Mandarin Homestay, Sawinggrai, Pulau Gam, Raja Ampat

Mandarin Homestay

Gam - Southern Gam

  • Amazing - 5 starfish
  • Amazing - 5 starfish
  • Amazing - 5 starfish
  • Amazing - 5 starfish
  • Amazing - 5 starfish
  • (5/5 starfishes)

Where you’ll find excellent snorkelling, Birds of Paradise, easy village access and the opportunity to really help the local community.


Rooms
2 x Over water - Private bungalow Sleeps max. 3 persons / room
Rates
Single IDR 350,000 / person / night
SEE volunteer teachers IDR 300,000 / person / night
Make a booking at Mandarin Homestay

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Details

Mandarin Homestay is named for the Mandarin fish that can be seen on the Sawinggrai reefs and and has two private bungalows available. Both are over water at high tide and have enclosed verandahs with a table, chairs and a hammock.

The bungalow bedrooms had two real beds with pillows, bolsters, sheets and mosquito nets when we visited in June 2016, but will be upgraded to sleep 3, with one double and one single bed in each room.

Construction of Mandarin’s over water dining room was ongoing in June 2016. Guest meals are currently served meals on their bungalow verandahs and free drinking water, tea and coffee are available.

Mandarin Homestay bathroom facilities are housed in a single building, with a dip mandi bathroom in one room and a western style toilet in the other.

Electricity is provided by generator and is available from sunset to about midnight. There’s a decent phone signal at Mandarin and data connections are possible. Signal strength can be dramatically improved by walking to neighbouring Mambefor Homestay at the end of the Sawinggrai jetty.

Sawinggrai is a short walk away along a concrete path and basic supplies are available there, but please do take all your inorganic trash away with you when you leave. Especially plastic and dead batteries.

English is spoken at Mandarin Homestay and the homestay supports the Sawinggrai English Effort by offering accommodation discounts to program participants.

Transport / Getting there

Mandarin Homestay offers two choices for pickups and dropoffs to Waisai:

Speedboat: IDR 1,000,000 each way, 6 passengers maximum, trip cost shared by passengers.

Longboat: IDR 500,000 each way, 3 passengers maximum, trip cost shared by passengers.

Read more about Raja Ampat boat transport prices here.

Activities

There’s a lot you can do at Mandarin Homestay apart from snorkeling and soaking up the tropical bliss. As mentioned above, guests are welcome to participate in the Sawinggrai English Effort (be sure to register with the program if you want to get a discount on your accommodation) and the villages of Sawinggrai and Kapisawar are connected to the homestay by a concrete path. Long walks are possible and cultural performances are often staged in a performance venue on the Sawinggrai jetty.

Red Birds of Paradise display at dawn and dusk in the jungle behind Sawinggrai, and kuskus are regular visitors to Mandarin and their neighbour Nudibranch Homestay.

Raja Ampat snorkelling at its best

Mandarin Homestay and has a fantastic house reef with a wealth of colourful marine life. Mandarin fish and the many nudibranches to be found in the mangroves by the homestay are just a couple of examples.

The homestay provides easy access to other great spots like Arborek, Gam Bay and the mantas and can organise transfers to other islands as well. The table below lists prices in Inodesian Rupiah. Trip cost is shared by passengers.

Where possible, single person trips and transfers use a smaller, slower boat that’s cheaper to run. If no single person price is quoted, the trip is by Mandarin’s speedboat which can carry up to 6 people. (Some trips are limited to 4 people in the boat for increased safety.)

TRIP PRICE
Mantas (2 -6 passengers) 500,000
Mantas (single passenger) 300,000
Gam Bay OR Arborek (2-6) 500,000
Gam Bay OR Arborek (1) 300,000
Kri (2-6) 600,000
Kri (1) 400,000
Piaynemo day trip 3,000,000
Wayag day trip (max 4) 8,000,000
Around Gam via Kabui Bay and Passage 2,000,000
Pulau Yeben 700,000
West Mansuar 700,000
Manyaifun (max 4) 1,200,000
Batanta (max 4) 1,500,000

Pay by credit card

As of December 2016, Mandarin Homestay offers guests the ability to pay by Visa and Mastercard. Credit card payments attract a surcharge to cover bank fees. Note: There’s no guarantee that your particular bank’s credit card will be accepted by the processing bank. The facility is provided by Indonesia’s Mandiri Bank, so if you want to rely on your card for payment it would be wise to check that it will work in a Mandiri ATM before arriving in Sorong. See our Money, Banks and ATMs page for more information about access to cash in the islands.

