Sorong in West Papua is the gateway to Raja Ampat Islands
Sorong, located in West Papua, is the gateway to Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands. That is probably going to be your first thought when you arrive in Sorong. Aside from being the biggest town in Raja Ampat, it is also the main base for the oil and gas industry as well as the local logging industry. It may not strike you as the most picturesque destinations at first glance, but there are a lot of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered behind the dull mask.
There is a lot to discover and far much more to do in Sorong. You just have to know the ideal time of day to engage in different activities in order to get the most out of the island.
What to Do in Sorong
If you want a taste of the local life, start with an early morning visit to the local market, Pasar Jimbutan Puri. You’ll get to see the local fishing boats come in with their catch from a night of fishing. The action begins before 5:30 when the fish are unloaded from the boats and hauled to the market. The scene at the market is frenetic as traders and fishermen haggle for the best prices and the best catch. Take a stroll back to the hotel at 7:30 for breakfast after things quiet down.
This is the perfect time to visit the local markets and get a few souvenirs. There are several batik shops offering a wide variety of traditional Indonesian cloth. There are also various art and craft shops that feature traditional artifacts such as tribal masks. Your shopping experience is a great opportunity to learn more about Papuanese culture and history.
Being out and about at high noon is not advisable in Papua. The intense heat keeps even the locals inside. Late afternoon is the perfect time to take another visit to the local markets, especially Pasar Boswesen.
This market is unique as it is set on stilts above the ocean water. It is mainly a fish market but also has vegetables and fruits like other Indonesian markets.
Get in touch with the spiritual side of the island by taking a hike to the Buddhist Temple perched on a hill overlooking the town. The temple was built by the Chinese community that makes up part of Sorong. This beautiful pagoda is the perfect place to end the day You don’t have to spend the whole evening in prayer. The serene landscape of the temple offers a perfect point from which you can truly appreciate the sunset over the horizon.