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Biak Island
Biak Island
Biak - Wildlife Paradise
Biak - Useful Information
Biak - The 1996 Tsunami
New Discoveries on Biak
Sepsi Village
Biak Island, Papua
Biak Island
(Known in Indonesia as - Pulau Biak)

Biak is the largest of the Schouten Islands situated to the north of Geelvink (Cenderawasih) Bay off the northern coast of West Papua, Indonesia. It is only 72 km long and 37 km wide – an area of nearly 2,500 square km. Don't get it confused with a group of islands with a similar name off the North of Papua, New Guinea.

During World War II, in April 1942, Biak was invaded by the Japanese but was retaken by Allied forces during June and July 1944. War relics and even human remains may still be found in the forest and a small museum has been built to house Japanese and American relics.

Biak town is on the southern coast of Biak. The main built-up area is really a quiet place whose silence is broken only by the noise of aircraft engines as aeroplanes land at the adjacent airport and by the music shops that blast out local pop music during the evenings. With very few tourists at present and very little motorised transport, even the few taxis are not kept really busy.

In town there are many good restaurants serving their seafood specialities created out of freshly caught fish and there are abundant hotels at present and the prices are extremely reasonable for any tourist. The two or three supermarkets stock a very good range of goods and an early-morning open market provides fruit and vegetables. Souvenirs of the West Papua region are available and jewellery with local gemstones is surprisingly cheap.

As for medical aid, there are three small hospitals with emergency facilities and at least one pharmacy, but don't expect to be treated as in a modern western hospital.

Biak’s airport, known as Frans Kaisiepo Airport, is served by local airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Nusantara with flights to Jakarta, Surabaya, West Papua, and Ujung Pandang.

Biak is a wonderful place for wildlife and bird watching despite many areas being devastated by logging. Eco-tourism is bound to take off here in the very near future with greater interest being taken on the unique biodiversity of this isolated island.

Hotels in Biak

Of the accommodation in Biak, both Arumbai and Padaido Hotels can be recommended.

Arumbai Hotel is situated in the centre of Biak town and has 50 well-appointed guest rooms with en-suite facilities. It also has a swimming pool and a restaurant well-known in town for its speciality Soup Kepala Ikan.

Padaido Hotel is a small new venture in Biak, and the only hotel at present with a good view of the sea and rooms less than ten metres from the beach. I can really say you get value for money here. Run by Roy Lakusa and his family, its quality lies in its uniqueness – clean and simple with excellent personal service. The adjacent café serves a range of meals created from local produce, especially the fish that is absolutely fresh. Try Mrs Lakusa’s delicious peppered fish steak with succulent fresh vegetables or the very special sirsak juice – you won't be disappointed.

Roy Lakusa’s extraordinary service will extend to personally supervising your itinerary while you are in Biak including birdwatching, snorkelling, scuba diving and beach and sea fishing trips as well as boat trips to the nearby islands of Padaido and Bromsi.

Roy has a good collection of books and other documents relating to the natural science of Biak and his background in the geology of Papua is very useful when exploring the region.

Access to either of these hotels is very simple being only a short ten minute journey from Frans Kaiseipo airport. Both are only a very short walk from the main town that boasts several small supermarkets and a number of restaurants. Other essential services are also close by including banks with ATM, a pharmacy and an Internet café.

You are highly recommended to book early for these hotels as rooms are limited and in great demand.

Padaido Hotel
by e-mail: hotpadaido@yahoo.com
or by telephone: +62 981 22144

Arumbai Hotel
By e-mail: info@arumbaihotel.com
or by telephone: +62 981 21835 or 22159

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