The annual Munara Wampasi cultural festival will be hosted in Biak, Papua, on July 1-4, where the intricacies of local tribal traditions and the jaw-dropping beauty of the natural landscape in the region will be on full display. (Tourism Ministry Photo)

Papua to Host Biak Munara Wampasi Cultural Festival Early Next Month

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

JUNE 20, 2017

Jakarta. The annual Munara Wampasi cultural festival will be hosted in Biak, Papua, on July 1-4, where the intricacies of local tribal traditions and the jaw-dropping beauty of the natural landscape in the region will be on full display.

"Those who want to feel the sensation of the natural beauty and culture of Papua can experience it at the Biak festival," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Monday (19/06).

Biak island, located in the Cenderawasih Bay northwest of New Guinea, offers visitors unrivaled panoramas of the Pacific Ocean and glimpses at rare and mystifying bird species.

Biak and its surrounding islands were ruled under the Tidore Sultanate until the start of World War II, when Japanese and Allied forces fought bitter battles in the region.

"Surely, all the tourists that previously visited Biak will return to experience its beauty. Aside from the whale shark pool in Cendrawasih Gulf National Park and the breathtaking coral reef, Biak offers countless other beautiful sights," Arief added.

Biak Tourism Agency head Turbey Ony Dangeubun agreed with the minister and highlighted traditional fishing events, burning stone walks and the customary Waimansusu boat race scheduled to take place during the festival.

The Munara Wampasi festival will also host an underwater photography competition for domestic and foreign tourists.

"The underwater photo competition will be held for five days, where participants will dive five separate times for the chance to take the winning picture," Turbey said.

Divers will explore the Catalina Wreck, Wundi Island, Rurbas Kecil Island, Barracuda Point and Owi Island in the region during the competition.

"On the last day, July 4, all participants will be able to join a land tour to unique locations, including the Japanese Cave, World War II monument and the Five Chamber Cave," the tourism agency head said.

A 10-kilometer marathon will also be held during the festival, when runners will traverse through exotic and challenging routes through the region, including the cross-border area of Papua New Guinea.

The Biak Tourism Agency has partnered with state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I to promote the event.

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