Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flowers from the rainforest of Arfak mountains in Manokwari regency

Flowers that are shown in the following photograph look like plumeria. I saw it at the top of Mt. Soyti. The mountain is part of the mountain range of Arfak. I was not able to identify it but later when a British girl from Kew Royal Botanic Garden visited Manokwari in her exploration of the flower plants in Arfak, she told me that these flowers are called Rhododendron. While updating this post, I did some research on the internet trying to find the name of the flowers. Finally, I found the answer. It is called Rhododendron Konori.
They emit soft pleasant scent when I moved my nose closer to them. I took the pictures of these flowers when I was climbing the Arfak mountains with some Swiss tourists last July. These rainforest flower plants grow in one of the tops of the Arfak mountains. At the top, the main vegetation are small flower plants, moss. There are various species of orchids too particularly in the elevation between 500 to 1000 meters above sea level.
Dense rainforest can be seen growing along the slopes of the mountains. Kwau village is one of the villages in District Minyambou of Manokwari regency that has become a favorite tourist destination. Besides these fragrant tropical flowers, I also saw other species .
In addition to admiring beautiful flowers, tourists who visit Manokwari regency of West Papua can enjoy various eco-tourism activities both in the coastal areas, the lowland and the highland of Arfak mountains. From snorkeling in Manokwari bay to hiking in the mountains, the coral reef and tropical rainforest of New Guinea island can give visitors a new experience about how wonderful it is to be closer to nature. As a tourist guide, I accompanied tourists from Switzerland, Poland and Finland last month. They watched the magnificent birds of paradise when they were in Arfak mountains.
If you are now planning of traveling to Indonesia, please consider West Papua province as one of your destinations. I will be happy to guide you and show you around how beautiful this western part of New Guinea island is. by Charles Roring

Also read:
Rainforest flowers blue trumpet vines
Flowers in My Neighborbood

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Snorkeling Picture from New Guinea of Indonesia

Everytime I guide tourists for some snorkeling trips in New Guinea of Indonesia, I always ask them to make underwater picture of the tropical fish which they can find at sea. I also asked the same thing to Marko and Rita Laakonen while they were snorkeling with me in Manem islet. From the underwater pictures which they made, two of them are added in this post. Before uploading them to this blog, I tried to identify the tropical fish that are shown in the photographs. The first picture, I think, is the cromish and damsel whereas the second picture is the humphead bannerfish. There are thousands of spesies of reef fish in tropical waters. To identify them is not an easy thing to do. One needs a book for that task. With a book entitled Reef Fish identification Tropical Pacific, the identification process of the fish will be much easier to be done. Rita and Marko were really happy when they saw the fish and pristine coral reef that covers the shallow waters of the islet.
For snorkeling in this tiny islet, tourists need to fly from Manokwari to Numfor island. After that, they need to take a boat to Manem. It took around 1 hour boat ride from Numfor island to reach the coral reef area. The snorkeling picture which you see in this post was shot only by a pocket camera that has been protected by waterproof casing manufactured by Dicapac. The marine biodiversity is very high in this islet. The trip to Manem is possible if the weather is good. This tiny islet is quite isolated if I compare it with the reef area in Manokwari bay. If after snorkeling in the coral reef you become interested in learning about this precious marine environment, I suggest that you read a book entitled: Life in the Sea - The Coral Reef which is written by Palm Walker and Elaine Wood. The book is suitable for anyone whose knowledge about coral reef is very basic.
There are no diving or snorkeling shops both in Manokwari and Numfor. If you want to go snorkeling in Numfor, please, bring your own snorkeling set. Watercasing for your pocket camera can be ordered from Please, check for the type of waterhousing that is suitable for your digital camera. With the waterproof case, you can turn your conventional digital camera into a waterproof camera.
If you want to buy a real waterproof camera, I suggest that you buy a Panasonic DMC-FT3 Lumix. It is now my favorite device for taking pictures of fish, and coral reef while snorkeling in this tropical paradise.
I started using it at sea on 17 August 2011 when I guided 2 Dutch tourists on a snorkeling trip along the shores of Arfak mountains and Arfai beach. The snorkeling site near Arfak mountains is a new destination that I am now promoting for my eco-tourism program. It is a 30-minute boat ride from our boat station that is located in Arfak beach.  If you are interested in snorkeling in this new location, you can read my blog post: New Snorkeling Location in Manokwari bay. Don't forget to contact me if you want to come to Manokwari via my email
by Charles Roring
Also read:
Papua Snorkeling
Snorkeling in Mansinam island

