“Tracy, where to next? You gotta find out more places to explore so we can join you again!”
A few of my friends asked me this question several times. Rather than I find it intimidating, that question actually encourages me to do more research and get to know about Indonesia more. Perhaps, that’s the actual purpose of my friends throwing me that deadly question every now and then. As much as I like to do research, I can’t deny it can be tiring at the same time. But, I still enjoy doing it anyway.
I bet most of you – especially those who claim themselves as underwater enthusiasts, must have heard of Bali, Komodo Islands, Raja Ampat, Bunaken, Derawan, and many other places around Indonesia that no doubt are famous for its underwater world. Considering Indonesia is a country with the largest archipelago in the world, I believe the list goes much longer than that. And that also means, there are many more places waiting to be explored.
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Thanks to Anugerah Pesona Indonesia awards 2020, I am given an opportunity to take part in promoting three nomination categories – The Most Popular New Destinations, The Most Popular Shopping Destinations and also The Most Popular Eco-Tourism, I somehow got no choice but am forced to find out more information about the places I am promoting. One of them is Welora – a little paradise in the southwest of Maluku.
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Welora – The New Paradise for Divers and The Rising Star in Southwest of Maluku
When I exchanged messages with Cost Aswaly, the head of the promotion department of Southwest of Maluku Tourism Board, discussing Welora, the first question that I asked was,
“What is Welora all about?”
Out of any intentions to belittle, I totally had no clues and I was trying to learn more about the destination. He was kind enough to answer my questions and explained that what makes Welora special is the Ututkol Marine Park. All was started in 2015 when WWF found the beauty of the coral diversity in Ututkol and declared that it is the best diving spot in Indonesia they had ever seen so far.
The peak is when Ututkol Marine Park in Welora is listed as one of the nominees in The Most Popular New Destination of API Awards 2020. Inevitably, people start noticing about Welora and wondering where exactly this place is. Even before this, Welora has been getting visitation from foreign friends and the number of visitors increases every year.
Located on Dawera Island, Welora is actually the name of one of the three villages on the island. The village that is 35,06 km2 big and has only 126 population, is the only access to the Ututkol Marine Park. The villagers see the potential that their village has. So, they utilize the village resources and working hard to develop the village and turn it to be a recreational village which eventually gets officially established in 2019 by the local government.
Not only that, their hard work and serious efforts are also later getting supports by the local government. Language skills and guiding technique training have been conducted to equip the people in welcoming visitors from all around the country as well as from overseas. Culinary and handicraft skills, homestay management training and other relevant skills have also been given to complement them as a recreational village and the rising star in Southwest of Maluku.
Where is Welora
As mentioned earlier, Welora is located on Dawera Island, one of the islands of southwest of Maluku. Located at the meeting point of Banda Sea, Timor Sea, and the Arafura Sea; surrounded by a few big islands nearby such as Timor, Papua, and the main island of Maluku, this small island belongs to Moluccas would have been easily missed from our sight when we look at the map.
How to Get to Welora
I thought my journey to Taka Bonerate in Selayar would be the longest and the most challenging one but when I found out how to get to Welora, I became doubtful. But at least all the transportation are already available and now only up to us by which route we choose to get there. Apparently, there are two routes:
From Ambon, the capital city of Maluku province, fly to Tiakur, the capital city of Southwest Maluku district. The flight is operated by Trigana Air and takes about 75 minutes to reach. From Tiakur, take a ferry ship (Kapal Perintis) to Watuwey, the capital city of Dawelor Dawera. This journey will take anywhere around 24-48 hours. And finally, the last leg is to take a 10-15 minutes speedboat ride from Watuwey to Welora.
From Ambon fly to Saumlaki, the capital of Tanimbar Islands. There are two airlines operating this flight route which are Wings Air and Garuda Airlines. As for the flight duration is 90 minutes, slightly longer than the flight on route 01. However, the journey by ferry ship from Saumlaki to Watuwey is way much shorter – only about 8 hours. The last leg is the most favourite of both routes I believe – get to Welora from Watuwey by speedboat that is only about 10-15 minutes long.
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In all, obviously taking route 02 is a better option as the travel time is much shorter. But taking either route, we have the opportunity to explore the islands we transit at before getting to Welora. There is a quote saying, “Good things are hard to get”. I guess this applies to Welora as well.
Thanks to the Tourism Board of Southwest of Maluku for sharing information about Welora. Hope I could get there to do live reporting one day soon!
I think I shall add Welora to be one of the destinations in Indonesia to visit besides what I have already had on the list. And you, would you like to visit Welora one day? Or maybe you have already been there? Feel free to share your thoughts on the comment box below!
Vote for Welora in API Awards 2020
Welora is listed as one of the nominees in the “The Most Popular New Destination” category in Anugerah Pesona Indonesia (API) Awards 2020. If you think Welora in the southwest of Maluku including the people in Welora Village deserves to be the winner in this category, do vote for them!
The voting period has started since August 1st and will run until December 31st, 2020. This voting is open for everyone in the world. There are a few ways to vote:
#1 via SMS
• Type Keyword
ex: API 1A
• Send it to 99386
• One SMS one vote. Multiple SMSes is allowed
#2 via Instagram
• Follow @APIaward
• Search for the related post on the feed
• Like/love the post. One like equals one vote
#3 via YouTube
• Subscribe to APIaward Youtube channel
• Search for the nomination video you like to vote in the channel
• Like the video. One like equals one vote
For complete information about API Awards 2020 event, the nominees and also the latest voting result, please head on to Anugerah Pesona Indonesia #APIawards2020 + Voting Result. I will update the post regularly with the latest monthly result. Happy voting and all the best to all nominees! 🙂