Alor belongs to one of the more remote areas in Indonesia. It is located 30 km north of Timor-Leste and about 1000 km east of Denpasar (Bali), and yet it has remained, until recently, a less easy place to visit. Some new roads have opened parts of the interior, but because of its rugged surface many parts of the island still are hard to access. The region near its main town Kalabahi is one of the few flat areas on the island. The island has many different tribes that until recently lived separately from each other. This has resulted in 15 different indigenous languages on the island. Its total population is 170,000. Administratively Alor belongs together with the neighbouring island Pantar to Alor District.
Alor is 90 km in length and has an area of about 2800 km², making it the largest island of the Alor archipelago. The island Pantar is about 50 km across. Kalabahi is the only town of importance on the island of Alor, with a population of about 60,000. In spite of its size and location the variety of goods available in Kalabahi is reasonable high.
One reason Alor is famous is for is its bronze drums called ‘Moko’. They are hourglass shaped and have four ear-shaped handles and stand about 0.5m high. It is said that the Alorese found them buried in the ground. There are theories that these drums origin from the Vietnam area and in the past were brought to the island by traders.