Friday, September 30, 2022

Birdwatching, Snorkeling and Sightseeing in Sorong and Raja Ampat

I have just finished running a tour for two visitors who came from the Netherlands. They were Femke and Mathijs. We spent 1 week exploring the rainforest of Sorong and Raja Ampat to watch birds, mammals, insects and reptiles as well as various kinds of unique tropical plants. 

marine tour
Raja Ampat Marine Tour
In Raja Ampat, we did snorkeling, and sightseeing tour to see Piaynemo, Pasir Timbul (Sand Bank) and Friwen Wall. The sea current in the front waters of Arborek, between Gam and Mansuar island are quite strong.  That's why the coral reef in this area is the natural habitat of a lot of species of fish that like the current. However, we did not do snorkeling in the area where the current was strong. We went to Friwen-wall and enjoyed snorkeling there. After that we had our lunch at its beach which was on the other side of the islet. It was a nice experience because we can see colourful fish, and other marine animals of West Papua. Raja Ampat has got beautiful white sandy beach which is a good place for swimming and sunbathing. Sergeantfish, anemonefish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, are some of the many tropical fishes that Femke and Mathijs saw while snorkeling in Raja Ampat. 
birdwatching in West Papua
Sightseeing and Birdwatching in West Papua

During the birdwatching tour, we saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise as well as a lot of other birds including Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Yellow-faced Myna, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and etc.

Please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking a rainforest wildlife watching, sightseeing and snorkeling tour in West Papua province of Indonesia. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Coconut Crab in Raja Ampat

Around 2 weeks ago, I guided a Russian tourist on a 2-week birdwatching and wildlife watching trip to Raja Ampat, Klasow valley of Sorong and Arfak mountains. While in Sorong, we went hiking in southern forest of Waigeo to see birds.

We also took an opportunity to nearby islands to enjoy snorkeling and seeing coconut crab. There was an islet where coconut crab lived. Its name was Nyetreiram. We went there by a small speedboat after taking a snorkeling tour in Friwen. We arrived at the islet at around sunset time. The crabs had not come out of their hiding places. The owner of the islet cut open a dried coconut into pieces and spread then on several places on the islet. When it was getting dark, the crabs began to come out. We were invited to see them. 

coconut crab in Raja Ampat
Coconut Crab in Raja Ampat

They had not reach full sizes but were already bigger than other crab in nature. We took the opportunity to photographs them. 

We were not long at the island. Soon the weather changed. The wind blew fast and the sea surface became rough. We got into the boat and returned quickly to the beach resort where we stayed. Fortunately, we already reach the resort when sea storm hit the beach. 

It was a nice experience to see the Coconut Crab (Birgus largo) in Raja Ampat.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wildlife Watching in Raja Ampat Archipelago

Most of the islands in Raja Ampat are surrounded by coral reef, they are the natural habitat of marine animals from small Christmas Tree Worm to large humphead wrasse fish. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling over the coral reef to see various kinds of marine creatures or do scubadiving to see more in deeper waters. 

Along the coastal area of Raja Ampat, sea birds can be observed. They include Radjah Shelduck, Eastern Osprey, Beach Kingfisher, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Eclectus Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, and etc.

Marine Life in Raja Ampat

In certain months, turtles land on the beach to lay eggs. The northern coast of Waigeo is a great place for visitors to watch leatherback, green, olive ridley and hawksbill turtles. 

marine wildlife in Raja Ampat islands
Wobbegong reef shark

The rainforest of Raja Ampat is th destination for visitors who are interested in watching Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise and a lot more.

Wilson's Bird of Paradise
Wilson's Bird of Paradise

There are karsts in Raja Ampat, visitors who go there can see beautiful marine landscapes that are covered by green vegetation and turquoise blue sea water. With more than 1,500 tropical reef fish living in the waters of Raja Ampat, visitors will have plenty of marine life to see when they travel to the islands. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Lalelkai Nature Lodge of Misool Island in Raja Ampat

Lalelkai Nature Lodge is about 10 to 15 minutes by motorized boat from Yellu harbor. There are 6 above the water bungalows and 4 on land bungalows which visitors can choose durin their stay in Misool islands.

The house reef is very beautiful and suitable for snorkelers who want to the beautiful underwater world of Raja Ampat.

