Saturday, 19 January 2019

Doom Island, the Origin of Sorong

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Outside of Sorong, West Papua, there is a big chunk of island dominated with green colors of trees that cover almost all part of its surface. The island, which is 3-km away from Sorong, is called Doom Island.

    It can be reached in around 15 minutes by motor boat and seems like nothing is special about the island. You will find how special the island is after hearing its history. Far before Sorong is popular and crowded by people, Doom had been known as a developed and modern island. The Dutch coloni had made Doom the center of their government when Sorong was still dark. People used to call the island as a ‘star island’ as its lights looked sparkling from Sorong.

    In the 70s and 80s, people in Sorong had to cross to Doom for shopping in certain days. The boats that were used to cross the ocean to the island sometimes sunken by high tide. The big market in Doom is still existing although its condition is far from its glorious days back then. The market is nested right behind Doom harbor. There are a monument of two dophins welcoming guests in this harbor.

    Walking further into the island, we would find many old buildings in colonial architecture that is adjusted with tropical climate. The buildings are still well maintained on the side of 5-meter-wide road splitting the island. There are no cars in Doom, residents rely on motorcycle and pedicabs for transportation.

    In one corner of the island, on the west part of hill-top to be exact, stands a bethel church that seems very old. The view from its back yard is superb. Some part of Doom island can be seen, including neighboring islands floating on the blue water.

    There was an old prison in the island, which now transforms into a high school. Physically, traces of the prison are still seen such as metal bars that partition the rooms. However, spookiness apparently started to fade from the building. The prison was once a lock-up for heavy-crime villains.

    One of the things that is interesting from Doom Island is that the shady and green trees are still growing accross the island. Assimilation of the new comers with local people also looked so liquid. This island is not only home to local Papuan people but also Javanese, Sulawesi and Chinese.

    Going around the island is a uniqe experience that we can witness the calm and peaceful life of the resident, and visiting what’s left from the World War II, including one big bunker left by Japanese soldiers.

    With only Rp4,000 for boat ticket from Sorong, you can have a worthy visit to the Doom Island.