Rice terraces and an island.

For most travellers, Dompu, set roughly midway between Bima and Lakey, is just a transport hub. It’s one of those places where you get off one bus and onto another, or where your airport taxi takes a left and spirits you down to the waves at Lakey Peak.

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There is of course though more to it. Dompu is the capital of the same-named regency, the third largest in Sumbawa. It occupies the northern coast of Saleh Bay (though not all the way north to the Flores Sea, as curiously that belongs to Bima), east about halfway to Bima and south encompassing Lakey and the surrounding area.

Small local house in Dompu town. : Stuart McDonald.
Small local house in Dompu town. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Save the surfer statue roundabout and a sprawling traditional market, Dompu town has few attractions or points of interest for foreign travellers. It does have the closest international-access ATM to Lakey Peak though, so aside from the surfers transiting through from Bima, it does see a steady straggle of surfers riding back up to cash up for a few more days on the waves.

There are two points of interest though, which depending on the time of year, make spending a night in Dompu worthwhile. Feasibly fitted into a single busy day, leaving you free to push on to your next destination the next morning, we’re talking about the rice terraces of Krama Bura and the island of Gili Pudu in Saleh Bay.

Mohammad, friendly tailor of Dompu. : Stuart McDonald.
Mohammad, friendly tailor of Dompu. Photo: Stuart McDonald

For both of these you will need your own transport, either your own rented motorbike (or car) or an ojek (or taxi). When the rice is in, the terraces at Krama Bura are spectacular. We saw them in the late afternoon, but they’re apparently even better in the early morning. If you’re in Dompu out of season for rice growing, then they’re not really ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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