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9 Advantages of Raja Ampat Tourism

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Raja Ampat, this one tourist spot is very famous for its beauty both in Indonesia and in the world. Many local and even foreign tourists like to visit here. Besides the attractive panorama, what are the advantages of this tourist attraction located in the western part of the bird’s head of Papua Island? Here’s the review.

Getting to know Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is a series of islands that are close to each other, there are 4 groups of islands to be precise. This island group is included in the Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua.

Now Raja Ampat has become a tourist destination, especially for those who like to dive. Here there are several interesting diving spots, including on Misool Island, Salawati, Waigeo, Batanta.

Most of the people in Raja Ampat have a livelihood as fishermen who inhabit small villages and live far apart and even on different islands. The people of Raja Ampat are very friendly, especially when they receive guests from outside. In addition, they can still live in harmony despite embracing different beliefs (there are Christians and Muslims).

The Raja Ampat Islands have great tourism potential, especially for diving. Raja Ampat is recognized as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. The flora and fauna are quite complete. With the best coral area in the archipelago.

Raja Ampat, which is a beach with open seas and small islands around this beach, does have a suitable place for tourists to dive or snorkel by seeing a variety of coral reefs that are still beautiful. For this, tourists need to prepare everything well, such as snorkeling equipment. (read also: preparation for a vacation to the beach)

These waters hold at least 1000 species of hard coral fish, 540 types of hard coral, and 700 types of mollusks. So 75% of the world’s coral species are in the waters of Raja Ampat, and no water area with a similar area has as many corals as in Raja Ampat. Some of the species that we can find here, are manta rays, dwarf seahorses, and wobegongs.

The following are the advantages of tourism from Raja Ampat:

  1. Has the largest and most complete number of coral clusters in the world

Raja Ampat, apart from its beautiful scenery, also has the largest number of coral clusters in the world, reaching 75% of the coral species in the world in Raja Ampat. According to research conducted, there are at least 1000 species of reef fish, 540 species of hard coral (75% of all species in the world), 700 species of molluscs, and 90% of live coral reefs.

  1. The most complete flora and fauna in the world

For example, the variety of marine life that we can find in this area. Such as, wobbegog, manta rays, dwarf seahorses, eviota king fish (a type of gobbie fish that is included in the endemic fish of Raja Ampat), reef sharks, tuna, barracuda, wilson’s paradise, red bird of paradise, various parrots and cockatoos, maleo waigeo, waigeo cuscus, various orchids, and others. In addition, Raja Ampat has mangrove forests, seagrass beds, cliffs and rocky beaches.

  1. Has an interesting historical heritage

In Raja Ampat besides being able to do diving activities, we can also see the relics of the past. Like in the Misool Mountains, there are prehistoric relics in the form of handprints on the rock walls. The handprints in Misool are not located in the cave, but close to the sea.

It is estimated that it is 50,000 years old. And this is one of the clues about how humans can spread from the western part of the archipelago to Papua and Melanesia. At one of the dive points, namely Wai Island, we can also see historical remains in the form of an airplane that sank during World War II.

  1. Friendly community

The people in Raja Ampat are famous for their hospitality, especially when guests from outside the area arrive. The people of Raja Ampat mostly work as fishermen and they live in small villages and are located far apart until there are different islands.

They are very happy if we bring gifts in the form of areca nut or candy. Then we can chat with the community. The event of chatting while chewing betel nut is called papa-para betel nut. Para-para areca interspersed with throwing mobs or jokes or funny stories. Most of the people of Raja Ampat embrace Islam and Christianity. They live side by side in harmony and peace.

  1. One of the best diving spots in the world

Raja Ampat, which is very famous for its diving, is one of the best diving spots in the world. Some of these dive sites are on 4 islands, namely, Waigeo, Salawati, Bantanta, Misool. When diving at Manta Point (Arborek, Dampier Strait) we will get an interesting experience, namely diving accompanied by manta rays.

