Life,  Travel

Digital Detox Trip: Nature Edition

For this week’s blog post, I want to share an unforgettable travel experience in Raja Ampat, Indonesia 2016. Situated at the tip of The Bird’s Head Peninsula, West Papua, it’s hailed as The Mecca of Diving by divers worldwide thanks to the marine life diversity.

Imagine finding 75% known corals, 1,700 species of reef fish and endangered mammals when you dive! Even better, you can go island-hopping and find yourself surrounded by gorgeous nature. Moreover, there are many beautiful white-sand beaches which you may have for your own.

Talking about a much-deserved break from the city!

If you love photography, Raja Ampat or the Four Kings will make your work easier since there’s no heavy editing needed. Say hello to crisp, clear blue sky and turquoise lake!

But wait, as much as you want to upload that photos into your Instagram or Facebook account, here’s a secret to making the trip worth it: stay away from your smartphone as much as you can.

Why You Should Visit Raja Ampat This Year

Pictures tell a thousand words. Here’s why you should visit Raja Ampat this year:

Telaga Bintang (Starfish Lagoon), Piaynemo
Have the beach for your own
Everything is crystal-clear
I just love this resting house
I shared a speedboat with this lovely couple, Gadis and Moa #couplegoal
Pasir Timbul (The Floating Sand), it’s located in the middle of the sea

The best months to visit Raja Ampat is from February – early June, before the raining season. Those are also the best period for diving, as you will have calm seas.

Can’t dive? Go snorkelling instead! You’ve come all the way here, don’t miss the chance to see the amazing underwater life.

Some tours will supply snorkeling gear for you
Feeding the fishes with mantao

Some islands that you can visit in Raja Ampat are Waigeo, Misool, Wayag, Kri, Salawati, Batanta, Mansuar, and Kofiau. Among those islands, Wayag Island is the icon of Raja Ampat.

Para-para-paradise…
In order to find the ‘gem’, you need to climb a karst. Prepare your hiking shoes!

Digital Detox in Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

Raja Ampat is where you can finally experience digital detox. I’m not saying this because I want to, it’s a fact.

Located in a remote area with fairly-good smartphone coverage, your internet connection and speed are depending on the network. In addition, 4G speed works differently here – it’s very slow and dropouts are common.

Aside of digital detox, you’ll enjoy colour therapy in Raja Ampat

Even though your smartphone is showing full signal, you might not be able to go online! You can go online once you’re out of the islands, esp in restaurants or cafes in Sorong and Waisai. However, the internet speed is still very slow.

Honestly, the lousy internet connection in Raja Ampat is a blessing in disguise for you. There’s no other choice than be present and enjoy the moment!

Why It’s an Unforgettable Trip for Me

Going to Raja Ampat backpacking isn’t that easy because it’s a remote area. You may not find difficulties in communication because some people speak English well, but will find it in transportation and price negotiation.

There are many tours with Raja Ampat trip, however, choose wisely or you’ll end up like me. I chose the wrong tour that cost me time and more money.

Imagine, the tour owner suddenly called me when I was already in the airport, said that he miscalculated the price and asked me to pay more!

Since it was so sudden and I didn’t bring enough money, he arranged for me to stay in my tour guide’s house. It was tough for me.

The house was at the outskirt where there’ll be no electricity from 2 am until the next few hours. Luckily I got some basic needs – mattress, a small electric fan, towel, and tissue.

Also, the tour owner didn’t inform me to book evening flight thus I had to extend the trip and re-scheduled the flight. My new friend, Menas, was so kind to find me a place to stay for two days, for free.

I met Menas on the ferry from Sorong to one of the islands.
Who’d ever thought a new friend would save my life?

He even took me for a city trip with this motorbike and lent me some money. Once I reached Malaysia, I transferred some money to his bank account as gratitude.

4 DAYS Raja Ampat Open Trip Tour (USD285/person)

If you wish to visit Raja Ampat this year, my friend, Hernan, is organising a 4 DAYS Raja Ampat Open Trip Tour with USD285 (around RM1,174)/person.

I joined his Toraja tour last year and is very satisfied with the service, thus I’m willing to recommend his Raja Ampat trip on my blog.

In addition, Hernan was chosen by CBS News (American TV and radio) to escort them when they needed to make report on Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, October 2018. He writes and speaks English fluently thus you’ll have seamless communication with him.

Hernan (left, front) with the CBS News crews

Here’s what you get with USD285/person:

Why Join This Raja Ampat Open Trip Tour?

If you’re a budget traveller, trust me, USD285/person for four days in Raja Ampat is totally worth it. A private tour normally charges more than that. For my case, I paid more than RM2,000 for a lousy service from an unknown tour. ☹

For your information, the most expensive thing to spend in Raja Ampat is the speedboat rental for island hopping. Apparently, the petrol price there is very expensive!

The typical speedboat in Raja Ampat

In this 4 DAYS Raja Ampat Open Trip Tour, you’ll share the boat and accommodation with your new friends thus you get a much cheaper price.

You’ll be staying at Wombon Swandiwe Homestay (rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor). It’s a very basic, cozy homestay beside the sea.

Are you ready to have a digital detox trip in Raja Ampat?

If you are, leave a comment below or send email to theresiaclara91@gmail.com so I can connect you to my friend, Hernan, for the booking.

Before you go, remember to get travel insurance. Let’s plan your 2019 trip! 😊

P.S:

*Check the ferry schedule with Hernan before you buy the return flight ticket.

*There are Maybank branches and ATM in Sorong. However, cash is still the best option.

* Top things to bring: sunblock (SPF110), after-sun gel, beach hat, filtered water bottlehiking shoes, and mosquito repellent

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