Lalelkai Ecolodge in Misool islands
Lalelkai Ecolodge

Lalelkai bungalows To book your room, please, contact: Edi Yansyah +6281217638893.
Lalelkai Ecolodge in Misool islands

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Raja Ampat Coral Reef Snorkeling and Rainforest Wildlife Watching Tour

Raja Ampat has been famous around the world for its pristine coral reef, visitors travel to this archipelago to enjoy snorkeling over the coral reef to see such fish as butterflyfish, angelfish, spadefish, surgeonfish, rabbitfish, damselfish, snappers, coral breams, anthias, parrotfish, wrasse, cardinalfish, dottybacks, goby, blennies, frogfish, triggerfish and etc. Most tourists go to southern part of Waigeo, Gam, Kri, Mansuar, Arborek, and Piaynemo. Those who are more adventurous will explore islands in Kofiau, Weeim that are mostly not known among ordinary mainstream visitors. Misool islands in the south of Raja Ampat are also beautiful both above the water and under the water.

holiday trip to Raja Ampat islands
Raja Ampat Adventure

The rainforest that covers the islands are also interesting to explore. Soa-soa monitor lizard, birds of paradise, possum, and wild boar and snakes can be found in the islands of Raja Ampat. The same as the mainland New Guinea, Raja Ampat archipelago does not have big predator such as tiger and lion. But it has colorful birds such as Eclectus Parrot, Lowland Peltop, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-faced Myna and etc.

I used to organize snorkeling and birdwatching tours for German and Indian visitors to eastern region of Waigeo. We went there by boat and enjoyed snorkeling at the beaches of uninhabited islands of Waim and Mamiaef. The north coast eastern coast of Waigeo island is the nesting ground of turtles including Green Sea Turtles, Leatherback, Hawksbill and Olive-ridley Sea turtles. There are a lot of sea birds in Raja Ampat. Some that are noticeable include White-bellied Sea Eagle, Eastern Osprey, Whimbrel, Radjah Shelduck, and Little-pied Cormorant. 

snorkeling and wildlife watching in Waigeo
White sandy beach in Kri island of Raja Ampat

Visitors traveling to Raja Ampat need to bring snorkeling set, and binoculars, head lights and camera both for underwater and above the water photography. This will allow them to take pictures of sea and land animals as well as a lot of tropical plants that are unique. 

Sopen village in Raja Ampat islands
Sopen village
During the adventure tour in the forest of eastern Waigeo, we did not stay in a guesthouse or beach resort. We stayed in tents by the river. By doing that we were able to see Red Bird of Paradise as well as other birds in the forest. I and the visitors were in Sopen village. Continuing our exploration of the region, we went to Fish lagoon located near Yensner and Yenpapir. We did not do snorkeling, we went hiking in the forest where we watch Lowland Peltop, Eclectus Parrot, Torresian Crow, Olive-backed Sunbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird and Brahminy Kite.
Indonesia has allowed foreign visitors to go to Raja Ampat again. It is a great opportunity for visitors to see the beautiful seascape of West Papua. 
pristine coral reef in Waigeo
Crystal clear water with coral reef in Raja Ampat

Now Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air provide daily flights to Sorong city from major cities in Indonesia such as Makassar, Surabaya, Denpasar and Jakarta. Visitors can book tickets online using popular website or application in Indonesia such as traveloka. 
If you plan to visit Raja Ampat and other areas in West Papua and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your tour and guide you, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Snorkeling Tour by Boat in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat has got a lot of coral reef sites. They can be explored by motorized boat. The cheapest way to see the beauty of the coral reef is by taking snorkeling tour. The southern part of Waigeo is the first place where visitors usually go. Warduwer beach, Saporkren beach and Yengkawe beach are important coral reef sites in this area. 

Marine Tourism Destination in Indonesia. Vacation trip to enjoy snorkeling in Waigeo islands
Natural Tourism Attractions in Raja Ampat
At the entrance of Kabui Bay, there are Greater Urai and Lesser Urai islands. They have got beautiful reef too. Gam island has got a lot of coral reef sites which are suitable for snorkeling visitors. There are homestays that are run by local villagers.  The nearby Friwen and Mioskon island are famous snorkeling and diving sites.  
anemonefish of waigeo island
Anemonefish at Yengkawe house-reef
Crossing the Dampier strait, visitors will be able to enjoy snorkeling along Cape Kri which is one of the best dive sites in Raja Ampat. The opposite end of the Kri island is Yenbuba strait. There, the current is quite strong especially during the transition period from low to high tide or its reverse. A lot of marine creatures can be seen here from the tiny anemonefish to the big black tip reefshark.

