Where to go in Indonesia instead of Bali?
Sumba and Bali are both the hearts of Indonesia. Bali is a part of the westernmost portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Whereas, Sumba lies in the easternmost portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Bali lies in the province of Indonesia, and Sumba is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara.
Sumba is included in one of the three big islands of East Nusa Tenggara, the other two beings, Flores Island and Timor Island. It is pretty much the size of Jamaica. There are four parts of Sumba, East Sumba, West Sumba, Central Sumba, and Southwest Sumba. Most tourists travel to West Sumba and Southwest Sumba.
Over the last few years, there have been too many tourists preferring to travel to Sumba instead of Bali. The reasons are pretty obvious. For starters, Sumba is double in size and has well-maintained its culture, places, mountains, islands, traditions, and roots.
Sumba was one of the poorest islands of Indonesia, but international tourists and travelers have started embracing the challenge and unearthing the overwhelming the natural sceneries of Sumba that are left untouched, unadulterated, and unaltered by the hands of development.
Bali has been in the tourism industry for more than 50 years now. The main regions that ruled over-tourism were Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. For the last few years, Sumba has been in the limelight for both travel and leisure-filled activities like surfing.
Let us now understand the 10 reasons why people prefer Sumba instead of Bali.
1. Traditional villages like Kampung Ratenggaro have maintained their authenticity and beauty
Before the developmental leeches could triumph over the beautiful greenery of Kampung Ratenggaro village, the people of Sumba could save this traditional village for tourists' eyes. There are traditional houses with high roofs, something that is undoubtedly missing in Bali.
Ratenggaro village stands number one on the tourism list. It is located in the district called Kodi (Umbu Ngedo Village), somewhat 50 kilometers from Tambolaka. The vendors out there are more than willing to sell off weird musical instruments, boxes, and sculptures to leave you starstruck.
2. The rocks have unique and awe-striking formations
At Watu Maladong Beach, you will find exquisite rock formations that stand tall in the middle of the sea. You get to swim beneath the huge rock and look up at the rock in awe. Something you won't get to do in Bali.
This beach is a cluster of gigantic rocks, large and high rock cliffs that decorate the beach on the outskirts. You can try rock-climbing here. The huge rock on the coast represents a traditional house of Sumba.
The sand on this beach is greyish brown, and you don't have to worry about wearing footwear while you walk on the sand.
3. The beaches have crystal clear waters
Bali has been in the field of tourism for far too long, so the waters are not crystal clear as the waters in Sumba are. Walakiri Beach has a slopping contour where you can walk to the middle of the beach without the fear of drowning in the waters. Tarimbang Beach has clear bluish seawater.
Bwanna Beach, also known as Banna Beach, has a high cliff hole in the center where you can click photos. It has white sand that enhances the beauty of it. Londa Lima Beach has shady trees to add beauty to the calm seawater.
4. Sumba traditional festivals
If you are a horse-rider and love to watch horse-racing, then you cannot miss the Sandalwood Horses Festival of Sumba, it is an eye-catching one. A festival devoted exclusively to Sumba instead of Bali. All the horses get decorated with unique shiny accessories, and the horse-riders dress up with traditional costumes of the island. They compete before a panel of judges. The judges have the criteria of beauty, performance, horse-handling skills to judge.
Back in the Second World War's ancient history, the Japanese troops used Sumba to start up a war against Australia.
5. Rakasasa Tidur Wairinding Hills
Rakasasa means "giant" and Tidur means "sleeping". So, for the tourists, it is a giant sleeping hill. It was once a popular, charming hill star cast in a movie called "Pendekar Tongkat Emas" directed by the "Kuldesak"- fame Mira Lesmana.
Wairinding Hill is located in Waingapu City. It has a poignant look to it due to its double-face. During the rainy season, it looks very green (fertile grass) like the greenery seen in New Zealand, and during the dry seasons, it becomes very brown like the hills seen in Africa.
6. Field lovers will have a blast exploring Waikabubak
When you travel to Indonesia, you must never miss out on the lustrous fields of Waikabubak. It is the second largest town in Sumba, only after Waingapu. Sumba is known for its exotic, traditional, and lush trees, and evergreen landscapes can only be brought to light if you visit Waikabubak. Tourists finally prefer Sumba instead of Bali for cities like Waikabubak. You get to witness traditional houses, stone graves, white sand beaches, historical structures, and overflowing fountains. There are rice fields built on the hilltop, and some are scattered on the city's outskirts.
7. Secluded silence
Bali is an international tourist spot where many outsiders spurge in with immense hope and excitement every season. It is by far one of the most crowded tourist spots now. If you want to witness secluded silence and have the time of your life, you must travel to Sumba. It is twice the size of Bali but just comprises of 1/4th of Bali's population. Imagine your peers, family, and friends' excitement and hope on getting to visit a place never treaded on before. The people of Sumba are more than just welcoming. They are very much interested in sharing their traditional stories.
8. Away from the noise of Bali bustle
100 years ago, Bali looked like today's Sumba. Sumba has stuck to its traditional culture and ancient history. Sumba is 400 kilometers away from Bali. Sumba is home to several quiet and breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. It has Lapopu in the east and Tanggedu in the north. Bali is a high-profile island, always on the buzz. But Sumba is a low-profile island that has become one of the tourist spots of Indonesia. The lack of fame for Sumba has kept its naturalness intact and in the purest form.
9. Tanjung Mareha
Those of you who wish to visit paradise on earth must travel to Sumba as it is an unharmed and unswayed paradise of Indonesia. This place is best known for sunset. Tourists love clicking pictures there and enjoy watching the sunset after a spectacular day spent discovering other parts of Sumba. Tanjung Mareha is a small hill on the south side of Sumba island that mixes into the Indonesian Ocean. It has two iconic beach spots of Indonesia surrounding it from both the left and right sides. On the left side is Watu Maladong Beach, and Bwanna beach on the right side.
10. Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park for nature and animal lovers
Rarest of rare species are found in this national park that is located on the island of Sumba in Indonesia. Species like Sumba green pigeon, red-naped fruit-dove, red junglefowl, python timoreinsis, purple-naped lory, water monitor, crab-eating macaque, Sumba cicada bird, and apricot-breasted sunbird. It is also called as the MaTaLaWa National Park. Home to more than 80 species of birds, 5 species of mammals, 40 species of butterflies, 20 species of reptiles, and 170 species of trees, and more. It is a home for three huge waterfalls, as follows, the Lapopu, the Matayangu, and the Laputi.
If you are planning to travel to Sumba, you must have paradise in your mind, peace in your heart, and purity in your soul. You won't find any majestic temples like Bali in Sumba, but the culture and traditionality of Sumba are beyond rich. Back in the late 1990s, there were village wars in Sumba, but now it is over and above safe for tourism. So far, more than 15,000 tourists visit Sumba. You get to escape the Bali bustle if you travel to Sumba. If you are into festivals, then Pasola jousting festival is usually held in February and March. Do have a wonderful time with your peers, family, and friends.
The best time to travel to Sumba is in February and April until November when you will have a warm temperature and none till mediocre rainfall. The beaches are marvelously depicted well in the brochures, and nature is beyond wild, people are beyond friendly and smiling, you will need a guide to communicating with the people in Sumba. The roads are not that suitable for motorbikes. But if you take the local rides, then any beach is not that far to reach. Have a blast traveling to robust billowing savannahs and low-lying limestone hills that are amalgamated with the splendid fields of maize, cassava, and rice, Sumba offers its unmistakable grandeur in the east end of Indonesia. It is worth traveling to Sumba instead of Bali.