Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Travel Experience in Papua

I often travel to coastal region. Two of my favorite places are Mansinam and Lemon islands. They are located in the middle of Dore bay. Travelers who want to travel to Papua should consider these islands as one of their destination. It is not these islands that attract my attention but the history they bear.

Divers from around the world travel to this bay to enjoy the underwater world of the bay. There are many sunken ships lie intact for tens of years in the bay. The largest one is Shinwa Maru, a Japanese cargo vessel which was torpedoed by American airplane during World War II.
If you are interested in traveling to Papua and diving in this bay, don't forget to bring your own diving equipment including a portable compressor. After diving across shipwrecks of Manokwari bay, travelers can continue their trip by traveling to Mapia island of Biak regency or the National Marine Park of Cendrawasih Bay. I recommend that you travel to both of the places before completing your dive trip to Raja Ampat islands in Sorong regency.

Papuan children were fishing at the jetty of Mansinam island
These places are the recommended dive sites in West Papua. Again, don't expect to stay in luxurious beach hotel like what you experience in Carribean islands or Phuket Thailand. In Cendrawasih and Mapia or Raja Ampat. If you travel to these places, you will see how the indigenous catch fish using traditional equipment. How they conserve their environment by using folk stories that sometimes are related to ancestral worships. For instance, the locals don't eat turtles because they believe that their ancestors were from turtles. In fact, this kind of mythology is very effective in protecting the turtle species from extinction. Travelers who stop by in Manokwari can visit Cape Bakaro. There you can see how the locals call coral fish to come to the shore.

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