"Kupang - West Timor" Kupang by saltwaterandsails

Kupang Travel Guide: 77 reviews and 224 photos

Political Issues? Not really

Kupang is the capital of the Indonesian territory on Timor Island. Before travelling here we were uncertain of the conditions due to the political instability and violence that has occurred in East Timor.

Despite the problems on the other side of the island/boarder, the friendliness of the locals was overwhelming. When talking to the locals there was no concern regarding the action in the East, and wasn't any malicious feeling towards the breakaway country or people.

Unlike the rest of Indonesia, the main religion is not Islamic. A large part of the population is from a Christian up bringing, largely due to the history of the Dutch colonising the area centuries earlier. Despite this, the Muslim prayer is called several times a day on loud speaker across Kupang.

Where is? What's it like?

Kupang rests on the North Western shores of the island, and is a bustling town that is grossly underdeveloped. The street echo to the musical horns of the local maxi taxi (mini vans called "Bemos") all communicating a different story. "Look out, I'm taking over, do you want a ride etc..."

The buildings are in a good need of a fresh coat of paint, and are in different stages of disrepair. But all this adds to the authentic feeling of being a million miles away for the Western World.

If you enjoy travelling to places that is hugely unaffected by tourism, then this is the place to come. If you like luxury and expensive travel then forget about it, and go else where.


The island looks very inhospitable up in the hills. The terrain is rocky and jagged, and any form of farming would be impossible. The communities up here, have houses built around the volcanic like stones and hay shrubs. Truely amazing to think people have made homes and lives in this environment.

The seaside looks like the best place to be based.

  • Last visit to Kupang: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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