Some necessities and knowhows before you go to Raja Ampat

When I first wanted to go to Raja Ampat,I was hit by all those blogs and stories about the expensiveness of Raja Ampat. I remember thinking,I have no money for that. So I started to check how I can do it cheaper. You already know how I did it but I also would like to add some points you should consider before you set foot in paradise.
– The main city of Raja Ampat is Waisai. The only and last place you can take money out from an ATM. None of the other islands you’d want to visit has ATM. Since people know that tourists are coming with high amount due to lack of ATM’s,be extra careful with your money.
Maybe keep it separately,not all in one place.
– Perhaps consider taking someone with you who speaks the language. People do speak a bit of English everywhere but it’s a bigger advantage if you can communicate in their own language. We had a few misunderstandings when Harry wasn’t around.
– If you decide to camp,take tent,sleeping bag and a stove with you -possibly the one comes with bowls you can cook in and eat from and some cutlery- You can buy spritius on the Waisai market.
– Take lots and lots of mosquito repellant with you,there will be plenty of them around and some of them actually carries the malaria virus. I didn’t take the tablets but always put the cream on. Mosquito net is very handy. I mean,VERY handy…
– It’s the same with the suncream. Always put suncream on,especially when you go snorkelling. Best shot is to always wear a shirt,preferably long sleeve. ‘Water’ burn is the worst. And it can ruin a few days of your lovely time here. Don’t even think for a second just because there is no sun,it won’t burn. Even with the biggest clouds covering the sun,you can get very easily sunburnt.
– When it comes to water,buy a gallon rather than lots of 1L bottles. It’s easier to transport and it’s way more environmental friendly.
– If camping, your diet will be very basic. Mainly rice and noodles and if you spend a bit more money, vegetables and some sweets. Coconuts you can normally find in the wild or even more fruits on the market in Waisai or some bigger villages on the islands.
– People here are very polite so they will nod to everything you ask,even if they didn’t understand you. So just be careful,nodding doesn’t mean ‘yeah,I got it’.
– Indonesians are very polite and they probably wouldn’t tell you if something is wrong or they didn’t like the food you cooked,etc. So don’t be surprised if they say everything is ‘bagus’ (good) but it actually isn’t. Maybe just keep checking more frequently.
– To see the mantas by Arborek,the morning slot is your best chance to encounter them.
– Try to avoid using plastic. Plastic is a massive problem in Indonesia and there are lots of good people fighting against plastic pollution. Just be aware and considerate. Try to use bio-degradable shampoos,toothpaste,body wash,sun creams etc. Unfortunately it’s very difficult find them here but not impossible. Your best shot is to bring them with you if your luggage allows it. It’s a beautiful, pristine place,let’s keep it that way.
– People probably will try to give you the highest price. Especially if you won’t have any locals with you. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price, most of the time you can get it down.
– A Swiss knife comes very handy..
– Papuan people around this area are very friendly and helpful. They will try to talk to you and they are very welcoming. Enjoy the time with them,maybe you can learn from them something as well as they can learn from you.

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