Prailiu village

Prailiu village

A village in town

More on Waingapu
Prailiu village is the easiest traditional village to visit in East Sumba — it’s accessible and straightforward to approach without a guide, as the locals are very used to tourists wandering in.
Travelfish says:

As far as villages go, it’s not the most impressive architecturally, but they do produce some very decent ikat. Locals are happy for people to wander about and see the process, and happier still if you buy some, but there’s no hard sell.

We were shown everything from setting up the looms, tying the thread to produce the pattern, and the weaving process itself on blackstrap looms. It’s interesting if you’ve never seen it before, and interesting even if you have. The village has a mix of traditional buildings and more contemporary versions with corrugated iron roofs. A couple of large cement graves are impressive. When we visited they were building a row of new houses in traditional style, and we were able to enter and see the construction. They have a visitors book, and you will be expected to sit a moment and have a chat, and of course slip a note into the book.

A visit here is a lot less formal than any other villages we visited. If you are planning on seeing some of the more famous villages, a stop here isn’t necessary, and likewise if you’ve already travelled across Sumba from the west. If you’re fresh off the plane and hankering for your first taste of those magnificent tall rooftops, it’s an easy 15-minute walk from town and there’s no need to make any prior arrangements. Do read our information about visiting villages first.

Prailiu village is at the eastern end of Waingapu, halfway between the airport and the centre. Look for the statue of the turtle and crocodile, with a man on horseback, which marks the entrance on Jalan R. Suprapto. You’ll probably notice the rooftops before you see the gateway. Indigo Collection ikat shop is nearby and worth a look too.

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Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

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Our top 5 other sights and activities in and around Waingapu

Wunga village
Wunga village

Sumba’s original village

Prailiang village
Prailiang village

Picturesque hilltop village

Bukit Persaudaraan
Bukit Persaudaraan

Excellent city views and Japanese bunkers

Pantai Puru Kambera
Pantai Puru Kambera

Casuarina-fringed beach