This post is part of a weekly feature called Discovery of the Week. By discovery, I mean a place, a custom or dish that is not widely known. See, I love to read travel magazines, websites and books. Very often, I find beautiful and interesting gems that not a lot of people seem to know about. That is why I thought about introducing this feature because I am sure it will expose a lot of astonishing places. Additionally, I enjoy learning about the many amazing places in the world. I believe my readers also enjoy this activity.
This week discovery: Raja Ampat
Where it is located: Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province.
What it is: An archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.
The name of Raja Ampat comes from local mythology that tells about a woman who finds seven eggs. Four of the seven eggs hatch and become kings that occupy four of Raja Ampat biggest islands whilst the other three become a ghost, a woman, and a stone.
According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.
Although accessing the islands is not that difficult, it takes some time. It takes six hours flight from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia to Sorong (city in the Bird’s Head Peninsula on West Papau). Then, taking boat to reach the islands is necessary.
Here are some photos of the islands. I discovered this place on Pinterest and have to say it is one of the most beautiful places I have seen.
Did you know about Raja Ampat? Let me know in the comments section below.