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|Sumbawa is a large island to the east of Bali and Lombok. It is part of West Nusa Tenggara along with Lombok. There are hundreds of small islands in this area in addition to the two major islands. |
Sumbawa is divided into four regencies and one municipality. The regencies are: Sumbawa Barat, Sumbawa Besar, Dompu, and Bima. The municipality is Kodya Bima. The most recent census lists the population as being 1.1 million. There are two main ethnic groups: Bima and the Samawa.
In many respects Sumbawa can be considered remote. To get to Sumbawa from Bali most people take the ferry from Bali to Lombok, travel overland to the eastern seaport in Lombok and then take another ferry to Sumbawa, ending up in Poto Tano. From there transportation is somewhat problematic. There are buses that will take you on to Sumbawa Besar, the capital, or down the coast road to the south, It is also possible to fly into the city of Sumbawa Besar on the western side of the island, and Bima on the eastern side of the island.
Sumbawa is known for its great waves and sandy white beaches.
The pace of life on Sumbawa is definitely slower than that in Bali. As most of the island is still developing, there is a very rural feel to just about everywhere that you go, including Sumbawa Besar, the capital of the western side fo the island. The mining company, Newmont, has a gold and copper mine down in the southwestern corner of the island around the villages of Sekongkang, Maluk and Benete.
Mount Tambora is about 100 km from Dompu. It is the highest mountain in Sumbawa. Its eruption in 1815 was one of the most destructive and powerful volcanic explosions in human history, caused a huge catastrophic all over the island.
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Ancient castles made of wood that was built during the reign of Sultan Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah III (circa 1885 AD). Currently used / used as “Regional Museum Sumbawa” storage objects Sumbawa regency history. This palace is two twin buildings supported on large wooden poles by 99 pieces, according to the nature of God in Al – Quran (Beautiful Names Husna). inside
|Moyo Island, at the mouth of Saleh Bay, has a nature reserve with wild oxen, deer, wild boars and a great variety bird species. Visits are best made during the dry season from June through August. A few kilometers of the north coast of Sumbawa, the national park island of Moyo Island is probably the most rewarding destination in Sumbawa, surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and home to wild pig, monitor lizards, 21 species of bat, huge herds of native deer and hordes of crab-eating macaques. The best time to visit is in June and July, though the seas are clear and quiet from April. There are basic private rooms at the PHPA post at Tanjung Pasir on the south coast, where most boats from the mainland arrive. Renting a fishing boat from Tanjung Pasir and going fifteen minutes east to Stama reeft is very rewarding, with lots of sharks and turtles. There’s nowhere on Moyo to rent masks and snorkels so bring our own; fins are advisable due to the strong currents. |
The coastline has some beautiful beaches of fine coral sand and not the black volcanic sand like we find on a lot of islands in the archipelago. There are beautiful coral reefs, which make it excellent for scuba diving or just snorkeling. The reef at the southern end of the island is probably the best of all.
There are a few inhabitants on the island and this consists of around 21 villages concentrated in the northern end.To get to Moyo, take a bemo from beside Seketang Market in Sumbawa Besar to Air Bari , a small port settlement to the northeast. From Air Bari, we can charter a boat to Moyo.
|From Moyo there are splendid views of Mount Tambora (2,821m) to the east, the highest mountain in Sumbawa, which erupted quite violently in 1815 but now has amazingly beautiful forests on its western slopes. |
Tambora can be climbed from the side in three days and is well worth a visit. It has an enormous crater and within, a two-colored lake. From the crater there are also spectacular views over Saleh Bay and the rest of Sumbawa to the east, and to the west, Moyo Island to Lombok and Mount Rinjani.
The wildlife on the reserve has adapted to the fairly dry habitat and these include Deer, feral cattle, and numerous birds such as Orioles, Sunbirds, Coequals, Koels and Drongos. Of course there are several species of shore birds along the coastline.
|Wera Village Bugi’s Ship Building|
For centuries, the Bugis people have sailed from South Sulawesi across the shallow seas of the Indonesian archipelago. They would sail east and west on the monsoons, regularly trading as far as Northern Australia in their two masted ships, known as phinisi. The great age of sail, which ended in the West in the early twentieth century, never quite ended in Indonesia. The Bugis have continued to build their phinisi on the beaches and continue to sail the islands to this day. This is the Bugis Village of Wera, a village on the North Eastern tip of Sumbawa. Here you can watch them build these boats!
|Sumbawa Resort Maluk|
|Amanwana Resort Hotel|
|Hotel Amangati Hu’u ( Bima)|
|Laguna Biru Villa|
|Tropical Beach Resort and Spa|
|This is an upscale hotel which is frequented by the expatriate staff of the local mine run by Newmont. Prices start at US$50 per night. Tropical provides a number of services like jet skis, rental cars, deep sea fishing and others. They have a pool here. Not for the financially challenged. Tropical has its own web site.|
|Bungin Island Sumbawa|
Bungin Island – West Sumbawa Volcan Rinjani on Lombok in the background
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|Panca Nugraha wrote an excellent article in the Jakarta Post about this amazing island that lies about 70 kilometres west of Sumbawa.|
Bungin, the only island in Indonesia that keeps growing Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, taram
If Bungin Island, a small coral island lying about four kilometers off the coast of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara province, had a mascot, it would undoubtedly be the paper-eating goat.
