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Sumba: Visiting Pasola 2014

Posted by Harry05 on 17/9/2013 at 11:25

Would like to visit the Pasola on Sumba island next year also to make some nice photos. Already did some research and found out that there are two Pasalo festivals in West Sumba in february, in both the Kodi area and the Lemboya area. Festival seems to start about 6-8 days after full moon (set at febr. 15) which would mean about febr. 21 till 23. It seems that the dates are not exactly known in advance but that's not a problem, I can go to Sumba a few days before and wait for the Pasola dates while visiting other places on the island (which seems to be special).

A few questions about this:
* How many days does each festival take place, can someone confirm or squeeze in the dates?
* Are both festivals at exactly the same time?
* Any tourist can visit them, walk aroud, take photos etc.?
* I think my best bet would be to go with a guide or driver (or ojek), recommendations for a guide/(ojek) driver? May be also for visiting other parts of the island before or after the Pesola.
* Waikabubak seems the best place to settle, agree on that? Recommendations for a place to stay (just a good one, no luxury needed)?
* Other recommendations/advice about this?

Thanks answering in advance,


#1 Harry05 has been a member since 9/9/2007. Posts: 60

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/9/2013 at 20:21 admin

I have no idea, but as Mrs Travelfish is in Sumba right now, I've passed this to her to see if she can answer by email and I'll post what I hear back.


#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by somtam2000 on 20/9/2013 at 03:59 admin

As promised, here is Sam's reply.

"I'm just back from Sumba and spoke briefly with someone who has been and is based on the island. There are "many" pasolas -- at least four -- and dates for them are not confirmed until at least around first week in February.

Last year apparently the Lemboya pasola, the largest and most highly recommended to see, was expected around mid-February; it was actually held a week earlier. Many tourists showed up and they'd missed it -- about 20 attended when you'd normally have had around 100 (this is the largest!) (Then again, you could show up early and have to wait three weeks. It's a gamble.)

Dates will be announced officially online (my contact didn't know the site offhand) but very close to the actual event. The Wanakaka one, if I understood correctly, has its date decided by the timing of annual sea worms arriving on a beach.

You can just go, but it's best to go with a guide because "it's dangerous". One participant was killed during Lemboya's pasola last year with a spear through the eye; the crowds watching can get restive as well.

Car and guide/driver (one person) would cost around 500,000 to 1 million per day; just get someone at the airport when you arrive and use your common sense as you would at any foreign place (my contact said). He was talking about a car, but I reckon you could try for an ojek on arrival as well if you want to pay less; no specific recommendations, sorry.

Yes Waikabubak is the best place to base yourself, with several hotels there - my contact said he had seen one recently with rooms for $37 and $50 -- but sorry didn't get name."

Hope that helps!

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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