Kefamenanu

Travel Guide Lesser Sunda Islands West Timor Kefamenanu

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Introduction

Three Kings' Statue

Three Kings' Statue

© theo1006

Kefamenanu is the capital of North Central Timor regency. Judging from the expansion of the town southward, the regency has a more ambitious government than Soe. Like South Central Timor, also North Central Timor used to be ruled by three tribal kings. As one approaches Kefa from the south, the landmark Three Kings' Statue is visible form afar. It is the center of a new roundabout at the town border from where a new four lane road leads into town. Adjacent to the roundabout new DPRD (regional legislative council) and Bappeda (regional development board) buildings stand out. From Kefamenanu one can visit former royal palaces as well as traditional markets. The town is also the starting point from where to cross the border into Timor-Leste’s enclave Oecusse.

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Sights and Activities

Maubesi Market

Maubesi Market

© theo1006

  • Maubesi weekly market - At the weekly market of Maubsi village one can see the domestic economy in full vigour. People come to sell their local products, often in small amounts: sirih pinang for chewing, sopi (alcoholic beverage), tobacco, vegetables, as well as non-local items like kitchenware, paint, etc. But most interesting are their physiognomies and they like to be photographed! When: Thursdays from 7.00 am to 11.00 am;best come around 10.00 am. Where: Maubesi lies on a secondary road at 15 kilometres from Kefa direction Atambua. The narrow road is practically blocked during the market.
  • Sonaf Maslete traditional palace - Like Timor Tengah Selatan regency, also Timor Tengah Utara regency is inhabited by three tribes that used to be governed my their own raja or king. These are the Neomafo, Bikomi and Insana tribes. Only three kilometres from Kefa town centre lies the palace of the Bikomi king, known as Sonaf Maslete. Unlike the palaces at Niki-Niki and Kapan in Timor Tegah Selatan regency, the Sonaf Maslete consists of traditional buildings of wood and bamboo with thatched roofs.
Two lopo's at Tamkesi

Two lopo's at Tamkesi

© theo1006

  • Sonaf Tamkesi ritual centre - Tamkesi (also spelled Temkessi) was the ritual centre of the Biboki kingdom, where the kings, Neno Biboki and Funan Biboki, resided. The location is like a natural fort, difficult to attack by an enemy. Only a few families still live on the hill as keepers of the sacred site. When you come here, your guide-interpreter should bring some sirih pinang to break the ice and you may bring small gifts, like used clothing and sweets for the children. The sacred objects called Taninu Fienabas are kept in a traditional building, a square ume, which only be opened with due ceremony on certain occasions. Some rituals require that people climb the nearby rocky outcrops, named Tapenpah and Oepuah. The location is Tautpah village, South Biboki district, about 30 kilometres from Kefamenanu. The road is in reasonable condition, the last metres one has to walk.
  • Taolin Palace - The Insana kingdom counted four ruling families, one of them by the name of Taolin. The palace of the Taolin kings is located in Oelolok, on a litte sidetrip when one returns from Tamkesi to Kefa. In the grounds there are three buildings, all in good repair. The actual palace looks like a Dutch country house. Moreover there are an open lopo with 9 pillars for meetings, and a closed traditonal house where the heirlooms are kept. The door of the latter is beautifully carved. The location is perfect. Neighbouring Ainut mountain provides water ensuring a lush green environment. Little streams run through the grounds. In colonial times the Dutch resident (government supervisor) lived nearby.
Biboki Art Shop

Biboki Art Shop

© theo1006

  • Biboki Art Shop - Biboki art shop was set up with aid from Oxfam and intends to be an outlet for the manufacturers of local handicraft all over Timor Tengah Utara regency. Here you can buy shopping bags, pillow covers, honey and more. Located in Kefamenanu on El Tari Street, next to the City Bus Terminal.
  • Letmafo village

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Getting There

By Bus

Kefamenanu is on the Kupang-Dili route served by the daily minibus service of Timor Tour & Travel. Check for schedule and price at their Kupang office, Jalan Timor Raya #77.

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Sleep

  • Hotel Livero is the grandest hotel in Kefamenanu. It is located on Jalan El Tari, on the western edge of town. The top rooms, called Suite, are enormous, with a double bed and easy chairs and much space to spare. Curiously they put the bed near the window and the chairs inside near the bathroom. If you don't need all that space, a DeLuxe room goes for half the price.
  • Hotel Cendana is a budget option in Kefamenanu. The best rooms have AC and hot water. Located on Jalan Sonbay.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is becoming more widely used in Indonesia, and warung Internet (warnet) - Internet cafés - are emerging everywhere. A lot of restaurants and cafés in big cities normally have wireless internet available for free. Internet connection speed in Indonesia varies between ISP and location. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour with faster access than from your own mobile phone. In large cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, and in some restaurants and bars. Some hotels provide free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

You can use 112 as an emergency number through mobile phones. Other numbers include 110 (police), 113 (fire) and 118 (ambulance).
The international phone code is 62.

If you have GSM cellular phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (i.e.: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata). The cheapest way is buying a local SIM card, which would be much cheaper to call and especially use internet compared to your own cell phone's sim card.

The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competitive and prices are low: you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as Rp 300 a minute to some other countries using certain carriers (subject to the usual host of restrictions). SMS (text message) service is generally very cheap, with local SMS as low as Rp129-165, and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones, and basic models start from Rp 150,000, with used ones being even cheaper.

Post

Pos Indonesia provides the postal service in Indonesia. Pos Indonesia is government-owned and offers services ranging from sending letters and packages to money transfers (usually to remote areas which have no bank branch/ATM nearby) and selling postcards and stamps. Sending a postcards, letter or parcel is relatively expensive, but fairly reliable. It takes several days at least to send it within Indonesia, at least a week internationally. It is recommended to send letters from a Pos Indonesia branch, not by putting it inside orange mailbox (called Bis Surat) in the roadside, because some of the mailboxes are in very bad condition and aren't checked regularly by Pos Indonesia. Opening times of post offices usually tend to follow general business hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (sometimes shorter hours on Fridays), Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, closed on Sundays. Bigger cities, tourist areas and central post offices tend to keep longer hours, into the evenings.

Private postal services based in Indonesia include CV Titipan Kilat (CV TIKI), Jalur Nugraha Ekaputra (JNE), Caraka, and RPX. There are also foreign postal services that have branches in Indonesia, including DHL, TNT, UPS, and FedEx.

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This is version 14. Last edited at 8:51 on Jan 8, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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