Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cruising Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia

Population 200,000

For us, coming to Jayapura from PNG was a huge culture shift- Jayapura is a typical Southeast Asian city- noisy, dirty, good food, low prices, safe streets at night.  Locals were friendly and outgoing but few spoke much English- lots of ‘hello misters’, even for Gini.  Jayapura has a sheltered, picturesque harbor and road links to scenic lake Sentani and shopping in Abepura.

Good shelter in most conditions can be found in Jayapura harbor. 
Approach. From the East: there are two shoals, one of which is marked, lying offshore to the southeast of the harbor entrance, south of the shipping area.  From the north: there is a large shoal NE of the northern harbor point. Be aware of many fishing platforms at the harbor entrance. 
Once inside, the harbor is generally clear with the exception of two well-marked reefs near the commercial docks and fringing reef around the two stilt-village clad islands.  A deep channel between the two reefs is marked by a red buoy on the northern side and a yellow buoy on the southern side.  Deep anchorage- 20m in mud can be found beyond the reef.  There is steady small runabout traffic through the anchorage and the concussions from nearby dynamite fishing were frequently audible through the hull.
We were able to tie up our dingy securely to the pilot boat dock, adjacent to the ferry wharf, behind customs.

We checked in at Jayapura and had no issues.  Customs was very friendly and helped us with a number of questions during our visit.  There was no mention of the recently revoked bond law.
Immigration wanted no less than three copies of Everything- CAIT, crew list, ship’s papers, passports, visas, sponsor letter. 
Our surat jalan for all of Papua was free and fast of the city police station.

Fuel can be obtained at commercial price through mobile fuel trucks or one of the Chinese shopkeepers.  Try the small boat operators for a possible subsidized fuel delivery.  We were able to fill jerry cans at the service station at the subsidized price US$2/gal.

The main business centre consists of a number of small hardware, electronics, general retail shops, and restaurants on Jl Percetakan, Jl Ahmad Yani and Jl Sam Ratulangi.  Along the Jayapura-Sentani Road there is a long strip of upscale retail stores in Kotaraja/Abepura.  On top of a hill, just before Kota Raja there are a couple interesting temples with nice views- Hindu and Buddhist.  Sentani is full of small shops similar to those found in Jayapura but more run down.  Many Sentani shops were looted or destroyed in riots associated with the Papuan separatist movement in 1998-2002. 
The two night markets in town offer a modest range of vegetables.  10 min.s away by bus, the Hamadi market is one of the biggest in the region and open all day.  For limited western food products try Gelael in Jayapura, Sentani Square in Sentani, or the several large supermarkets in Abepura.
Bus fares along the Jayapura-Sentani road were as follows in 2012: Jayapura to Hamadi 2000Rp.  Hamadi to Entrop 2000Rp.  Entrop to Abepura 3000Rp.  Abepura to Waena 3000Rp.  Waena to Sentani 3000Rp.  Unless you are bus-lucky you may end up changing taxis in all these places if enroute to Sentani!  Taxi charter is about 50000 Rp/hour.
We discovered a knowledgeable electronics guy at Dok Lima in the northern suburbs.  Ask a taxi to take you to dok lima (5 min from the centre) and ask around for the computer repair guy.

The Rumah Sakit (hospital - literally “House of the Sick“) in Jayapura is not up to Western standards but has a lot more testing/treatment capabilities than you’ve seen recently if you’re coming from the Melanesia/most parts of the Pacific. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this. We've just arrived Jayapura (sailing through PNG, westbound) - there's just not a lot of information about this place! Appreciate the intel you share here.