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Piaynemo Homestay is a large and sometimes very busy homestay in the heart of Pulau Piaynemo’s fabulous karst seascape.
Three over water bungalows are available at Piaynemo, two of which are private VIP bungalows which have ensuite bathrooms with western style toilets and showers. When we visited in June 2016 the bathrooms weren’t yet able to be used though, as Piaynemo’s bioseptic wastewater units were awaiting commissioning. The VIP bungalows are equipped with double beds with pillows, bolsters, sheets, blankets and mosquito nets. An extra two floor mattresses can be provided for families. Each private bungalow has a verandah with a small table, wooden chairs and a fine view across the bay to the jungled heights of the karst hills opposite the homestay.
A large four roomed bungalow with a well equipped common area is also available. Each room sleeps two in mattresses on the floor with the usual mosquito net and bedding. The building is solidly constructed and nicely finished, featuring much use of lacquered sago palm stems and has a great view westward toward the mouth of the bay. The large common area is well appointed with big tables and a variety of seating options. All Piaynemo Homestay rooms have light switches and power outlets.
Meals are served in an over water dining room with many long tables and bench seating. The dining room and adjoining kitchen is well appointed and even has a freezer, as it also caters to the many day visitors that come to climb Piaynemo’s famed lookout. The day tour groups means it can be quite busy at Piaynemo on occasion, and sometimes large groups stay overnight, so it’s probably not the homestay to choose if you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday. Free tea, coffee and drinking water is provided for guests in the dining room.
A boardwalk connects the bungalows to the beach behind the homestay where two bathrooms are provided for guests. All guests (and visitors) share these bathrooms. Both are dip mandi style bathrooms and there is a western style toilet in one and a squat toilet in the other.
The boardwalk also has a deck area with an outdoor barbecue, tables and bench seating in the shade of overhanging mangroves.
A combination of generator and solar collectors means that electricity is always available for lighting and charging devices, but there’s no mobile phone signal available at the homestay.
Piaynemo is a fairly remote location, so you’ll need to bring all essential items and consumeables with you – and take all your inorganic rubbish away with you so you don’t contribute to the
growing trash problem in Raja Ampat. The nearest village (Saukabu) is a 45 minute boat ride away by 15HP longboat and only basic supplies are available there.
Piaynemo Homestay owner Pak Eli Dimara has excellent English, so you won’t have any problem communicating if you don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia.
Transport / Getting there
Transport between Waisai and Piaynemo is by speedboat and costs IDR 6,000,000 for the round trip. (IDR 3,000,000 each way.) The boat can carry up to 8 passengers and the cost is shared.
NOTE: Transwisata in Waisai will tell you you they will take you to Piaynemo for IDR 750,000 per person BUT – that’s for a minimum of 8 people. If you have less than 8 in your group, the price is 6 million total. EACH WAY (because their boat has to return empty).
Read more about Raja Ampat boat transport prices here. Activities
Piaynemo Homestay lies on the isthmus between the northern and southern sections of Penemu Island and presents two very different marine environments.
The narrow connection between the island’s two main parts gives the location its name: Piaynemo means “the join between harpoon head and shaft” and the shape of the northern section of Penemu is indeed reminiscent of a traditional whale hunting harpoon head. [A note on names: Most maps of Raja Ampat refer to Penemu and the Fam Islands, which is a source of considerable annoyance to many of the islands’ inhabitants. The correct pronunciation of these place names is better represented by their local spelling: Piaynemo and Pam.]
The homestay is on stilts in a mangrove lined, eastward facing bay full of karst islands like those of the much more widely publicised Wayag group. The bay is frequented by herons and black tip sharks and the mangroves provide shelter for all manner of marine creatures. You may also see iguanas on the island.
Reached by a mangrove lined boardwalk, a wide sweeping sand beach backs Piaynemo Homestay to the west. The beach has good snorkelling over a shallow coral reef, with a dropoff to deep water not far from the shore.
The coral reefs of Penemu and the nearby Pam (Fam) Islands are superb and provide fantastic snorkeling. The clear waters that surround the islands in the northern section of the bay close to the homestay provide a calm protected environment perfect for easy snorkeling. They are also perfect to explore using one of the four sit-on-top style kayaks Piaynemo has available for guests.
The karst island seascapes of Piaynemo rival the splendour of those of the more famous Wayag group and there are a few high vantage points which can be climbed to admire the views. The most visited of these (and the one the gallery photos are taken from) has a timber staircase providing easy access to the top. At the small dock at the beginning of the climb you’ll find local a small shop selling refreshing young coconut drinks and snacks. Unfortunately they also sell live coconut crabs. Please don’t buy these animals – not even to release them. Coconut crabs have completely disappeared from most of their former range due to hunting and are under serious threat in the all the areas in which they remain. The ever diminishing size of the captive animals for sale at Piaynemo clearly shows the pressure they are under here as well. Don’t contribute to their extinction!
Piaynemo Homestay can arrange snorkeling trips and guided tours to panoramic vantage points. Guide fees are 50,000 per person. Visits to Yellow Lake in the Fam Islands to see resident crocodiles can also be arranged.
Piaynemo Homestay Accommodation and Tour Packages
Piaynemo Homestay offers two Raja Ampat accommodation and tour packages. Each package includes accommodation and 3 meals a day, speedboat hire and snorkelling. Transfers between Waisai and Piaynemo are included, as tours begin and end at Waisai.
PRICE PER PERSON
Kabui – Piaynemo – Arborek – Pasir Timbul 3 days/2 Nights – 8 people max
Kabui – Piaynemo – Arborek – Sawinggrai – Kurkapa – Pasir Timbul 5 days/4 Nights – 8 people max
Remote/isolated Association member Large groups OK Western style toilet Mangroves Seagrass For the sociable Coral English speaking Has email contact IDR 450,000+ Sandy Beach
Has own speedboat Has private bungalows Has ensuite bathroom/toilet