Photo: The back blocks of Candi Dasa.

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Posted by amnicoll on 2/9/2015 at 07:35

Well worth a visit rather than passing over or round as most do!

Alcohol is available but in most places very hard to find except in Lakey and other surfing hangouts. You will need the help of a local to sniff it out unless you can find a Chinese restaurant that sells it
People very friendly through out the island.
Travel surprising easy and the ordinary longer distance local bus from Bima to Sumbawa Besar was comfortable, not crowded and reasonably fast although the shorter services older and less comfortable and slower

Sape town is some 5 Klms from the port and the bus station some 8-10 Klms and I would stay here before catching the ferry but not when arriving on the ferry (there are two places to stay right by the port and a couple of excellent places to eat - one inside the port gate and one about 10 meters from the two hotels on the same side of the road.

In Bima I recommend as budget option the Asakota hotel (85,000 fan and 125,000 a/c -August 2015) situated about 200 meters from the center of town on the road to the port (turn left just after the Marina hotel)
In Dompu I recommend either the Sahab or Samada as budget options (100,000 Aug 2015) or the more upmarket Rinjani (from 250,000)
In Sumawa Besar there are 5 hotels in a 50 meter stretch of road on Jl Hasanuddin and I would recommend as a budget option the Saudara (60,000 Aug 2015) as clean and friendly and excellent value

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Posted by somtam2000 on 3/9/2015 at 04:36 admin

Yet to get to Sumbawa (aside from flying over it numerous times) - how long would you say would be a reasonable stretch for a first poke around there? A couple of weeks? Longer?

Were there many travellers around? Say compared to Flores (outside of Labuan Bajo )


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Posted by amnicoll on 3/9/2015 at 05:36

Virtually no travelers at all apart from Lakey for the surfing (did not go to the west coast and did not go to Lakey as not in to the surfing). In 10 days I only met 3 travelers plus a couple of others who were not stopping on the island. I would say less travelers therefore than Flores as it seems that most head straight across or take the boat and avoid completely

I would say with your own transport two weeks for a first poke around. I would say that from a tourist point of view the cities of Bema, Dompu and Sumbawa Besar will be of low interest but I had a great time in all three and spent a long time just interacting with the locals in the back streets including being invited to a Muslim wedding in Bema and visiting a couple of local schools in Dompu.

However I suspect that there are some nice places to find on the island away from these cities so much would depend on how long you spent in the 3 cities and how much time you spent exploring and all we need is a good guide

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