Sorong is perhaps best known only for being the gateway to Raja Ampat, the world's diving destination. Also as a gateway to other cities in Papua because it is located in the westernmost part of Papua Island. But is Sorong only that?
Sorong Regency is administratively different from Sorong City. But regionally, the district and city of Sorong are located in the coastal area with various ethnic communities, so that apart from the beautiful natural scenery, it is also rich in culture. Sorong has a lot of gorgeous tourist destinations to visit. In fact, one of the popular destination in West Papua can be visited by entering this Oil City first. So, it is not surprising that this city is considered as the entrance gate for this popular tourist spot.
You can visit many interesting places in Sorong, such as historical tourism, nature tourism, and marine tourism. To enjoy the sunset, you do not need to drive far. In Sorong downtown, there is a place called the Berlin Wall. The function of this wall is to separate the beach from the mainland, so that the waves do not reach the streets. Beautiful sunset towards the harbor can also be enjoyed from Vihara Buddha Jayanti. To get to the monastery on this hill, you have to drive. Arriving at the parking lot, you have to climb the stairs to get to the upper courtyard of the monastery, where you can sit and wait for the sunset.
If you want to enjoy the sunset on a quiet beach and swim in the sea, you can drive to Tanjung Beach for 45 minutes to 1 hour from Sorong downtown. Tanjung Beach has a fairly long coastline. Public facilities available: bath rooms, wooden benches, rental of swimming tires. If you are bored with the sunset view on the beach, you can go to Tampa Garam. It is located between Sorong City and Tanjung Beach. This area is a village of people who generally build their houses on the water. So that the view is a blend of community culture, floating houses on the sea and sunsets.
Papuan culture is certainly the main attraction for travelers who come to Sorong. To observe the life of the Papuan people, visit the Bosweseen Market (Sorong People's Market). The interesting thing is, in the morning or evening behind the market there is a small pier used by fishermen to do their fish catch.
Beside the market there is a customary land with several wooden houses for the island community. You can hunt for human interest photos: local children playing, Papuan mothers selling areca nut and betel nut, or fishermen with their fishes. Not far from Bosweseen Market, there is a Catholic Cathedral Church whose unique building shape resembles a traditional Papuan house. This church is one of worship houses with the best architecture in Sorong.
The hilly contour of Sorong lands help the visitors to find the best spot to see Sorong from a hill. One of them is from Arfak Peak. From up here visitors can see the beauty of Sorong City which is directly adjacent to the sea and several small islands are seen around the city. At night, this place becomes a blend of twinkling city lights and stars.
Sorong also has a protected forest which is a government program. This place is interesting because in some spots, there are board paths that easy to cross and there is a camping area. The trees here are allowed to grow naturally and very shady. If you are lucky you can see colorful butterflies.
It's not complete if you go to Sorong and you haven't tasted the typical Papuan food, papeda. Papeda is a food made from sago which is usually eaten with fish sauce. To enjoy papeda you can go to Sunshine Restaurant behind Hotel Tanjung. This restaurant also provides a variety of Chinese food. Various Chinese food and seafood also served at Dapur Berkat Restaurant on Jl. Basuki Rahmat KM 8 North Remu. The quality of the food and service is good, the place is also comfortable.
For street food, seafood is dominated by the Berlin Wall. The food tents are open from late afternoon until late at night. One that is recommended is Warung Marinda. Besides seafood, there are also Makassar-style snacks such as banana epe, saraba or roasted corn. Near the Berlin Wall there is also Coto Makassar Bhaita that you can try.
One of the favorite foods of Sorong residents is roast pork at the Berastagi Restaurant in Aimas. It takes 30-45 minutes to get to Aimas by driving from the city center (the calculation for the city center is usually from the Saga Department Store). Aimas itself is a district and the capital city of Sorong Regency.
Sorong has a lot of coconuts which are usually sold around Bosweseen Market or at Tanjung Beach, at a much cheaper price. Still fresh because it was directly picked from the tree.
How is the accommodation in Sorong?
If you want to get around Sorong, you can choose a motorcycle taxi. However, if you have traveling companion of 4-6 people, it is recommended to rent a car because it is more practical if you want to get around to Tanjung Beach or Aimas. Sorong is not too big and is usually only a stopover before or after going to Raja Ampat. But if you want to go around Sorong and enjoy all the interesting places, you will need 2-3 days.
For lodging, Sorong has several well-known hotels such as SwissBelhotel, The Belagri Hotel & Convention and Luxio Hotel. Prices per night start from IDR 500,000. While in Tampa Garam there is the Cartenz Hotel on the beach.
How to get there?
It can be by airplane and PELNI ship. But the PELNI ship may not be a good alternative because it takes 5-7 days if it departs from Jakarta. Meanwhile, from Manado it will take 2 days 1 night.
By plane, you will land at Domine Eduard Osok Airport, Sorong. Several airlines serving the Jakarta-Sorong route include Garuda Indonesia, Nam Air, SriwijayaAir, Batik Air. Favorite flight schedule is at night from Jakarta so that you arrive in Sorong in the morning, and you can immediately move. Those who want to go to Raja Ampat by public boat are still in a hurry if there is a schedule at 9 am.
- Bring sunblock. Sorong is very hot especially during the day.
- Most of the goods sold in Sorong, both in supermarkets and at roadside kiosks, are fixed prices that are non-negotiable. Be careful if you want to bid to avoid the cursing of the seller.
- Avoid going out at night after 9 pm because at some points the city is prone to criminal acts due to the large number of drunk people roaming the streets. Don't travel alone especially at night if you don't want to be the target of thugs.