The jungles are among the deepest and most impenetrable in the world. Five thousand-meter high snow capped mountains plunge deep into floors while small glacier lake rivers cut through dark forests until their sluggish, crocodile infested mouths disgorge the water into the sea.
So hey, unless theyíre Indiana Jones, visitors to the province had better stick to the recognized tourist spots at Indonesiaís Irian Jaya province.
The Wild East
Irian Jaya is considered as Indonesia’s “wild east”. Much of the province remained unexplored by outsiders till the 1930s.
Allied (American and Australian) forces passed through the place in 1944 on the way to the liberation of the Philippines.
Jayapura is the capital and biggest city in the region of Irian Jaya. Visitors to the city may take a walking tour and visit General Douglas MacArthurís World War II quarters which still stands in the area.
Tourists may also take in the exhibits at the Museum Jaypura inside the Cenderawasih University Campus or go for a holiday at Tanjung Ria Beach.
The Beach, also known as ìBase Gî among the World War II allies has become a popular venue for swimming and water sports.
Another favorite for people wanting to cool off from the tropical heat is Kasuarina Cape. Named after hulking casuarina trees, which grow in the area, the cape may be found about two kilometers from Sorong, on the Bird’s Head peninsula of northern Irian Jaya
For a bit of immersion in the local traditions, daily lifestyle and culture of the Indonesian natives, visitors may head on to the settlement at Lake Sentani. Driving to the lake also gives tourists an ìappetizerî of the landís magnificent scenery.
One of Indonesiaís bigger naval bases, Biak shows off an infrastructure superior to most buildings in the province. There are also good beaches for swimming and skin diving. At Korem on the north coast, tourists may watch young pearl divers dive for their ocean booty. Those who are looking for a break from all the aquatic entertainment may also go exploring at the Japanese caves to be found near Ambroben.
Along the southeast coast of Agats live the Asmat people who are known for their primitive style woodcarvings.
While a relatively ìuntouchedî people, the promotion of Asmat crafts were given a boost with the 1960ís United Nations project supporting all efforts of the local craftsmen in keeping their art alive.
Daily flights are available between Jayapura, Jakarta and Ujung Pandung. Weekly flights service Ambon, Jurabaya and Bali to Jayapura
Comfortable passenger ships of Pt. Pelhi have regular service between Jakarta, Surabaya, Ujung Pandang and Jayapura.