Ada yang ingin mengujungi Lembah Baliem? Berikut saya sertakan tips and triknya agar tak bingung apalagi bagi pemula. Selanjutnya tips and trik saya ini saya tulis dalam Bahasa Inggris karena sebelumnya tulisan ini terlahir untuk menjawab pertanyaan dari rekan traveller yang tidak berbahasa Indonesia.
The big city you need to reach first is the capital Jayapura, there is flight to Jayapura from Jakarta or Makassar. The most reliable flight to Jayapura is Garuda (but most expensive). Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air also fly to Jayapura from both cities but less reliable (tend to delay and change schedule).
From Jayapura, you need to take flight to Wamena, there are 3 airlines that serve Wamena: Trigana Air, Wings Air and Express Air; the first two are bookable online or you can use tiket.com to book (accept any credit card and sometimes gives discount).
In Wamena, there are many hotels but last time I stay in homestay. This homestay is owned by local Wamena and westerner couple and they can gives you tons of info, maps, tips, etc. From Wamena, there are many trekking trails, What I did is southern Baliem valley.
To go to the start of the trails, you can charter a car (about 200,000 IDR ) or if you want go shoestring can take public minivan (about 10,000-20,000 IDR per way), sometimes you need to change minivan if for some case like the bridge is broken. What i did was i take public transport (kijang) from Pasar Woma and not surprisingly it not depart until super full with 14-15 people inside the car and I forget not just people but also pig hehehe.
At the start of the trails you can walk, if u are only walk in the village around southern Baliem valley, you probably wont need guide but its better to not trek alone (in case something happen, there is almost no phone signal here).
For trek in Southern Baliem valley you can spent from 3 days to 2 weeks. You can stay at any villages, normally they have Honai (house) for tourist with matress and blanket or local honai (normally no matress only grass so you need to bring matress or sleeping bag).
They will ask about 100,000-150,000 per night for accomodation and it including your meals (only sweet potato and leaves), but you can bring instant noodle and ask them to cook for you. You can take photo freely the people except the chief/old villager that wears penis gourd/koteka. Normally they asked 20,000 IDR per shoot/1 pack of cigarette.
Cigarette also good for ice breaking. If u are invited to local feast like i have last time, you also must negotiate with the comitee/head of village to take pictures, normally they will ask some money.
If you trek further than southern Baliem Valley, for example to Yali district (different tribe), u will need to hire guide or porter since you will need to climb pass and the path sometimes wash out due to the rain. You also can fly using missionary flight to Angguruk (Yali county) but the flight is first come first serve and they prefer to serve local/logistic service. (naskah dan foto: Rio Indrawan/editor: Heti Palestina Yunani)