Irian Jaya (Indonesian part of New Guinea)
Irian Jaya, the western half of New Guinea has some of the most impenetrable jungles in the world and yet has snow caps covering 5,000 metre high mountain peaks towering over glacier lakes. This is Indonesia's largest and most eastern province and is a land of exceptional natural grandeur with beautiful scenic beaches, immense stretches of marshlands, cool grassy meadows and powerful rivers. wpe9C.jpg (14429 bytes)

There are literally hundreds of tribal groups, each with their own dialects and practices, with the most heavily populated and cultivated parts of the island in the Paniai Lakes district and the Baliem Valley. The people are closely related to those who live on the southern rim of the Pacific, and particularly in the central highlands, they remain virtually untouched by modern life.

The flatter coastal regions have been visited by traders since the 7th century, so the provincial capital, Jayapura, is a neat and pleasant city built on the slopes overlooking the bay. It was here that General Macarthur assembled his fleet for the invasion of the Philippines during World War II.
Worth a visit is the remote south-east coast around Agats to see the Asmat people famed for their artistic primitive wood carving. The area is still largely untamed wilderness, but you can get daily flights with Garuda between Jayapura, Jakarta and Ujung Pandang, or weekly flights to and from Ambon, Surabaya and Bali.