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A Birthday Trip to The Land of Heavenly Waterfalls – Sumba

After a few months full of gazillion works, pitches, and full calendar with no day without meetings.
I texted my boss – “After this pitch, I want to take leave. Just for 2 days .. its my birthday trip” She was quiet for a moment but finally agreed to my request. The next thing happened, I booked a ticket to Sumba for 4-days.

It was August, 16th. I took a 4 am flight to get myself to the island which required a short transit in Bali. Everything was on time, no delays, no drama. What a great start indeed!

For you who is still wondering what or where Sumba is. It is an island in the south east of Bali, a part of East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is getting popularity in the past 4 years due to its pristine land, heavenly waterfalls and it’s nature beauty. Below here are pictures of my common encounters on the road of Sumba.

In Sumba, normally if people travel in group they would take a private group tour that has been arranged by tour provider. It’s just easier and cheaper – because places in Sumba are pretty distance to travel one another. Since I traveled in a small group, I decided to just rent a car with the driver.

Day 1. EAST SUMBA

Usually, many people preferred to enter the island through West Sumba due to many interesting places to visit in the region. But cheaper flight brought me to East Sumba first. So, I tried to make the itinerary as feasible as impossible.

This is how I rolled on my first day of the trip. Since my main objective to Sumba is to visit their gorgeous waterfall, so I focused to tick them off as soon as I landed on the island.

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1st Stop : Bukit Persaudaraan 

Well, this is pretty much how Sumba will greet you in the first place. I mean, this hill is just a stone throw away from the airport, it is a viewpoint where you can see the land of Sumba from above. Before heading to Waimarang (the waterfall), my driver suggested to stop by here first since it just took 5 minutes from the Airport.

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Oh hey… HELLO SUMBA, thank you for the welcome view. You look good today.

2nd Stop : Waimarang Waterfall
The driver said that I have to trek down the canyon for about 1 hour to get to the waterfall, that apparently it only took me 30 mins! Not bad for this lazy ass, eh? But seriously, it has been so long not to do trekking to the nature kinda stuff! The last time I went to an adventure was um… last year I guess? The trek was not an easy one, but I wouldn’t say hard either because the path was quiet steep and slippery.

But as long as you wear the right shoes, you’ll be fine. Of course, it needs a little bit courage and hard-work to go back as you have to hike up the steep trail. But trust me, it’s all worth it.

When I got there, the first thing I did was screeeeeaming! OH MY HOLY NATURE .. the lagoon was so dreamy! A solid natural pool, round shape bowl-cave, stunning emerald water, with tiny waterfall just perfectly sits in the middle. Only few people were there -some locals and tourist that left just soon after my arrival, making the place was ALL MINE in MY BIRTHDAY. How special was that!!

Okay, I know Indonesia has so many waterfalls. I have visited some of them, but honestly never really got stunned by them. This one made me want to take back all my words cause it got me like crazy!

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3rd Stop : Praiyawang Village

This Village situated just 10 mins from Waimarang Waterfall and it is on the way back to Waingapu City, so I decided to stop by. The uniqueness of this ancient village that it was built by the first King and a lot of megalithic tombs with interesting sculpture can be found here. A sign that whoever lied in the tomb, must be someone deeply honoured.

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4th Stop : Waikiki Beach

I tell you what – this beach is best enjoyed on the sunset because no one would want to miss a dramatic sundown moment like this, right?

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5th Stop : Morinda Hotel

The first time I saw it in the booking site I knew Morinda is going to be the place where I will stay in East Sumba. Honestly, I wanted to stay there for the whole trip, but unfortunately I had to move to West Sumba on the next day.
I highly recommend you this hotel – if all you wanted to have was a serene morning with a heart-warming scenery just in front of your room’s porch like I had :)

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The downside for this hotel was it got no phone reception, which I’d like it that way. Totally the best way to spend time with yourself or a book or a deep conversation.

Day 2 : EAST SUMBA

I save another waterfall to visit on this day. Since the distance is quiet far and I have to come back all the way to Waingapu City before moving to West Sumba at the end of the day, so I only can visit 2 places within the day.

