Jayapura © sandranahdar
The city of Jayapura is often the first stop for travellers to Papua, but even so its remoteness is such that many of the visiting Westerners are thought to be either mine workers or missionaries. Although the wilds of Papua are a quick trail away the city itself provides visitors with reasons to stay: beautiful beaches and bays stretch below thick jungle hills and some of these contain remnants of WWII landing crafts, just as some of the caves in the area are said to retain Japanese skeletons from the war. The nicest swimming beach is Base G, with aqua water and a palmed shoreline. Nightly arrays of seafood tents are erected, allowing eaters to pick their favourite fish to barbecue. The mix of Indonesian immigrants and Papuan locals seem to get along well in Jayapurna, despite being somewhat locked in conflict elsewhere in Papua. The city is deeply religious and a normal greeting often asks visitors to describe their faith. This also means there is a general lack of nightlife, although the occasional pool hall serves expensive beer and offers free karaoke. There are a number of mid-range hotels and one or two luxury options for accommodation. Papua New Guinea is a hop and a skip away and visas and transport can be arranged in Jayapura.