On The Road with Papua’s Pickup Taxi

West Papua
Source : Tempo

How does it feel to be on a road trip while you are in West Papua? How do you get to do that? If you are on holiday and would like to go around this province, prepare a serious budget to chart a special taxi. Yes, it may cost you a fortune, but the trip is surely worth it.

Unlike the conventional cabs we normally see in big cities (sedan or MPV – like the ones run by one of the oldest taxi companies in Indonesia), this West Papuan taxi is a double-pickup truck or a big SUV.

West Papua
Source : Tempo

For Example: Old Toyota Hillux with A 3000cc Turbo Diesel Machine

One example of a West Papuan taxi is an old Toyota Hillux with a 3000cc turbomachine. According to GridOto.com, their crew had this experience in December 2021. They had traveled from Sorong to Teminabuan, South Sorong. The trip had taken about 160 km on the land.

With that car, passengers can sit on the front next to the driver (one), the second row of seats, and more in the back. The back of the pickup truck has no roof, so you get to enjoy the free open-air while you are on the road. Of course, the compensation for sitting in the back includes being with some stuff throughout the journey.

From Sorong To Aimas

The route from Sorong to Teminabuan – with various terrains – takes around four to five hours. From Sorong to Aimas, the road is still smooth and easy-breezy. You can even speed up just a little.

From Aimas To Klamono and Teminabuan

After passing Aimas, the road to Klamono before Teminabuan shows you what a real adventure it is. The road gets narrow with a few cracks here and there. It is where you need to slow down a little to be safe.

The taxis in West Papua – especially for longer routes – are big cars instead of regular sedans. With 4×4 wheel drive, it is easier to drive on rough, uneven terrains like Aimas to Klamono and Teminabuan.

The Toyota Hillux for the OtoGrid.com crew had a lift kit and proper wheels for rough terrains. It also had a winch, roof rack, bumper guard, and a tarp to protect your stuff in the back of the SUV during the rain.

The Taxicab Fare

Then how much is it per trip? First of all, it depends on the type of car used as a cab. If the West Papuan taxi uses Big SUVs like Toyota Hillux, Mitsubishi Triton, and Isuzu D-Max, the fare costs you about 1.3 to 1.5 million rupiahs per trip.

If it is a smaller car like Low MPV (for example, Avanza), the fare is 800 rupiahs per trip. Of course, since it is smaller, you are strongly suggested not to carry too heavy stuff with you on the trip.

Of course, there is also another alternative for a mainland trip in West Papua. You may chart a bus with Rp100,000 per trip. Another choice is riding on a Toyota HiAce for Rp175,000 per trip. So, the choice is yours.

Tips On Travelling In West Papua By Their Special Taxicabs:

Last but not least, here are some tips for you if you wish to go on a road trip while you are in West Papua:

  1. You had better not travel alone. Not only for your safety, but you also get to split the fare with your travel companions.
  2. Carry an actual map. We never know if the phone reception still works on the road.
  3. Choose a car according to your budget.

Using West Papuan taxicabs like this is part of West Papuan tourism. Are you ready for the open road?