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Papua - Places of Interest

 
 
 
 

Jayapura

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 area.

Jayapura is a naturally beautiful town built around one of the world’s 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 bird’s 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.

Lake Sentani

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 sceneries.


Biak

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

The Asmat people who live along the remote southeast coast
around Agats are famed for their artistic "primitive" woodcarving.
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.


Kasuarina Cape

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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