Asia Indonesia Papua

Raja Ampat – How I found my piece of paradise

Raja Ampat - How I found my piece of paradise

After a 22 hours of flying, a two hours ferry ride and a short drive in a local fishing boat I finally found my own piece of paradise – “So she ran away in her sleep and dreamed of para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise, every time she closed her eyes…“

Like this Coldplay song is written to describe a place called RAJA AMPAT!

Raja Ampat – what, where?

Raja Ampat is comprised of four big islands and hundreds of small islands (more that 1.500 islands) located in the Indonesian part of New Guinea – in West Papua (eastern part of the island belongs to Papua New Guinea).

The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat lies in the Coral Triangle, which stretches from The Philippines to Timor to Papua New Guinea, known as the most biodiverse marine habitat on earth. That’s why Raja Ampat is often called ‘the Amazon of the Oceans’. It is one of the best places in the world to enjoy ‘underwater activities’. More than 1.320 species of fish and more than half the world’s population of corals can be found here!

Getting to and from most places to stay in Raja Ampat requires using a speed boat transfer with a local boats. Tours around the islands are very expensive.

Raja Ampat - How I found my piece of paradiseEverywhere I look it’s like a postcard! Kri Island, Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat, the last paradise on Earth [Video]Sunsets in Raja Ampat… So beautiful it hurts

Waisai & Kri Island

Because of the enormous prices of the tours around the islands I’ve visited only two. Waisai and Kri Island.

Waisai because it is the ‘main port’ on which ferries come from Sorong, a city on the far west coast of Papua and the starting point to reach Raja. In Waisai my homestay operators picked me up and I was just a half an hour boat ride away from my paradise home for a next 10 days on Kri Island.

Kri Island is a small tropical paradise that lies on the beautiful coral reef. The reef is so big that few months would not be enough to explore it.


READ MORE: A Quick Guide to Raja Ampat


Underwater world

You don’t have to be a professional diver to experience ‘underwater beauty’. As part of the reef is in relatively shallow water, all you need is a mask and snorkel to dive into a completely different world. In the world full of colorful fish, school of tuna, majestic sea turtles that curiously circling around you or small sharks in search of food.

And a coral reef? Simply incredible and out-of-this-world beautiful! So many different colors and shapes! I was impressed by the amount of fish and other life that these beautiful plants attract! It’s so sad that we don’t pay more attention to reef protection as we know how important they are for the marine ecosystem!

Snorkeling in Raja Ampat, West Papua [Video]Hello Patrick, where’s your friend Sponge Bob?

Raja Ampat - How I found my piece of paradiseMeeting friends under the sea! Hello from Nemo & me!

Host family & homestay

My host family on Kri Island was very nice and humble. Mom and dad, witch names I didn’t remember and their beautiful girl, Naomi.

As temperatures are all year round between 25 – 30 degrees with the humidity is over 80% family lives in the small hut made of palm leaves. Given the fact that on islands there is no other building material except palm trees and sand it’s logical that the whole tourist ‘complex’ is also made of palm trees. Palm bad, palm bathroom, palm kitchen, palm chairs… Cheers to palm trees!

Raja Ampat - How I found my piece of paradisePlaying with Naomi & sand worms, jeeeeiii

Life on the islands & tuna overdose

Life on the islands is very simple. How could it not be when the time stopped 20 years ago. There is no electricity, no internet or technology. Wonderful place to relax completely and shut off your brain. But it is hard to imagine such a life nowadays. After a few months of that peace and anti-stress therapy I would start to talk with all the tuna in the sea.

When talking about tuna, there is one less attractive side of paradise. As there is no store on the island or anything else beside sand, sea and palm trees, I ate rice with tuna every single day.

Host dad apparently had a thing for tuna because he only caught them, no other fish. So host mom cooked grilled tuna for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  First few days I was thrilled with fresh tuna. It’s so nice to eat it directly from the sea, not conserved. But after 3-4 days of tuna overdose you realized that it’s not so amazing… As I didn’t have any other choice, I drunk a few coconuts and continued with tuna, of course.

Raja Ampat - How I found my piece of paradise

 

Have you already planned your summer vacation?

It is hard to describe the beauty of the nature or extraordinary underwater world of the island. Hope this post will inspire you to go somewhere to relax on the beach and enjoy sun, sea and palm tree!

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