Jayapura is the capital city of West Papua, one of the most controversial regions of Indonesia. Essentially illegally annexed by the later in the late 60’s they’ve since been fighting for independence.
What though I sth capital like, what can you do here and what is the street food Jayapura scene like?
Why visit Jayapura?
Jayapura is the launching pad for travels further inland within West Papua, a place that is very similar culturally and culinarily similar to Papua New Guinea.
The city itself does not have that much to offer, save some old colonial buildings and some ethnic islands, but is a nice stop before you go onto tribal exploration.
Getting here is about a 4 hour flight from Bali, although you can also get here from Jakarta.
Food in West Papua and Jayapura
The food in West Papua and Jayapura is very different in the cities compared to rural areas. Rural Papuans tend to have a diet based on fruit and vegetables – much like in PNG. These include tarro, sweet potties, as well as bangs and plantain.
In Jayapura though almost 50 percent of the people are Indonesian, meaning you get Indonesian restaurants, as well as street food.Street food Jayapura
This leads us to the street food Jayapura scene, which is not all that bad as things go. The scene though can largely be split into two, with there being the cheap street food restaurants, as well as the real street food of Jayapura.
For the former it was largely dominated by Indonesian fare such as nasa goreng and the like, but we did manage to find at least Papuan restaurant, which happened to serve bunch of dishes, with the option of having Koukou/Yam as your staple.
For legit street food there was one main drag where there was a whole heap to choose from, with there being Hong Kong style dim sum, lots of Indonesian dishes and random bits like western fries or pizza.
One thing I did though try and indeed enjoy was Gado Gado, at the recondition of someone mare familiar with Indonesian fare. This was kind of like a boiled salad that had tofu, potato and a bunch of other eclectic shit in it. Not fabulous, but glad I tried it.
And the Jayapura Nightlife?
Jayapura is a legit scary city, although nowhere near as dangerous as Port Moresby. There are apparently bars in the centre of town, but the fact tat Papuans are not the greatest at drinking leads to problems related drunkenness.
And yes I tried to get Fire Water, but in the end had to settle for vodka. So overall? Not a bad, nor a good place and for a few days there is enough to do, drink and eat. Street Food Jayapura dealt with….