Indonesia is rich in tourist attractions. From Sabang to Merauke, there are many places to visit. There are also plenty of things that you can do, whether on holiday or a permanent stay.
If you have never set foot in West Papua, you will probably wonder: What is there? What can one do there? To answer your questions before you decide to visit, here are the top 10 things to do in West Papua:
- Go scuba-diving
When it comes to places for scuba diving and other water sports, Raja Ampat is often mentioned. Besides these famous islands, Papua still has other attractions for fans of this water sports. You may go to Kri Island, where you can go scuba diving in peace. For diving equipment, you may check out Arborek Dive Shop in Arborek.
If this is your first time going scuba-diving, you should have a professional instructor with you.
- Watch West Papuan cultural sites and events
If you are not much of a water sports fan, there are still other fun things to do in West Papua. For starters, check out the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress. Depending on the dates and seasons, sometimes you can watch live events to help you to get to know the West Papuan cultures. For example, watching their famous War Dance as their tribute to their heroes and ancestors.
- Take your kids on these friendly and fun activities
If you are here with your little ones, there are places safe for their fun activities. You can go to Pasir Timbul Beach in Raja Ampat or Sorong, where Tanjung Kasuari Beach and Werur Beach are. Enjoy the beaches where your children can build sandcastles, go swimming, and do other water sports if they are interested.
- Try local foods, like nutritious sago caterpillar soup
A culinary adventure is another holiday activity that you can do while you are in this province. For starters, you should try sago-based meals. Sago is the source of carbohydrate in West Papua, just like rice in Java Island. Have a taste on sago caterpillar, which is made of sago and—yes—caterpillar too.
- Go kayaking and canoeing
With plenty of beaches in Papua and West Papua, there are other water sports that you can do besides swimming, snorkeling, and scuba-diving. If you prefer keeping your head above the water, kayaking and canoeing can be your options while you are here. Sorong is just one of the places for this.
- Learn its local cultures, including its traditional dances and artwork
Holiday is not just time to relax. While you are in here, why don’t you learn its local cultures? For example, you can watch their amazing War Dance. They have their version of ‘batik’. You will also be amazed at what you can do when you carry a noken bag with you everywhere you go. (By the way, Noken Bag is a traditional bag from Papua.)
- Take pictures of its diverse nature
You will not run out of options easily regarding the things to do in West Papua. If you have an underwater camera, why not do that when you go snorkeling or scuba diving? When you go bird-watching in Manokwari, you can do that, too. Preserve the memories of the beautiful nature in this province through the photographs you take.
- Hang out by the beaches
If relaxing or sunbathing at the beach is your idea of fun, then go ahead. You can go to WTC Beach in Waisai, Pulau Dua, or Bakaro Beach.
- Go bird-watching
West Papua consists of various local plants and animals. The best thing about this place is the number of birds that you can watch in the open space. For example, you can go to Warkesi Bird Watching Area in Waisai. Just prepare your binoculars and camera. Check out local species like Bird of Paradise (Cendrawasih).
- Hang out with the locals
While you are in this province, then why don’t you start hanging out with the locals too? It is time to get to know their cultures and learn about their traditional customs and artwork. You may not be able to do what they do in one go, but at least you will get an insight into how life in Papua is like.
For example, you can interact with them during cultural events or when they demonstrate how to cook their meals. If this is your first time in this province, it is best that you have a local guide with you.
There are a lot of things to do in West Papua besides doing water sports in Raja Ampat. With the nature and the culture of the Melanesians, you will experience a holiday as you have never been on before.