Waingapu

Waingapu

A good base for exploration.

Waingapu, the capital of East Sumba, will likely be your first or last port of call on a trip to Sumba. Waingapu is the largest town in Sumba and sprawls over several hills and around the harbour. It’s more developed than the towns in the west, but don’t expect shiny glass and skyscrapers: The wide dusty streets are more likely to be filled with goats and horses.

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The main ‘tourist’ part of town is centred near a small park in front of the Catholic church where Jesus wears a traditional ikat sarong. Nearby you’ll find several hotels and restaurants, and a perpetually glowing Christmas tree (even in March, when we visited).

Welcome to Waingapu. : Sally Arnold.
Welcome to Waingapu. Photo: Sally Arnold

Hotels are mostly local business-style, but there’s a fair selection for a range of budgets. For something a little more tourist-style (and pricier), head an hour north to Pantai Puru Kambera (pantai means beach in Indonesian).

Waingapu is not much of a tourist destination in itself, but is a good base to use while exploring eastern Sumba. An interesting local market is in the centre of town, and a wander up any hill will provide sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and bays, notably Bukit Persaudaraan. The old harbour with Bugis ships loading and unloading makes an interesting diversion, and at night the area transforms into a small night market with warungs grilling the latest catch from the nearby fish market. It’s well ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)

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