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Monday, September 6, 2021

Raja Ampat Accommodation

Visitors who plan to spend their holiday in Raja Ampat will definitely need an accommodation that is comfortable and affordable. There are dive resorts and homestays or guesthouses which tourists can choose to stay. In Waigeo island where Waisai - the capital of Raja Ampat - is located, most of the homestays and resorts are located inside the town and in the southern region of the island. 

Fewer accommodation exists in villages and beaches in the east and north of Waigeo. I used to visit Yensner, Insouduwer lagoon, Urbinasopen, Mamiaef island, Yenandau beach, Warebar, and Yenbekaki. These beautiful villages did not receive regular visits from tourists. 

homestay for birdwatchers
Wilson Homestay at the southern beach of Waigeo

I used to stay several times in Yengkawe homestay when I guided visitors who wanted to watch Red Bird of Paradise. Further south, there was a new guesthouse that was being built above the sea. Its name was Wilson's Homestay owned by Sedekia who lived in Saporkren village.

I also used to stay in Raja Ampat Dive Resort (RADR). Along the same coast, we could also see Putras Resort, Scuba Republic, Raflow Resort, D'Coral, Gurara Dive Resort. There are more accommodations for tourists in Gam, Kri, Mansuar, Arborek, Piaynemo, and Kabui Bay. One day, I and my friends from Manokwari had a tour by speedboat around these places. We were guided by our friend Zaka Wader from tourism department of Raja Ampat. We saw a lot of homestays and resorts. Some of them were Kri Eco Resort, Yenkoranu, Wobbegong Dive Adventurers, Mangkur Kodon, Papua Explorers Dive Resort, Raja Ampat Biodiversity Eco Resort, and etc. 

Most of these homestays and resorts have got house reefs that allow guests to enjoy swimming and snorkeling. The waters of Raja Ampat have got the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Snorkelers will be able to see hundreds of species of fish.

Yengkawe homestay in Saporkren near Kabui bay
Above the water bungalows in Raja Ampat are often called homestay
It is an affordable accommodation for visitors who like snorkeling and sightseeing

To see their exact locations, visitors can open Google Map and then enlarge the Map of Raja Ampat to see most of the homestays and guesthouses. There are contact numbers and emails of these accommodation in the Google Map. We can also find them in booking.com or another website called stayrajaampat.com. 

Eco friendly bungalows for visitors who stay in Raja Ampat
Papua Explorers Dive Resort in Gam island

During the Covid Pandemic, the number of tourists who travel to Raja Ampat has dropped to its lowest level. It will be difficult for owners of the homestay and resorts to run their business. 

We hope that this difficult situation is only temporary and will come to an end in the near future. If it has been over, the tourism industry can stand on its own feet again.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Sea of Raja Ampat in August

During July and August, the sea of Raja Ampat especially the southern region is rough. The waves are big and dangerous for small boats. In northern waters of Waigeo, it is relatively calm. People can travel easily from one village to another by motorized boats. Rough sea also occurs between Sorong and Waigeo. 

traveling to Raja Ampat
Seaview in Raja Ampat islands

During the wave season, visibility is poor. It is not a favorable condition for diving. That's why fewer scuba divers go there during July, August and September. However, for visitors who are more interested in wildlife of rainforest and the culture of the indigenous people, they still can visit Raja Ampat during these months. 

These is less rain in August, September and October. This kind of weather allows visitors to watch tropical birds, mammals, reptiles and insects of Raja Ampat islands. 

Coral reef in Raja Ampat
Certain coral reef areas in northern sea of Waigeo is in good weather. Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling there. Visitors can stay in villagers houses. The accommodations are generally basic homestays with beds, toilets. For foods, there can be arranged with the homestay owners wherr breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided at additional costs. 
Raja Ampat is a very popular marine tourism destination in Indonesia for marine lovers. It is easy to reach that regency. 
  • Most international visitors fly from their country to Jakarta which is the capital city of Indonesia. 
  • After that they can continue their flight by taking domestic airlines such as Garuda, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air to Sorong city.
  • Arriving in Sorong city, they can go to Waigeo by taking fast passenger ferry boat that leaves for Waisai town in the mornings and in the afternoons. 
My favorite places for snorkeling are Yenbuba strait, Cape Kri, Mansuar islands; as well as Warduwer beach, Yengkawe beach, Waim and Mamiaef in Waigeo island. 
a snorkeling spot in Waigeo of Raja Ampat
Crysyal clear water and coral reef in Waim island of Raja Ampat

For birding and wildlife watching, I highly recommend such forests as Warduwer, Sopen and Insouduwer.  There, visitors can see Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, Moluccan King Parrot, Helmetted Friarbird, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Hooded Butcherbird, Beach Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, Whimbrel, White-bellied Sea Eagle, and a lot more.
female Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) in Klasow valley of Sorong regency
Female Eclectus Parrot in a forest in Sorong regency

If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and mainland West Papua, and want me to guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Marine Life Art Inspired from Coral Reef in Raja Ampat

I often guide visitors to Raja Ampat for a combined rainforest and coral reef tour. For rainforest trips, we enjoy hiking and birdwatching to see tropical birds of Waigeo island such as Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, and etc.

Digital drawing of tropical reef fish
Reef Fish Illustration

For coral reef tour, we usually enjoy snorkeling in several coral reef sites to see surgeonfish, anemonefish, parrotfish, moorish idol and a lot more. 

I often take pictures of these beautiful marine life which will be my inspiration and references when I create drawings and other artworks. 

vector illustration of whaleshark and a freediver or snorkeler
Digital illustration of whaleshark that is printed on t-shirt

I also draw bigger marine animals like manta and whaleshark. This is important to raise awareness among all of us about the importance of keeping our sea clean. When we throw plastics on the streets, they will be pushed by rain water to drainage tunnels and ditches that flow to the sea. Marine environment will become the victim of our irresponsible behavior. 

Please, support our efforts in raising awareness about the importance of proctecting and preserving coral reef and rainforest environments by buying products such as t-shirts, mugs, tote-bags, cell-phone cases, pillows, stickers, spiral notebooks, that are printed with art drawings of fish, and other marine life through this Marine Art Online Shop.



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Sea Art

Over the years I have created artworks which are inspired from the sea. They can be drawings or watercolour paintings of children swimming at a pier, an abundant shipwreck or the scene of a father and a son at a beach launching a boat toy. Sea has become an important source of inspirations for art creation. 

drawings and paintings from marine and coastal life
Sea Art

In recent years I also have drawn artworks digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook with tablet or cell phone and stylus as my tools. The use of digital tools have revolutionized the creativity of artists who are trying to make a living from the digital drawings or illustration. 

The artworks can now be sold repeatedly as printed works on t-shirts, mugs, spiral notebook, pillow and a lot more. Actually, the availability of drawing software such as the Autodesk Sketchbook for artist greatly helps digital artists in trying to earn a living from their art.

Back to the sea again - in time of the Covid Pandemic, most marine tourism activities such as in Raja Ampat, Cendrawasih Bay and other parts of the world have dropped significantly. Its impact to marine life is actually good. Big fish such as manta, dolphins and blue whales can now swim on the surface of the sea. Coral reef ecosystem can thrive without many disturbances from human. 

I don't say that marine tourism is bad for the sea. Responsible marine tourism helps preserve marine environment. But before you could go back to the beach to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, you could visit my redbubble artshop: SEA ART to get some of the artworks which are suitable for you.