Photo: Deserted beachfront east of Maumere.

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This ikat-mad town was the centre of power for the king of Sikka, who ruled eastern Flores until the arrival of the Portuguese.

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The small seaside town, on the south coast of Flores, more or less opposite Maumere, retains a bit of Portuguese flair and has a serious tradition of ikat weaving.

Particularly interesting is the elegant pink cathedral here, which was constructed by the Jesuit priest and adventurer Father Armand Lecoq d’Armandville, who designed it along Portuguese lines, finishing in 1899. Soaring wooden rafters are reminiscent of some of Europe’s fine religious buildings: patterns influenced by the traditional rumah adar ikat weaving of Sikka adorn the walls.

A visit here would be particularly interesting on Sunday morning. Passion plays known as bobu used to be performed here regularly around Christmas, depicting the story of a choosy young woman summarily rejecting all manner of suitors as not rich enough for her blood. A local group seems to be keeping up the tradition, and performances can be seen for a fee if it isn’t the holidays; tour guides in Maumere should be able to give you more information on how this can be set up.

Beyond the cathedral, there’s a small Catholic cemetery, and you can then walk to the water after running a gauntlet of pushy ikat sellers. If so inclined, you can watch an ikat weaving demonstration for 50,000 rupiah -- the initial quote will likely be 100,000 rupiah, but this can generally be negotiated downwards. The so-called wooden "King’s House" looks out over the water on high stilts and is open for tourists to poke around in, though there isn’t much left to see.

And they are pushy: unfortunately low tourist numbers and a whole lot of unsold ikat translates into a level of mercantile-minded harassment that’s just about unheard of elsewhere on laidback Flores. Be prepared to gently refuse the hundreds of ikat pieces that will be inevitably shoved in your direction. On the bright side, many of them are lovely original pieces, made with traditional dyes.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Maumere.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Maumere.
 Read up on how to get to Maumere.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Maumere? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Maumere that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Maumere? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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