Prices in Serui

Accommodation

I stayed in Merpati Hotel in Serui. For the basic- standard room, it cost me around 240,000 IDR/ night, while for the VIP room; I paid around around 440,000 (including the tax)/ night.

At the standard room you will get private bathroom, small TV, AC, single bed (two), etc, but no hot shower.  As for the VIP, there will be a small bathtub with the hot shower, a private terrace, fridge, AC, and cable TV.

Apart from Merpati, most other travelers would stay in Cendrawasih Hotel.  These both hotels are located near to the harbor (walking distance).

Transportation

There is no taxi, but there is a private car that would take you from Airport to hotel/ the city for about 100,000 IDR. It’s very close distance, as the airport is in the city.  The price is expensive indeed.

In Merpati Hotel you could hire a car for about 50,000 per hour.

Beside car, you could use Ojek.  Ojek will charge you for about 4,000 IDR per drop/ destination.  The price is the same anywhere in the city but it will be different when travel outside the city (ex, Sarawandori).  I once used the Ojek service for 1,5 hours and it cost me around IDR 30,000.

Food

The Price for the food varies depends on what you eat.  In the evening/ afternoon, you can get Nasi Campur (Rice, with small fish, etc) for about 10,000 IDR.  If you eat rice with chicken or the bigger size of fish you have to pay more.

At Padang Restaurant (at the cross of the road of the police station), if you eat with grilled fish (ikan bakar) you will pay around 30,000-40,000 IDR, and will pay less for chicken.

21 July 2012.

Ambai Island Serui Yapen

For sure, Papua is no place for people with a tight budget.  It’s true that it has unspoiled-incredible nature, but in general we have to pay double, triple, even more compare to the general prices that we pay in west part of Indonesia.

There is almost no tour operator.  No lodge provider.  No fixed price.  No reliable information.  However if you have to stay in Serui for a year than you’ll be like me, you’ll try to explore, you’ll try to get out, no matter cost it would be.

A friend who stays in Jayapura suggested me to go to Ambai Island.  He said the place looks amazing from the plane.  He heard that it has a white sandy beach.

One day, when it was a bright sunny day, the sea was blue and beautiful; I decided that I have to find a way to go to Ambai Island.  So I went to the harbor and asked the people of which boat to go to Ambai, People explained that no public transportation to go there.  I could only go by the chartered boat.   Most of the people have their own boat.  People/ fishermen are traveling with their own boat.  Some boat owners offered to take me to that Island.  They asked for 500,000 IDR to go and comeback (about 2 hours).  Other boat owner offered 300,000 and the lowest price that being offered was IDR 200,000.

Later, a woman offered me to go with her boat (together with her family).  She said that she lived in Ambai Island.  She said that I have to stay overnight since she would only travel back to the Serui city on the next day.  She was trying really hard to convince me to go with her.  It gave the impression that she really wants me to go and stay with her family.  Stupidly I thought it was just a generous of her. I thought she’s just happy to have a visitor.  But guess what? I was wrong.  As soon as I sat at her boat, she started to ask for money.

Of course I don’t mind.  I don’t want to be her burden.   From what I heard, the local people in Ambai Island who travel with other people boat will pay around 30,000 IDR one way.  I expect to pay at the same price.  But she asked for 100,000 IDR.  I thought that price is a little bit expensive as she’s on the way back home anyway.

To go to Ambai Island it will take only about 35-40 minutes. The gasoline needed by the boat is about 5 liters even less, which is less than 50.000 IDR.  Another 10 minutes, as the boat was still waiting for her father that will travel with us, again she asked for more money, this time she said the money for food/ dinner.  I gave her another 40,000 IDR.

She and her family were kept talking along the way.  And when we arrived at her house, her mother in law told me that she is sick and she ask me for money.  Then many other conversation that end up asking for money.  I tried politely to refuse.  The next day, her husband come to me and asks me to buy this and that for him in the city.  For short, in total I spent about 300,000 IDR.

In fact, when we first met, I said I could not afford the chartered boat. I honestly said that I don’t have money.  I dressed simple, speak modest, and yet still they saw me as the source of money.   To make it worse, they said that the God has led me to their family. God blessed me.   They speak highly about God, praised God, but by the end of the conversation they asked “could you help me with this, could you buy me that, blah blah….”

However regarding the Ambai Island itself, it’s incredible. It’s beautiful.  I did have a good time.

Sarawandori in Serui Yapen

Like it or not, I have to accept the fact that I have to “stuck’ in Serui-Yapen for the next one year.  Things are tough.  I imagined that I would get the basic of everything that I am used to, but in reality, I don’t get it.  The options are very limited and things are crazy expensive.

What to do in Serui?  Do you know the answer? I don’t. The information about things to do/ tourism destination in Serui- Yapen is very limited and almost none.   For the neighboring island, Biak, we could get reasonably enough information, but for Serui? It is hopeless.

Yapen is an independent small island, close to Biak Island.  Biak is well-known for its lovely beaches.  Biak is a place for a keen photographer.  Biak is a place for relaxing, swimming, and snorkeling.  Serui- Yapen should have offered the same attraction.  How to find it?

I’ve goggled, but could not find enough information.  Not as many as Jayapura, Biak, Raja Ampat and Wamena.  I’ve asked the local, but most them never been anywhere but the Serui city.  Then I heard about “Sarawandori”.  Sarawondari is accessible from Serui city.  You could go there by hiring a car or by hiring ojek (motorbike taxi).

The local and most of the national “accidentally’ tourist visit Sarawandori only for sightseeing; the view from the top is amazing.

There should be more activities could be done than just taking a gorgeous picture.  Maybe some of the houses nearby are willing to host the tourist.   For sure, swimming and canoeing are possible.

I will find the information later, if I did, I surely will update it.

21 July 2012

 

Internet Acess in Serui

The first challenge I encountered on my first week in Serui is the Internet access.  The connection is very slow, sometimes no access at all, it’s so frustrating.   I have a blackberry with the most expensive Internet package from Telkomsel, but it’s useless.  Other than email, none of the function that works well.  I could not use the browser and facebook (for facebook, sometimes it’s still accessible, but it is very slow). For blackberry messenger, sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not.  While for phone signal, many times it’s ok, but not always.  For text message (SMS), often I have to wait for the full message to arrive (it arrived partially).

Apart from  Blackberry Internet, I also have Telkomsel Flash, an Internet using a modem that is claimed by Telkomsel to be the fastest (for the mobile Internet used).  But again, this Telkom Flash does not work well (maybe only 20% out of 100% accessibility). To open a page I have to wait for 20 minutes, and to log in to my gmail account it will require even longer time, and only by the end it failed.

Frustrating with the two Internet connection that I have, while I need to get in touch through skype with some friends, I decided to use Internet facility at the Merpati Hotel.  They sell the voucher for about 50,000 IDR per 24 hours (it will only active for a day), but again, I have to be dissapointed. The Internet connection is very slow.  However it’s still better than my blackberry and telkomsel Flash.

Serui, 29 June 2012

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