Places in West Timor
About 110km from Kupang, the cool, leafy market town of Soe (800m) makes a decent base to explore West Timor’s interior, which comes dotted with ubiquitous ume kebubu (beehive-shaped hut) villages that are home to local Dawan people. With no windows and only a 1m-high doorway, ume kebubu are cramped and smoky.
A former Portuguese stronghold, Kefamenanu was just another quiet hill town as recently as 2007, but with a manganese boom in full effect, commerce has arrived along with new construction and a fair bit of clear-cutting in the leafy outskirts. It remains devoutly Catholic and has a couple of impressive colonial churches.
Oebelo & Oesao
Oebelo, a small salt-mining town 22km from Kupang on the Soe road, is notable for a terrific Rotenese musical-instrument workshop, Sasandu, run by Pak Pah and his family. Traditional 20-stringed harps, aka sasando (featured on the 5000Rp note), are made and played in all sizes. Pak may treat you to a haunting instrumental number, or a perversion of Yellow Submarine.
Tours and activities
Tips and articles
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