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Raja Ampat: Our Trip To Heaven On Earth

Our group (Temples Zone) trip to the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia in mid of 2014 was extremely fun. The beauty of nature there was more than what I could describe in words. We had to rent the whole Turbo Cessna just for our group as it’s maximum passenger capacity was ten people plus our luggage.

Waisai Island :

Group Photo Waisai
Just arrived Waisai Airfield – Raja Ampat

For the one week, we were there, every day is an adventure and our daily schedule was to leave our cottage at about 8 AM when the tide is just right for our speed boat to head out to an island of our choice and every day we traveled to a different island. We would only return before the sunsets as night time out in the ocean is dangerous especially on a speedboat. Our cottage was just a walking distance away from the beach, so yeah, it’s just like living in heaven on earth.

Our cottage was nice and clean, had a nice bathroom too with hot and cold water. One cottage for two-person so we had a lot of extra space which I really like, because, I can have my own spot for my camera and laptop without getting into anyone’s way. We were ten people in all so we had rented 5 cottages for our group.

Cottage In Waisai Raja Ampat
Our nice little cottage

Wayag Islands :

The very next day of our arrival we went to Wayag Island, the furthest island in Raja Ampat. It took four hours speedboat ride to reach Wayag Island, with such high ocean waves it was taking a toll on our backside, but boy it was very worth it. Wayag Island is extremely beautiful with clear blue waters and we could practically see the ocean floor up to ten meters below.

Wayag Island
Wayag Islands pristine white sand beaches

In Wayag Islands we had the whole island to ourselves and we did plenty of snorkeling, diving, sunbathing, etc. Me and Tanya, we hiked up up the karst cliff to get a birds-eye view of the whole chain of Wayag Islands just like in these photos. The karst cliff walls are quite steep and sharp so we had to be extremely careful where we step, plus I had to carry the camera bag all the way up.  But as we reached the peak we were blown away by the view. The picturesque scenery is all around us.

If you’re into snorkeling or diving, you can see different types of fish and corals in Wayag Islands as there are many diving/snorkeling spots to choose from. Raja Ampat is the place where coral species reach 75% of all known species and fish nearly 1,300 species. The Trip is not complete without visiting the islands of Arborek, Wayag, and Pianemo. Raja Ampat is also a paradise for bird watchers as it’s one of the very few places where you can see wild birds of Paradise like the Cendrawasih or the Wilsons Bird. Also different species of Kakatuas, Eagles and many others.

Wayag Island Fishes
In Wayag Islands the water is crystal clear you can see the fishes just by standing on the beach
Tanya In Wayag 001
Tanya on the way back to Waisai enjoying the sea-breeze

These karst islands of Wayag are just amazingly beautiful and time passes so fast here we practically didn’t realize that soon it was time to head back to Waisai before sunset. Traveling on a speedboat in the open ocean after the sunset is dangerous even with the modern GPS Navigation System we had onboard.

The sunset scene in the ocean is staggeringly beautiful. As we take in its beauty we also understand the danger and that we have to reach Waisai before it gets completely dark, because, at night the waves are very high for our speedboat to manage it safely.

On reaching Waisai we had a wonderful BBQ Party with a lot of different types of BBQ’ ed fish, which I must say goes extremely well with the beers. Just remember to bring lots of mosquito repellent lotion and you’re good to go the whole night long.

But, since we had to go to Pianemo Islands early the next morning we all went to bed by 10 PM. I think everyone was pretty much tired by then from all the adventures and activities they did since early in the morning until sunset.

Waisai Beach Party
Evening Beach Party In Waisai Island

Pianemo Islands :

Pianemo Islands
Pianemo Islands in a star formation
Pianemo Island Vintage Point
Photographers platform in Pianemo

Pianemo Islands in Raja Ampat present a stunning vista. Every bit of Raja Ampat is amazing and Pianemo is not less dazzling than everything else. To truly appreciate the beauty you need to climb up to the vantage point. Looking over the islands from the vantage point the islands form the shape of a star and it was an amazing view.

From this vantage point, you can take beautiful photographs and the beauty of these islands is everywhere you look. No matter what angle you compose your photos its definitely going to be beautiful. They even provided a photographers platform right on the edge of the cliff to make life much easier for us photographers.

If you would like to get the experience in shark feeding, the locals in Pianemo Islands provide shark feeding services to and you can join them.

Kabui Bay :

Kabui Bay Raja Ampat
The serenity of Kabui Bay

Well, as usual before the sunsets we had to leave Pianemo so that we can reach Waisai before it gets dark. When we travel from Waisai to any of the islands we have to pass through the Kabui Bay.

Kabui Bay Northern Part
The northern side of Kabui Bay.

This bay is so beautiful with calm and clear waters that every time we pass Kabui Bay we purposely slow down our speedboat just to take in the beauty and the serenity of Kabui Bay. The underwater current in Kabui Bay is so strong that when we shut down our engines the current just pulls the speedboat just like we are passing through a fantasy wonderland theme park.

The northern end of Kabui Bay is so beautiful that in any direction you turn your head there’s just endless beauty. So basically Kabui Bay is located between Gam island and the southwest of Waigeo, which shows an amazing display of karst formations, islands, and rocks emerging vertically from the sea covered with tropical vegetation, mangrove forests, and small sandy beaches.

Friwen Bonda :

Friwen Bonda Speedboat
Our faithful speedboat D’Kombrof

Friwen Bonda is a small island located in Meos Mansar and if you’re into beach activities, snorkeling, or diving this is the place to be.

So while Tanya and her friends headed out to do some snorkeling, I went on to do some exploring in the small mangrove forest and found a wonderful mangrove tree for a Pose Shot. So, somehow I managed to convince Tanya to do a little modeling for me. After that, we just couldn’t resist taking a shot on the pure white sandy beach.

Tanya Beach Photo 001
Tanya in Friwen Bonda beach
(View Album)

What is more awesome than relaxing on an island in the middle of the ocean with a group of friends. There are so many activities we can do there that time seems to be flying away.

Tanya Beach Photo 002
Tanya in Friwen Bonda mangrove
(View Album)

If you’re a well-traveled diver you’ll know that Friwen Bonda is well known for it’s “Pink Reef” diving site. There are many diving clubs nearby. So, if you’re interested to visit Raja Ampat you can Contact Us and we can help you arrange your trip.

View Raja Ampat album here :

Roy Singh

Roy Singh

Founder and Photographer
I'm the founder of Temples Zone and my hobby is travelling to remote places rarely visited by tourists where the nature is still untouched and beautiful. I want my photos to tell stories to the viewers about the trip, because, the voyage is as important as the destination. I want to bring the world to your screen. So sit back, relax and enjoy the views.

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