Travel Information Papua

 

Dear guests,

while Bali has been developed for a long time and boasts good infrastructure, Papua/Irian Jaya is still one of the untouched regions in the world. The Baliem Valley was only discovered in 1938 by accident, and even today it can only be reached and supplied by air: anything that nature does not provide has to be transported there by plane. For visitors of this valley that time has forgotten, so to speak, this above all means that one cannot and must not apply the same standards to it as one might to other areas already developed for tourism.

In return, here you have the opportunity to get to know places untouched by tourism with an intensity now rarely seen elsewhere. The growing number of visitors to this region, still mostly backpackers, will change much in the coming years. While tourism can herald many problems for the traditions, environment and indigenous population, it can also promote cultural understanding and favourable development for the inhabitants of this travel destination. We want to do our best to ensure that your stay in this “virgin” tourist territory will be an unforgettable experience for you, while having as little impact as possible on the cultural identity of the people there.

To an extent, going to Papua still means a journey into the unknown, since it is occasionally necessary to make sudden changes to the original travel itinerary. Our trip will be planned with great care, and you will take home many unforgettable memories. If something does go wrong during your travels, please bear in mind that visitors have only been coming to this part of the globe for a few years, and that from a tourist point of view Papua is still an uncharted area. If problems should occur, please approach your tourist guide or the person in charge where you are first. They will gladly be of assistance whenever possible. Please also remember that you are in a completely different cultural setting; some things that we consider completely normal would cause surprise or astonishment here, and other things that are completely normal here we will find bewildering. If you approach things in a relaxed manner and try to understand, if you see the path itself as a destination, if you are prepared to be open to new and unfamiliar things, then you will be able to experience the magic of this fascinating region, returning home with many unforgettable memories.

 

 

1. Climate

 

 

 

Bali

High temperatures (around 30 cent.) and high humidity, occasional tropical rain.
 

Papua/ Baliem Valley

During the day around 20-30 cent. in the evening and at night temperatures can drop to 10-15 cent. due to the high altitude. Sunshine and short rainfalls alternate. In general the climate is good to handle, not too hot, not too cold. There is no rain season, same conditions throughout the year. 
   

2. Health

   
 

Vaccination

For the highlands of Papua there is currently no compulsory vaccination. However, protection against hepatitis, polio and tetanus etc. is recommended. In the highlands there is no malaria danger. In the bigger cities of Jayapura and Timika there is a certain malaria risk. Here, it is recommended to protect oneself against mosquito bites with special sprays (Autan) and long sleeved clothes. For journeys to the lowland regions of Asmat and Kuruwai a malaria prophylaxis is absolutely essential. A recommendable anti-malaria tablet is Malarone, due to its low adverse effects. Please contact your doctor or check on the internet www.travelmed.de . If need be, also ask for your doctor's advice on thrombosis and other health threats. During your journey you should not drink tab water. Also ice, unpeeled fruits and salads should only be eaten in better touristic locations. In general you should consume a lot of liquids. Sunglasses, hats and sunscreen protect against the sun and are strongly recommended.
 

Medication

Please bring all the medication you need or want to have with you from home in sufficient quantity. In Papua there exist some pharmacies but their stock is limited and special medication will probably not be available.
 

Physical requirements

The physical requirements are depending or where you want to go. Day tours in the Baliem Valley are done by car or easy walking. Because of the higher altitude some people might become tired quicker but there is never a need to rush and our experienced local guides will adjust the walking speed to your individual abilities. Expedition tours have a different level of difficulty. Please see the tour descriptions for details.
   

3. General Information

   
 

Crime

In most of the visited areas crime can be said to be lower than in most parts of Europe. Only at market places and airports you should take extra care of your luggage and other belongings (thieves).
 

Postal service and telephone

Postal service from Bali to Germany takes around 2 weeks. Postcards and letters can be send via every Bali hotel where stamps are also available. Phone calls to Europe are not a problem but pricey. In both Bali and Papua there is a suffienct mobile phone signal. Moreover, the postal office in Wamena offers long distance phone calls and fax service. In Wamena also exist two internet shops with a slow connection. In The Baliem Valley Resort itself there is no phone or internet connection, only mobile phones are working.
 

Customs

The characteristic trait of Asians as well as Papuans is reservation. Loud complaining is not respected and from every guest it is expected to adapt to this. If problems occur the best way to react is with a smile. You will see that your concern is handeled serious. Uncontrolled, loud uprising only leads to "loss of face" and brings you into a desperate position.
 

Power supply

In Bali the line voltage is 220 V. Power blackouts occur occasionally. The Baliem Valley Resort has its own current current generator which is switch on during the morning hours and in late afternoon until late evening. At night there is no electricity. Hence, it is recommended to always bring a flashlight. Camera enthusiasts should bring extra batteries for their equipment.
 

Tips

Tips are a personal matter. But in general, tour guides, drivers and all the helpers in the background are happy when they receive a little reward when doing a good job.
 

Transportation/ Roads

The "roads" in the Baliem Valley (with few exceptions in Wamena City) are dirt/gravel roads. Therefore, outside of Wamena it is recommended to only use off-road vehicles. The Baliem Valley Resort is in possession of two off-road busses with open windows and a true safari feeling. The very experienced drivers reach every point in the Valley you can reach with a vehicle.
 

Insurance

Please check before your journey if your insurance is also valid in Asian countries. We strongly recommend having a travel insurance. Cheap packages can directly be booked under our Link Booking Service.
 

