West Papua



The province of Papua—the western half of the island of New Guinea—is one of Indonesia's danger areas because of an independence movement in the region. Foreigners are advised to avoid the region.

In better times, most visitors to Papua went to see the villages in the Baliem Valley, whose inhabitants were not discovered by the modern world until 1938. The main town in the valley, Wamena, can be reached by air from Jayapura (the capital of Papua). There are numerous interesting walks and treks in the valley, and local handicrafts are available at the Wamena market.

Note: Papua is the official government name of this easternmost Indonesian province, but it is also known as West Papua and Irian Jaya.

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