Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. The island is divided between the sovereign states of East Timor on the eastern part and Indonesia, on the western part. The Indonesian part, also known as West Timor, constitutes part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara.
With amazing traditional villages, rugged countryside and empty beaches, West Timor is an undiscovered gem. Deep within its mountainous, lontar palm–studded interior, animist traditions persist alongside tribal dialects, and ikat-clad, betel nut–chewing chiefs govern beehive-hut villages. Hit one of the many weekly markets in tribal country and you’ll get a feel for rural Timor life, while eavesdropping on several of some 14 languages spoken on the island. In West Timor even Bahasa Indonesia is often a foreign tongue. Except, of course, in Kupang, the coastal capital and East Nusa Tenggara’s top metropolis, which buzzes to a frenetic Indonesian beat.