Photo: Prailiang village.

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Prailiang village

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One of the most picturesque villages in East Sumba, Prailiang skirts a deep river valley. On a rocky hilltop, the village was built to keep out of sight from coastal slave traders, and consequently the road is a little rough and more difficult to approach. The turnoff is two kilometres north along the road from Pantai Puru Kambera, then a further three along a rough surface.

The village is built in two rows, with a few buildings scattered below. All have traditional peaked thatched roofs, but lower than those in West Sumba. Large stone graves are not carved and are mostly quite crude.

Late afternoon light at Prailiang village. Photo taken in or around Prailiang village, Waingapu, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Late afternoon light at Prailiang village. Photo: Sally Arnold

Visiting Prailiang we were requested to dress in traditional ikat, which we had to hire for a whopping 50,000 rupiah. However it was fun (if a little cheesy) to get dress-up photos in the traditional village. And besides, the kids were home for school holidays, so they had more mouths to feed than usual. We were also offered some small woodcarvings for sale which in our experience was relatively uncommon, as most other villages in Sumba sold ikat if they had goods for sale at all.

We arrived in the late afternoon as the light was turning golden, and would recommend this time of day if it fits with your schedule, as many villagers had returned from the fields, and went about the business of feeding the livestock, which added to the bucolic ambience. Bathed in the fading light, the valley and village below looked simply stunning.

Warm smiles and warm welcomes. Photo taken in or around Prailiang village, Waingapu, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Warm smiles and warm welcomes. Photo: Sally Arnold

A daily bus leaves Waingapu at 07:00 and passes the turnoff to Prailiang. From there the walk is steep, hot and long, and the return bus isn’t until late afternoon. A private car from Waingapu is 650,000 rupiah, and an ojek 200,000. Combined with a visit to Wunga village in the north, and nearby Pantai Puru Kambera, would be slightly more expensive, but make a good day trip ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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