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Papua's oldest festival to lure foreign tourists in August

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, August 4, 2016  /  09:16 am
Papua's oldest festival to lure foreign tourists in August

Traditional houses in Baliem Valley, Wamena, Papua. (Shutterstock/-)

Papua's oldest festival, in which hundreds of tribes spread across the island will show off their culture, will take place in Wamena on Aug. 8-11.

“If you want to feel the beauty of the nature and Papua’s culture, do visit Baliem Valley Cultural Festival in Wamena,” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya recently in Jakarta as quoted by tempo.co.

You can dress in local traditional wear, live in a traditional house called honai, and participate in the dance of war that has been around for hundreds of years.

In terms of attractions, the Baliem Valley is one to visit. The highest point of the Trikora Mountains is Puncak Jaya, the only place in Indonesia that is surrounded by permafrost. Another thing that cannot be found elsewhere is the phenomenon of salt water on the mountains. As for marine lovers, Habema Lake is the place to go, as it is considered the highest lake in the archipelago.

(Read also: Lake Sentani festival another good reason to visit Papua)

In addition to the beautiful landscape, you can also marvel at the mummies. They are located in the Kuluru, Assologaima and Kurima districts. These mummies are not the bodies of ordinary people, but the heads of tribes and respected warlords who were role models of their time.

However, according to Arief, the development of this destination faced obstacles. Access to the site can be expensive and it takes a long time to reach, as well as the lack of tourism facilities such as hotels or restaurants.

Nevertheless, the festival is set to present an unusual sight and unique destination.

“Because a lot of this uniqueness, the Baliem Valley has become the place to visit for foreign tourists. During the festival, tourists usually participate in dances and interact with the community,” said Jayawijaja Regent John Wempi Wetipo. (tif/kes)

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