When it comes to tourism in West Papua, many people might automatically think of one name. Yes, it is Raja Ampat. It is the famous spot for tourists around the world who enjoy water sports. From kayaking, swimming, to snorkeling and diving, Raja Ampat is the place to be. Still, West Papua is more than just Raja Ampat.
Let’s get to know the beauty of Waisai. It is a town in the south of Waigeo island. Waigeo is a one of the four Raja Ampat Islands. Waisai was founded in 2003 and it is now the capital city of Raja Ampat Regency.
Things to See and Do in Waisai
Yes, you can explore the Four Kings (another famous nickname for the Raja Ampat Islands). In Coral Triangle, you get to see a lot of coral and fish species. Coral Triangle is a marine area that covers the waters of western Pacific Ocean.
Coral Triangle includes the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste. There are almost 600 reef-building corals, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species, and also over 2000 reef fish species. Perhaps when you get the chance, you may not get to see all of them at once.
Coral Triangle is also the supporter of tuna industry, due to its large number of imported tuna. In total, there are more than 120 million people living in Coral Triangle. For food, daily income, and protections from storm, they rely on coral reefs.
Yes, Raja Ampat is famous as a spot for doing water sports like snorkeling and diving. If these activities are not your favourite things, you can still do birdwatching, trekking, checking out waterfalls, and also island-hopping. There are tour packages offering you island-hopping adventures.
Some Places To Visit In Waisai
So, as part of the tourism in West Papua, what are the best places to visit while you are in Waisai? Check out some of these if you are a first-time visitor:
Despite its super tiny size, Arborek Village has become the Indonesian government’s tourist village program. When you are there, you get to walk around the beach in just 30 minutes. It is more of a sand cay, because Arborek Village is a low, flat island. It is not advisable to visit this place during rainy season because of that.
No worries. If you wonder whether you can still use your gadgets or if there are lights on the streets at night in Arborek Village, the answer is yes. Besides almost 24 hours of electricity, you get to enjoy other things here. You can go snorkeling and diving. The best part of being here is to watch Papuan women in the local community creating Noken. Noken is a traditional sling bag in Papua. You get to purchase about IDR 200,000 – 300,000 per item.
Want to make your own Noken? Why not? They also have classes available to teach you how. You can also learn how to dance their traditional dances in available classes too.
Saleo Beach, Raja Ampat.
When you spend some time here, you will find this rare, amazing view. Located in Belitung Kota Bar, Jalan Yan Mamoribo, Waisai, Saleo Beach will definitely make you feel like you are in paradise. You only need to take about 40 minutes from the central city of Waisai to enjoy clear, pure whitish sand.
If you would like to go from Waisai Port, it only takes about 20 minutes or 9 kilometres. Just rent a car, a motorcycle, or chart a motorboat straight to Saleo Beach. For the parking fees, you need to prepare Rp20,000 if you show up by car. Have Rp10,000 ready if you come here by motorcycle.
The parking fees are collected as a fund to help to preserve the beauty of this beach in Raja Ampat. The main attraction here is the emerging sand. The Emerging Sand can widen up to 100 meters. To get a chance to see this, come at 6:00 am ICT (Indonesian Central Time/WITA – Waktu Indonesia Bagian Tengah), at 11:00 am ICT, or at 3:00 pm ICT.
Saonek Monde Island.
Saonek Monde Island is the closest from Waisai Port. You only need to travel for 20 minutes tops there by speedboat.
So, what are the attractions here? As part of the tourism in West Papua, there are three (3) main things you can do here:
Enjoying the sunset.
Either you just stroll along the beach, sit, or do snorkeling, you can also do this. Enjoying the sunset is ideal in Saonek Monde Island.
Tired of being in the crowd? Escape to Saonek Monde Island and enjoy solitude. This beach has been quite popular for those seeking their real, me-time moments.
Saonek Monde Island is also well-known for people who wish to do snorkeling in peace.
As part of the tourism in West Papua, Waisai is also a city worth a visit. There are plenty of things to do and places to visit here.