Alor Island is included into Nusa Tenggara Timur Province and one of many beautiful islands in Indonesia. Alor Island itself is one territory under Alor district. Even though this island is not as famous as Bali or Lombok, Alor Island is as beautiful as they are. Its exotic beach and colorful underwater view make this island is known by many other countries. The sea-garden in Alor is believed to be the second most beautiful sea-garden in the world after one belongs to the Caribbean.
The oldest kingdom in Alor were Abui and Munaseli Kingdom. Both kingdoms were destroying each other by magic battle. This battle was won by Munaseli Kingdom. After that, there were kingdoms named Pandai and Bunga Bali Kingdoms. But then Pandai and Munaseli Kingdoms were also fighting each other. Munaseli Kingdom asked for a help from Majapahit Kingdom at that time, but when Majapahit sent army to Munaseli, the army couldnâ€™t find anyone but ruins. Many soldiers of the Majapahit army decided to stay in Alor, so itâ€™s not strange if you find Munaseli people who look like Javanese. Those soldiers of Majapahit also then settled Galiau, 5 kingdoms on the coastal area. Those 5 kingdoms were Kui and Bunga Bali, Pandai and Baranua in Pantar. The first foreigner ever told a story of Alor was Pigafetta, a European writer who was in Victoria Ship. Pigafetta once told about Galiau on his diary before he was killed in Phillipines.
If you want to seek a cultural tour, you can come to 1000 Moko Museum. In this museum you can find the biggest moko. Moko is like a tube-shaped drum with typical carving on the surface. Itâ€™s one inheritance from Alor ancestors since bronze era. Aside from Moko, typical tenun ikat (bundle-weaving fabric) of Alor is also famous. To see how itâ€™s made, you can go to Tenun Ikat Museum. You can also go to Takpala and Monbang culture village to see the traditional things of Alor like itâ€™s custom house (Lopo house) and traditional ceremony.
The emost amazing side of Alor is the underwater. You can snorkel or dive to see the beauty hidden under Kepa Island. This beautiful underwater scenery is known by many other countries. If you want to seek more, you can go to several islands like Pantar, Pura, Buaya, Alor Besar and Alor Kecil Island. At those islands, there are many fascinating diving spots known as Barunaâ€™s Dive Site at Alor. You can dive here to enjoy beautiful underwater scenery.
Apart from its beautiful underwater scenery, Alor is also known as an island of canary. You can easily find canary nut as snacks here in the island. Another typical food of Alor Island is kue rambut (hair cake). This cake looks like clumps of hair made of tapioca flour, rice flour, papyrusâ€™ sugar sweet and granulated sugar. This snack is perfectly served with coffee or tea. You can also try jagung bose (bose corn). This food is made of white corn soaked into whiting water. After itâ€™s boiled, this food then poured with coconut milk. This food looks like porridge and perfectly served with roasted fish.
Alor Island is served by the Alor Island Airport.
Alor Airport is located at Jalan Soekarno-Hatta, Mali. The IATA code for this airport is ARD. Alor Airport has a small 150 m2 domestic terminal and is only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (7 hours) a day. It is about 16 km from downtown Kalabahi.
Some form of public transportation at the airport is available but it is not easy. There are no busses to Kalabahi, so you need to take a chartered car or motorcycle taxi (ojek) which can be bit difficult to find after a plane just landed. If you are lucky to find an ojek, you can negotiate the price for downtown Kalabahi or directly to your hotel for a price of about Rp 20,000 to Rp 30,000 per person. The chartered car will cost you Rp 50,000 to Rp 100,000 per person.
When in Kalabahi you can use the oto (a modified truck serving as public transportation), but considering the price and convenience it is best to use the motorcycle taxi (ojek) to get around or visit a village or town. An ojek would cost Rp 10,000 to Rp 30,000, depending the distance.