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See East Nusa Tenggara
Places of interest in East Nusa Tenggara

Kupang

The provincial capital of East Nusa Tenggara in western Timor makes it the large urban center of the province. It is the center of government, business, trade and education. The only sandalwood oil factory in Indonesia is located in this town. Here one can see the distillation of sandalwood oil which is famous in East Nusa Tenggara. The Museum in Kupang has on display items of historical and cultural value.

Lasiana Beach

An ideal tourist recreation spot, where the beach faces westward to watch beautiful sunsets.

Camplong

A lovely community about 45 kilometers from Kupang with regular market days and a natural swimming pool, where traditionally people bathe, do their laundry, and socialize. Camplong is also a forest reserve where some scarce animals, such as deer (Cervus Timorensis), parrots, monkeys, etc. in the reservation, are protected.

Semau Island

Thirty minutes by boat from Kupang and is certainly worth it to stay there one whole day. No noise and uncrowded is what this island place stands for. lt is a holiday village for everyone and a good place to relax as it offers a haven for those from the city. The surrounding waters is a paradise for snorkeling swimming, and other water sports. Barbecue on the beach is desirable, Bamboo cottages are available right on the white sandy beaches.

Soe

A town (110 kilometers from Kupang) noted for its cool weather beautiful flowers, and good fruits. Soe is, after all, a dull sprawl of wooden and corrugated-tin-roofed houses.

Maumere

A port town on the northeastern coast of Flores and a stopover on the way to Ende or to Larantuka. It is well connected by air with Kupang, Denpasar, and Makassar, and noted for its good beaches. The bay of Maumere is considered the best diving spot (Floras-Marine Resort) as it promises extremely rich marine life. The resort- is a paradise for all divers, underwater photographers, and for everyone interested in marine biology.

Ledalero museum at the outskirts of Maumere has an interesting collection of ethnological objects from the region. Visitors are welcome but advance arrangements should be made. Ledalero is also a name of a major catholic Seminary from where many of Florinese priests originated.

Ende

This town contains the home in-exile of former and first Indonesian president, Soekarno, while in banishment during the early period of nationalist movements in 1936. The house has been repaired and is today a museum.

Elimutu

East Nusa Tenggara's natural wonder and one of Indonesia'a most mysterious and dramatic sights that can be found on top of this mountain, some 66 kilometers from Ende, or 83 kilometers from Maumere. It has a unique and spectacular view on its three crater lakes with their respective colors. The colours, however, have changed continually since the eruption of Mount Iya in Ende in 1969.

The surrounding villages are good places serving as bases for visits to Kelimutu, particularly those who wish to have a more leisurely pace and en joy the views along the road between Ende and Maumere, or spend more time in Kelimutu. Those little villages are also known for their excellent weaving-all hand-made, still using natural dyes.

Labuanbajo

A lime town inhabited by fishermen, lies at the extreme western part of Flores. The town serves as a jumping-off point for the trip to Komodo Island. lt is a beautiful area for water skiing, wind surfing, fishing, and many other marine activities. Pede Beach is an ideal place to do all this and from where sunsets are beautifully visible.

Komodo Island

A small island of 280 square kilometers, Komodo is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. The island is almost all hill and barren except for palm trees and some wood but it is famous for its giant lizards which are considered the last of their kind remaining in the world today. To many modern naturalists, East Nusa Tenggara is so particularly interesting, because of this unique species, called the Komodo Dragon.

Called "ora" by the local people, Komodo dragon (Varnus Komodoensis) is actually a giant monitor lizard. Growing up to 3 to 4 meters in length, its ancestors roamed the earth up to about half a million years ago. Komodo lives on carrions of goats, deer, and even the carcasses of its own kind. The only human population on the island is at the fishing village called Komodo who supplement their income breeding goats which are used to feed the lizards.

The Komodo is protected by law and though they are considered harmless, it is advisable to keep them at a distance. Komodo is now a nature reserve being part of a national park. It is home to a number of rare bird species, deer, and wild pigs, which are prey to the lizards as well. To see the lizards in the day time, baits have to be set in the hinterland where local guides are necessary.

The sea surrounding the island offers vistas of sea life, crystal clear waters, and white sandy beaches. The only accommodation available is in simple guest houses in the fishing village. lt is advisable to carry food supplies. The best time to visit the island is between March and June, and between October and December. Komodo is accessible from the sea only. Fly to Labuan Bajo, from where it is about 3-4 hours by boat to the island.

Larantuka

A little port nestled at the base of a tall hill at the eastern end of Flores, from where Solor, Adonara, and Lembata island ( the small islands near by) are visible across the narrow strait. An old Portuguese cultural heritage like the Easter Procession is held in this town, and worth seeing.

Lamalera Whale Hunting

Lamalera on Lembata Island is a whaling village. The months of May to September make up the whale hunting season for the people of Lamalera. Using simple traditional tools as small row boats and the hand-thrown harpoons, the hunters sail out to hunt these giant creatures of the sea. The catch is either consumed or sold.

Waikabubak

A neat little town in Western Sumba, full of old graves carved in motifs of buffalo- horns, man-heads, horses, nude men or women symbolizing social status or the wealth of the people.

Right in the capital city of Waikabubak, you can see the following tombs: Kadung Tana, Watu Karagata, and Bulu Peka Mila. Tarung village, an important ceremonial center, is located on top of a hill, just a half kilometer to the west of Waikabubak.

There are several megalithic tombs. The front of many traditional houses are decorated with huge water buffalo horns from the animals sacrificed during rituals of years gone by.

Anakalang

The village is about 20 kilometers from Waikabubak and has a large graveyard which holds the largest megalithic tombs on Sumba. The tombs are always with unusual carvings. Anakalang is the site of the "Purung Takadonga Ratu", an important mass marriage festival held every two years, on a date determined by the full moon.

Pasola

The most exciting ritual western of Sumba is to be witnessed right here. Where else in the world can you see colorful horsemen trying to kill each other. The ceremony is in February in Lamboya and Kodi, and in March in Gaura and Wanukaka. The main activities start several days after the full moon and coincide with the yearly arrival to shore of strange, multi-headed sea worms.

East Sumba

Although perhaps 40% population of East Sumba follows the merapu religion as their brothers in the western part the out ward manifestations are not nearly as spectacular of frequent.

This region is better known for its ikat weaving. Near Waingapu, Kuta Beach is a Good. place to relax, and further down coast, near Baing (125 kilometers from Waingapu), there is great surfing at Kalala Beach. The waves are best from December to May.


Last revised on September 14, 2009
    
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