The Wayag Archipelago in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.
The Wayag Archipelago in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.

Make bubbles in Papuans

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

"And where are you going this time?" To put it simply, I answer: "In Indonesia." In fact, I'm going to the far end of Indonesia: West Papua! I'm going to dive in the archipelago with the beautiful name of Raja Ampat, "the four kings".

The Wayag Archipelago in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.
Wayag archipelago in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia.

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is one of the most famous diving spots in Southeast Asia. I have been dreaming about it for a long time... And the dream is about to come true. That's right! I'm going to make bubbles in the Papuans !!!


The Wikipedia page about Raja Ampat will enlighten you a little, on this destination at the end of the world... As for those of you who followed the 2011 season of the reality TV game show Koh Lanta on TF1they already have an idea of the fabulous landscapes that I will soon discover.

A little sample to dream about? Follow this link Google Images.

In transit to Makassar

Well, I'm not quite there yet. Papua is at the very end of the Indonesian archipelago, towards the east, on the island of New Guinea. We are already in Oceania, or almost! On the other side of the border, which divides the island in two, it is Papua New Guinea (I spare you for the moment the history of the conflict between Papuans and Indonesians).

In short, the Indonesians of Bali and Sulawesi open their eyes when I tell them that I am going to Papua. "Papua?" Even for them, it is very far...

Yes, I am already in Indonesia! I'm writing this post from Makassar (also called Ujung Pandang), capital of the island of Sulawesi (Sulawesi Island). I am in transit, halfway to my goal...

Makassar is rather ugly, I already passed there several times, in particular to go to the Toraja country, during previous trips, in 2007 and in 2010. Not much interest to hang out in this city. Moreover, in this season, it is terribly humid. Tonight, the sky is low, heavy with clouds full of warm rain. I like as much, for the few hours that I have to spend here, to take advantage of the comfort of my hotel room, of the air conditioning, of the internet... (Not a backpacker for two pennies, today!)

I came from France by Bali, taking advantage of Ultimate Air Asia X flights. I left Bali this morning and I spend only one night in Makassar, very short, between two planes. Soon, at dawn, I fly to Sorong, capital of West Papua!

Ten days away from everything ...

Once in Sorong, I will embark on a cruise boat for divers. We will sail from island to island, in Raja Ampat. Then, I will prolong the stay in a resort, on an island of the archipelago.

In short, ten days away from everything. I'll have to disconnect ... Hard.


I'm keeping the suspense a bit long, I won't tell you more. But I'll come back to tell you all about it later, with pictures, on land and underwater, as soon as I'll be able to connect to the internet again...

Sampai jumpah lagi!


ADD. If you are looking for practical information about Raja Ampat, visit the link below, I have compiled a lot of information:
Raja Ampat : Practical Information And Tips To Organize Your Trip

You can now find all the articles I published on this trip by clicking on the image below:

Indonesia Travel: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

  Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012

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  1. Excellent !!!
    I've been wanting to go there since 2009, great coral, lots of fish but few big ones I'm told and huge change of scenery... I envy you 🙂
    What agency and boat are you planning to travel with? I wish you a great trip, I look forward to your impressions, stories and photos!

    Good bubbles and have fun 😉

    1. Few big ones ???? Sharks and mantas, how big is that?
      The photos and details of this trip Papou arrive soon ...

    2. Hello, I'd like to go with my wife and my 5-year-old daughter. I want to know if it's right for her young age. And if you know what activity she can do? thank you.

    3. @Adrien: 5 years seems a very young age for such a long trip. The islands are very isolated, far from any medical infrastructure. There's malaria in the area, and although there are fewer mosquitoes on the islands by the sea, I wouldn't recommend the place to small children. As for activities, they are simple: beach, swimming, walks...

  2. How lucky ... This destination is completely dreaming.
    Enjoy, we can't wait to see the films and other photos that always make your mouth water, unless it's all around us. Mmmmmmmmmmmm

  3. It's a long journey with many stopovers, but like all treasures, it has to be earned...
    Ah Raja Ampat, you're in for a treat with its maze of verdant islets and bewitching seabed.
    I think you put a foot on almost all Indonesian islands and each time soaked your fins with your precious stuff for your reports in pictures.
    I can't wait to go to Palawan/Tubbataha in a few weeks, but you're already making me want to go elsewhere!
    Sometimes I leave your blog because you catch your contagious virus and I see myself frustrated by too little vacation or lack of sufficient funds. Diving is an activity that boosts the holiday budget!
    Stay away from us for as long as it takes for you to come back more cheerful than ever....

  4. Papua .... In 2 stays in Indonesia, we were there for 6 weeks in all, and all we could think of was going back. So, we're entrusting you with a little of ourselves to salute the beauty of the corals, the grace of the mantises, the immensity of the banks, the multitude of seahorses, the richness and variety of the fauna. Don't forget your hook ... the currents can be strong, but this is where you'll see the most people. Cinemascope underwater! Have you received all our photos on .... the Raja Ampat (among others)? Saw the article "Pygmies among the Papuans? Enjoy, enjoy .... writing this comment, I think you're already underwater.

