The lovely $h!thole of Kupang

Kupang. A sprawling port of 340,000 people. Filled to the brim with smog-belching trucks and bemos blasting horrible Indo pop from which there is no escape, it’s not exactly Indonesian travel destination number one.

But despite setbacks such as clogged roads, loud pop, and sweltering arid heat, the people of this city have found profit in tourism. As the capital of NTT (Nusa Tenggara Timur, use google maps and search for Kupang), most ferries and planes in NTT go here, and there are planes and boats to Bali usually. The Darwin flights no longer run.

All in all, for a city that smells of exhaust fumes and has no area quiet enough to hear yourself think; a city where you can always hear some kind of vehicle running, a city which has yet to be introduced to European or South American food, I would say it’s doing quite well.

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11 Responses to The lovely $h!thole of Kupang

  1. Theodora says:

    Sometimes, I really wish you’d write about some of the nice stuff we do…

    • Tracy Burns says:

      Now where would be the fun in that!

      Z, Kuching sounds … hmm … interesting! While you haven’t convinced me that Kupang is worth visiting, I love the picture that you’ve painted. I think you’ve done a great job of conveying the sense of the place in just two paragraphs and I can see how far your writing has come in the last year. I think there are a lot of adults out there with university degrees that can’t write this well. Painting the sense of a place in a few short lines is really hard and I think you’ve nailed it.

  2. kate maindonald says:

    This is incredibly well written Z! We rely on you to tell us what’s REALLY going on you know!!! But seriously, hope you guys are well and happy. L is 10 today and she misses you xxx

  3. I agree with Tracy. When I read these posts I feel like I’m right there in Indonesia (not necessarily a good thing). Are you sure you’re only 10?

  4. drewgilbert says:

    I am sure the noise is worse if you have a strong memory of Bali, where you could step into a guest house and have the traffic noise just disappear once you were about 15 meters in from the road.

    At least that’s how it was for us in Ubud. Like the greenery suffocates all sound waves from continuing forward.

  5. i wonder if there are any quiet spots – often, when i have found myself in that situation (and admittedly, not there, so i’ll have to rely on you), i seek them out. maybe a religious place, or a park (although i remember one park in tokyo that was VERY loud), or even the bathroom in the back of a restaurant. lol! one minute of quiet can do wonders, yes?

  6. stuart says:

    But the important question … was there internet?!

  7. […] a holiday when we get to the city that Z describes so memorably the lovely sh!th*le of Kupang. The next day, Pelni’s window is five deep in people, but a printed schedule shows there’s […]

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