Travel Guide Lesser Sunda Islands West Timor Kupang



Kupang is the capital city of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara and located on the island of West Timor, the Indonesian western half of Timor, the other being the independent country East Timor. Kupang has about 450,000 inhabitants.



Sights and Activities

In Town

  • Lasiana Beach (Pantai Lasiana) - Famous for its white sand. There aren't many buildings, so you can enjoy the natural beach.
  • Roslin Orphanage, Kupang (Timor). If you are in Kupang a visit to the Roslin Orphanage is a definite must. Google and youtube "Roslin Orphanage" for more information. Peggy and Budi Soehardi are CNN heroes and once you read about their story, you will understand why. Better yet, don't just read about it - go and visit the orphanage and meet them in person.
  • Waterpark Kupang, Jl. WJ Lalamentik. A water-amusement park.
  • Nusa Tenggara Timur Museum - The provincial museum of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, a twin of the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Museum at Mataram, Lombok. The museum is dedicated to culture, arts and crafts of the province. Located on Jalan Frans Seda, the four lane road to the airport. Admission is free, you may volunteer a donation. Open Monday through Saturday, 8:00am to 3:00pm.
  • World War II Gun – It is cherished as a cagar budaya (cultural relic), this gun from World War II. It stands hidden in kampung Kelapa Lima (north of Hotel Sasando). The small vacant plot has recently been fenced in, graffiti has been removed.
Dutch Cemetery

Dutch Cemetery

© theo1006

  • Dutch Cemetery - A relict of colonial times is the Dutch Cemetery. The tombs are falling apart and are overgrown with weeds. Still, on Java most pre-independence civilian cemeteries have been cleared. Family names that are still readable include: Drysdale, Hoogkamer, Huppe, Latoemala, Maler, Metzelaar, Pessy, Tielman, Tuinenburg. The old cemetery is located on Jalan Pahlawan and merges seamlessly with the modern one on its eastern border.
  • Kupang's Oldest Church - The Dutch who landed in West Timor brought their protestant religion with them. There already was a congregation in 1614. The oldest church building dates back to 1882 and is designated as a cultural heritage. As such it can’t be changed or replaced. Because it has become too small for the growing number of faithful, an awning has been erected in front of the entrance, where those who do not fit inside may follow the service. Address: Soekarno Street #23.
  • Airmata Mosque - Kupang's oldest mosque would have been older than the oldest church, had they not rebuilt it recently. The original mosque dates from 1806; an old photograph shows what it looked like. The number of Muslim believers has grown too, and as the mosque did not have the status of cultural heritage, it has been replaced by a bigger building on the same site. The caretaker will show a few relics from the earlier mosque: drum, pulpit and cupboard for the holy Qur'an. Located in kelurahan Airmata (on Trikora Street), the mosque is known as Airmata mosque, but its official name is Al Baitul Qadim.
EMTO Building

EMTO Building

© theo1006

  • Colonial Buildings - Kupang lacks real landmark buildings. The 1920’s style EMTO building once was the office of the electricity company Electriciteit Maatschappij Timor en Onderhorigheden. It is remarkable because it was designed by an architect who later became the first president of Indonesia, Ir Soekarno. It is located at the eastern end of Siliwangi Street, with next to it the erstwhile ice factory Minerva.

Out of Town

  • Monkey Cave - The cave is not impressive, it's all about the monkeys. Local visitors come only in the weekends. So if you want to find the monkeys hungry, come on a Friday! And if you want to make them really happy, bring some fresh fruit instead of the dry corn they mostly get. Actually, the monkeys could not survive here, if a warden did not regularly provide them with water. And the warden depends on your voluntary contribution for his survival. Monkey Cave lies south of the road to Tenau harbour, about half way from Kupang.
Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave

© theo1006

  • Crystal Cave - A special experience, swimming in a cave that gets light from the entrance high up. One has to clamber down a lot of rocks to reach the water, best change into swimming apparel before entering. The water is crystal clear and slightly salty, so there must be a connection with the sea. Bring a snorkelling mask, the bottom is clearly visible. The cave lies somewhere west of Tenau harbour, and is difficult to find on your own. so come with a local who knows the way. And come at the right time, between 10:00am and noon, when the sun shines straight down into the cave.
  • Tablolong Beaches - The beaches south of Tablolong village on the south-western peninsula of Timor are relatively unspoiled. There are three main spots to enter the beach. Closest to the village is a picnic site with gazebo's that one shares with goats. About a kilometre further south the beach is called Kaki Ayam Beach, with a home stay. Another kilometre along the coast, near a shrimp farm, the beach is best for swimming and a bit of snorkelling. The reef is not perfect, but there are some living corals and colourful fish. Tablolong villagers harvest sea weed and corals.
  • Oenesu Falls - The Oenesu falls are similar to the Oehala falls of Soe. They consist of a number of steps; you arrive at the top and have to cross a rickety bridge and go down a flight of stairs to reach the pool below. Surprisingly the cliffs are not slippery at all, it is possible to climb up against the stream for a jump into the pool. Oenesu falls lie 13 kilometres southwest of Kupang, or half way the road to Tablolong, just three kilometres off the main road.
Semau Mud Hills

