Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roma Islands in South West Maluku Regency

The beautiful Roma archipelago in South West Maluku Regency is a potential tourist destination in Indonesia. On Nelles Tourist Map of Papua and Maluku, the archipelago is called Romang Islands located in the west of Wetar island and in the north of the adjacent Kisar island and Timor island. The islanders prefer to use the word Roma than Romang for the archipelago. Roma archipelago can be reached by airplane from Bali to Kupang and then to Kisar. After that visitors need to use speed boat from Kisar to Jerusu village. It takes around 3 hours to go by the speed boat. The seascape of Roma islands is fantastic. Travelers can see small tropical islands surrounded by white sandy beaches. As there are not hotels in the main island of Roma, visitors can stay at the houses of the local people. Another route that can be used to travel to Roma islands is from Ambon city. Here budget travelers can go by Perintis Boat operated by PELNI liner. If travelers want to reach the the archipelago in faster way, they can go by Merpati airline to Kisar and then by boat to Jerusu village.

Nus Eden (Sand Island) - Photo by Chey Sahureka
Tropical rainforest of Romang  island a great place for birding and trekking

The 7 islets around the main island of Roma are empty. These islets are Nusmeten, Nusyata, Maupuora, Musang, Pasir, Nyamuk (Mosquito), Timbul. No body lives there. Here, travelers can build camps to stay for a few days. Renting the boats from local fishermen, visitors can enjoy snorkeling, birdwatching and sight seeing around this tropical islands.
Jerusu Village in the main island of Roma archipelago
Photo by Chey Sahureka
Romang Islands in the west of Wetar and north of Kisar
in Nelles Tourist Map
Most of the islanders work as fishermen and farmers. They live in 7 villages: Jerusu (the main village), Kour, Atuna, Akwalu, Rumkuda, Hwai and Dalka. There are around 1,000 inhabitants in Roma archipelago. The main agricultural/ plantation commodities of Roma islands are corn, clove, copra, and nutmeg. For fishermen, their fish catch is sold to their own villagers and the market in the Kisar island. Sea shells are sold to Chinese merchants in the Roma island who will export them to Surabaya city. The beautiful tropical islands of Roma is a perfect place for nature lovers. Here coral reef with thousands of ornamental fish can be explored under the magical turquoise water. 
Mace an important export commodity of the islanders of Roma

White sandy beach in the tropical archipelago of Roma
If you are interested in visiting the Romang archipelago, please, make sure that you have a valid visa for traveling in Indonesia. Bring extra batteries for your cameras, and if possible water casing for your camera. The water casing is needed when you go snorkeling and taking underwater pictures of the fish, sea star, coral reef and a lot of colorful marine creatures. If you still need more information about Roma islands, please, contact Richard by phone: +6282260019911 or by email to

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wooden Furniture from Leilem

Wooden furniture is always attractive. The natural color of wood with beautiful grains is always the most sought after material in furniture industry. There is a village in Indonesia that is famous for its furniture products. Its name is Leilem. Located in the province of North Sulawesi, Leilem can easily be reached by car from Manado city. When entering the village, visitors will be able to see boards that are arranged in inclined position in front of the villagers houses. These wooden planks, and blocks, facing the sun, are being dried before undergoing further treatment.
When the wooden planks have reach the desirable dryness, they will be planed and sewn in particular sizes. Then they will be assembled and nailed or pinned to form a cabinet or table. Majority of the buyers come from the surrounding towns and villages in Minahasa but in recent years, through the promotion on the internet, the number of national and international customers is increasing. Here, people can buy tables, beds, desk and bookshelves. The furniture can be sent overseas using containers. The same thing also happen to wooden houses in the nearby Woloan village that are sold to foreign buyers. The types of wood that the carpenters like to use are linggua, and nangka (jackfruit). Customers from such countries as the United States and the Netherlands prefer knock-down tables or chairs that are made of teakwood.
The manufacturers in Leilem village realize that they cannot rely on wood that is directly cut from forests in Minahasa. The supply of wood is dwindling now. Most of them are going to the southern region of Minahasa to find wood. With the price of teak and linggua wood is extremely high, farmers in Minahasa are now considering of planting trees to meet the market demand. It will take at least 25 years before trees can reach a minimum diameter for cutting.