"Soe, capital of Timor Tengah Selatan regency" Soe by theo1006
Soe Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 137 photos
When looking up Destination = Soe on VT, you get 98 matches, most of them located in Denmark and spelled Sø. But there is only one Soe in Indonesia, pronounced Sou-ei. This is the capital of South Central Timor (TTS = Timor Tengah Selatan) regency on the island of Timor – the eastern part of which is the now the independent state Timor-Leste.
Timor attracts few foreign tourists, yet it is worth exploring because it is untypical for Indonesia lying close to Australia and having a pronounced dry season. So when Theo was offered a teaching assignment of a week in Soe, we gladly extended our stay to get to know the island better.
Soe has some similarities with our home town Salatiga. Located at an altitude of 800 m it has the same relatively cool climate and views on surrounding mountains. We found it also a good base for destinations which are too far to reach in a day from Kupang.
Getting around in Soe is easy and cheap. There are both minibuses (angkot) and motorbikes (ojeg) who charge a flat rate of Rp 2000 for a ride. We preferred the ojeg and were inclined to pay them a little extra for good service. But be sure to be home before dark, service stops soon after nightfall. Bring a flashlight in case you have to walk home in the dark; public lighting is minimal and there are frequent blackouts.
Getting out of town is a different matter. To reach the closer destinations, like Oehala Falls, an ojeg for a negotiated price is still best. The price for a day long tour on motorbike is standard Rp 75,000 exclusive of petrol and oil as needed. Buses ply only the main routes, and ojeg drivers may decline to ride several hours on bumpy roads to a remoter destination. Then your only option is a rental car, available from Rp 500,000 a day, see our transportation tips.
There is sufficient choice of accommodation in Soe, ranging from the backpackers options Hotel Anda and Hotel Cahaya TTS (Rp 25,000 per bed) to Hotel Bahagia Dua (highest priced cottage Rp 475,000 + 10 % tax). And on our last visit in July 2009 we discovered the newly opened Hotel Gajah Mada which may well lure away a lot of the guests from Bahagia Dua. The hotels Anda and Cahaya TTS evidently have been hit hard by the disruption of daily flights from Darwin to Kupang. You may be more comfortable at the “royal homestay” of Pa'e Nope, for Rp 100,000 including American breakfast for two. For more details see our accommodation tips.
- Pros:Best base for exploring West Timor.
- Cons:No nightlife!
- In a nutshell:Undeservedly unknown.
When we saw these honeycombs high up in a roadside tree, we stopped to make some pictures and were accosted by the... more travel advice
A more comfortable alternative for the regular bus is the minibus service of Timor Tour Travel and Cargo. They ride once... more travel advice
Written Apr 6, 2009
Gunung Mutis Nature Reserve
Written Apr 22, 2009
Boti traditional village
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