The Wonderful Biak

Biak Island - Papua


Biak is a small island located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua, and it is just northwest of New Guinea. Biak is the largest island in its small archipelago, and has many atolls, reefs, and corals.

During past time, Biak Island, was part of the Tidore Sultanate’s territory which was divided it into nine districts (uli Siwa). During World War II, Japanese strategic airstrips Imperial Army were there, as a base commander in the Pacific War. The United States Army then controlled the island. On May 29, 1944, the inter-tank battles occurred in Biak.

Biak belonged to Indonesia from the Netherlands, together with the Irian Jaya (Papua) in 1960. In 2005, the Russian government was committed to launch rockets and satellites from the island of Biak as a strategic location and it located not far from the ocean.

Administratively, the island of Biak divided into two districts: the western part is Supiori region, while the eastern part is the territory of Biak Numfor.

Biak Numfor consists of two small islands which is Biak Island and Numfor Island, and more than 42 small islands, including the Islands Padaido who become favorite of development activities of the various parties.

The Biak Numfor culture revolves around their ancient animist religion, although today they are Christian as well.

Their beliefs revolve around a ritual ceremony called Wor, where they will be plagued by all kinds of bad luck and sickness. The Wor is in all aspect of their life and some of their traditional ceremonies are still being held now. They include the first hair cut ceremony (Wor Kapapnik), the growing up ceremony (Wor Famarmar) and the Wedding ceremony (Wor Yakyaker Farbakbuk). All of these ceremonies are accompanied by singing, dancing and offering to ancestral spirits.

The rain forest-covered Biak Islands have been designated the Biak-Numfoor rain forests, especially as they have the largest number of endemic bird species of any single area in the New Guinea region.

There are numerous types of flora in the tropical rain forest of the island, including a variety of trees and other commercially important species plus the lush vegetation of mangrove swamps.

Foreign tourists who are generally interested come to Biak are sometimes interested to visit some small islands around Biak to go diving. In this city, there are available few dive operators who provide services to deliver tourists to the following dive sites and rent out the diving equipment. There is also package tour for tourists who are interested in seeing the life of the bird species including the famous bird of Cendrawasih.

One of the interesting places in the western town of Biak is Yendidori Beach, this beach has a beautiful scenery. Farther to the west, there is Adoki village with its famous dance on the fire. Tourists who are interested in watching dance performances must be made prior agreements before they go visit.

Not far from Adoki, there is a Emfendi beach with white sand beaches and marvelous view. From Adoki, the road will lead to the Urfu village. The village has a unique panorama and surrounded by impressive rock formations.

From Urfu to the west, there is Samber village, which is a fishing village with exotic sightseeing. Near to this village there are remnants of Dutch and Japanese military clashed in the area in World War II.

Biak is rich, the cultures and the heritages are the things that make this island become so special and worth to be visited.

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