Friday, July 15, 2011

Papua Snorkeling

My favorite destinations for snorkeling trip in Papua are the islands of Numfor, Mansinam, and Manem and Raimuti. Among them the best is Manem. However, due to its isolated location, the trip to the island is quite complicated. The south eastern shore of Manem has coral reefs that are rich of marine life. Various species of fish such as the butterflyfishes, damselfishes or anemone fishes, parrotfishes, and sometimes dolphins can be seen around Manem island. Manem is around one hour boat ride from Numfor island. And Numfor is a 20-minute flight from Manokwari city - the capital of West Papua province in the eastern region of Indonesia. Susi Air operates Cessna 208 Caravan that regularly flies from Manokwari to Numfor three or four times a week. This aircraft is suitable for short airstrip of the tropical island of Numfor.
Travelers who want to go snorkeling in Papua need to bring their own snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, underwater camera). As a matter of fact, I usually lend my flexible water housing to tourists if they want to take pictures of the tropical fish underwater. The waterproof camera case is manufactured by Dicapac and is suitable for various types of pocket camera.
I have visited the Numfor and Manem islands several times and I still haven't explored the whole part of them. I hope that one day I will have the chance to explore these tropical paradise particularly their rainforests and coral reefs. For snorkeling in Manem, we need to go by a motorized outrigger boat in Warido village. Before traveling to the village, we have to buy some gasoline that we will give to fishermen who live at a lagoon of the village. Then, we will start our adventure to the tropical island.
When I was snorkeling with two Finish tourists on 1 July 2011, I saw an eagle catching fish which it later ate at the nearby rock. It was a beautiful scenery which I couldn't photographed. Tropical fishes that live in the coral reef areas of Manem island are more various than the ones that I usually see in the coral reef of Manokwari bay. Perhaps, it is because of the island's isolated location. The trip for snorkeling in Manem is quite expensive but it is worth visiting. I hope that I can go to the island again with some tourists who are interested in snorkeling over the pristine coral reef.
Environmentally Friendly Snorkeling Techniques
Because snorkeling is usually done in shallow waters, we must be careful with the corals. We must not stand on the corals or we will brake them. It takes tens of years for a coral reef to reach a size of our head. If we feel that we have to stand, we need to find sea floor that is only covered with sand. We also have to remember that coral reef is the tropical rainforest of the ocean. It absorbs CO2 gases which we emit every day when we ride our bicycles or drive our cars. We need to avoid throwing plastic wastes into the sea to keep the coral reef and the sea clean.
Also read:
Snorkeling Tour Package for Manokwari
Snorkeling in Manokwari
Snorkeling around Mansinam island
Snorkeling Trip to Raimuti Island

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Snorkeling Tour Package for Manokwari

Today I have just finished writing a one page snorkeling tour package brochure. I have received requests from my friends and visitors of this blog about tour packages in Manokwari of West Papua. I will try to write more packages in the coming days hoping that they will be used as reference for travelers who want to come and enjoy snorkeling over the coral reef of Manokwari bay.
 click the following link to download the simple brochure
Snorkeling Package in Manokwari bay
Coral reef is actually the tropical rainforest of the sea. It has high biodiversity and it absorbs CO2 gas during photosynthesis. So, it is very important to note that every tourist who come for snorkeling vacation in the tropical island of New Guinea to not to stand on the corals. I also tell the fishermen who serve the tourists during their snorkeling trip to avoid throwing anchors on the corals. More works need to be done to preserve the coral reef. I believe that if properly managed and run, marine eco-tourism can bring about improvements in the standard of living of the islanders and at the same time promote efforts of coral reef preservation to local communities. Through the snorkeling trip package that I offer to tourists, I hope that we can provide additional income to fishermen so that they will not be tempted to use destructive fishing methods that will endanger the marine environment. In addition, the interaction between tourists and snorkelers will bring better understanding among us about how the coral reef can be preserved and still be exploited sustainably.For more information about snorkeling in West Papua of Indonesia and other eco-tourism activities, please, email me at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rainforest of Arfak mountains a nice birdwatching destination in Manokwari