Features

  • Near village
  • Association member
  • Reef dropoff
  • Western style toilet
  • Mangroves
  • Seagrass
  • Hiking available
  • Coral
  • Birds of Paradise
  • English speaking
  • Good house reef
  • Has email contact
  • Good phone signal
  • Has own speedboat
  • IDR 0 to 350,000
  • Wayag trips
  • Has private bungalows
  • Can pay by credit card

Mandarin Homestay Location Map

Mandarin Homestay location shown above. Full page map for Mandarin Homestay

Mandarin Homestay Contact Details

  • If the homestay features above do not show that English is spoken, you'll need to use Bahasa Indonesia. In either case, keep it simple! Using the booking form is best for homestays that have one. Please don't use both - confusion will be the only result!.
  • SMS text message is the most reliable way to make contact.
  • Many contacts have no permanent access to phone or email - don't expect an instant response to your enquiry.
  • Please read our How to Book Raja Ampat Accommodation page so you know what to expect.

Name Kristian
Phone +6281354153073
Email mandarinhomestay@gmail.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Mandarinhomestay
Name Akes
Phone +6282199486069

Mandarin Homestay Reviews

Posting feedback about your homestay experience will help your hosts and fellow travellers. All feedback is passed on and contributes to the success of the local ecotourism economy which underpins international conservation efforts in Raja Ampat.

Please leave a comment or review below and take the time to respond to this online Raja Ampat ecotourism survey. Your input is valued and appreciated!

27 thoughts on “Mandarin Homestay

  1. Michael and Shana says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We ended up getting stuck in a big storm in our boat close to Mandarin Homestay. Instead of trying to risk going further we decided to spend the night there. The owner Christian and his family are delightful and the setting and atmosphere were beautiful. We actually wished we had more time to spend there before continuing our journey the following day. We will be back!!

  2. shana m valencia says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We were in transit coming from another home stay, heading to seafans home stay and got caught up due to bad weather. Kristian was more than accommodating by putting us up and feeding us for the night/morning. It ended up being quite and nice layover on our way to seafans. I also left my headlamp there on accident and after a week we stopped by on the way back to sorong and kristian had it waiting for me, really a beautiful soul! Thank you!

  3. Setaphong T. says:

    Homestay is very good service, they know everything about where to go. Each house is private for each group. But for the food, I think there is too much egg instead of fish.
    Thank you for your kindness and good service.

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    I had an extremely roomy, over the water bungalow. The family is fairly attentive to details and is quick to help if asked. The food is good but there were lots of eggs instead of fish. The children in the village are great! It is fun to watch the sunset from the jetty while the highly active children swirl around you. It is definitely worth having a look around the mangroves. Beware of the current which at times can be quite strong.

  4. I was in Mandarin homestay last July and I spent there a few days teaching and learning..
    The main goal of my trip to Raja Ampat was to stay in Sawinggrai, in mandarine homestay, helping with the English project effort. Since the moment I arrived and they picked me up, kris and akres were really helpful, looking after me and making sure everything was fine for me every moment.
    The place is amazing, beautiful, well built and next to the village. I was in a very nice bungalow over the sea and there were three meals a day, which were tasty and abundant. Toilet and shower just in front of the bungalow, privacy and clean.
    You can do lot of activities there. Walk through the village or jungle, go snorkelling, swimming, birdwatching, they will show you the village and the gardens and give you any recomendation you need. Furthermore you can visit different places or Islands from mandarin homestay because Kris has got his own boat. A very important thing you can do is to teach English, I was teaching to children in the afternoon and to some adults as well. They will apreciate it and for you can be a great experience. All this, in a paradise of nature and clear water
    I realized that kris and Akres were the only people able to speak in English, because the owners of the different homestays don´t. I find this an advantage to some people because I met other tourists that couldn´t communicate at all with the owners of the place they were and many questions they had weren´t answered.
    Not a less important fact is that Kris and his family are the nicest, kindest and most helpul people in Raja Ampat.

    I really enjoyed my experience here and highly recommend Mandarin homestay as the place to be if you come to Sawwingrai.

