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The Exotic Sumbawa

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For a travel enthusiast as Roy Wicaksono what counts is the time when he counts every place is iconic, full of pleasures and worth the efforts because it’s about seeing something new every time possible. 


Spanning beautifully its glorious nature, Sumbawa has brought me to one impressive journey. Though it is not as popular as Bali and Lombok, but the persona of Sumbawa is as if a shy princess ready to get flirted by the revelers. 

Sabalong Samalewa

The Gate Was Written “Sabalong Samalewa” welcoming our arrival at the port of Poto Tano tucked away in the west side of Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. I had to cruise by ferry fron Kayangan Port, East Lombok, where was the first point of me stepping inside this mesmerizing utopia dubbed as Tanah Samawa. 

Sabalong Samalewa symbolizes this island which the phrase means balancing the development of physical and mental features (world and afterlife). A philosophical meaning it is to perpetually trigger the regional government in encouraging its people to move forward. And speaking of the glistening nature, no one suggests a better way to represent the magnificent Sumbawa despite of its less popularity comparing to its neighbouring islands. However, with the help from social media, Sumbawa now is progressing to reach more voyagers by giving accessible information this island has to offer. 


Poto Tano

It is no doubt that some of the most alluring ports in Indonesia can be spotted in Sumbawa. As the main entrance for people departing from Lombok, Poto Tano is a commercial port, embarking ferries for chartering passengers. Poto Tano, nonetheless, is not merely a port. The well-maintianed surrounding accompanies the gold-ish white sand over-looking the layers of hill. As a plus, the gradients of blue displayed on its crystal clear sea remark the enchantment of this port. No wonder, Poto Tono becomes the first stop to choose for those Sumbawa’s first timers. 


Kenawa Island

Near Poto Tano, unoccupied small isles save some credits for Sumbawa. One of them is Kenawa Island situated about 15 minutes sailing by a fisherman’s motorboat. A half-day trip to this island is recommended particularly when the sun is being your best pal the whole day. From afar, this isle shows mounds which are known as the icon of Kenawa itself. You can hike up and down easily apart from taking advantage of its spanning savanna covering the whole land. The view of Kenawa, however, is quiet unstable depending on the weather. So just make sure when the best time to come. 

For you who love to dive and snorkel, around this island tucks perfect spots complete with remarkable corals to channel the desire. Afterwards, to unwind under Sumbawa’s eye-catching sky and sunset, lying on its sparse white sand and turn on your playlist is a further step to spend the rest of the day. 


Sumbawa Besar

Not to miss the itinerary, Sumbawa Besar is worth to visit next. After 2-3 hour drive fro Poto Tano, Sumbawa Besar is the capital of Sumbawa Regency. This city is one of transit cities to grasp on Moyo Island later or continue the journey to the eastern side such as Bima, Dompu, Tambora Mountain, or East Nusa Tenggara. 

Istana Dalam Loka

A majestic establishment looking alike a castle stands still in the main area of Sumbawa Besar. This place is called Istana (castle) Dalam Loka where used to be the place of Sumbawa’s sultanate since 1885. Stretching for about 904 m2 designed in typical stilt house of Tanah Samawa, this attraction was built by the Sultan Muhanmad Syah III (1883-1931), the 16th Sultan from Dewa Dalam Bawa Dynasty. It feels like a must to visit for this historical building when you step inside Sumbawa. 


Moyo Island 

At the edge of northern shore of Sumbawa Island, a hidden gem sits comfortably saving precious treasures. It is Moyo Island, a well-known island over global residents including first class celebrities in the world. A bit difficult it is to board on this island but once you did, it is as if you dig golds and own in for yourself. If lucky, you can cross the sea to hang around by fisherman’s boats. Weather [again] is quiet tricky so to make sure you arrive at the right time, you have to research it very carefully. 

Mata Jitu Waterfall 

Landed in Labuan Aji (the dock of Moyo Island) after shaking up in a motorboat, I realized that Labuan Aji is the largest village in the island. Not to wait anymore longer, I encouraged myself to witness the spectacular Mata Jitu Waterfall. From Labuan Aji, I should take ojek (motor taxi) that offered by the residents. 

At the distance of seven kilometer from main attraction of Labuan Aji, the hidden yet amazing waterfall, far inside the forest served me a plate full of gratitude. Speechless, I could savor how the nature flirted: the lagoons, the natural pile of rocks, everything. To my knowledge, it is the spot where most of world’s significant figures spent time in the island. Some of locals call it “Queen Waterfall” to the fact that Lady Diana had touched the ground and rinsed her body there. Ironically, she was never named after “Queen” all her life long. A long list assumedly has cemented their tracks in the waterfall, too. Mick Jagger, Edwin va der Sar, former keeper of Netherland’s national Football Team, Blake lively, Maria Sharapova, and several Korean pop singers namely Rain and Kim Tae Hee. 


Diwu Mba’i Waterfall

Another waterfall to note is Diwu Mba’I waterfall which means, “crocodile wallow” since it was found once a wallowing crocodile. But today, it has no such thing to worry about and totally safe for visit even by children. Interestingly, (if you dare) there is a rope to swing and dive into the pool of this waterfall. Truly invigorating actually. 

Maluk Beach

The crystal celar sand and the turquoise sea overshadow the curvy hills, creating such perfect scenery in Maluk beach that is surely listed as my favorite beach in Sumbawa. Generally, the tide is low and not dangerous at all. And to highlight what you should do is to swim at this mind blowing beach besides to wait for sunset moments where the sky bursts into the combination of red and orange. Surfing, on the other hand, is another thing to consider. Amidst the perfect waves, many world’s renowned surfers take it for granted. “Super Suck Wave” even pins this beach to describe how great the wave is. 


Rantung Beach 

About 15 minutes walking to the south from Maluk, I held myself a little to go back home due to the intention of playing merry-go-round in Rantung Beach. Different from Maluk, Rantung preserves a nature phenomenon: irregular waves dkubbed as Yoyo Wave. By this charm, those world’s prominent surfers competed to check on it. Incredibly, the ocean is parted into two section, that territory with irregular waves and the other one with almost no wave to swim on. Magnificent, isn’t it?

And because of that too, I believe Indonesia has it all. From Sabang to Merauke, in the midst is a pearl strand named after Sumbawa Island. Envy enough to start your own trip?



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