Because of the island’s infertile soil, there is very little grass or plants for Bungin’s goat population to eat, so they survive on paper and other bits of garbage.
“Goats here eat paper and rags because there’s no grass,” said a young islander, Coco, who with his friends is eager to show visitors the phenomenon.
Bungin lies about 70 kilometers west of the Sumbawa regency capital Sumbawa Besar. It is about a five-hour overland journey east from the provincial capital Mataram, and then a boat crossing from Lombok to Sumbawa island. From there, it is a relatively short trip to reach Bungin.
According to the local administration on Bungin, 609 families, or 2,826 people, live on the island.
“This is probably the most densely populated island (in Indonesia), and the only island which keeps growing in size,” said Bungin Island village administration head Sopian. He said a 2002 survey indicated the island covered six hectares, and now it covered eight.
Houses on the island are generally only about 1.5 meters apart from each other. The distinctive Bungin stilt-houses now cover much of the island, and in some cases their roofs meet.
One of the main reason Bungin Island can continue to accommodate its growing population, and also why the island itself is growing, is its traditional marriage law. This law requires would-be couples to prepare the site on which they will build their house before they get married.
A couple must first gather a supply of coral to reclaim a piece of land on the outer part of the island. Each couple is allocated a small piece of land measuring about six-by-twelve meters. So Bungin grows a little bit with each new marriage.
The entire community will pitch in to help a couple gather the coral, reclaim the land from the sea and build a house.
Bungin Island can be called a man-made island. Although the Sumbawa office of the National Land Agency conducts topographical survey every five years, none of the islanders holds land ownership documents.
“This is not part of the mainland, but coral rocks formed by residents. That’s why residents do not require land certificates, but only an ownership document issued by the village office,” said Sopian.
Most, if not all, of the Bungin islanders earn a living as fishermen. They are descendants of the Bajo and Bugis tribes, originating from South Sulawesi.
According to folklore, when the first people arrived on Bungin the island only covered about three hectares. The first inhabitants were followers of Panglima Mayo, a freedom fighter from South Sulawesi. They were forced out of Sulawesi by Dutch colonial troops in 1818.
“That’s why they speak the Bajo dialect here, and not the local Sumbawa language,” said Sopian.
Despite the reliance on the sea, Bungin is far more prosperous than many of the fishing villages in West Nusa Tenggara.
Nearly all of the families own electronic appliances, at least a television set equipped with a digital receiver. The children are no strangers to PlayStation, and if they don’t have one at home they can go to several little businesses on the island and play for an hourly rate.
Because men on the island go out to sea often for months at a time, the women are left behind to take care of the families and see to their daily needs.
“My husband sails out to sea and sometimes returns only after three months. We are the ones who support the family,” said a fisherman’s wife, Hasnah.
Hasnah and the other housewives look for fish, shells and sea cucumbers around the island, to supplement their families’ income. They can earn between Rp 15,000 and Rp 30,000 per day from the sea.
Because the island is so small, Bungin is by necessity a very tightly knit community. Most residents cannot imagine living elsewhere and very few ever move away, despite being able to afford a house on the mainland.
“There are usually a lot of temptations on the mainland, and the feeling of insecurity,” said Sopian.
The infrastructure on Bungin has gradually improved over the years thanks to the residents’ relative economic prosperity. They have access to electricity and clean water, and there are two elementary schools on Bungin and a community health center.
The islanders are still waiting for government assistance to build junior and senior high schools, and are ready to prepare the sites themselves.
Bungin has recently become a tourist attraction in Sumbawa, with domestic and foreign visitors eager for a look at the island.
But one thing has never changed on the island — even though every house has a bathroom, none of them has a toilet.
Residents rely on the sea for more than just fishing.
Besides the hospitality of the locals, there are two things that will surely leave a lasting impression on visitors to Bungin — the delicious taste of the goat satay and the distance to the bathroom if one needs to answer the call of nature.
|Trip to Bungin island from Lombok|
|Trip to the island from Lombok: SW. 012|
06.00. Am. drives to port of Labuhan Lombok and to cross to Alas strait by ferry (1.30 min.). Arrived at Pototano/West Sumbawa Island and continue drive to the former ferry harbour of Alas to take local boat for the most populated island in the world, called “Bungin Island” mingle to people in the island and on the way back to port of Alas, boating to another island of Kaung. Lunch box will be serve en-route (drink serve : one bottle of soft drink and one bottle of cold water). Return to the hotel at late afternoon by the same route.
Name Bungin island,Wide 6 ha ,Population 2.612 Ethnic group Bajo (originaly from South Sulawesi)Family house 531 fam,Head of household 599,
99 % fishermen,Family with toilet 25,Neighbor island Kaung island.