Currency

The official currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). 1 USD / 1 EUR = 9.000,-- / 14.000,-- IDR (fluctuant rates). We recommend to change foreing currency in Bali or Jakarta. Here, the rates are better. Credit cards are accepted in Bali, sometimes in Jayapura, and in Wamena credit cards can be used to get money from an ATM. Payment with credit cards is almost impossible in Papua (except few places in Jayapura and Timika) and changing money is also restricted or not possible at all. Also the rates are much worse than in Bali, for example. The Baliem Valley Resort does not accept credit cards or foreign currency. Hence, please change money in sufficient amounts before entering Papua.
 

Time difference

Time difference from Germany is +6 (Bali) or +7 (Papua) hours / +7 (Bali) or +8 (Papua) hours (summer or winter time).
 

Beverages

Non-alcoholic drinks are available at The Baliem Valley Resort and in most restaurants. Beer, if available, only in small quantities and for high price (around USD 10,-- per can). Further alcoholic drinks (whiskey etc) are strictly limited and can only be purchased in Jayapura. Therefore, if you like to enjoy a sundowner at the end fo the day we recommend you to buy spirits at a Duty Free Shop before entering Papua.
 

Clothing

Light clothing is recommended, made for hot or tropical conditions. At The Baliem Valley Resort it can be quite cold in the evening. Here we recommend to also bring some warm clothes and a jacket.
 

Shopping

In Bali you can buy various articles for cheap prices, especially clothing (shirts, shorts etc.). Also craftsmanship and all kinds of souvenirs exist in all price categories. Friendly bargaining is mandatory in local shops and markets. In Papua, you can find many unique souvenirs for cheap prices. Typical souvenirs are necklasses made of bones, stone axes, bow and arrow, and grass nets. Don't forget: The weight limit for domestic flights is between 15 kg and 20 kg. Last but not least: Please always think of your home countrys' customs. It is for example strictly forbidden to buy and bring feathers from the famous Bird of Paradise. If unsure, please ask your guide before purchasing a "special" souvenir.
 

Gifts

If you like to bring small gifts, men and women in Papua usually like to receive tobacco, cigarettes, lighters. Children usually favor sweets or pencils.
 

Foto/Video

Please bring everything you need from home. Especially extra batteries can be helpful.
 

Luggage

Maximum weight on domestic flights is 20 kg. On the flights Jayapura - Wamena weight limit is 15 kg! Overweight needs to be paid. If you have too much, think of leaving unneeded things in your hotel in Bali or Jayapura. All important belongings should always be carried in your hand luggage. Furthermore, it is recommended that you hand luggage contains a basic equipment in case your main luggage arrives with delay.
 

Immigration

  1. For entering Indonesia you need a passport. Your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months on date of entry. 
  2. Important: Please bring your passport with you when entering Papua (don't deposit it in your Bali hotel)
  3. For the travel permit (Surat Jalan) for Papua you also need to bring two passport pictures and a copy of your passport. Your travel permit will be obtained by our agent in Jayapura. The travel permit is not necessary for travels to Jayapura or Baliem Valley, only for special destinations like Korowai, Asmat, Carstensz. 
 

EU decree "Dangerous Airlines"

Following the EU decree (No. 2111/2005, of the European Parliament on 14/12/2005) Dr. Weiglein Expeditions GmbH is legally obligated to inform its clients about the identity of the used airlines. The domestic flights in Indonesia are usually carried out by Garuda Indonesia, Merpati, and Trigana etc. Several Indonesian airlines are on the EU blacklist for dangerous airlines. The blacklist can be seen here:  http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_de.htm
 

 

 

4. Hotels/ Transit

 

 

 

Bali (Hotel IDA, Kuta)

Centrally located hotel in a quiet side street in Kuta. Bars, Restaurants, shops and the famous Kuta beach are less than 5 minutes of walk.
 

Papua/ THE BALIEM VALLEY RESORT

This Resort is the first one of its kind in the Baliem Valley. Next to its charming design and beautiful views into the valley, it provides every visitor with comfortable rooms, hot shower, and delicious meals. But please be aware that The Baliem Valley Resort can not be compared to hotels/accomodations in touristic areas. The Resort is situated at 1900 meters altitude and can only be reached via a gravel road (around 40 minutes of drive from Wamena airport). Next to the 15 Honay style bungalows there is also a big restaurant building where our guests take there meals and sit together after their tours. Please do not expect an a la carte restaurant, bars, swimming pools, shops etc. You are in Papua! Due to the Resorts position in this part of the world it was necessary to bring all building materials and equipment (except from goods that are naturally available in Wamena, e.g. wood) - from simple screws to bed sheets and window glass - by plane. The spaciously designed bungalows all have a big sleeping room and big private bathroom with hot shower and western style toilet. All bungalows have their own spacious terrace with sun chairs and a beautiful view into the valley. As there is not much to do here in evenings, we recommend our guests to bring enough reading material. There is no internet in the Resort but small internet shops exist in Wamena City. The Resort is not build in accordance with European building standards (hand rails. terraces, walkways etc). We are not liable for accidents or damages happening on Resort grounds, the Honay villas or other buildings.

 

 

Contact Information

Dr. Weiglein Expeditions GmbH
Tempelstraße 5 - 11
63571 Gelnhausen
Germany



dr.weiglein@t-online.de
Tel.: +49 6051-61388
Fax: +49 6051-69115

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