The unspoilt splendors of Raja Ampat will be presented to the world through the Raja Ampat Festival 2013 scheduled to be held on Waisai Beach from 18th to 21st October 2013. Entering its fourth edition this year, the festival continues to be an essential program of the district government of Raja Ampat aimed to promote this fascinating underwater paradise, pristine natural environment, enchanting cultural traditions, and all of the undiscovered wonders of Raja Ampat.
The festival will feature various programs including a Marine Tourism Exhibition, Culinary Festival, Art and Cultural Performances, Photo Competition, Beach Clean Up, and more. Among the highlights are distinct traditional art performances including a Yospan Dance Contest, Tambur Flute, and Wayase. During the festival, spectators will also get a chance to participate in post tour activities including diving, snorkeling, village tours, and bird watching.
One of the highlights of the festival is a demonstration of traditional boating skills that has been passed down from generation to generation, which is the traditional way of Seafaring for the Papuan.
Among some of the Papuan traditional arts and cultural performances are the Lalayon Dance, Woor Dance, Lenso dance, Yospan Dance, Gemutu Dance, Akar Bore Dance, the War Dance, the Angin Mamiri Dance, Kuda Lumping Dance, and the Suling Tambur traditional flute and percussion performance.
Raja Ampat or "the Four Kings", is the name given to the islands Located off the northwestern tip of the Bird's Head Peninsula on the Main Papua Island. The four major islands found here are Waigeo, Misool (which is home to ancient rock paintings), Salawati, and Batanta. Underwater enthusiasts flock to this region because it offers the world's best marine sights. In the Raja Ampat islands, divers can explore vertical underwater walls. The thrill of drift diving is another great challenge. These and the fascinating art and cultural performances are the awesome experiences you will find as you attend the Raja Ampat Festival.
If you are flying from Jakarta, you can take a six hour flight to Sorong with a stopover in Manado. Alternatively, you can join a diving tour in Bali and fly from there. Flying from Jakarta/ Bali to Sorong, with connecting flights in Makassar or Manado are offered by Merpati , Express Air, Lion Air, Wings Air, Garuda Indonesia, and Pelita Air.
The new airport at Waisai is expected to be open before the event so that visitors can reach the islands more easily.
There are daily ferries available between Sorong and Waisai, capital of the Raja Ampat district on the island of Waigeo. Ferries leave Sorong at 13.00 hrs and the journey takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. The return ferry from Waisai to Sorong leaves around 11.0 am. There are also speedboats for rent at Sorong.
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