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    This was definitively one of our best stays on Raja Ampat. The bungalows are very spacious and divided into a bed room, common/eating room and a over water veranda facing the south.
    Food gets served in your own bungalow (pro: no need to share, con: less contact to other guests). You also get your own hot/cold water supply in the bungalow. Toilet and bucket shower are shared but very well-tended.

    The food was very good. Atop of the three meals we often got fresh fruits or fried snacks.

    Altho there may be strong currents which can drag you along the coast (not away from it) it is a very nice snorkling spot as well (Seen walking sharks, wobbegong, cuttlefish, lionfish, water snakes and much more – explore the mangroves as well!)

    • Thank you timo on your good riviews… Sorry when you stay at mandarin..I’m nothing but I believe Two man are pakis and Birex help you full for setting everything. Thank you.
      Regards
      Kristian

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    Mandarin was the first stop in raja Ampat for my missus and I. What an incredible place to start our journey! We stayed 6 nights and absolutely loved it! Kris, Jonas,Mama Mandarin and all the children (Rica, Delvia, Dekey, Pasca) made it unforgetable! Nice spacious bungalow, delicious food, great snorkeling from your bungalow and genuine/kind people. If you have time, volunteering and helping the kids with English is a must. We were lucky enough to bond with many of them and make many little friends while we were there. One of the days we had 20-25 kids in our bungalow reading basic books and teaching them whatever we could. It is such a beautiful thing to see those kids smiling with the little that they have. They just want to learn! Take any old books, clothes, reading glasses…etc…one mans trash is another mans treasure. And that goes for all of raja Ampat….not just gam. We took what we could and they were grateful and appreciative of everything. One thing I was worried about in Papua was the food quality and portions. No reason to worry!! The food was absolutely lovely! I love food(one of the most important reasons I travel) and Mandarin was tied with Sea Fans(Manyaifun) for best of the best of the four homestays we visited(Mavar in arborek and yengakwe in waigeo were the other 2) Mama Mandarins cooking was out of this world! Enak!!! Bagus!!!!!She is such a strong woman and puts love into everything she does. Give her a hand if you have time ! I’m writing this message from koh kood Thailand and im wishing I was back in Raja Ampat. Nothing can compare. I will definitely be returning to mandarin and raja Ampat as soon as possible. Get there soon because resorts are spreading! Help the locals and get a true raja Ampat experience….stay in the homestays!!!!! Having traveled throughout all of Southeast Asia, raja Ampat is by far the most beautiful/natural/ virgin place I have seen. It was an absolute pleasure and honor to stay with the Mandarin family. One million thanks and much love to all! Kris remember to change the real madrid sheets on the bed!!! Barça Mandarin! We will see you soon….good luck and best wishes!! David and Lizette(Spain)

    • Thank you David for everything you say to mandarin… One millions thanks too to you and your wife.. (Liz).. I has contact to you and Liz Every Time by facebook.. So I promised I will changed madrid seed.. You are our guest every day make is lovely for us.. Remember…if you back to Raja ampat.. Visit mandarin a gain please ..
      Best regards
      Kristian mandarin

  5. I stayed in Mandarin homestay in December 2016. That place is very good! My bungalow was very spacious! Food was very basic, they had some problems with the fish, but for me it was very OK! And they cooked delicious muffins! Food is served right in the bungalow. Family is very lovely, tries to do the best they can; it realy seems like you are surrounded by friends. Pak Kristian are one of the most reasonable and adequate people that I met in such overpriced tourist places as Papua! I had pick up with him to harbour and some trips – his prices are the best, while others begin to assign unrealistically high prices. Pak Kristian can arrange every trip and transfer. Thank to him very much for providing boat for distant trips!
    I really enjoyed staying here!
    I wish good luck to Pak Patrik and his family! It was really sad to leave.
    Corals (in very good condition, despite of the closeness of the village) nudibranch and flatworms, walking sharks – it’s just very small part of the underwater life that you can see directly from your bungalow!!!
    I made video about snorkeling in Raja Ampat. You can watch it here – https://youtu.be/TGicnrS0fsk
    Sergei from Russia.

