Everything you want to know about the 5th largest island in Raja Ampat
Gam island are actually consists of three main islands connected by mangrove forests. It’s the 5th largest islands in Raja Ampat after the “Four Kings” of Waigeo, Salawati, Misool, and Batanta.
Gam has always been known for its powder white sand beach and dense mangrove trees. The land has lots of sharp limestone and lush bushes and hilly which makes trekking can be really challenging in certain areas.
Daroyen village is located on a patch of island connected by mangroves to Gam where on a high tide become a small island of its own. The nearest village is Sawinggrai village about 5 minutes with boat or 20 minutes walk through dense mangrove forest during low tide.
Sawinggrai neighboring village of Kapisawar is connected by a concrete path. People living in Gam island are considered, friendly and approachable. They often offer some local foods to visitors freely on special days such as Easter, Christmas, or whenever there are wedding.
The beach between Daroyen village all the way to Sawinggrai and Kapisawar offer great snorkeling and rich marine biodiversity for the divers. The water is quite shallow with turtles and reef sharks are guaranteed sighting. In the morning, you can sometimes see baby shark swimming along the shore from the beach.
Cellular coverage in Gam at times can be erratic. Sometimes we have signal black out for two days caused by bad weather usually happen between June – August. Which is great for those who are looking for an ideal place for digital detox.
Attractions And Historic Sites
Gam island in WWII play an important part as one of the Japanese defensive lines against allied in the Pacific theater war. You can see one of the relics, a Kanji-inscribed Japanese naval survey marker atop Batu Lima at the entrance to Kabui Bay.
The legendary explorer Alfred Wallace set a campsite in 1860 at the end of the wonderful Dore Mkun inlet near Yenbeser. During his stay in Gam island, Alfred Wallace was known among locals as Cendrawasih bird collector (bird of paradise).
His work in Raja Ampat is documented in his writing “The Malay Archipelago”. Wallace spoke of Raja Ampat native fondly of the honest villagers of Bessir who housed him in a stilted hut next to white sand in a “dwarf house just eight feet square” which he cleaned and stayed in for six weeks with his crew and “none of us grumbled at our lodgings”.
We shall write more about Alfred Wallace’s in Raja Ampat for our next blog.
Last but not least, we need to mention Kabui Bay. Kabui Bay is known for its beautiful formation of karst islands. When the water is clear, you can watch schools of fish dancing freely in the sea and the colourful corals in the deep from the boat.