Cruising Sorong’s astounding islands

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Doom Island
Doom Island, one of the Sorong islands, occupied by the Dutch colonialists since 1935. Doom Island holds much Dutch architectural heritage: from old electric substations to churches. (Source: Freddy Wally)

Sorong, IO – Sorong is Papua’s second-largest city, also known as the “oil city” of West Papua Province. It is located in the strategic area of Papua island’s “bird’s head” (Papua is dubbed as a bird for its island appearance, which resembles a bird), causing the Dutch to target Sorong as an oil drilling place for its abundant oil reserves. The Nederlands Nieuw-Guinea Petroleum Maatschappij (NNGPM) was a Dutch oil company that first started oil drilling in Sorong in 1935. 

Quoting from Wikipedia, Sorong comes from the word “Soren”, which means deep and surging sea in Biak Numfor (one of the Papua’s local languages). “Soren” was first used by the ancient Biak Numfor tribe with boats sailing from one island to another until they arrived and settled around Raja Ampat. 

Biak Numfor tribe later named the land “Land of Maladum” as a part of the Sorong City and often called “Soren” by Chinese merchants and immigrants, while Europeans, Moluccans, and Sangihe Talaud pronounce the word Soren as Sorong. 

Sorong has now transformed into a promising city of industry, trade and service for its natural resources and periodical interprovincial migration. With great potential, Sorong has highlighted its beautiful tourism spots. 

Soop Island
Soop Island presenting beautiful beaches and World War II relics: a former Japanese bunker. (Source: Freddy Wally)

The Independent Observer is recommending tourism around the Sorong islands as attractive choices at a reasonable distance for travelers. Frolicking in the beautiful islands of Sorong is on the top list of activities. Island hopping around the islands takes 15 to 30 minutes of the trip. 

Mayamuk District nearly holds all the tourism potential of the Sorong Islands, with local residents still solitarily running the tourism. 

“SKK Migas, as representatives for the Papua and Maluku Regions, feel obliged to empower tourism in eastern Indonesia, especially in the West Papua area, by initiating the potential marine and culinary tourism around Sorong Regency. We are determined to invite all operators from the Cooperation Contractors (KKKS) in Papua and Maluku to sustain marine tourism in eastern Indonesia, through community potential development programs,” said the Head of Representative of SKK Migas for Papua and Maluku, Subagyo, in a recent interview session.