8 Reasons To Buy Flight Ticket to Alor

On August 31, 2016 by Novita Karana

Pino at Sebanjar Beach” Di Alor, kamu jalan sepuluh langkah ke air udah liat yang bagus bagus lho”

” In Alor, just walk 10 steps to the water, you will see the beauty of Alor underwater”
And suddenly Alor becomes my next dream destination. My friend @pashatama keep telling me the beauty of Alor when we chat and discuss for the Indonesia destination. That’s why i made my trip to Alor for the next spot after Flores overland.

Alor is an island which has 2800 km² area, and also part of East Nusa Tenggara. Kalabahi is the only town at Alor, with its population around 60,000 people. The reasons to visit Alor for me :
1. Be a witness for the beautiful underwater paradise
2. Beach! Who doesn’t love beach? Alor has some beautiful beach which can be reached by boat.
3 Feel the cold water flow phenomenon, when the small fish unconsious on the surface and jumping dolphin start to show their best jump
4. Meet Abui Tribe in Takpala Village, and dressed up with their unique traditional clothes from hand weaving fabric.
5. Meet Kabola Tribe in Monbang Village, and dressed up with the unique traditional clothes made from tree bark
6. Taste the famous sopi beverages from Pura Island (small island located at the left side of Alor)
7. See the ancient Al-Quran at Mosque Jami Al Babusholla, Alor Besar Village. All pages are made from certain tree bark.
8. Discover (and also shopping) the hand weaving village which has 210 organic colors used for the manufacture of woven fabrics

how-to-reach-Alor-from-LKAHow to Reach Alor Island
After my Flores overland trip ended in Larantuka, i wish i can reach Alor as soon as possible. And i made impulsive ticket buying at tiket2.com, i checked their flight tracker for promo ticket here for the cheapest ticket. At this era, flight ticket is the important key and the God for traveller to reach their dream destination.
Ticket2com Flight Tracker
The Ticket2.com’s flight tracker is very easy to use. Input your destination and the month you prepare to travelling. And WOHOOO, i got flight ticket from Larantuka to Kupang only for Rp. 330.000/person/way and Kupang to Alor only for Rp. 275.000/person/way. So I spent the return ticket only for Rp. 1.210.000/person.  IT’S A SUPER BIG DEAL! Thank you Tiket2.com, and finally Alor I’m coming!

how-to-reach-Alor-from-CGKIf you depart from Jakarta, here the estimation rate for flight ticket:

Jakarta (CGK) to Kupang (KOE) costs Rp. 1.000.000/person/way.
The airlines: Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air, Lion Air, or Garuda Indonesia (will cost higher)
Kupang (KOE) to Alor (ARD) costs Rp. 275.000/person/way.
The airlines: NAM Air (Trans Nusa) or Wings Air
So, the return flight ticket cost around Rp. 2.550.000/person

Duration to Explore Alor
I suggest 5 days 4 nights to stay when you’re not diving (just snorkeling) to checked my 8 reasons list above.
If you plan to dive, you need more time to stay. Superb macro life, coral, schooling fish are the main attractions. An unusual and excellent bonus of diving here is spotting pilot whales and dolphins from your dive boat. Maybe you need 7 days 6 nights for diving trip to Alor.

Where’s to Stay in Alor
It depends on your budget. Alor offers some accommodation based on your budget. In my opinion, there’re 4 categories of accommodation in Alor: Budget Homestay, Stay in Local, So So Accommodation, Convenient Accommodation.

1) Budget Homestay
Price range: Rp. 150.000 – Rp.250.000/room/night exclude breakfast
The homestay in Alor is really a homestay. You will leave in the same building as the owner. There’re several homestays that i checked:
Cantik- Homestay Cantik, owned by Mr Kris (local says Oom Kris) and family.
Mr. Kris has several new rooms with minimalis design with western toilet and basin. All rooms come with bathroom and Air Conditioner. Some open trip organizer use this homestay for the accommodation.
Felice- Homestay Felice, owned by Felice and family. (Psst, Felice’s cooking is really delicious, she beats Mama Restaurant). Felice has some very simple rooms with warmed atmosphere. All rooms come with western toilet bathroom and Air Conditioner.