    1. Oh yes, of course I've seen your photos and stories !!!! I must say, you've inspired me...
      I brought my hook with me, no worries. I'll be back to tell you all about it soon!!! 🙂

    2. A top destination! We really want to do the crossing again from Alor to Sorong, Alor we love ... and the Banda .... Waoohhh. So much more to discover. The worst thing is, once you've tasted it, all you want to do is go back. If you find yourself at RADL, say hello to "little" Paul from us and the whole team..... Selamat Malam ....

    3. No, I'm staying at the Sorido Bay Resort. Very very well located, the best sites are a 10-15 minute boat ride away at most... I have a feeling I'll be coming back to Raja Ampat. It's really top, indeed!!! 😉

  5. I come back from a dive dive aboard the shakti, route south of rajah ampat, and I do not think that return, visit the north. To those who have the means, I say: go for it. It is at the height of sipadan, komodo, maldives, if not more. And the landscapes above the water are just as beautiful.

    1. I can't agree more... I've only done the north, which was great!!! Very high level diving. I'm staying a few more days in a resort to enjoy it.

  6. It's extraordinary that you're here! Some places are real fantasies, I hope the reality will be just as fascinating!

    Bon voyage and beautiful bubbles


    1. Yep, it's extraordinary. My trip is very much "diving" oriented, I'm not going to cover all of Papua, far from it, but the region is really far from mass tourism, still very wild... It is, in every way, exceptional !!!!

  7. I've been dreaming about it for ages! So make the most of your stay, and I'd go so far as to say: disconnect completely! That's got to be the best way to enjoy this extraordinary place...

    1. For me, it's a dream come true... The place is fabulous, the dives are often sporty but truly exceptional!!!! I'll be back very soon to tell you more...

  8. Hello P'tite bulle!
    This new destination looks wonderful... I've just come back from a wikipedition there, thanks to your link! What's next, what's next!

    1. It's an incredible place... The rest is coming soon (tomorrow). After the cruise, here I am in a chic resort in the middle of these still very wild islands. And I've got wifi!!! Tomorrow, then, I'll post a small selection of images...

  9. What a great idea! I was just saying recently that this is the region to go to at the moment to see islands that aren't too overgrown. As always, you're the first to inaugurate a new destination. I just have a doubt about the weather: from what I can see on the Internet, it seems to me that March is far too early for these regions, and that you should go there... not before June... What do you think? Well, you'll let me know when you get there. I'm expecting some great photos, so enjoy. I look forward to reading all the news.

    1. As far as I know, there are no distinct seasons here. We're practically on the equator, so it's tropical and humid all the time. For diving, the recommended periods are now March-April and October-November, I believe: there's less wind and less swell. For cruising boats and for launching divers, this is preferable.

  10. Waouh nothing the 1st photo makes you want to go there!!!!
    But the negative point is the cruise 🙁 ......ben yes that means 7 days stomping impatiently before getting the slightest little photo 😥!
    But we count on you to flood us with photos, post the first connection 8)! Enjoy this is going to be magic ❗ ❗

    1. No more stalling... After the cruise, here I am in a resort where I have wifi!!!! In the heart of Raja Ampat !!! I'll post pictures tomorrow, I promise !!!

  11. Very nice stay, it looks magical. I can't wait to read your travel diary and see your photos. Enjoy the bubbles

    1. Yes, it's a magical place, far from everything, very wild, very beautiful... I can't believe I'm here. I'm savoring...
      I will post photos very soon !!!

  12. It's really a pity to go to Papua and to limit oneself to diving, although exceptional. The inland and the Papuans are better than rays and sharks...It would have been better to combine the two...

    1. You're not wrong. But for a diving enthusiast like me, it is impossible to resist sharks and mantas.
      Having said that, this is my regret now that I'm back: having seen so little of Papua... Conclusion: I'm going to have to go back!!!! Hey, hey...

  13. Bravo et merci Corinne pour tous ces renseignements bien utiles , nous sommes décidés à partir, nous projetons 2 semaines de croisière sur l'Ambai, puis une semaine à terre mais ne savons pas où nous poser ...voir les papous nous plaiait bien mais aller où ??? Do you have any other ideas ???Cri Island is tempting but it looks expensive !!!
    Thank you also for the "airplane" links between Jakarta and Sorong, we are in transaction with Jérôme Doucet for the cruise...
    Yves 🙄

    1. @Yves: I have compiled a lot of practical information about Raja Ampat even on this article, at the end of the link below:
      All the diving resorts are rather expensive, indeed.

      If you want to see something other than islands and the sea, and meet tribes, you should rather aim for the Baliem valley:

      Finally, if you are in contact with Jérôme Doucet, you are in excellent hands. I don't know him personally, but I've heard good things about him. You should ask him your questions too, he's sure to be able to give you excellent advice.

      Good preparations! (Lucky)