  6. Rosdiana Moore says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We (husband & wife with 11 yo daughter) stayed in Mandarin from 30/12/2016 to 02/01/2017. Since the time of searching and booking, Kristian -the owner- was the best communicator! Always answered my text and email I sent from Australia. And when we get there: The accommodation is amazing. The toilette and dip shower (kamar mandi) are bright, big, and most importantly clean. That’s a very important thing for us. The room is fantastic with separate bedroom and living room and plus veranda with a rustic table where you can sit and watch the world goes by… Kristian provided us with 2 hammocks (without our request) in our accommodation, that’s very thoughtful of him. The food cooked by Ibu Tabitha and her daughter were fabulous. They provided us with afternoon tea too!! The people especially children of Sawingrai speak English the best compare with any other island we stayed (we stayed in 4 islands on our 10 days trip). That’s for sure because of the Sawingrai English Effort project which is lead by Kristian. We did a bit of voluntary work with SEE. Due to many occasion for New Year celebration, what we did were only speak in English with them. Have great conversations with the children. They companied us walking to Kapisawar village. Snorkelling in front of the accommodation is available during high tide, we saw Walking Shark and nudibranch there. You can walk for 60meters and you can snorkelling under Sawingrai Jetty. It was amazing!! Kristian took us to snorkelling spots around Gam, and also took us to Manta point and Arborek. Kristian and Yunus (the skipper that time) are such great great guides!! The big boat is very convenient, again the best for all 4 islands we stayed. Whenever Kristian saw us snorkelling around accommodation, he’ll jump in and guide us to interesting marine life such as walking shark and nudibranch. He also jumped in with us at snorkelling point, took pictures for us, etc. He is such a great homestay operator. He is polite and attentive. Little thing like providing us with tissue box in our living room; well done! And celebrating New Year in Sawingrai is an experience we will never forget! Community are doing a great way of celebration. I won’t say what was that so that you can experience it yourself. It was amazing (if you like to mingle with and enjoy the community). We wish Mandarin Homestay and SEE the best. God’s willing, we’ll be back. We suggest people to travel Raja Ampat before the whole world found it!!

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We stayed at kris’ place for 5 nights beginning of january 17. Kris is a great Host. He knows a lot about marine life. Take the chance and go snorkeling with him. Andi and Toilette were pretty clean and in good shape. There is a String current, that makes it a bit difficult to snorkel in the house reef. But it is also nice in the mangroves. Best to bring own snorkel gear. Meals are including. We even had a snack in the afternoon.
    You can walk from there to see the birds of paradise. Kris knows a man, that comes with you and knows the places.

    Unfortunately there was karaoke at another Homestay nearby, which made Kris really unhappy. But I heard from friends, that they already stopped. Maybe this was just temporary.

    • Thank you Alexa.. On your say a bout me… And then for the another homestay nearby.. I think they are not so good… Because Karaoke …. But now it’s OK.. Only for them…. Don’t like before…

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    Nous avons séjourné à Mandarin homestay deux fois dix jours entre novembre et décembre 2016. Famille très sympathique, proche de deux villages, bungalow sur l’eau très spacieux et très bien conçu, ouvert sur la mer, levé et couché de soleil.
    Très bon snorkeling en face et dans la mangrove toute proche, walking shark, nudibranches…..Possibilité de voir des Mandarin fish avec l’aide généreuse de Christian, de loin la plus belle personne que nous ayons rencontré. Prix des transports très correctes, excellents repas et bien sûr beaucoup d’oiseaux….Et beaucoup d’enfants à qui apprendre l’Anglais.
    Merci pour tout, Christian, Ibu, Lin, Yun and Akes…
    A bientôt…

  7. Charlotte Meuleman says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We stayed at Mandarin Homestay for 6 nights and loved every minute of it. We had a nice hut with a beautiful view over the ocean and at the island Mansuar. Do not expect luxury, but everything you really need is there and Kristian is very willing to help you if you need anything. Three times a day you will get a nice meal and also a small snack. We enjoyed the food very much! During the day you can drink as much water, coffee and tea as you want. Other drinks you need to buy yourself in one of the 3 little shops (no cooled drinks available as there is only electricity in the evening/night!). Make sure you take a flashlight with you when going to any of the islands in Raja Ampat.
    Activities: Walk around the village, snorkel in front of the homestay (gorgeous corals with lots of fish), make some nice boattrips (snorkel with mantas!), ask Kristian for the guide in the village who can show you the special tree uphill in which the red bird of paradise tries to attract females, do some other birdspotting (king cockatoo, lots of parrots and many more species), visit the little school and chat with children and adults… or just read a book in the shades and relax….
    Tip: the school can use english books (for beginners, with lots of pictures, for example Sesamestreet…) ), so take a few with you when you have some space left in your suitcase or backpack!
    Kristian: thank you very much for everything!!!