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1st stop : Tanggedu Waterfall

To visit this waterfall took a lot of harder work than to go to Waimarang. Because whatever ride you have, it has to pass through the hills with a broken trail that will cost you hours of travel. By the time I arrived in the nearest village from Tangggedu, I still have to trek down and up through the canyon to get on to the hill across the village, then walk through the savannah to finally get to the canyon where the waterfall lies. If I am not mistaken, all the effort took me about 45 mins.

By the way, this was pretty much the view that accompany me along the way of the savannah before I had to trek down again to the waterfall. So yeah, I enjoyed it so much despite the blistering heat.

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The waterfall was so pretty it hurt my eyes, I cried a bit when I got there. The picture can’t do justice, you gotta see it yourself – seriously.

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The last time I saw a stream with such a beautiful color was when in New Zealand. Can’t believe Indonesia still have it too! I feel bad for being skeptical towards my country.

2nd Stop : Warinding Hill

Warinding Hill often called as a thousand hills because from this spot you can see thousand hills landscape fulfilling the horizon. It was around 4.30 pm when I arrived in Warinding, I should have stayed longer and waited for the sunset, but since I had to go to West Sumba I decided to leave early in order not to get to West Sumba too late.
I certainly regret that decision soon after when I was already on the way.
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Therefore, I want to suggest you not to miss the spectacular sunset in Warinding Hill.

Day 3 : WEST SUMBA

So, here we go to the last day of the trip. There are many interesting places in West Sumba, but due to distance constraint I had to wisely choose the best route. At first, I really wanted to go to Ratenggaro Village and ended up in Bwana Beach for sunset. But according to my driver, Ratenggaro was not in stable condition at that time due to internal conflict. So we cancelled the plan and went to Mandorak and Kita Beach instead.

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1st stop : Praijing Village

First night in East Sumba I stayed in Waikabubak, the second biggest city after Tambolaka. And my first destination on the first day was to visit another village in the city, called Praijing Village.

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This village is surprisingly so big, it consist of (I think) more than 100 households. I met a very kind lady who invited me to have a cup of Sumba Coffee at her house. We chatted a lot about the village life there and also her family. She has 7 kids, 5 of them lives with her. While the other 2 oldest kids are in big cities, work and study.

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The lady said that most of the villagers were gathering at the house down the road due to the funeral ceremony. One member of the village had passed away a few days ago. Ritually, the relatives of the family in grief will aid animals like pigs or buffalo to be slaughtered and served to the whole village members. This kind of activity usually takes few days in a row before burial ceremony. I met other villagers who was kindly enough to invite me to witness the slaughter event that happens in the afternoon. Unfortunately I had to refuse since I still have places to go.

It such a good experience to connect with the villagers indeed.

2nd stop : Waikuri Lake

Waikuri Lake is the top notch lake in West Sumba, crystal clear water, very easy to access, a good place to swim around.
But you gotta be careful, because theres one side of the lake that has a lot of sea urchin.

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The size of the lake relatively small, I took a one-lap to get to it’s highest viewpoint. As you can see, it is so beautiful from up there.

3rd stop : Mandorak Beach

Mandorak Beach reminds me of the Loch Ard Gorge beach in Great Ocean Road Australia but it got different stone texture. It was a great beach but what makes it special were the kids that playing there.

They were so playful even though a bit annoying because they kept begging for money or snacks. I handed them my wafer which they seemed to enjoy a lot. But after all, they are a good companion while on the beach.

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4th stop : Kita Beach

On the way going back to Tambolakka, my driver suggested me to have sunset at Kita Beach which located 20 mins from Tambolakka. I agreed. We stopped at the resort called Mario Cottage that lies facing to Kita Beach where I spent my last afternoon watching the gorgeous sunset in Sumba.

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THANK YOU NOTES

First of all. I would like to show my gratitude for what I have until today.
Love – happiness – friends – supportive family – good career
impressive opportunities – many roads travelled –  and uncounted mind-blowing experiences.

Second of all, Thank you Sumba for letting me enjoying birthday in your amzing land
Stay pristine – stay who you are.