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“Mermaid 1 Liveaboard”
Review of Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat Islands
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Sorong
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Mermaid 1 Liveaboard”
Reviewed January 19, 2014

This is the second time we have travelled on Mermaid 1 last time was to Komodo this time was to Raja Ampat. i have to say the crew on this boat are fantastic they are so helpful and genuine in their aim to please. They all work well together and deliver exceptional service. The boat is immaculately clean and in each cabin is a tv loaded with 100s of films to watch. The scenery in Raja Ampat is stunning and underwater the corals are second to none. We had fantastic dives on three occasions with manta rays. We had four dive guides between 13 guest our guide was PJ who is also the boat director he is proffesional and aims to accommodate all your requests, he is also a fantastic videographer. Cannot wait to book our next trip with Mermaid

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ekythump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Perth, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Barefoot Conservation”
Reviewed January 17, 2014

Whilst I support the need for marine/reef conservation work in Raja Ampat islands, my experience with Barefoot Conservation was not one that was depicted on the website- quite the opposite.

Barefoot Conservation have now based their 'home'/basecamp on a new island (Arborek) than what is depicted on their website, and is much more cramped than the photos show. there was only one shower/toilet to share between 18 people (during my stay for 10 days [which was meant to be a full 2 weeks] there were 18 people). be prepared; the toilet is a squat toilet style; and the 'shower' when i left was two planks of wood and a big tub of freshwater with a bucket- no such thing as running showers, let alone hot water showers. Sleeping accommodation was very much dorm styled- bunk beds etc- during my stay there were 8 of us in a ridiculously cramped room, wasn't enjoyable.

it said on their website that there are 2 dives a day; however what is not mentioned is that the dives are only 37 minutes maximum each, with a maximum bottom depth of 18 metres.and most of the diving is done in very local sites (i.e off the home jetty/off arborek jetty) and there does not seem to be much variety of dive sites offered, even on the saturday which was 'fun dive' day. you are better off diving elsewhere as you will have a much better experience, and more time to look at things.

also one other thing to note; there is a mention that there is a 24 hour satellite phone in case of emergency (as it is a very remote part of the world); however after arriving on the island (and during my time) there was no such phone that existed, which was very disappointing to discover. as for phone reception; you would be lucky to get a waft of it, if you climbed up the 'internet tree' by the jetty

Barefoot Conservation seems to be targeting backpacker minded people; be prepared to be living like one if you decide to join one of their expeditions. The staff members were friendly though during my short stay. they also make sure that they never run out of beer; which can only be purchased in Sorong (at least 3 hrs away by ferry)

I'm not a fussy person and generally can adapt to most situations without much problem, but this really was not a relaxing holiday by any means and a far way to travel for lack of information and preparation of what life/the acommodation/sanitary hygiene was going to be like- I ended up escaping to Kri island to a homestay, and had a far more enjoyable time as there was plenty of space. even though nowhere near resort style, at least there was space to sit and be alone with my thoughts....!

p.s diving was amazing though- highly recommend diving in Raja Ampat; especially manta sandy. coral formations also amazing. very sad about the amount of rubbish; and was quite astounded by the amount of tourists in Raja Ampat- a lot of live aboards around. also, if staying in homestays, be aware that you may have visitors in the night- rats. be sure to not leave any food- unopened or opened in your bags; rats also like to eat soap and will chew through toiletry bags to get to the soap.

feel free to contact me for any more info

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
34 Thank aimee0910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solo, Indonesia
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Express visit to Waisai Island, Raja Ampat, Indonesia”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Albeit limited time, my short and express visit to one of the four main islands of Raja Ampat, Papua was overwhelming.

With an express ship from Sorong to Waisai for about two hours, my group and I hurriedly hopped on another fast boat to explore Raja Ampat only in 2-3 hours.

We only got a chance to visit two tiny islands, but still, it was an unforgettable.

The water was so clear, the underwater life was also breathtaking.

Encountering a 'black and white' snake and a small stingray swimming on the shore was a thrill for me since I never got a chance to see them on any beach I ever visited before.

The most unforgettable moment was definitely when I witnessed the exotic tiny islands with many different shapes 'floating' along the blue water during the journey.

In a nutshell, Raja Ampat is undoubtedly one of the hidden marvels in the east part of Indonesia that is worth visiting.


desert_y

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank syahara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Spectatcular Natural Beauty on Land and in Sea”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Any resort in Raja Ampat is difficult to get to. Even if and when the Waisai Airport is ever finished , 1 or 2 boat transfers will be involved to nearly all accommodations. Avoid backpacker homestays. Make no assumptions about basics like electricity, communication in any European language, refrigeration, drinking water, location of sanitary facilities , food, access at high and low tides, internet or phone reception, emergency evacuation, diving, snorkeling, indeed everything! Some vital part(s )of your comfortable stay may be missing, glossed over in the PR blurbs and those professional photographs!. Raja Ampat Dive Lodge is a very good hotel and Kri Eco Lodge a superb dive operation on the best resort snorkeling reef. I spent a week at both. Both these operations offer snorkeling right out of your ocean front rooms. Even the cheapest rooms at RADL offer aircon and hot running water.Both are highly recommended to divers, snorkelers, paradise vacationers. I stayed 2 nights between those weeks in a seriously incomplete, inadequate backpackers homestay advertised as a resort! Their rack-rate package was about the same cost as a non-diving package at Kri which is in a class of it's own.
Please contact me for any more info.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Kendd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Paradise”
Reviewed November 13, 2013

There is nothing to dislike I was on a 10 day kayaking expedition around Pulau Gam. If I had a dislike its all the others that visit, tourists, divers and liveaboards included that dump their trash in such a magnificent environment.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank A-Wildgoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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