Welcome to Waingapu
Waingapu is a leafy, laid-back town that is plenty walkable and makes a decent base from which to explore the surrounding villages. It became an administrative centre after the Dutch military ‘pacified’ the island in 1906 and has long been Sumba’s main trading post for textiles, prized Sumbanese horses, dyewoods and lumber. Waingapu has a few ikat (patterned textiles) shops and workshops, and the old harbour provides some camera fodder and becomes redolent with the smell of grilled fish after sundown, when the Pasar Malam (night market) kicks off. Traders with bundles of textiles and carvings hang around hotels or walk the streets touting for rupiah.