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A market town and meeting point for the hill people of western Flores, Ruteng is the heart of Manggarai country, which extends to the west coast from north of Aimere. The town is surrounded by rice fields on gentle slopes beneath a line of volcanic hills.

Ruteng is a pleasantly cool town of broad streets, but it’s spread out and not particularly atmospheric, though there are some interesting sights in the vicinity. Most people just spend a night here, stopping to break the interminable bus journey.

Ruteng’s lively, sprawling pasar (Jl Kartini) is a meeting place for people from the surrounding hills.

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