Mansuar, which is greater than Kri, has got a lot of coral reef sites. Near Arborek island, there is a place called Manta Point. Arborek's jetty is the place for snorkeling too. After that, the adventure to the west will be to Piaynemo islets whose karst is very beautiful if seen from its viewpoint. 

holiday in Indonesia
Raja Ampat Attraction
Usually visitors go back to Waigeo by entering the 'passage.' It is a narrow strait that separates Waigeo and Gam island. The next day, visitors can continue their exploration of the seascape of Raja Ampat by going to Wayag. There, the marine environment is still in pristine condition. 
Flying to Raja Ampat
It is easy to travel to Raja Ampat. Visitors need to take an international flight from their country to one of the cities in Indonesia, i.e. Jakarta, Denpasar Bali, Surabaya, Makassar. There are regular daily flights that are provided by Sriwijaya Air, Garuda, Batik Air and Lion Air to Sorong city which is the main gate to Raja Ampat.
snorkeling destination in Indonesia
Raja Ampat is a regency in Indonesia
From Sorong city, you could continue your trip to Raja Ampat by ferry. There are daily ferry schedule to Waisai town of Waigeo. This route is suitable for visitors who like to go to Saporkren, Gam island, Arborek, Piaynemo, and Wayag. 
Visitors who want to go to Misool island should check the ferry schedule at Pelabuhan Rakyat (meaning People's Harbor). Ferry does not go there every day.
Traveling to Raja Ampat - the recommended destination for snorkeling lovers
Flight Route to Sorong city from major cities in Indonesia
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by whatsapp: +6281332245180 or by email to:

Monday, June 13, 2022

Before Crossing to Raja Ampat, Here are Things that You can do in Sorong

Sorong city is your main gate to Raja Ampat. Most tourists, after landing at the airport, immediately cross the sea by ferry boat to Waisai town of Raja Ampat to enjoy swimming and snorkeling.

Actually there are a lot of tourism activities which they can do in Sorong city. First, they can visit mangrove forest to watch birds that like to perch in the trees especially in the mornings and late afternoons. Some of them include Olive-backed Sunbird, Hooded Butcherbird, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Moustached Treeswift, Little Egret, or even the rare Blue-Black Kingfisher. 

Mangrove forest
Mangrove Forest in Sorong

Unique epiphyte plants that attach themselves to mangrove trees include orchid, and myrmecodia plants which local people belief as medicinal herbs that are able to cure various kinds of illnesses. There are also mangrove trees in Yeflio village. It is the place where visitors can visit to do night spearfishing, or visit islands in the vicinity of Yeflio and enjoy snorkeling. 

Another place that is also interesting to visit is Arar island. There is a village in the island with the same name. Visitors can enjoy camping at the beach or do island hopping in Arar and its nearby islands. You could also enjoy snorkeling or do night fishing especially during low tide. Local people call night spearfishing: balobe. There is a camping ground near Arar island. Visitors can visit the place and enjoy the beauty of the sea and the surrounding islands. 

Papua ethnic house
Tourist attractions in Aimas town - Eating houses that sell various kinds of Indonesian cuisines, farmlands and Papuan ethnic house

Aimas town 

Aimas town is the capital of Sorong regency. It is a recommended destination for visitors who are interested in culinary tourism. There are a lot of eating houses in the town that sell various kinds of Indonesian cuisines. There is a place called Papuan Ethnic House which displays some traditional houses from selected Papuan tribes. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Floating Guesthouse in Manokwari

Manokwari is a beautiful city that is located inside Dore Bay (also called Sawaibu bay) of West Papua - the province of Indonesia. Visitors go there to enjoy swimming, snorkeling at the beach as well as hiking, birding in the forest. For accommodation, there are hotels in town. There is a unique guesthouse for visitors who want to enjoy the beauty of Dore bay of Manokwari with the view of city light at night and the blue sea during the day. Its name is Mampiar Soren Guesthouse and Cafe. The guesthouse has got 3 rooms with toilet where each of it can accommodate 2 people.

Sawaibu bay floating house in Manokwari
Floating Guesthouse in Dore bay of Manokwari city
Because it is a floating guesthouse, it can move around the bay bringing its guests to the nearby Mansinam and Lemon islands to enjoy swimming and snorkeling as well as on the island tour. 
Gospel Preaching in Mansinam island
Cross Monument in Mansinam Island
For Christians in West Papua, Mansinam island is considered as a historically important place. The Christianity in West Papua was introduced for the first time in this island. Carl Wilhelm Ottow and Johann Gottlob Geissler landed on Mansinam island on 5 February 1855. Every year the event was celebrated in Manokwari with various activities including the cultural street parade attended by thousands of people. 
Gospel Preaching Day in Manokwari
Cultural Street Parade in Manokwari

Marine Tourism
The Dore bay of Manokwari has got a few coral reef sites that are suitable for visitors who like snorkeling. Mansinam and Lemon islands are the usual places which visitors like to go. Actually, there are more snorkeling sites that have got beautiful marine life including Abasi Beach, Bakaro Beach, Kaki island, Raimuti island, and Anggrisi beach.
Spotfin Lionfish in Manokwari
Spotfin Lionfish

