gifts from the Almighty for Our Beloved Indonesia. It is therefore not to be wasted. Take good care of this beautiful country and conserved Indonesia's heritage! Before it's too late!

Tips and Advice for Visitors of Raja Ampat:

  • Conserve Raja Ampat Indonesia (No Smoking, Do not litter, Do not spit, Do not touch the corals, Do Not Disturb the forest animals and sea creatures)

  • Appreciate and Respect Raja Ampat Local Residents and their Traditions

  • Share your boat rental fee and accommodation with friends in the group

  • Do not forget to bring some cash just in case, because  there are no banks or ATMs in Raja Ampat.

  • Do not put all of your cash in one place. Put them safely in random manner

  • Bring an underwater camera and a standard digital camera (or DSLR camera if you have one) to capture the natural beauty of Raja Ampat

  • Bring and Apply sunblock cream on your skin

  • Do not forget to bring your camera and battery spares for your electronics, because there is limited power source in Raja Ampat.

  • Bring a flashlight for the night

  • Bring a Dry Bag to store all of your electronic equipment

  • Prepare and bring along first aid kit and personal medication or drugs necessary for an emergency, including mosquito repellent cream, if necessary eat anti-malaria pils before reaching Raja Ampat or maybe even do vaccinations before going to Raja Ampat.

Hopefully this article can get your heart feel more adventurous, and encourage you to schedule your next holiday to Raja Ampat. :D If you do, do not forget to contact me! (What I mean is, Please take me with you and treat me with all of the expenses as a compliment for this nice article, hehehe ...) (^ _ ^) V

On another chance, I want to write an article about another one of Indonesia's most amazing place, The Komodo Island! Stay tuned for more stories okay!



References:

Brain Azheeq

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation.

1 comments:

  1. [...] is closely related to the Coral Triangle, which I have explained in the previous article: Raja Ampat and Her Wondrous Beautiful Underwater Paradise. The Coral Triangle is the meeting point between two ocean, The Indian Ocean and The Pacific Ocean. [...]

    ReplyDelete

 

Copyright @ 2015