The Fascinating Alor Islands at the East-Most End of Flores
Extending at the east- most tip of Flores Island, still in the province of East Nusatenggara, Alor is a name pinned to the regency, the archipelago, as well as the main island of the archipelago.
The Alor Archipelago comprises 20 islands and 17 sub-districts. Despite of its short name, the Alor islands hide a long list of splendors, from fascinating underwater wonders up to the unique culture of the highland people.
Although not yet as popular as Raja Ampat or neighboring Komodo Island, the waters around the archipelago offer equally fascinating spectacles – if not better. There are at least 50 dive spots stretching from Alor Island to Pantar Island, and several islets around them. Some of the best sites are found along the Pantar Strait.
Those who are fortunate enough to have experienced diving in these waters have said that the underwater splendors of Alor outclass those in the Caribbean. In his book "East of Bali", Photographer Kal Muller described the waters around Alor as pristine, filled with a variety of fascinating creatures, and highlighted with night-dive spots. He considered Alor as a world-class underwater paradise.
The island of Alor itself is inhabited by a number of Flores sub-ethnic groups who still preserve their traditional ways of life. The unique culture of the Alorese is best observed among the Takpala indigenous group who dwell in the village of Lembur Barat, North-Central Alor. The Takpala still preserves the traditional housing construction that resembles a pyramid, covered with coconut leaves, bamboo plaited walls, and four main wooden pillars.
The island of Alor is also known as the island of a Thousand Moko's. Moko is a small bronze kettledrum that is believed to have originated from the Dong Son culture of Vietnam. To observe these unique artifacts, one can visit the Museum of A Thousand Mokos located in the main town of Kalabahi, on Alor Island. The Museum also showcases a collection of distinct Alor hand-woven clothing called Kawate.
To get to Alor, you can take a flight from Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara. From Kupang there are several airlines that serve flights to Mali Airport in Kalabahi, the main town of Alor.
The other option is by ferry which will take approximately 12 hours from Kupang to Larantuka, and followed by wooden boats to Kalabahi Seaport, which takes about one hour.
Where To Stay
Kalabahi is the main city and the capital of the Alor Regency. This is where all the facilities and accommodation are centered.
There is also other accommodation available on other islands that particularly cater to divers. These are: Homestay and Diving La P'tite, Kepa Island
Kecamatan Alor Barat laut, Alor, NTT
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