If you are paradise explorer, hunter or whatever - like the group of those portrayed in The Beach (2001) film starred by Leonardo DeCaprio - being on Wayag Islands or Raja Ampat , is an achievement that dwarfed those of their achievement in exploring perfect beach - which for that film, it rely much on CGI generated fake background to enhance the charm of their so called paradise.
But how this virgin paradise that spectacularly awesome was not widely exposed to the paradise seekers? Previously it was hidden at the corner of the ocean with the fact of how costly it take to travel to these islands.
Based on my study , a trip to Wayag Islands in the next three weeks shall cost you nearly RM2000.00. Even I'm writing this down for nothing to me, I choose to share it with you awesome fellow paradise seekers out there - on how to reach this remote destination.
For an example, I pick the 3 days break of 14 - 16 September 2013 which is Saturday to Monday with Malaysia Day holiday on the 16th. For this journey, one should add up their own off days on 12th and 13th. There must be 5 days in total.
With AirAsia, one should take the 10:10 AM flight to Makassar (UPG) on Thursday the 12th that cost RM149.00 and return on Monday the 16th with 17:40 PM flight to KL with RM172 fare. The return ticket cost you RM321.00 without check-in luggage.
Upon arrival in Makassar on 13:15 PM Waktu Indonesia Tengah (WITA) which is same as Malaysia, don't bother to check in - unless you're willing to pay for short 12 hours relaxation. I will choose the airport accommodation instead and go for sightseeing in the city all through the evening. This mainly caused by the fact that your next flight will departs at 3:35 AM from UPG to Ambon (AMQ) by Lion Air with 1 hour 30 minutes transit before the Wings Air will fly from Ambon at 7:45 AM Waktu Indonesia Timur (WIT) to Sorong (SOQ) in Papua Barat and reach there at 8:55 AM WIT -- +1 hour to Malaysia Standard Time. This whole single trip package cost you Rp1,440,000 and on current exchange, RM440.00.
The main port for ferries is Pelabuhan Sorong, about 10km away from the airport and by hailing a motor cab, it will cost you few thousand Rupiah to get you to the pier. With 2 hours sail to Waisai, the administration center of Raja Ampat district, it cost you Rp140,000 (RM43.00) per person for the ferry that leave Sorong at 2:00 PM WITA daily.
In Waisai, there is tens of home stays and guesthouses for backpackers beside of hotels for travelers with huge budget. The rate should be between Rp190,000 (RM58) to Rp300,000 (RM92), so i make it in average at RM75.00. Spend your Friday night there and get ready for early Saturday morning trip to the desired destination,Wayag Islands.
The trip to the grand paradise with scenic karts on crystal clear emerald sea from Waisai usually cost Rp6,000,000 (RM1830.00) per boat including fuel, as the minimal price offered. Some might as high as Rp15,000,000 depend on how luxurious the sail you wish to enjoy. But hey, nobody going to pay that price alone for 15 seats boat! Of course you may able to share the cost with friends or fellow travelers and pay RM122.00 per person for 4 to 5 hours trip to various scenic spots on these islands.
For another night, you ought to spend another RM75.00 for bed before you have to rush back to Sorong on ferry that leaving Waisai at 11:00AM WIT with the RM43.00 fare.
Remember that you have to take the Wings Air flight on 15th September from SOQ to Ambon (AMQ) that will departs at 2:05 PM WIT and will land in AMQ at 3:15 PM WIT. Here in Ambon, you have 1 hour transit before you be called for Lion Air to Makassar that will departs at 4:15 PM WIT and touch down on UPG at 4:55 PM WITA. This cost you another Rp 1,440,000 ( RM440.00).
Unfortunately, the Sunday AirAsia flight to Kuala Lumpur is departing off the UPG airport at 5:40 PM WITA! So you have to spend another night here in Makassar with about RM100 for a hotel room and take the AirAsia flight to KL that departs on the same time, 5:40 PM WITA, on Monday that will touch down in KLIA at 8:25 PM Monday.
As the expenditure for the taxi cabs, motor cabs, and any transportation required to mobilize you for sight seeing was not stated above, I would suggest an allocation of Rp300,000 (RM 92) for this purpose.
Now let's do the Math.
KL - Makassar RM149.00
Makasar - Sorong RM440.00
Sorong - Waisai RM43.00
Bed in Waisai RM75.00
Wayag Islands Tour RM122.00
Bed in Waisai RM75.00
Waisai - Sorong RM43.00
Sorong - Makassar RM440.00
Bed in Makassar RM100.00
Makassar - KL RM172.00
Cabs Expenses RM93.00
TOTAL : RM 1,752.00
Such high price for a minimum budget has made Wayag Islands saved from the influx of tourists even it was far better than Koh Phi Phi. But seems that I can only spend not more than RM1,000 for my vacation, I choose Koh Phi Phi instead of this charming paradise. He he he..