Tourism of Indonesia
Ready to Go to Baliem Valley Festival
Planning to go on a tour or travelling, we definitely want a smooth trip, comfortable accommodation, cheap hotels, good food, cheap plane tickets, close to everywhere, and can rent a motorbike or car.
In Baliem Valley Festival, there is natural beauty and unique culture of the local community. There are many uniqueness, starting from the village (desa), sub-district (kecamatan), district (kabupaten) and provincial levels.
In Indonesia, each province has different and interesting characteristics. Each province has a different and unique culture and lifestyle.
This festival takes location at Baliem Valley, which is the central highlands of Papua. The main tribes inhabiting this Valley are: the Dani, the Yali and the Lani. Although now modernized, the Dani still strongly adhere to their traditions and customs, most notably the dress of the men.
The government is taking good care of the preservation of nature and maintaining the condition of the forest.
The environment is also well maintained.
Visiting Baliem Valley Festival, we will witness routine community activities in unique traditional cultures. And there are special dishes and food as part of culinary tours that are delicious and yummy.
In this place there are also regular events or activities held every year, both national and international.
By attending the massive Baliem Valley Festival, visitors will have a rare chance to learn and experience firsthand the different traditions of each tribe participating in the Festival without having to make the difficult trek to their compounds deep in the hinterland of West Papua.
During the festival, have your camera ready. Very often you will come across unique moments that you never want to miss. A number among the more than a thousand war participants, do want to keep abreast with the outside world, so they adorn themselves with local regalia, while sporting flashy sunglasses: a personal ad of a trendy look meeting age-old tradition.
Ask them politely to pose for you. It’s an unusual anachronism not to be missed. All you need to do during the festival is just observe and enjoy the mock war.
The longer it gets, the nearer the spears and arrows get to hit the opponents. The closer the miss, the louder the roar from the hundreds of spectators. They have participated in these battles every year so that participants do get better each year.
After the Festival, visitors can go sightseeing to the Dani Market in Wamena, and visit the traditional Wauma Village that can be reached by car from Wamena.
In Aikima see a 250 year-old mummified village chief, or, after a 2-hour climb, see the salt springs, where Dani women have, for centuries, made salt in a simple manner.
Basically, also this festival we will have tremendous activities, such as seeing men wear only a penis gourd, known as koteka, although in this cool mountain climate,
Also though complemented with elaborate headdress of bird of paradise or cassowary feathers, while the women wear grass or fern fiber skirts (sali or saly) slung around the waist.
To carry pigs or the harvest of sweet potatoes, women carry a string bag, called noken, slung from their forehead.
To defend their villages or to raid others to avenge for tribe members killed, the Dani practiced regular warfare. However, anthropologists note that the “Dani wars” are more a display of prowess and opulence of dress and decoration rather than an all out war to kill the enemy.
Dani warfare displays competence and exuberance, rather than the wish to kill. Weapons used are long spears, measuring 4.5 meters, and bows and arrows.
Most often, therefore, there are more wounded than killed, and the wounded are quickly carried off the field.
Nowadays, Dani mock battles are held yearly at the Baliem Valley Festival in Wamena during the month of August (see Calendar of Events).
At this feast, which has as its highlight the mock battles among the tribes, the Dani, Yali, and Lani send their best warriors to the arena, wearing their best regalia. The festival is complemented with a Pig Feast, Earth cooking and traditional music and dance.
There are also arts and crafts exhibited or for sale. Each tribe will come with their own identity, and one can see clear differences among them and identify tribes according to their costume especially the penis gourds each wears.
The Dani men usually wear only a small koteka (penis gourd / penis cover), while the Lani tribesmen wear larger koteka’s, since their bodies are bigger than the average Dani, while the Yali wear long slender kotekas held by a rattan belt, strapped at the waist.
The journey to Baliem Valley Festival is now very easy. We can enter through various modes of transportation.
The condition of the infrastructure is getting better. Starting from highways, airports, trails, ports, bridges, stairs, even some places can be reached by toll roads.
Access to go to Baliem Valley Festival:
Take a flight from Jakarta, Makassar or Bali to Jayapura, capital of the province of Irian Jaya/Papua, then, a connecting flight to Wamena will take you to the heart of Baliem Valley within the very same day.
A number of travel agencies regularly organize tours to the Baliem valley. For your own safety, when intending to trek alone into the interior, you are advised to first report your itinerary to the Police upon arrival at the airport.
We can visit by plane, car, ship, bus, motorcycle and bicycle. At some point, we can take the train. We can also walk freely.
In Baliem Valley Festival, as technology getting better. We can easily find locations for mini markets, shops (warung kedai), ATMs, Bank BRI BCA BNI Mandiri, BTPN Bank Nagari BJB, supermarkets, and restaurants. So we will not starve or lack the necessary items.
Suggestion before visiting Baliem Valley Festival:
It is highly advisable that you stock up on Indonesian Rupiah when travelling outside of Wamena. You can withdraw cash from the ATM at any banks in town.
Note that there is nowhere else in the valley that you can change your currency. So, while in Wamena, do exchange your currency at either: Bank Mandiri (Jalan Trikora 92), which only change US dollars in cash. Bank Papua (Jalan Trikora 45).
The exchange rates and endless lines can be a bit challenging. Bank BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia); Jalan Yos Sudarso & Jalan Trikora.
If you are sick and need help, you can also visit clinics, drugstore pharmacies (apotek), practice doctors, hospitals, and health centers (puskesmas).
In this place we can also look for places of worship such as mosques, churches, and others.
Finding place to stay in Baliem Valley Festival is very easy. We can stay at homestays, hotels, inns, hostels and other places.
To get lodging at a cheap and definitely comfortable price, please see below:
Experience and Reviews
There are already many visitors have visited Baliem Valley Festival, there are many interesting stories that are told. Like feeling satisfied, happy, wanting to come again, sleep well, and almost no one is disappointed or complains to come here.
So, visitors will find out on how to find the best hotels, where is exactly located, why it is amazing, how much is the fare and rate, who are the people, whom to ask, and when is the best time to visit.
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That’s all the information we provided, hopefully useful.