The city of Sorong, located in West Papua is known as gateway to the famous diving destination Raja Ampat. For most travelers, Sorong is seen as a mandatory stopover between air and sea. If your flight times are not aligned with the boat transfer you will have to spend some time in the city. Even though this small town is not a famous destinations there are some activities and attractions.
Top things to do:
We spent one day in Sorong at the end of our trip and beside enjoying the AC in the room we also had spent some time exploring the city.
During afternoon heat can be intense and try to avoid walking in the strong sun. Late afternoon is the perfect time for visiting souvenirs shops and the local market.
Pasar Boswesen is the local market in Sorong. This is not only a good place where you can spend one or two hours, it is also a cultural experience. In the market you can find fruits, vegetables, fish, clothes and souvenirs. If you want to experience the fish market you must wake up early, before 5:30, otherwise you will miss the boats that bring overnight catches. If you are a passionate photographer, you should not miss the fish market. You will have the opportunity to take pictures of big guns, jacks, squids and tiger prawns.
Sapta Ratna Pagoda
Sapta Ratna Pagoda is a Chinese Buddhist temple built 25 years ago on one of the highest hills in Sorong. The easiest you can get by public transport or taxi. There is an entrance fee of 10 000 IDR, before you can climb up the stairs of the temple. The Pagoda has one of the best viewpoints to observe the city, the ocean and the sunset. I would recommend visiting the Pagoda in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset.
There are not many souvenir shops in Sorong, but you can find some batik shops for traditional Indonesian clothing. I would recommend the artcraft shops where traditional handmade souvenirs, such as masks or wooden statues are sold for those looking to bring some papuan art into their homes.
If you are a diver or snorkeler and you want a souvenir to wear for your next trip, you shouldn’t miss the Icon Raja Ampat store where you can buy the most suitable t-shirts with various models and very nice designs.
To experience local shops, there are some supermarkets for grocery (like SAGA or MEGA) where you can buy fruits, traditional snacks or alcohol.
Souvenir shops are spread in the city so the easiest way to get around is to book a taxi.
Sorong is a fast growing town with a lot of transportation available. Getting around in Sorong is possible by taxi or chartered van. The most fun way to explore the city is by the local public transport, the yellow public minibuses also known as Angkot. You can find information about their routes by asking the staff at your hotel and just have to stop a minibus along the way. One ticket is just 5000 IDR.
I would strongly recommend Swiss-Belhotel Sorong as they have comfortable rooms and very good service.
Sorong Travel Guide:
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