Papua is the largest province in Indonesia, about 20% of Indonesia’s land area itself. “Papua” name was adopted as the name of the province in 2002, while “Irian Jaya” (roughly translated, “Glorious Irian”) was used before. Papua means curly hair, which describes its native tribes physical appearance.
Papua is surrounded by hills and mountains, of which 71% remains unexplored due to its extreme geographical characteristics. The southern lowlands of Papua are the site of Lorentz National park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Papua also witnessed the Pacific War of World War II. A memorial monument was built by General Douglas McArthur in Sentani.
Major tourist attractions in Papua:
- Baliem Valley, the perfect place to trek along tribal villages of Lani, Dani, and Yali tribes, which were recently stone-age villages
- Asmat villages; Asmat is notable both for the rich and vibrant traditional tribal culture and art as well as its globally significant biodiversity
- Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress in Agats, a museum that showcases traditional Asmat woodcarving and artifacts
- Lorentz National park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site