Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oirata, Favorite Tourist Village In Maluku

Oirata village on Kisar Island in Maluku Barat Daya (MBD) district, Maluku Province, has in the past several years been a favorite and idyllic destination for foreign tourists.

In its spice island adventure voyage of discovery from Darwin, Australia, MV Orion cruise ship, with hundreds of Australian, New Zealand, and even Dutch tourists, was again fortunate to come alongside the wharf of Nama beach port on the west coast of Kisar island on Saturday, July 16, 2011.

MV Orion from Australia with tourists from various countries has during the past four years made Nama beach part of its regular ports of call to visit the village of Oirata.

After berthing at Nama beach and completing formalities on Saturday, the tourists eventually got off the ship and made their way to a convoy of local cars, waiting to take them to Wonreli town for a welcome ceremony.

In small groups with local guides the tourists were invited to explore Kisar`s history including the remnant architecture from the Dutch period over 400 years, and then ushered to Oirata village.

As part of Maluku`s southwestern islands, Kamanasa said Kisar was in the past one of the remotest and least accessible in all Indonesia, but now it was no longer isolated.

To date it has basically a few facilities such as accommodations and restaurants for visitors, but some fine beaches and snorkeling spots of course can still be found there.

It might be the reason why Kisar has since the past four years been a regular port of call for the Australian cruise ship.

Geographically, Kisar is closer to Australian continent and culturally nearer to Timor Leste and has a real Timorese feel to it, with villages scattered in the dry, scrubby interior rather than along the coast.

Sights are limited to a very few colonial buildings such as a ruined old church at Leklor village, Fort Vollenhove at Nama beach, and Fort Delftshaven at Kaisama village which are the most impressive for foreign visitors.

Some of the finest "Ikat Weavings" are found in Kisar, and the best of these are made by the people of Oirata village with some of unique traditional-style houses left.

Previously known as "the Moluccas", the Maluku region is truly a collection of forgotten islands located just north of Australia.

Sitting between New Guinea and Timor Leste, it is part of Wallacea, the legendary deep water area that separates the Australian and Asian continent plates.

The southwest corner of Maluku is virtually inaccessible but is home to numerous stunning islands with fringing reefs and ancient culture.

Very few outsiders have ever set foot on these islands and a unique experience is guaranteed as the MV Orion`s crew members and guests discover the "Forgotten Islands" of Maluku.

Their visit in July this year was the tiny island of Kisar which serves as their official entry point into the archipelago.

Kisar has over 400 years of European history and despite being only a few hundred miles off the coast of Australia, its European history is virtually unknown.

Read the full article by Otniel Tamindel

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