2) So So Accommodation
Price range: Rp. 300.000 – Rp.400.000/room/night include simple breakfast

I made so so accommodation for the place that clean, but old. And, don’t expect too much from the label ‘hotel’. The price is cheaper than convenient accommodation, but i found the Homestay Cantik is best choice to stay based from the rate.
- Hotel Pelangi Indah
I don’t like the exterior look of this hotel. That’s why i skip this property.Melati Alor
- Hotel Melati
This hotel is walking distance (2 minutes) to the mosque. I found the room is a little bit smelly and old. Breakfast was simple, just bread and sweet hot tea.

3) Convenient Accomodation
Price range: around Rp. 550.000/room/night include breakfast
This accommodation is very convenience
Hotel Pulo Alor- Hotel Pulo Alor (Air Conditioner) costs Rp. 550.000/room/night for standard room include breakfast buffet.
Hotel Pulo Alor opening in April 2016, the newest hotel with minimalis concept, and spring bed. And this hotel also has pool.
La P'tite Kepa- La P’tite Kepa Ecolodge, in Kepa Island (fan) costs start from Rp. 250.000/person/night include breakfast, lunch, dinner. From Alor Kecil you can pay the traditional boat to Kepa Island, cost around Rp. 25.000/person for 10 minutes sailing. There’re 3 type of bungalows: traditional huts, standard bungalows, and exclusive bungalows. I will choose traditional huts to feel the Alorese experience. Your room is located in second floor, but everyone love to sleep inside the hammock in first floor with 360 degree breathtaking view. To see the update price of La P’tite Kepa, you can check the rate here
- Hirang Beach Bungalow, located near Lingal Beach costs around Rp. 800.000/room/night for standard room include breakfast. This property suits for honeymoon couple or family who want holiday in secluded place. I passed Hirang Beach Bungalow on our way to Lingal Beach. The bungalow has a same look with La P’Tite Kepa’s Hut.
new-resort- New Resort, still don’t have name when i visit there on June 2016
And i found there’s a resort that build near Mali Beach on June 2016. Resort with beach access and sunrise view. Of course with air conditioner. Hope on the next visit i can spent night in one of them. The design looks nice and use recycle and natural material. I took some pictures and didn’t meet anyone there.

4) Stay in Takpala Traditional Village
Price range: Rp.100.000/person/night include meals
You can blend with local tribe with stay in their traditional house. You will get Alorese experience and feel how they live in the traditional village. In Takpala, they’re welcome for guest who want to stay. They have a house special for guests. The bed comes in thin mattress, they don’t provide bed. The toilet is seat toilet without shower. So, prepare your sleeping bag when you choose this option.

Road in AlorTransportation for traveller in Alor
Overall the road in central is good (see the picture above – taken by Melissa), and it’s nice to ride motorbike and feel the wind.  Motorbike rent costs Rp. 80.000 – Rp. 100.000/day. But it’s hard to find the motorbike rent in Alor, not like in Bali where motorbike rent can be found everywhere.
Car rent costs Rp. 600.000 – Rp. 800.000/day.

ALOR-MAPThe Itinerary
Day 01 Alor Arrival
There’re 2 flight from Kupang, usually arrive in the morning 09:40AM – 10:30AM (NAM Air) or afternoon 12:15PM – 1:15PM (Wings). I suggest to take NAM Air, because it arrives earlier, so you will have time to explore the city. Upon arrival in Mali Airport, you can check in hotel, refreshment. Next, visit Museum 1000 Moko (open from 10:00 – 16:00) before drive to Sebanjar Beach to enjoy the best view of sunset in Alor Island. You can have dinner in Reklamasi Beach. There’s some kind od cuisine like fresh sea food, fried chicken before back to hotel.

Day 02 Hoping Islands
I think the second day fits for island hoping and know Alor more closely.  After breakfast, you will drive 45 minutes to Alor Kecil Port. And then, jump to the boat and we will start the adventure. First, we will admire the underwater view with snorkeling around Ternate Island. There’re 2 spots here. If you’re lucky, you will see bubu during your snorkeling. Bubu is fish trap basket, made from woven of bamboo and rattan, and set in the corals in around 5 meters deep.  After snorkeling, we will sailing to the other side of the island to visit Hand Weaving Village or Desa Tenun Ternate. The price of the hand weaving organic fabric is cheap than in the city. Try to look and i bet you will buy one or two woven fabrics :)  Next, you will make a visit to Kepa Island. Kepa island has beautiful beach, and a eco cottage name La Petit Kepa. And then, back to the boat and we will sailing to Pura Island to see how to make sopi. Continue to Alor Kecil Port to continue the journey. And then we will drive 10 minutes to Alor Besar to visit Jami Bussholah Mosque, to see ancient and the oldest Quran in Asia. Next, continue to hand weaving village near Alor Besar. This village has 210 organic colours for the hand weaving fabric.  Next, we will back to Kalabahi for dinner. I suggest to try sour fish soup in Mama Restaurant.

