The Spiritual Heartland of Flores – Bajawa
Bajawa may be the capital city of the Ngada Regency but this cool little hill town is also known as the spiritual heartland of Flores. It is also one of the most popular tourists’ destinations in Flores, aside to Labuan Bajo.
Here in Bajawa, you could visit traditional houses in ancient villages, megalithic stones, and totemic structures. Bajawa is also the gateway to Mount Inerie, one of the highest mountains in Flores. A few popular traditional villages that are popular with tourists here include Bena village, Wogo village and Gurusina village. Bena village, which is located at the foot of Mount Inerie, is slowly rising to fame as the epicentre of the Ngada culture and tradition. It’s distinct and unique houses, which are built in two parallel lines are centred around a ceremonial square while Gurusina is located 25km away from Bajawa – it is the perfect alternative to Bena as it is less touristy and easier to get to.
Do not miss the Soa Hot Springs, and while you’re there, do make time for Wawo Muda, one of Indonesia’s newest volcanoes. Throughout your travels, you might be offered the traditional alcohol called “Moke” which are also served during ceremonies, weddings and other important functions. A bit of shopping is a must – do visit the local markets to buy yourself some authentic Ikat fabric, which are usually handmade by the local women using a loom.
– Bring a guide with you as many villagers do not speak Indonesian
– Be respectful of their culture
– Don’t forget your camera
Article source: www.roughguides.com
Photo courtesy of Lim Chin Huang via Flickr
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