Where is SOE?
SOE or normally local people known as Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS) is one of the regency in East Nusa Tenggara, located 110 km from Kupang, the provincial capital of East Nusa Tenggara.
Journey to SOE
Together with another cars and friends from Asita NTT, including with the famous local guide, pak Mesakh, we started the journey to SOE. We departed around 8 in the morning, first we had to follow Car Free Day in El Tari street, Kupang. After that, we went to a local restaurant to take our brunch. That time was my first time to trying Se’I Sapi (Beef), one of the traditional food from Kupang, but normally they made in from pork.
Welcoming Ceremony in SOE
After few hours in car, finally we arrived in SOE. We were welcoming by a representative from SOE Tourism and Culture Department. Before he spoke a welcoming speech to us and give us a glimpse about SOE’s tourism and places to see in SOE, there are 4 guys who dressed very well with traditional costume and asking us in local languages about the purpose of our coming. Some of us represents as guest from Asita NTT and Travel Bloggers Indonesia officially telling them about the purpose of our visit and later on, they welcoming us and put a traditional fabric in our shoulder. We were accepting in SOE territory.
After that, we had such a very nice lunch. Wuihh, so happy! Thank you Asita NTT!
First visit in SOE was a beautiful place called Bola Palelo Valley, located 15 km in northern side of SOE. When we stopped and step out from our car, we already saw so beautiful panorama surround us. We need to climb a tiny hill to see the panorama in better view. From that point, we can see beautiful scenery. Most of them are so green and lovely to see.
After Bola Palelo, we stopped again in Fatukolen. An ancient gigantic stone look so incredible located in Fatumnasi hills. The hills actually has so many places to go, such as : Fatumnasi cultural village, Fatu Kolen Fatu Nausus, Fatu Tapaan and Benteng Dua Putri (Literally : Two Princesses Castle). Fatumnasi located around 35 km from northern side of SOE.
I stayed in awe when I see Fatu Kolen, it is because the shape of the giant stone miraculously beautiful. I felt like I am in The Lord of the Ring movie scene. After spending half an hour in the area, we continue the journey. We need to be hurry because sun will be set downs soon and we wanna be able to see Mutis mountain before dark.
Arrived in Fatumnasi, there was some groups of local people already waiting for us. Such a honor for us to greeted in such traditional way. Some kids dancing when opening the way for us to enter the house, while some mamas playing the musical instruments and do the singing.
Bapak Anim, the local leader lode the ceremony. We entered the traditional house as the main hall where people gathered there and try to showing their art, such as many colorful fabric, bracelet, bags, rings and necklace. Only too pity that we only spent short time in the village. I would like to go there again and exploring the area more, since it is really so beautiful and peaceful area. I also love their traditional hut a lot!
Mutis National Park (Mutis Mountain)
This place is unique and special. Not merely just a national park, because we can see the old beardy trees here. Actually the beard comes from parasite plants that living in the trees. It is really aging and look like beard hanging in the tree. Beside the unique old beardy trees, there is also Bonsai trees, that we can see in the national park.
The place looks so lovely and unique with some of rough red hills. Beside it makes the place look magical, the huge forest also looks so mystical, where you can see some horses try to feed themselves with fresh grass.
Weather in Fatumnasi can be so cold, so wear your jacket if necessary.
In the second day, we continued the journey. Because we had limited time in this Explore The Diversity trip, so we plan to go back to Kupang again. I know I know, one day isn’t enough in North SOE, so don’t do like us, plan to stay longer in North SOE if you could because there are so many things to see as well.
But anyhow, we continued the journey, still with pak Mesakh become our dearest and funny guide.
Now we stopped in Oehala waterfalls. Another beautiful place to go and unique. The waterfall actually can be seen from two way, but recommended to go down first in the longest track than the other, so we can see the waterfall from below. You can see how beautiful it. Only another highlight point for Tourism and Culture Department in SOE/Kupang is to educated about tourism to local people, especially the young generation so they won’t do vandalism in touristic spot. Actually, so they won’t do vandalism at all. Vandalism isn’t art. It is disgusting and ruin one’s places.
I don’t like to see the vandalism in the waterfall and feel sorry about it. Also I guess, another travelers will not like it.
Ok, after cold weather, now is going back to the sunny day again. Beachhhhhh!!! And this one also another special because the sands in Kolbano beach are natural white pebbles stones. It is very interesting!
We all found ourselves want to dance when we see the beautiful gradation colors of blue in the sea. Kolbano is just simply beautiful beyond words! It is too pity again that there is no hotel/guesthouse nearby. The gate to Kolbano also so old and broken. For such a beautiful spot, I think local government should put a lot of attention to make it as a tourist sight, because it is actually a gem already.
Climb the high rock in Kolbano to see the whole view of the beach. Just be careful because it’s a sharp stone and quite narrow.
Don’t get bored if again I say, this place is unique! Because it just simply does! First, Oetune has it’s own dessert that makes you feel like you are in sahara, or perhaps Gumuk Pasir in Jogjakarta. But of course it is still East Nusa Tenggara, so it is still hot, don’t forget to apply your sunblock.
The water in Oetune was so calm that time, so we were swimming in the beach. The sand was darker compared to Kolbano. I heard the beach also suitable for surfers because the waves have 4-7 folded waves. Even I haven’t seen anyone who played surf that time. Maybe this beach needs to be promoted more and of course the beach needs the facility for people to stay here, because they won’t bring their surf board all the way from Kupang/SOE to arrive in Oetune and back again to Kupang/SOE after so tired surfing.
Absolutely you will be amazed with the beauty of places in SOE, this hidden gems need to be promoted in Indonesia and worldwide. While in the other hands, Tourism and Culture Department should improved lots of things to make tourist comfortable and choose SOE for their next travel destination.
I will go to SOE again for sure! You? 😉