Day 03 Culture and Tribe
On the third day, the adventure will start with a visit to traditional village to meet and greet with the tribe.
There’re 2 traditional village that you don’t want to miss. First, you will visit Takpala Village, where you can meet Abui Tribe. You can also try their traditional costume and take pictures at their village. Your lunch will served here.
Next, you will continue to Monbang Village, where you can meet Kabola Tribe. Kabola tribe has unique traditional clothes made from tree bark. I suggest to rent both clothes and take pictures.

Day 04 Relax by the Beach
On the fourth day, i suggest to visit their famous beach: Lingal Beach and Bekal/Hirang Beach. Lingal and Bekal can be reached by boat. So, we will drive to Alor Kecil Port to jump to the boat. It takes 1,5 hours from Alor Kecil to reach Lingal Beach. Sunbathing, reading, hiking to see the view is the best activity to do in Lingal.

Day 05 Sunrise before Departure
This day we will start on 05:00AM. Your early wake up will pay with stunning sunrise. First we will visit Buiko Beach to see sunrise. And then we move to Mali Beach to see the different view. Buiko Beach located near Mali Beach, only need 5 minutes driving. Buiko famous for one tree that very photogenic when you take silhouette picture. Mali Beach famous for the coconut tree, also nice for silhouettte picture. So, i suggest you to visit both. Next, drive to the hill to see Kalabahi city view from above. It’s very beautiful. Then back to hotel for breakfast before transfer to Mali airport.
Flight from Alor to Kupang depart twice a day: 10:25AM with Wings and 10:55AM with NAM Air.

 

Some Story of Destinations in Alor
After the itinerary, now i want to share some pictures from my trip to Alor:

sebanjarSebanjar Beach
Local suggest Sebanjar Beach for enjoy sunset moment. They said Sebanjar has the best sunset in Alor. We didn’t catch sunset here, because had some meeting around the central area. We love the pastel colour touch of Sebanjar Beach. If you plan to visit here, bring mineral water and some snack and picnic matt. It would be nice to have an afternooon picnic near the beach while waiting the sun set.

Ternate GateDesa Tenun Ternate (Ternate Weaving Village)
I fall in love with Ternate Weaving Village who located in Ternate Island, Alor. When our traditional boat came closer, the kids smile and weaving their hand to me. A warm welcome from Ternate Island just received.
After the captain leaned the boat to the beach, i jumped and see around.
smile
coloursI saw mama (we called the woman as mama, has same meaning as mom in English) prepared to show their weaving fabrics from a far. They hang their fabrics on rope, and hope we love the pattern and maybe buy one or two (or three?).

“We used organic colours for these soft colour results, it feel more natural, right? We use colours from nature like flowers, leaves, and seed. Organic colous fabric costs higher than synthetic colours fabric because the process takes more time.”

They offer me scarfs, and big fabrics which can be used as a blanket.

“We teached our girl to weave. Every girl who reach 6 years old will learn how to weave. Little girl can make one scarf like this”, she showed me.
“Wow, looks nice mama”, I keep smile and walking. They didn’t push me to buy the fabrics.
Ternate fabricI stopped at one fabric and started fall in love with the one with turtles on it. The colour is brown and looks so natural.
“How much does this fabric cost, Mama?”, i ask the mama.
And the mama who made the fabric come closer to me, “This one costs Rp. 500.000″
“Is it possible to get this fabric cheaper, Mama?”, i tried to bargain
“Ssstt, don’t tell others mama. For you i give Rp. 300.000. This is made from organic colours. I need money since now is fasting month and very few tourist come here. So, will you take my fabric? I need to buy some rice from Kalabahi”, the mama said slowly in my ear
“Oh yes mama, thank you so much. I bring this with me. Thank you Mama Maria”, i smiled.
Pino and hand weaving fabric at Ternate Island
So, travelling in fasting month will bring you advantage.
And then one happy girl walked to the boat wrapped with Rp.300.000 turtle fabric from Ternate Island.
And the hand-weaving fabric that i bought was made with good quality. I did laundry in Jakarta and the colour is still bright, not fade. Horray!