Semau Mud Hills

© theo1006

  • Semau Island - Semau is a small island, about 25 kilometres long and 10 wide, facing the western edge of Timor at five kilometres distance. On the map it looks like it has been torn off Timor. At the border of a deep bay that cuts the island almost in half is the reason to visit Semau island. Gray mud wells up in a field half a kilometre across, in some places forming a pond. Elsewhere the dried mud has formed pointed hills. It is not a volcanic phenomenon, the mud is cold. The cheapest way to get there is with a small boat that takes passengers from Bokol harbour (three kilometres south of Tenau harbour) to Hansisi harbour on Semau island. Once there hire an ojeg for the ten kilometre ride, then walk another kilometre. If you have more money to spend and want to combine the trip with some snorkelling around Semau island, charter a boat at Tenau harbour.
  • Camplong Natural Pool - Taman Wisata Alam Camplong is a favoured stop on the route from Kupang to Soe. 45 kilometres from Kupang. It features a shaded natural pool and a few caged animals (crocodile, python). The pool is clean, one can bathe among the fish and maybe a boy or two angling for them. Or just have a coffee and some grilled corn at the food stall on the roadside.



Getting There

By Plane

Kupang's El Tari Airport (IATA: KOE) has services to Surabaya, Denpasar, Jakarta, Maumere, Ende and many other remote regions in East Nusa Tenggara.

By Bus

Kupang is a 12-hour bus ride away from Dili, East Timor.



Getting Around

You can use "Microbus" (locally called bemo). The uniqueness of public transportation in the city of Kupang is due to the appearance filled with accessories, decorations and music blaring.




Kupang is famous for seafood in Indonesia. Also, "Jagung Bose" is found only in Kupang. If you like corn, you can buy it along the sidewalk on the Jalan El Tari (in front of the Governor's office). Every night there is a street food market centred around Jalan Kosasih, not far from the shore. The stalls fry up lots of fresh seafood - fish, lobsters, crabs etc. while the tahu tempe penyet is a great vege option. Next to the food stalls are drinks stations where the best options are the fresh juice. Juice apokat (avocado juice) and jus naga (dragonfruit juice) are especially common and are blended with ice, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk/chocolate syrup.

  • Restoran Nelayan, Jl. Timor Raya 14, ☎ +62 380 823000. Beachside restaurant with lots of choices including seafood. You can enjoy this dish in huts on the seafront.
  • Restoran Teluk Kupang, Jl.Timor Raya, ☎ +62 380 822757. Also beachside restaurant which serves delicious seafood.
  • Grilled Banana in Lasiana Beach. Here you can eat grilled banana with a variety of flavours while enjoying the beautiful beach and the sound of waves.




  • Kelimutu Hotel, Jalan Gunung Meja. Check-out: 1pm. A three-storey hotel that has seen better days. However, private rooms with bathrooms and AC are available for a good price. Located not far from the central bus terminal and the night street food market. The staff are friendly though no English is spoken. Free tea and coffee in the morning. Free Wifi is available around the reception area. Standard fan 100,000R, Standard AC 125,000R, Deluxe AC 150,000R.
  • Lavalon Hostel, ☎ +62 812377053, is a backpacker spot with a friendly English speaking staff, who will answer any question about flights, buses and ferries, flyers and maps on other hostels in Roti and East Timor, and is a good place to meet other backpackers with whom you can talk and share information. Dorm room 70,000R.
  • SwissBel Inn Kristal, Jl. Timor Raya 59, ☎ +62 380 825100. A three-star international hotel located in the heart of Kupang. Only 20 minutes from El Tari Airport, the hotel allows easy access to the business and government district as well as some of the most noteworthy sites located in the vicinity, making it the ideal choice for business and leisure travellers alike.
  • T-More Hotel, Jl. Piet A. Tallo, ☎ +62 380 881555. Three star hotel with the concept of transit and business
  • Homestay at Kaki Ayam Beach - This traditional style accommodation is the only one available at the beaches south of Tablolong. There are three lopo, with below a bamboo floor to sit and relax, and a 'bedroom' under the thatched roof reached by a ladder. You may find the bedroom too hot and take the mattresses down to sleep in the open air. Water is scarce here, and has to be brought per tank wagon. So you are requested to use it sparingly and flush the toilet with sea water. The bathroom unit stands at some distance of the lopo. The homestay provides food, according to the menu nasi goreng, bami goreng, and ikan bakar (roasted fish). You may bring your own meat and veggies, which the lady in charge will prepare for you. Also bring drinking water, you may need a lot of it.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




Keep Connected


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.


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.


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.


Accommodation in Kupang

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This is version 40. Last edited at 20:10 on Jan 12, 19 by theo1006. 17 articles link to this page.

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