Wednesday, February 28, 2018

One Day Tour to Mansinam Island

Mansinam island
After the Hiking and Caving Tour in Table Mountain, the next morning, we continued our trip to Mansinam island. We bought mineral water, biscuits and a bunch of bananas fruits at a shop near the Ketapang boat station of Manokwari. We went by water taxi crossing the blue sea of Dorey bay to the white sandy beach of the small tropical island. There was a concrete path that led us to the southern area of the island. We just followed it. Along the way, we could see coconut, catappa and barringtonia trees on both sides of the path. As we left the village, the forest at the back of the island looked more pristine. We continued walking until we saw a narrow path that was leading us to the beach. We just followed it. We arrived at the beach. There were some fishing boats at sea. We also saw butterflies and wild flowers. We were not too far from the city but we were close to nature.
a dog at Mansinam island
We found a rock at the beach. We sat there under the shades of the trees to enjoy the surrounding scenery of this beautiful tropical island.
The southern underwater area of Mansinam island is covered by coral reef. It is a good snorkeling and diving site.
It was a busy day for local people. They were catching fish, collecting firewood and transporting school children to the city. There was a dog that was trying his luck on catching fish at the beach. He tried many times but he failed. Perhaps, he needed more practice. I thought wild dogs prefer to hunt animals in the forest. It was a new sighting for me to see dog trying to catch fish. It was a nice experience traveling to Mansinam island. At around 15.00, we returned to Billy Jaya hotel. We were really excited with the trip.
Besides organising and guiding tourists in Manokwari, I also organize snorkeling and birding tours in Raja Ampat especially to Waigeo, Mansuar, Kri, Arborek and Pianemo islands. -written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat Snorkeling and Birding
Visiting Fish Lagoon of Raja Ampat

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Short Hiking and Sightseeing Tour to Table Mountain

Damaged Road through the jungle of Table Mountains.
I used to guide a German lady to Table Mountain and Mansinam island of Manokwari on a 2-day hiking and sightseeing trip. On the first day, we visited the Table Mountain and saw a lot of green plants, and insects along the road to Japanese World War II Memorial Monument. We visited the forest early in the morning at around 08.00. There were a lot of plastic wastes everywhere inside the area of the monument. We were sad to see them and decided to collect some of them and put them on one place.
In morning time animals in the forest were quite active. Small butterflies were flying around to find nectar in wild flowers, birds were singing in high trees. Spiders were knitting their webs to create traps for tiny flying insects that they want to eat. Their names were Golden Orb Weaver Spiders. There were also small black ants that were moving on the ground climbing buttresses of trees to carry food that they collected from every corner of the forest to their nests in high trees.
After that we walked deeper into the forest and entered a big cave where frogs and fruit-bats lived in it. When we were inside the cave, rain began to fall. We had to wait inside it for about half an hour.
A Beef Cow near Ayambori village of Table Mountain
When it stopped, we went out of the cave and then out of the forest to main road again. We continued our trip walking to Ayambori village and then to Anggori village. While we were walking, we saw a beef cow feeding on green leaves. We walked slowly towards her. Suddenly she paused eating the grass and raised his head to see us. She tried to walk to us but failed. Fortunately, the blue rope that was tied around her neck stopped her. Actually, it was quite intimidating to see a big animal coming to us although it was a domesticated one.
There were New Guinea Tulip (Spathodea campanulata), Centrosema flower, and papaya tree whose trunk was full of papaya fruits.
Papaya was a very popular tropical fruit. Unriped papaya could be grated and cooked with coconut milk and salt as vegetables. Nearly riped papaya that was still hard could be used to make spicy pickles - locally called asinan or gohu. The main ingredients of the pickles would be lime juice, water, ginger, sliced shallots, salt, some sugar and some chillis. Because of its economic values, papaya was available in traditional market and big supermarket in Manokwari. Fortunately, the price of the fruit was still affordable to most of the city dwellers.
Spathodea Flower in Table Mountain of Manokwari
Under the Spathodea tree, we saw a lot of its flowers on the ground. Its color was orange, like a burning flame. I asked the German lady to pick up some of them. I took picture of the flowers. They looked beautiful and gave contrast bright color in almost all green surroundings. From my personal observation, the size of tropical rainforest in Table mountains was shrinking day by day. People who lived near the forest converted it into farmland, and housing areas.
When we reached the street junction in front of a shop in Anggori village, we saw a public transport minibus coming. We stopped it and got into the bus. Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the Billy Jaya hotel again. It was a very good jungle adventure. We were very tired but we liked it very much. When everything was ok, I returned home.
Do you plan to take a vacation to West Papua?
Whether you like hiking, birdwatching, swimming and snorkeling or just sightseeing, if you want me as your guide to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Also read:
One day tour in Mansinam island
Raja Ampat Adventure Tour