Jami Babushollah MosqueJami Bussholah Mosque, Alor Besar
Jami Bussholah Mosque in Alor Besar keep an ancient AlQuran, the oldest one in Asia which the pages were made from tree barks. We will pass this mosque when do island hoping. The mosque facing the ocean.
IMG_4273
This Quran who said made in year 1519 was kept in a building beside the mosque, since there’s renovation at that time i visited. The man who has responsibilities for the Quran named Mr. Nurdin. When Mr. Nurdin out of town, you can’t see the Quran, because he bring the key with him. So, if you want to visit Jami Bussholah Mosque, drop me message, i can share Mr. Nurdin’s handphone number through private message, so you can make appoinment with him.
Oldest Quran in Asia
After write the guest book and give donation inside the donation box, me and Mr. Nurdin had a conversation. Mr. Nurdin is a nice person and love to share stories. He said around 1982, there’s fire attacked Mr. Iang Gogo’s house in Ternate Island, Maluku. Everything inside the burned out except this Quran. Mr. Iang Gogo bring the Quran to Alor Besar in the mission of spread Islam Religion.
“Wait a minute, i will show you the Quran,” he said to me and he bring a big glass box to the table.
And, the oldest Quran in Asia put in front of me. It’s a big wow.
Oldest Quran in Asia, located in Alor
“Can i touch the pages?”
“Sure!”
Then, i feel the tree bark pages in my skin. I was wonder how the people made the pages from tree bark, long time ago.

Takpala Village
Takpala located in West Lembur Village, airport area, around 45 minutes from Kalabahi. Takpala Village is one of preserved traditional villages of Abui tribe in Alor. The word “takpala” derived from the word “tak” means “barrier”, and the word “pala” means “wood”. The village of Takpala firstly known by European tourists since a Dutch tourist named Ferry exhibited his photographs capturing the life of local people of Takpala in 1973. 

From the main road, you will see Takpala signed. Follow the path. The best way to reach here is by motorbike. You can park the motorbike in parking area, and walk 1 minute to the village.
IMG_4365When you visit here without appoinment, you will meet the Abui tribe in normal costume like we wear. Don’t be surprise if they dressed in their favourite soccer costume :D You will feel like in your own home, they ask you to join their lunch, and play board game. There’s no television here. Dogs become their friends, always be around during lunch time begging for food :D

Me in front of Kolwati and KanuorwatiThe chief is very friendly, he show us around and tell us the story of the Takpala Village.
“There’re two respect houses, named Kolwati and Kanuorwati. The house always empty, no one live there. We open the house when there’s ceremony.”

“We have 14 houses for living, and 2 respect houses. The living house has 2 types: one floor house name Tofa, and two floor house named Falla. And at the main area, there’s stage used for ceremony and pray to the God of Sun”, he continued. The photo above is me, in front of Kolwati and Kanuorwati. At the right back, it’s the stage for the ceremony.

But, if you join the tour, they will arrange the welcome ceremony package. This poin makes some price tour higher, because you will be welcomed with dance and all Abui tribe will wear their traditional costumes. It’s kind of festive. They will sing, dance, and ask you to join their dance. This is really a nice experience that you don’t want to miss in Alor.
prepare for wear Takpala CostumeThe chief offered us to take picture with traditional costume. He show us some printed pictures.
“Here, you can take picture with our traditional costume and create memorable moment from Takpala Village”
I agree with him, the Takpala Village’s highlight is dressed up like Alorese in Takpala Costume. It’s a must do. The rent cost is Rp. 50.000/person for taking picture at the village. Price Rp. 50.000/persons sounds a good deal with the chief took the job as our photographer, and choreographer (since we travel as couple without guide).

Woman or girl will wear one big hand weaving fabric as a dress, belt from tree bark (i guess), beads necklace, hand bracelet, wrist bracelet, crown, and bring mini rattan sling bag. I dressed up at the guest house. One mama help me to wrap my body with the hand weaving fabric. The hard part is to put the yellow wrist bracelet in my leg. 3 bracelet in left leg and 3 bracelet in right leg. Wrist bracelet will make a sound when you walking. It’s very nice to hear.
Tips for woman: wear strapless bra and unarmed all your watch and city-stuff. The picture will looks nice.

