It’s a holiday, but don’t panic just because you have nowhere to go. West Papua has many places you probably haven’t visited and hate to miss.
When talking about holidays, there is a huge chance you will not go somewhere new. It has been a habit for many people to go to places they are already familiar with or from friends or colleagues’s recommendations.
Visiting the same places over and over again can be dull. Besides, due to frequent visiting, some of them may have turned into nightmares. But, don’t worry, West Papua still saves some attractive places for you.
The region is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not to mention that the location is very far away from the capital city. It suggests that the location you will be visiting still preserves its true beauty. Don’t mind the length of journey you will be taking as the beautiful scenery will pay it off.
Now, here’s your ticket.
Kokas Ancient Sites
You will first visit Kokas Ancient Sites, located in Fakfak, West Papua. You will see many hands printed on red on the cliff and cave. As those handprints look like blood hand stamps, the local people also call Tapurarang.
Two Dutch archeologists K. W Gallis and Josef Roder, conveyed that the art is unique. Rock art was a product of human painting during the Megalithic era. Those paintings were usually created to remember an event or symbols of beliefs. Animal paintings are considered heroes by the ancestors. Meanwhile, hand stamps are considered as repellents or protection from evil powers.
Handstamps are not the only things you would see on those stone walls. Fish bones, fish, cockroaches, scorpions, and human skeletons are among them. Besides painting, the place keeps human skeletons scattered by the shore. Those skeletons are believed to belong to the Kokas people’s ancestors. It is because West Papua people used to put the bodies of their ancestors on stone cliffs, caves, or sacred trees.
Here is one folklore you may be interested in listening to. Local people believe that those paintings came from an evil curse. The story began when a group of people traveled on a boat. But the boat sank and killed an older woman, only.
Being mad as no one wanted to help her survive, the old woman’s spirit turned into an evil one called kaborbor. It cursed all survivors and all of their sea products to be the paintings on the walls.
West Papua Kiti Kiti Waterfall
In the same region, Kiti Kiti waterfall is a hidden gem. If you love diving, snorkeling, or swimming, this place is a must-visit. Yes, those activities are doable because the water runs right to the sea, not the river like the others.
Tosca blue water surrounded by tropical rainforest will ease your eyes when you arrive at the site. It is the best alternative when Raja Ampat has too many visitors.
Located in Direh Bay, Manokwari, West Papua, Mansinam is considered historical. This is where the new civilization in Papua was started with two German missionaries Carl William and Goltob Geisller. Receiving the warmth of the local people and being surrounded by beautiful nature, they were finally in love with the place.
You will see many religious, historical heritages there. These include a monument of the Bible, a picture of the two missionaries’ arrival warmly welcomed by the local people, the remaining church constructed by the missionaries, an old well that is still operating, and a huge statue of Jesus Christ.
Baliem Valley Festival
The last attraction you will be seeing is Baliem Valley. It is part of the Jayawijaya mountain area. Located at 1,600 m above sea level, the valley sees beautiful, natural scenery surrounded by the highlands. If you love hiking, you may meet people from the Dani tribe.
Every August, a festival of mock war is held in the very place. The war is held among Dani, Lani, and Yali tribes. This event was started in 1989. During the festival, make sure you turn your camera on. There are many unique moments you hate to miss. Besides, what’s a holiday without an Instagram post, right?
In the event, you will see at least a thousand war participants. They all wear local regalia while sporting sunglasses. You can ask them politely to pose for you. Besides taking pictures, you can just enjoy and observe the war.
You can expect much from the war. Roaring along with other spectators is somewhat entertaining. It happens when the arrows or spears thrown at the opponents get a miss. The closer the miss, the louder the roar you will hear.
After observing the mock war, you can go sightseeing to the Dani Market. It is located in Wamena. From the city, visit the traditional Wauma Village by car. Want to see a mummy? Go to Aikimia. Climb the valley for two hours to see the salt springs. That is the place where Dani women make salt for centuries.
Those are some alternative places to visit during your holiday in West Papua. Hope you enjoy the trip.