"Kupang and West Timor" Top 5 Page for this destination Kupang by theo1006
Kupang Travel Guide: 75 reviews and 212 photos
Kupang is the capital of East Nusa Tenggara province, which consists of the islands Alor, Flores, Komodo, Rote, Sawu, Solor, Sumba, West Timor and scores of smaller ones. The eastern half of Timor island is now the independent state Timor Leste.
Of these islands Flores and Komodo attract most tourists because of their komodo dragons and the coloured crater lakes of Kelimutu. The city of Kupang (600,000 souls according to a 1995 census) is not especially attractive, most visitors making a stop only to get to the surfing island Rote. But the countryside of West Timor certainly is worth the effort it takes to go exploring.
Website: The official website of Kupang regency (in Indonesian) lists several potential tourist attracttions (a.o. beaches and waterfalls) that have not been developed yet.
Most villagers of West Timor still live very traditional lives, although most have converted to Christianity. Churches dot the countryside in the same way as mosques do on Java. But some villages cling to their old customs and religion – thereby earning some cash by attracting foreign visitors. The main items for sale are traditional ikat scarfs and blankets, you cannot leave West Timor without taking some home.
The landscape of Timor is unique for Indonesia, as the island lies far south from the equator. Indeed it is thought to be a piece broken of from Australia, unlike the islands of volcanic origin farther north. The best time to visit is March-April, at the end of the rainy season when everything is green. Half a year later everything is scorched dry – yet there are some waterfalls never running dry attracting local youth on holidays.
A good base for exploring West Timor is Soe, 110 km east of Kupang. From Soe one can visit traditional villages Boti and None, as well as the alpine mountain region of Gunung Mutis. Also one can pay one's respects to the raja (kings) of the Mollo and the Amanuban tribes. Long ago these tribes – and the Amenatun – used to go head-hunting among their neighbours. Nowadays the title of raja is purely ceremonial.
We made a day trip from Soe to Kefamenanu, the capital of North Central Timor regency; if you have more time, you can stay over at this town.
Timor has some good swimming beaches. From Soe it is rather a long ride to Kolbano beach and Oetune beach. We preferred the beaches near Tablolong in easy reach from Kupang (28 km). A day trip from Kupang to Semau island is also worth while, there are peculiar cold mud wells on the island and good snorkeling sites near the coast.
- Pros:The countryside is largely undeveloped
- Cons:For the best attractions one needs to hire private transport
- In a nutshell:West Timor well worth the effort
There are lots of places in Kupang with internet access. Edwin Lerrick of the Lavalon bar (Jalan Sumatra on the... more travel advice
Kupang's oldest mosque would have been older than the oldest church, if they had not rebuilt it recently. The original... more travel advice
Written Apr 24, 2009
Portraits of Timorese men
Written Apr 23, 2009
Portraits of Timorese women
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