Cultural Parade during Fruit Season

Manokwari Cultural Parade
Manokwari is famous for its title as kota buah-buahan (meaning: city of fruits). Fruit season usually comes after dry season (in the middle of rainy season). That's what happened in February 2018. Usually, every 6 February, there is a Parade of Cultures in Manokwari attended by representative of tribes in Indonesia and inside Papua. This parade is carried out as the celebration of city dwellers to commemorate the works of European missionaries, Carl Wilhelm Ottow, Wilhelmine Auguste Ottow Letz (Mr. Ottow's wife) and Johann Gottlob Geissler in Mansinam island to preach Gospel to the indigenous people. The parade sent message to the public that people who live in Manokwari are united in their unique diversity.
Children wearing traditional costume were playing drums
The Manokwari Cultural Parade was conducted on the main streets of the city attended by thousands spectators and participants. It was a great event.  People bought rambutan and durian fruits from street vendors. They ate them and threw the peels everywhere. That's why the streets and pedestrian area looked very dirty with rambutan peels during the event.
One kilogram of rambutan could cost around 40,000 rupiahs per kilogram (approximately 3 US dollars/ kg.). In general, the price of durian is 20,000 to 40,000 rupiahs per fruit (approx. 1.5 to 3 US dollars per fruit).
Well, eating fruit is healthy but throwing fruit peels everywhere is not a healthy lifestyle.
Also read:
Raja Ampat islands tour
Raja Ampat Adventure Tour
Durian fruits in the pedestrian area of Manokwari

Monday, February 19, 2018

Raja Ampat Birds

Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) in Waigeo island
Raja Ampat regency of West Papua
I often visit Raja Ampat to guide visitors who are interested in birdwatching and snorkeling. Because Raja Ampat has got hundreds of small islands that are covered by tropical rainforest, the avifauna of this regency is a rich combination of sea birds that like to eat fish and rainforest birds that like to eat fruits, insects and small reptiles.

Coastal Birds
When I went birdwatching in the coastal area of Waigeo island, I was able to see Beach Kingfisher, Radjah Shelduck, Plover, Crested Tern, Frigate bird, Torresian Crow, Pacific Swallow, Brahminy Kite, and Eastern Osprey. There birds like to sit on the branches of trees that grow near the beach. For Crested Tern, they like to sit on top of poles, or on man-made wooden structures along the coast to observe the movements of fish on sea surface.

Rainforest Birds
Palm Cockatoo at the beach of Waigeo island
Tropical rainforest that covers Waigeo island stretches from the mountainous areas to coastal areas. That's why, we could see rainforest birds even when we walk along the beach. Palm Cockatoo was one of the birds that I saw at the beach of Yengkawe homestay. It was busy eating catappa fruits and I took picture of the bird using my Fujifilm HS50EXR. Palm Cockatoo was locally called Kakaktua Raja (meaning King Cockatoo). This bird likes to sit on a bare vertical branch of a tree to dry his feather under morning sun. Palm Cockatoo can also be seen in lowland to lower montane forest of mainland New Guinea from coastal area to its remote interior region.
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cynniris jugularis)
In addition to Palm Cockatoo, I saw Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Coconut Lorikeet, Olive-backed Sunbird, Spangled Drongo, Starling, Willie Wagtail, Yellow-faced Myna, Lowland Peltop, Blyth's hornbill, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra in Raja Ampat.
For me, I was personally attracted to Olive-backed Sunbird. It has got a natural skill of hovering in the air like a helicopter or a dragon fly when he or she is feeding on nectar of a flower. I was able to take a good picture of the Olive-backed Sunbird in eastern part of Waigeo island when I was guiding three visitors from India. The bird was feeding on nectar of coconut flowers. When it sat to take a rest on the twig of coconut fruit, I shot him using my old camera Fujifilm HS50EXR.

Paradise Birds
Wilson's Bird of Paradise in Raja Ampat
Two important paradise birds of Raja Ampat are Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise. They are the main target that birdwatchers like to see. I saw them in the southern region of Waigeo. In the past, we could see the birds in coastal forest, they moved deeper into the forest because of human activities such as construction of roads, and houses. My best experience of watching Red Bird of Paradise was when I guided a Chinese lady and two Australian visitors. We woke up at 04.30 and did an hour of hiking to the birding ground of Red BOP. We were very lucky because we could see the male and female birds for more than one hour. Male Red BOP performed courtship dance to attract female Red BOP. For the Wilson's BOP, it was one of the most beautiful Birds of Paradise with contrast colors of Red, Yellow, Turquoise blue, dark brown and black. Although it was a small but very attractive bird.

Birdwatching and Snorkeling Tour in mainland West Papua and Raja Ampat
Please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to my number: +6281332245180.
White Sandy Beach of an Uninhabited Island in Raja Ampat
Also read:
Raja Ampat Snorkeling and Birding Tour
Snorkeling Tour in East Raja Ampat