Piaynemo’s unique location between a wide sandy bay and a mangrove fringed lagoon gives easy access to Penemu’s superb Wayag-like seascapes.
Piaynemo Homestay is a large over water bungalow with all accommodation and facilities provided under a single roof. The building is solidly constructed and nicely finished, featuring much use of lacquered sago palm stems.
The bungalow has a spacious shared verandah with tables, chairs and daybeds, 4 4x3m bedrooms and two bathrooms, each having tiled floors, showers and western pedestal style toilets.
Sleeping is available for 10, with each room having a double mattress. 2 extra single mattresses are available. All beds have mattress covers, pillows, bolsters and mosquito nets.
A well constructed boardwalk through mangroves connects the homestay with the owners’ residence, a separate kitchen and the beach which backs the bay the homestay occupies.
A separate bathroom and toilet building (dip mandi and squat toilet) is provided near the beach for beachgoers or guests not resident at the homestay. (Many tour groups visit Penemu.)
Piaynemo is a fairly remote location, so you’ll need to bring everything you want with you – the nearest village (Saukabu) is a 45 minute boat ride away by 15HP longboat and there is no telephone network coverage at the homestay. A generator provides electricity for lighting and charging devices.
Piaynemo Homestay owner Pak Elimelek Dimara lives on site and has excellent English.
Transport is best arranged at time of making a booking, but independent transport to Piaynemo can be arranged via Transwisata in Waisai for IDR 750,000 one way. Overnight return trips to the homestay can be organised by Transwisata for IDR 5,000,000 per boat.
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 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 climbs are steep and have sections over rock which can be either loose or very sharp – be sure to wear sturdy footwear.
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.
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.