Diving in Cape Kri or Chicken Reef, we will dive with thousands of fish (among them, tuna, snappers, giant trevallies) and the most thrilling experience of all is when diving with thousands of barracuda fish! Indeed, hell, this fish is not dangerous. However, there are also dangerous ones, namely solitary barracudas. Some types of fish that we also often see include reef sharks and turtles.

While diving in Batanta, Salawai, and Waigeo, we can meet dugongs and dugongs. The location of Raja Ampat which has many islands with relatively narrow straits, makes some points of dives the current will be strong at certain times. It is very fitting to do a drift dive, which is a dive following a strong current by breaking through thousands of fish.

  1. Has some interesting attractions

Some of the interesting attractions that can be seen in Raja Ampat are the flute drum (Waigeo) and the Raja Ampat maritime festival centered in Waisai, Waigeo Island, and the capital of Raja Ampat Regency.

  1. Have exotic places

There are many exotic places in Raja Ampat. For example, Pulau Ayau which is a giant coral island, Pulau Pensil (a coral island that looks like a pencil sharp). Beautiful beaches, Yefpian Beach, Bannos, Panun, Olobi, Teteruga, Jam Beach, Daram Beach, and others.

  1. Unique souvenirs and culinary

Foods that we can taste when visiting Raja Ampat include papeda and Welsh-style chicken barapen. Who is not familiar with papeda. This snack made from sago flour is very popular among the public and tourists. Making papeda is relatively easy. Simply pour hot water into the sago flour and keep stirring until it looks like glue.

Eating papeda is the most appropriate with processed fish in the form of sour fish, yellow spices, with the addition of chili sauce. Excellent! Also try a traditional drink called saguer, a drink made from virgin coconut. Lastly, the Welsh style chicken barapen, you can’t miss it, okay? Please note that Walesi is the name of one of the tribes in Wamena.

How to cook this one dish is to use a stone that is burned until it turns red, then put it in a drum that has been planted in the ground. Next, add the vegetables, sweet potatoes, and seasoned chicken. Then the vegetables, sweet potatoes, and chicken are doused with oil. The final step is to cover the drum with heat-resistant plastic.

In addition to culinary, Raja Ampat has various souvenirs that we can also bring as souvenirs. Shark jaws with teeth that are still firmly stuck in the jaw. This extreme souvenir can be obtained for only IDR 300,000. Necklaces, dowry plates, woven bags, and the rarest of all is the King Kofiau necklace (from the skull of a dog’s head and the bones of a mermaid). The King Kofiau necklace can be obtained at a price of IDR 300.000,-.

In the capital city of Raja Ampat Regency, Waisai there is also an Art Shop that sells various kinds of masks of various shapes and sizes. Each mask has a different story, of course. The price ranges from Rp. 300,000, – to Rp. 10,000,000, -. Wooden statues are also available. Most are made with ironwood, due to its water resistance. The statue is priced at IDR 300,000.

  1. Lots of fun activities besides diving

Indeed, Raja Ampat is famous as a paradise for divers. But it won’t dive all the way, will it? And there are also non-diver tourists who of course want to also enjoy the beauty of Raja Ampat. Apart from diving, we can do some fun activities here, namely:

  • Birdwatching of paradise;
  • Climbing wayag (karst cluster);
  • Photography for hobbyists;
  • Hunting for Papuan handicrafts and souvenirs. When in Sorong, don’t forget to buy a delicious shredded bread roll. Large size with a diameter of 10 cm and abundant shredded. The price for one portion is IDR 10,000 and can be purchased along Jalan Ahmad Yani and Domine Eduard Osok Airport.

Weaknesses of Raja Ampat Tourism

Behind the advantages there must be a weakness. What are the disadvantages of Raja Ampat tourism? First, the trip to get there is quite time-consuming and the second is that traveling to Raja Ampat is expensive and definitely drains our pockets.

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