Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Affordable Inn for Eco Travellers in Papua Island.

photographer: Charles Roring

Eco-tourism is a booming industry right now. Many hotels and travel agents offer holiday scheme to far away places where the surrounding environment has not been disturbed by human activities. One of the places in the world whose environment is still clean is West Papua province of Indonesia. The capital town of the province is Manokwari. It is located in around bay called Teluk Doreri. Manokwari is considered an important town in the province due to its title as Gospel Town. Christian missionaries landed in Mansinam to preach Gospel or Christianity to Papuan in 1855.

In the middle of the bay, there are two islets, Mansinam and Lemon. They have beautiful diving sites around them with unspoiled marine life. Scuba divers can easily see various kinds of fish such as sharks, seahorse, dolphin and many coral fish around waters of these islets. There are a number of sunken ships in the bay. Most of the ships were warships which sunk during the Pacific War (139-1945) between American and Japanese troops. Scuba diving is not a common activity of the town dwellers who cannot afford to buy expensive diving equipment. If travelers want to scuba dive, they should bring their own diving suits.

There is a very affordable inn or lodge in the Town. The name of the lodge is Penginapan KAGUM. It stands for Kaki Gunung Meja or The Foot of Table Mountain. The inn is on Brawijaya Street (formerly known as Panorama street), between Padma 1 and Negri 1/ Klim en Daal elementary schools.

Travelers who stay in this inn can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the town. It costs around 18 US dollars per room per night. Each room can accommodate between 2 and 4 travelers depending on the size. Because it is very cheap, many backpackers can afford to stay there for days. Overlooking the town, the Penginapan KAGUM is constructed with traditional style. The design of the inn is similar to Minahasan traditional wooden house. Because it is located near the tropical jungle, travelers can ride bicycles along the road or enjoy bird watching. The jungle is protected by the law so logging and hunting activities are not allowed.

Any traveler who is interested in staying in the inn can contact the operational manajer, Miss Ivana Roring. She can be contacted at her mobile: +62 81 283 07 331. It is better to book in advance to ensure the availability of the rooms. Sometimes groups of 30 to 50 people stay and occupy all the 11 rooms of the inn. On the average the travelers stay for three days to one week in the inn.