Moyo Island – A Tiny Travel Photography Project

Moyo Island sits slightly left-of-centre on the north side of Sumbawa, the large island between Lombok and Komodo. It is perhaps most famous for the ‘Princess Diana Waterfalls’, Mata Jitu, which she visited in 1993. I supposed I should get that photograph out of the way first.

Mata Jitu waterfall

It is not the only waterfall in the area so should you find yourself on Moyo Island, it is worth wandering to a couple of the others. There are few tourists here, even at the height of the season, so the villages can go about their business without too much disruption.

Our boat at anchor by Moyo village
Esper at anchor outside the village of Labuan Aji on the western side

For example, while wandering along a leafy pathway, we were overtaken by a group of lads pushing a concrete pillar on a cart. They paused for a rest on a bridge, under which two women were doing their washing.

Local people at work

The pillars, we learned, were for a new electricity system the village was installing. They had been off-loaded from the short concrete jetty that points west towards Lombok.

Labuan Aji jetty facing west

Along the front are a few restaurants and homestays for the adventurous tourist (you can only get here by boat of course).

Night shot, low light photography
Believe it or not, this was taken at night, hand-held, lit from the restaurant behind me

Behind the seafront is the village and it doesn’t take long to find the local people going about their business.

Villagers going about their business

I got chatting with one of the village ‘elders’. As we watched a group of young women playing volleyball in the village green, he explained that Labuan Aji has a football tournament with two other villages on the island. How this is done I have no idea since there are few roads on Moyo!

Dogs of Moyo
Unusual to see dogs, especially with collars

You can see our trip to the waterfall in one of our videos, and the ridiculous journey we took on the back of motorbikes to get there. The track appeared to stop at this point so how villagers travel between locations is beyond me. By boat, I guess.

Villagers of Moyo

Getting ashore from the boat isn’t the easiest. There’s a shallow reef that extends out from the shore and if mistimed, can be tricky to land or launch the dinghy. Two rather comfortable, family-run restaurants make it worth the effort, however. They are not difficult to find.

Labuan Aji, the village on the west side of Moyo Island
Looking south-west you can just make out Sumbawa mainland on the horizon

Being open to the west there are only certain times of the year its possible to visit this side of Moyo. When we passed this area two years ago we came over the top of Sumbawa and the SE winds made for some pretty steep seas. But tuck yourself in along the west coast, and the seas are flat. The sunsets, of course, are spectacular.

Superb sunsets on Moyo Island

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