Bima is the largest town on Sumbawa Island. And it’s a place we were warned NOT to visit by a fellow cruiser, who said, “Sumbawa Island is lawless and helpless”. The Cruising Guide to Indonesia isn’t much more positive, saying “Bima is the largest city in Sumbawa. The port is muddy and the city not much better.”
We went anyway.
And were rewarded by meeting local man Johnny and his wife Nani, who happily introduced us to their community.
In return for their generosity we added Johnny’s contact details to the marine navigation app, Navionics.
Since meeting him, every time a new sailor gets in contact with Johnny, he messages us with a video clip of his new cruising friends.
Contact Johnny and Nani on +62 853-3799-4695
Museum Asi Mbojo
Bima is seldom visited by tourists, but we’re always looking for cultural sites, so the Museum Asi Mbojo was a real find. Formerly The Sultan’s Palace, it is just about the only show in town.
A ramshackle collection of dust-covered knick-knacks, from axes and rifles to intricate national costumes, is thrown together in unlit display cases. While early twentieth century photographs of previous inhabitants line the walls. The surprising effect is an almost tangible taste of what it must have felt like to live here.
Maybe the greatest advantage of travelling by sailboat is encountering some of the nicest people in some of the least-likely places.
The best thing about the museum is the building itself. Just strolling along the wide hallways into high-ceilinged rooms, and out into breezy verandas, soothes the mind.
The British Museum won’t feel threatened. But this unexpected interlude was the perfect example of how Indonesia often hides the most charming surprises around its corners.
The town has a thriving and engaging population. With its busy and buzzy vibe, it offered a great opportunity for some street photography. So Jamie spent a fun time snapping what he saw in just one street.
There are loads more images in the episode, just click on the link below.
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