I have just finished guiding two tourists from Finland. The last leg of our trip was in Arfak mountains in Manokwari regency. Our destination was Kwau - a 2-hour car ride from Manokwari city. The tropical rainforest of Kwau is home to magnificent birds of paradise, pitohui, cinnamon dove and hundreds of other species that are endemic to New Guinea island. In the last day (8 July 2011) of their hiking trip, we woke up early in the morning for an hour walk through the jungle of Mount Indon for watching Western Parotia. We were able to see it only for a few minutes. The bird was suspicious about his surrounding environment when he heard the sounds from camera's shutter button. We were not lucky enough to watch his dance performance.
Because the tropical rainforest of Arfak are located in steep slopes of the mountains, the terrains are really demanding for tourists. Therefore, I suggest to every tourist who wants to visit Arfak mountains to make adequate preparations before starting to travel. A regular aerobic, walking or jogging exercises will improve your physical condition.
Besides trekking and birdwatching, tourists who visit Kwau can see how the local Papuan people make the extract of red fruit oil that has been a famous medicine for curing various kinds of diseases. If you are interested in traveling to Manokwari and need me as your tour guide, please, contact me at
Also read:  
Hiking Tour in Klaglass forest of Sorong regency

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Letter from Yael to Children in Akmuri village of Manokwari

Traveling in Papua is not always about birdwatching, trekking and snorkeling. Sometimes it is more than them. There is another dimension which we can see from the interaction between the tourists and the local Papuan people. Last month I helped two Dutch tourists interpreting a letter from a small girl in the Netherlands for Papuan children in Akmuri village of Kebar valley - the Manokwari regency. It was a nice experience for me because a simple letter which she wrote could develop an emotional connection between children from two different cultures. The name of the Dutch girl is Yael. She helped Wally and Coby in raising money for clean water project in Akmuri village of Manokwari. The objective of the project is to improve the health quality of the villagers expecially the Papuan mothers and children. Here is the video:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mountain Bike Tour to Abasi beach of Manokwari

Last month, I, together with Peddy Tangguni, guided two tourists - Marko and Rita Laakonen from Finland on a mountain biking tour to Abasi beach of Manokwari. Manokwari is the capital of West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. Although the term is mountain biking, the terrains that we explored were not mountaineous at all. We rode our bicycles along Brawijaya street to Kwawi and then to Pasir Putih beach. There, we stopped for around fifteen minutes to see the beauty of Pasir Putih beach which was now unfortunately dirty with plastic wastes. After taking some pictures of the Finish tourists with the background of sea water and the Arfak mountains, we continued cycling to Arowi.
Along the road to Abasi beach we were greeted by children and people who were surprised to see that there were two European tourists who were riding bicycles with us. It did not take long to reach the Abasi beach. The beach was quiet - not many people swimming in the water. Marko took out his camera and starting to take pictures of the scenery. I also took my cell phone out of my pocket. It was a Nokia XpressMusic 5630. I activated its 3.2 Mega Pixel camera mode and began shooting some pictures of the beach and the tourists. We returned to Losmen Kagum half an hour before dark. As a tourist guide, I provide this mountain bike tour to travelers who visit Manokwari as a way to explore the beauty of Papua's nature and at the same time to promote cycling culture among the citizens of Manokwari.
The next day, I, Marko and Rita flew to Numfor island for a few days bird watching in tropical rainforest of Yemburwo village and snorkeling trip in Manem islet. If you are interested in touring around Manokwari regency by riding bicycle and need me as a guide, please, contact me via my email:
Also read:
Mountain Bike Tour Through the Rainforest of Bintuni
Mountain Bike Tour in the Rainforest of Table Mountain