    • Thank you very much Charlotte on your rivew.. I hope you don’t remember us new family in Raja ampat.. Tell your friends or family if have time for goes to Raja ampat .. Visited to mandarin.
      Best regards
      Kristian

  8. Máté (Hungary) says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    I was lucky to stay in Mandarin homestay for 6 days in Nov, 2016.
    Kristian and all of the locals were exremely hospitable and warm welcoming from the first minute I arrived.
    The bungalows are more than perfect for relax, with great food, clean toilet and fresh water to take shower, not to mention the stunning coral reef located only 50-60 meters from Mandarin.
    I also participated in the English teaching project during my stay, which was a great decision and amazing experience at the same time.
    I strongly recommend you to connect your stay with teaching the local children, you will see how smart, enthusiastic and grateful are them. And you don’t even need to be an English teacher, so what are you waiting for? :)

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    My husband, our child 10 years old and me, were at Mandarin in Christmas 2015.
    We really enjoy each minute we were there and had a great time with Kristian and his family.
    Kristian and his brothers were very helpfull and tried to make our stay the best experience.
    The bungalows are simple but fantastic, had everything we needed, I will never ever will change that bungalows for the best villa!!
    The trips we made with Kristian and his brothers were fantastic, we went to Arborek, Gam Lagoon, Mansuar for a walking from one village to the other and loved everything we did.
    The nights are magic, full of thousands of stairs, the colors of the sea are amazing and the sunsets and the sunrise, going to walk around the two villages it was really nice as well.
    We enjoyed a lot as well the walking on the jungle with all the children and seeing the daily life of people there.
    I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to this part of the world, a magic and unique place.
    Send a big hug for Kristian and his family and all the people and friends we made there.
    I hope to come back soon

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    I saw this homestay which was built with a strong sense of community. Together with his family and relatives, Krisitan built the kitchen and the bathroom. One of Kristian’s uncles told me that none of the builders got paid, but they hope that the homestay business would help their children’s education fund. (Don’t worry their homestay is already finished).

    Staying in this bungalow is like having your own private beach. I slept above the sound of waves. My favorite place is the homestay’s balcony where you can sit and watch the sunset. During high tides, you can snorkel from the bungalow.

    The homestay managers Kristian and Akes are among the most sincere people that I have known in Sawinggrai. They were always there when I needed them. They also volunteer as SEE coordinators whose job is to help visitor volunteers set up their English classes.

    My food was cooked by Kristian’s sisters who are still in high school. They are still young but good cooks. Every day, I saw them prepare food and learned how to make new dishes. It was simple food, but it was cooked with love and care. The good thing is that they asked me what type of food I wanted and did their best to accommodate.

    Overall, I enjoyed my stay in Mandarin Homestay, and I am coming back for sure.

  9. yolanda onderwater says:

    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • (3/5 starfishes)

    Staying at Mandarin Homestay was a wonderful and extraordinary experience.
    One can read on the internet that many western facilities are not available at Raja Ampat. But, for sure, it was the lack of these facilities that gave me an amazing time at Mandarin Homestay.
    The purpose of my trip was to help building the SEE, an organisation for sustainable English in Raja Ampat and Mandarin homestay was our livingroom and ‘office’.
    Kristian and Akes are the Volunteer Coördinators of SEE. They are enthusiast, and eager to learn all about learning English to the people of Sawinggrai.
    I never had a better office: this traditional homestay, with windows overlooking the beautiful ocean, sawn timber framed, floored with sawn planks and palm thatched walls, gave us the perfect environment to land our creative ideas.
    The hosts of the Mandarin homestay, Kristian & Akes, were always willing to help us out with our questions. Do we need an extra table? It was instantly made. Do we need extra water? I a few minutes a fresh gallon entered the homestay. It even happened that we needed to print some papers and miraculously a printer appeared in our office.
    I will not forget to tell you about the amazing environment, the ocean, the swimming, the snorkelling, the friendly people, and how I got rid of my internet en telephone addiction cause there’s only a few hours power a day.
    I felt save and privileged to stay at Mandarin Homestay.
    Warm regards to all the children of Sawinggra,
    Ibu Yolanda