Sumbawa Besar – Clean, Beautiful, Healthy, Safe and Proper

Due to its remoteness, Sumbawa Besar is rarely visited by travellers and those that do manage to arrive here tend only to stay overnight as they will continue their journey further East towards Flores or West towards Lombok.

Besar is an acronym for Bersih, Elok, Sehat, Aman Dan, Rapi. This translates to Clean, Beautiful, Healthy, Safe and Proper. The local government on Sumbawa has a 6 year plane to improve infrastructure and the overall quality of life for people here.

Sumbawa Besar, West Nusa Tenggara
Sumbawa Besar, West Nusa Tenggara (Source :

Sumbawa Besar is the largest city on Sumbawa and serves as the capital. As far as capital cities go, don’t expect too much as services for travellers are somewhat limited. There is an airport in Sumbawa Besar and Lion Air serve this destination however flights can at times be problematic as the demand is low. It is strongly advisable to check well in advance if there are flights to Sumbawa Besar.

If you arrive from Lombok you will surely arrive through the ferry port of Poto Tano. Here you will find buses that can take you to the capital, expect 3 hours until your arrival. The road itself is pleasant enough and not so bumpy and from time to time the scenery is pure ruralism at its finest.

The palace of Sumbawa, Istana Dalam Loka
The palace of Sumbawa, Istana Dalam Loka (Source :

The capital city has limited Hotels to offer the traveller however you can find basic accommodation on Jalan Garuda in the centre. These places are not the finest Indonesia hotels but they will definitely serve a purpose for one night. If you are in search of a higher end hotel there is one that will accommodate you.

Samawa Transit Hotel is a two star establishment that has clean and spacious rooms all offering wifi access, television and a restaurant. You can find Samawa Transit Hotel on Jalan Garuda No 41 Sumbawa Besar.

Most people are heading further East in the direction of Dompu or Bima. There is a bus station in the centre that will offer you transport to all destinations. From Sumbawa Besar, heading east expect a bumpy ride as the road, at times turns to gravel. This is adventure travel at its best!

There isn’t much to do here apart from walk around the city and visit traditional markets. There are a few parks where you can stretch your legs and soak up the city atmosphere but mostly people come and go and use this city as a one night stop over.

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