Replies: 8 - Last Post: Mar 23, 2013 6:34 AM Last Post By: Klemencja
Mar 16, 2013 8:51 AM
West Timor/AlorPlanning a May trip to Indonesia and will be there about 15 days. I will be flying into Bali and from there am considering visiting West Timor and Alor. I've visited several islands in Indonesia previously including Bali so I only plan on staying there a couple of days prior to my return home.
I speak no Indonesian whatsoever and am concerned that this may detract significantly from the trip by posing communication and logistical problems in arranging transportation, guides, visiting villages etc. I am primarily interested in cultural and scenic areas. I dive but it is not the focus of my trip and I would only dive for 1 or 2 days on Alor if I make it there.
Given the above, is it still worthwhile for me to visit the area?
Also, any tips or travel information (must do's, recommended guides, costs etc) regarding the area, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Mar 16, 2013 9:40 AM
Yes, I think it is still worthwhile for you to visit the area. Find lots of info here:
I can put you in touch with English speaking guides in both Alor and West Timor.
PS: In (close to) Kupang, have a swim in the crystal cave!
Mar 16, 2013 9:50 PM
2If you are planning to hire guides, they will obviously speak English so it doesn't matter much if you speak Indonesian or not.
For Timor, I definitely recommend Pae Nope, whose contact details are in the LP Indonesia guide (under Kupang or Soe). He may not be the cheapest, but is about the best.
Of the 2 islands, Timor is much the more rewarding one for "visiting villages and scenic areas".
On Alor, which has a much more limited road network, most tourists stick to the beaches and diving (to Kepa, actually) with only a short daytrip or 2 to villages near Kalabahi. The latter is easily organized through your accommodation.
Larger Flores and Sumba, if you haven't been to them yet, offer much more potential for extensive land-based touring than Alor.
Mar 17, 2013 8:46 AM
3Thanks for the responses.
The website provides useful information especially regarding transport to/from Alor. Where is the crystal cave and how do you get there?
I think I'll look for a guide when I get to Soe, perhaps Pae Nope. I assume Soe is the most logical place to find a guide, correct? I won't use one for Alor.
I've been to Flores and Sumba previously (enjoyed them both immensely) so won't be going there this trip.
Can you see the majpr highlights/points of interests on West Timor in say a week? I realize I am not going to be able to see everything. Lastly, where do either of you consider the absolute must sees?
Mar 17, 2013 5:59 PM
4I cant comment on Alor but when i was going overland from Kupang to East Timor the villages on route were beautiful and the people so friendly and willing to help.
In Kupang we got quite a lot of help and info from Edwin at the Lavalon Bar which is a place to get a cold beer facing out into the ocean.
They also did basic cheap food rice and noodles ect.
There was no hard sell with Edwin just good solid information all for the cost of a beer. Back then he also had free internet in the bar and we stayed in the Lavlon Hostel for a couple of nights which i am sure was more than likely the cheapest in town.
Another hotel we used was the maliana located across from the lavalon bar a little down the road to the left. this was a little more expensive but you got basic breakfast and even afternoon tea and cake (i dont know if that is still included)
Mar 17, 2013 10:46 PM
Mar 18, 2013 12:06 PM
6The Crystal Cave is in the hinterland somewhere to the west of Kupang, less than an hour from the town. Take a minibus from the bus terminal. Just say Crystal Cave - Goa Kristal - and people will show you the right bus. It will drop you off in a village - have forgotten the name - and from there you take a motorcycle taxi - ojek - to the cave. Finally, you have too walk over flat barren ground for a couple of minutes to get to the entrance. It's a karst cave with crystal-clear fresh water. Try to get there at noon for the maximum of light in the cave. It's a highlight of West Timor.
Other must sees/must dos of the region:
Takpala - traditional village on Alor
The beaches between Hirang and Manatang on Alor
The traditional dances of Alor - I can put you in touch with a group of students who can perform for you for, I think, for not too much money:
Starting from Alor Kecil Village (opposite Kepa Island), you can do easy and beautiful hikes in the hills. Cloves, areca nuts ("betel nuts") and many other things are grown there.
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/1920x1280/86891265.jpg (entrance of Kalabahi Bay)
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/1920x1280/86890904.jpg (hiking in the hills above Alor Kecil Village)
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/86891801.jpg (clove trees)
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/86891815.jpg (drying cloves)
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/86890736.jpg (areca palms/"betel nut trees")
On Kepa Island there are small beaches where you can go snorkelling. There is a bit of a current though. Sometimes you can see small blacktip reef sharks, which come quite close to the shore, and turtles.
In Alor Kecil Village, you can watch women weaving ikat.
Mt. Sirung on Pantar
Ile Boleng on Adonara
For a guide in West Timor, get in touch with Yutmen Soru. He speaks good English and is very knowledgeable (and not a full-time guide):
And in Kupang, don’t miss the food night market – pasar makan malam. They block a section of the main road running along the shore for traffic. You can go there with Yutmen and have a chat. Meet him just as a friend, not as a guide (say hello from Walter).
Mar 18, 2013 5:38 PM
Appreciate the encouragement. Definitely plan on dropping by the Lavalon for a couple of cold ones and plan on staying at the Maliana.
Appreciate the insight and recommendations.
Thanks for the information about the Crystal Cave and Alor. You gave me some great ideas about Alor to consider
In areas like West Timor and Alor where there really isn't a whole lot of information easily available, it's especially helpful to hear from those who have been there. You guys definitely help fill in the blanks.
If any of you or anyone else has any other recommendations or information, please post it.
Mar 23, 2013 6:34 AM
This is the link I was going to give you in terms of the dance group in Alor. They are young, but they are artists indeed!
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