Looking for an exotic and captivating destination in Indonesia? With over 17,000 islands, there sure has to be one place that fits the bill, right? Well, say hello to one of them, West Timor. To add to the intrigue and mystique of the area, the name West Timor is actually an oxymoron in the Indonesian language. When translated in English, it means west east. Fitting because west of West Timor is the independent country East Timor.
What’s over in West Timor? If the flora and fauna of Bali, Java, Lombok and Sumatra fascinates the senses for you, just imagine wait awaits you in one of the country’s remote areas. Plus the area is home to some fascinating indigenous people with cultures and lifestyles so exotic (and even primitive) that you may be thinking that this is the Discovery Channel. West Timor also has some fabulous coastlines, mostly just empty beaches without any resorts or hotels at all.
Your experience starts in Kupang, West Timor’s biggest city. Head straight to Kupang Museum and educate yourself on Nusa Tenggara’s different ethnic groups. Here’ you’ll see fossils, anthropological artifacts, traditional ikat weavings and textiles. If you like the colonial flavor of Southeast Asia, then the city doesn’t disappoint, blending both traditional and Dutch colonial architecture.
Now immerse yourself with the daily routines of the locals. Absorb the colors, sights, sounds and atmosphere of a West Timor market. You’ll stand out from the crowd, that’s for sure. But the locals are very friendly and will do what they can to at least strike up a conversation with you. Then, head out to the beach, Lesiana Beach to be exact and see how these beachside villagers make sugar palm.
Ready for a scenic drive? Hop in for a nice and relaxing three hour ride to Soe. On the way, we’ll stop at Oebelo, famously known to produce unique musical instruments called sasando which are made from palm leaves.
Settle in at Soe before exploring Boti, a traditional Timorese village. How traditional? Well, only 350 people or so call it home. You’ll also see the source of those beautiful ikat weavings from the weavers here. And while you’re at it, why not say hello to the King of the village?
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