Sunday, April 5, 2009

Traveling around Manokwari

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia
My travelogue journal today is about my own hometown. It is Manokwari, a small but rapidly developing town in the northern coast of West Papua. Travelers can visit this town from Jakarta, Makassar or Manado. The state owned airline Merpati fly to Manokwari from Jakarta three times a week. Other flights are serviced by Batavia and Express airlines. You can arrange your trip to Manokwari by contacting the customer service officer of the respective airlines through email or phone. I believe that they have websites which you can visit. If you choose to go by ship instead of flying, then contact the office of PELNI to arrange and buy the tickets. It has three or four passenger ferries that connect Manokwari and Jakarta.
Links for Manokwari Travel Stories:
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The town is located in a bay called Dorey or Doreri bay. There are two islands in the middle of the bay, i.e. Mansinam and Lemon islands. In the past, Manokwari was the second administrative town of the Netherlands New Guinea overnment. There are still some old buildings left by the Dutch. From the colonial time to the present time, Manokwari and other towns in West Papua have experienced a lot of changes. Some are good but many are not good.
Manokwari of West Papua is an attractive town. Besides having white sandy beach, at the bottom of the sea, scuba divers can explore around six World War II shipwrecks. Most of them were Japanese and Netherlands ships which sank during the war.
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At the southern side of Dore bay, travelers can enjoy or observe wild animals and exotic flowers of the tropical jungle in Arfak mountain.
Traveling around the town is also interesting. First time travelers in Manokwari mostly depend on the guide book published by Lonely Planet. In fact there are many interesting places which they can visit. Some are the art gallery run by local painter Lucky Kaikatui in Jati Manokwari or visiting the master of cloth weaving Ms. Fonataba. You can read about their stories at: Papuan Art and Culture Website which I have created by myself to promote Papuan artists.
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Suppose that you are interested in visiting Manokwari and you intend to stay in an affordable inn. One inn which I should recommend is Penginapan Kagum (read this article: Affordable Inn for Eco Travellers in Papua Island). It is located behind Xavier bookstore on Brawijaya Street. The rate per night is between Rp. 100,000 and Rp. 180,000 (or between 10 USD and 18 US dollars). The manager of the inn is Ivanna Roring. She can be contacted through her cell phone: +62 81 283 07 331 or via home based telephone: +62 986 211618.

photo of Kagum inn in Manokwari town by Charles Roring
typical bedroom of Kagum inn

Backpackers prefer to stay in this lodging due to its calm location and affordable price. Also read: Ship Wreck Diving in Dore Bay of Manokwari West Papua