World War II or The Greater East Asia War
During World War II, the Japanese forces were fighting against the Allied forces in the Pacific region. After attacking Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy quickly defeated the Americans in the Philipines, the Dutch in Indonesia, and the British in Singapore and Myanmar. The Japanese forces deployed thousands of troops in Manokwari and its surroundings. They were led by Lieutenant General Fusataro Teshima. The Allied forces launched massive bombardments on Manokwari. The Japanese a lot of caves to protect themselves from the airstrikes. They also built pillboxes. The war has long gone. Now Manokwari has turned into a rapidly growing city. However, we could still see some of the caves and pillboxes here.
Pillbox in Manokwari
A Pillbox of the Imperial Japanese Army in Manokwari

Visitors who are interested in staying in Mampiar Soren Guesthouse and Cafe can contact the owner Mr. Inov by whatsapp to: +62812 4066 163.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Wildlife Watching and Snorkeling Tour in Sorong Regency and Raja Ampat

There are a lot of tourist attractions in Sorong and Raja Ampat. Here are some of them.

watching Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise
Australian Visitors in Raja Ampat

Sorong Regency - There is a valley in the east of Sorong city. Its name is Klasow. It is the natural habitat of various kinds of plants and animals. There are tropical food crop plants such as sago, banana, cassava, taro and sweet potatoes. They are grown by villagers. Visitors who travel to the valley and stay in one of the villages can see the fruit and vegetable gardens of local people and how these crops are processed or harvested. After exploring the village, visitors could explore the forest to see birds such as King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit Dove, and etc. Usually the duration of the tour in this forest is around 3 days/2 nights.
Wildlife watching activities are carried out in during the days and at nights. 
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
A couple of Yellow-billed Kingfisher in Klasow valley of Sorong regency

Raja Ampat - For visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling, they can go to one of the islands to swim over the coral reef and see a lot of colourful species of tropical fish. Waigeo, Mansuar, Gam, Arborek and Misool are some of the many islands which visitors can choose to stay. Accommodation are simple beach houses that are mostly made of wood and palm thatch. 

homestay accommodation in Waigeo island
Typical accommodation for visitors who want to stay in Raja Ampat

To watch birds, insects, monitor lizards, and interesting animals in tall trees, a good pair of binoculars are needed. The rainforest of Waigeo island is the habitat of beautiful birds including Hooded Butcherbird, Eclectur Parrot, Violet-necked Lory, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Moluccan King Parrot, Lowland Peltop, Beach Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and etc.

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise in Waigeo Island


Visitors need to bring their own mask, snorkel and swim fins if they want to enjoy snorkeling. For taking underwater photographs, camera such as Nikon W300 or Olympus TG-6 will greatly enhance the snorkeling experience. 

Camera that is good for wildlife photography is usually D-SLR camera with 600 mm telephoto lens. However, it will be very heavy to carry it. The alternative choice for that purpose is bringing Nikon P1000. It will be a good photographic device especially when taking pictures of birds or orchid plants in tall and distant trees.

reef fish in Mansuar and Kri island
Reef Fish in Yembuba Strait of Raja Ampat

Flight route

Visitors who are interested in taking a holiday trip to Sorong and Raja Ampat needs to take a flight trip to Sorong city. 

  • International visitors need to fly from their country to Jakarta or Surabaya or Denpasar or Manado. These are big cities in Indonesia.
  • After that, they can continue their trip to Sorong city by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik Air and Lion Air.
  • There are hotels, restaurants, shops and supermarkets which visitors can choose to meet their needs.

where is Raja Ampat archipelago?
Location of Raja Ampat islands

If you are interested in taking a tour in West Papua and want me (Charles Roring) to be your guide, please, contact by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

orchid flower in Waigeo
Orchid flower in the jungle of Raja Ampat islands

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Mawar Homestay in Arborek Island of Raja Ampat

Also read:
There is a nice accommodation for visitors who want to travel around Raja Ampat islands. Its name is Mawar Homestay located in Arborek island.
Mawar homestay in Arborek island
Foreign Visitors in Mawar Homestay

Mawar homestay in Arborek island has got 7 bungalows
Bungalows of Mawar Homestay are made of natural materials

There are 7 bungalows in Mawar Homestay which visitors can choose to stay, enough to accommodate a group of visitors who are interested in exploring the natural beauty of Raja Ampat both on land and under the water.
  • 350 thousand rupiahs/ person/ night (including 3 Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Visitors who want to stay in Mawar homestay can be picked-up from ferry harbor in Waisai by speedboat for a cost of 1,000,000 rupiahs (one way). They can also be picked up by a wooden boat with the cost of 700,000 rupiahs (one way). The cost can be shared among the visitors.
Arborek homestay and tours
Tour around Raja Ampat islands

Mawar Homestay can also organize tours to interesting places in Raja Ampat in separate costs. 

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art drawing and painting of fish
Dolphins at sea - an art print of my watercolour painting