Man will wear hand weaving fabric with one shoulder opened, belt from tree bark, black hand bracelet, mini rattan bag, turban with chicken fur, and armed with sword and bow.
Tips for man: wear short when you plan to rent the costume, and unarmed all your watch and city-stuff. The picture will looks nice.

Jadi, kapan ke AlorAnd if you are couple, it will be nice to dressed up in Takpala costume together. The chief of the village are friendly to take picture with the camera. Seems he love to see couple who take picture in the costume. The chief will drive the pose for us. Takpala Souvenirs

They also sell the hand weaving fabric, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, belt from beads, and wooden spoon. Don’t forget to bring cash, just in cash you want to buy their beautiful souvenirs :)

Souvenir for Alor TribeAnother tips when visit traditional village in Alor: bring sirih and pinang. You can buy this fruits at market near food stall Reklamasi Beach on the ay before. The market open until night. The price only Rp.5000 for one small group. We bought Rp. 30.000 and got one big plastic bag. My friend said, if we bring “sirih” and “pinang fruit”, it’s a precious stuff for the traditional tribe. They will happy and they feel you’re family.

Mali BeachMali Beach
Mali Beach is a perfect place to wait the sunrise moment and hunt one tree silhouette picture with magical sky colours.
There’re some huts for sit and relax. To find Mali Beach, you will need a guide since there’s no one in the street to ask in the dawn.

Buiko BeachBuiko Beach
Not far from Mali Beach, 3 minutes driving you can find Buiko Beach. This beach also worth to visit after you got silhouette tree in Mali Beach. I prefer Buiko than Mali, since in Buiko beach you will find big hut for sit and admire sunrise.

Lingal BeachLingal Beach
Lingal Beach is famous in local, they said this beach is the best in Alor. So, I planed to do the daytrip here. From Alor Kecil Port, it takes 1,5 hours sailing to reach this beach. You can’t access this beach by motorbike or car. There’s no road, the only way to reach is by boat. And suddenly the tide was high, so after 1,5 hours sailing with high stress level, we sail back to Alor Kecil.  If the weather permit and the sea condition is good, the captain will leaned the boat to Lingal Beach. This beautiful picture shown is taken by my friend Melissa.

Kalabahi fom aboveKalabahi Hill View
I suggest to make a drop here after sunrise to admire the breathtaking view of Kalabahi City. I saw the mist slowly dissapeared and it feels magical.

The Food in Alor I’ve Tried
I tried some places to taste local food. My favourite : Reklamasi Beach and Dekranasda Alor Cafe. Check for the menu and pictures:

1) Foodstall at Reklamasi Beach
Price: Rp. 35.000/person
There’re some foodstall at Reklamasi Beach. Our driver recommend Mas Widji Warong. Mas Widji has some menu like grilled fish (Rp. 30.000), grilled chicken (Rp.30.000), fried chicken (Rp.30.000), chicken soto (Rp. 20.000), Indonesian salad with peanut sauce, named gado gado (Rp. 12.000), chicken satay (Rp. 20.000), and fried rice (Rp. 18.000)
Reklamasi Beach

2) Mama Restaurant

Price: Rp. 50.000 – Rp. 100.000/person
Because i read in internet that Mama is recommended, we made a stop here. We bought Sour Fish Soup, Grilled Squid, and Watercress. The best one is sour fish soup. Mama’s grilled squid was a big mistake. I can not eat the squid, it’s very thin and hard. I tried only one bite and left the rest of it.
Mama Restaurant

3) Dekranasda Alor Cafe (DK)
Price: Rp. 25.000/person.
Deskranasda Alor Cafe has signature menu: Alor Mix use sopi from Pura Island. They have some Alor mix menu. The cafe has nice ambience and also sell Alor snack and souvenirs. DK Cafe closed on Monday.
DK

Some pictures of DK Cafe signature: DK meals

4) Efata Restaurant, owned by Felice
Price: Rp. 25.000 – Rp. 35.000/person
I didn’t have time to try, just took pic for the menu.
IMG_4650

So, did you have your reason to visit Alor? Got the date? This 27-30 October will be the best time since there’re Festival Pesona Alor Event, you can see the dance and culture festival in Alor. If you want a trip arrangement to Alor, you can contact me for detail.
Let’s find the cheap flight at Tiket2.com ‘s flight tracker and meet my family in Alor: Ida, Melissa, Mama Maria, Pak Nurdin, Bram, Sam. We miss you all!family in Alor

 

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