Jayapura is the capital and the biggest city of this easternmost
province. It is a neat and pleasant city, built on the slope af
a hill overlooking the bay. General Douglas Mc Arthur's World War
II quarters still stand here. The Museum Jayapura is located inside
the Cenderawasih University campus. Tanjung Ria Beach,
known as base G by the Allies during World War II, is a popular
holiday resort with facilities for water sports.
From Skyline in the hills behind the city, one gets a beautiful
view of Jayapura, Jotefa and Humboldt bays and the lake Sentani
Jayapura is a naturally beautiful town built around one of the worlds
most attractive harbors. Steep and lushly vegetated hills roll down
to the clear, deep waters of the Yos Sudarso Bay. The easily accessible
Polimak Mountain in the middle of town looks out over all of Jayapura
a birds eye view of the town and harbor. From the great
heights, you can see the small islands dotting the bay. Tiny stilted
fishing villages reach out into the sea and perahus as small as
toys make their way across the waters.
Hugging the step hillsides, almost hidden amongst the trees are
gaily-painted houses, homes to a mixed population of local Irianese,
Javanese, Bugis and Balinese.
Jayapura has its own version of Taman Mini. The Museum of Irian
Jaya is a cultural theme park where exhibits are displayed in houses
depicting the different architectural styles of Irian. Enterprising
entrepreneurs have already begun an Irian batik factory where bold
tribal patterns have been translated on to cloth. The attractive
designs can be bought in various shops around town. Just out of
town at Hamadi is a whole street devoted to stalls selling souvenirs.
Koteka, woodcarvings, grass skirts, beads and baubles are sold
in dozens of open fronted stalls crowded along the road. Mixed with
the tourist junk are authentic carvings and artifacts from the interior
and a visit to the Hamadi Market is a must for any visitor to Jayapura.
There is a settlement on the shore of this lake not far from Jayapura
where one can observe local traditions as they are practiced in
the daily lives of the people. The short trip from Jayapura, pleasant
as it is, offers a little foretaste of the province's magnificent
Biak, a town built on the rocky soil of an island of the same name
on the rim of Cenderawasih Bay, is Irian Jaya's gateway. A big Indonesian
naval base, it has an infrastructure that is better than in most
other places in the province. Japanese caves are found near Ambroben.
There are some good beaches on Biak island, the most popular of
which are Bosnik on the east coast, which is good swimming and sky-diving,
and Korem on the north coast, where one can watch young men dive
for pearls. Supiori Island, just north of Biak, has a recreation
forest and villages where visitors are welcome.
The Asmat people who live along the remote southeast coast
around Agats are famed for their artistic "primitive"
Modern civilization did not reach this area until recently. Agats
has an interesting museum filled with woodcarvings and other
objects. The area, however is still largely untamed widerness.
Asmat crahs received a boost in the late 1960s under a United Nations
supported project to encourage local crahsmen to keep alive their
art. Daily flights by Garuda are available between Jayapura, Jakarta
and Ujung Pandang. In addition, there are weekly flights to and
from Ambon, Surabaya and Denpasar, Bali.
PT. Pelni has regular service between Jakarta, Surabaya Ujung Pandang,
and Jayapura in comfortable passenger ships. Places in the vicinity
of Jayapura such as Skyline and Lake Sentani can be reached by taking
a minibus. Biak has air and sea links with Jayapura. Sorong, is
also served by air fromJayapura. Other destinations are reached
by car or boat, or by light aircraft.
Named aher the big casuarina trees which grow in the area Kasuarina
Cape is just two kilometers from Sorong town on the Bird's Head
peninsula of northern Irian Jaya. Good for swim ming and recreation.
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