The memories are still vivid on my mind. Back in early 2000s, me with my parents traveled to Labuan Bajo by land from Mataram, Lombok through a connecting bus. Unfortunately, the inclement weather has stopped us to continue the trip when we arrived at Sape. We are then looking for another destination which brought us to another elated journey, it was a trip to Moyo Island.
It took 17 years for me to finally landed my foot in the sunny day of Labuan Bajo. An island with no lack of activities’ options to excite you. Surrounded by tropical evergreen rain forest, sea with pristine waters, beautiful orange coloured sky in sunset time, and the calming sounds of crashing waves, so calm it can be your lullaby.
Komodo National Park which includes big three main islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca. Each of them offers a different sight and attraction that will captivate your mind. I’m such the luckiest person in the world this time, got a chance to visit the three main major islands by riding the Phinisi Boat for 2 days. Experiencing Flores’ beautiful coastline from dusk til dawn.
In Komodo and the other two major islands, the guide will offer a 3 different trekking course, short, medium or long. Prepare yourself better with proper shoes, hat and sunglasses, drinking water and some other personal things you might need during the trek.
Komodo Island is in top of everyone’s list, to meet face-to-face with the ancient giant lizards, Komodo Dragon. Komodo is bigger, fatter (and faster!) than you can imagine, to get the best experience while visiting the island, refrain yourself from doing something that might provoke them. This giant creature can be dangerous and attacks people sometimes, please always follow the instructions from the the professional guide for your own safety. Most of the time, the Komodo Dragon seems appeared like they are asleep or ‘lifeless laying around on their belly and do nothing’, but the truth is they are very cautious and aware about human’s or other animal’s presence. They have a very strong sense of smell which can locate a dead or dying animal from a range up to 9.5km.
Padar Island’s landscape and view is on another level. You will not believe your own eyes. Hiking the rocky and steep hills until you reach the peak might takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. For me, visiting around noon time would be the best, the sun still shine but not too hot, sometimes you can feel the wind breezing – at very comfortable temperature. Once you reach the top, the view of three crescent-shaped beaches, pristine sea water with pink sands, the winds, all are priceless and worth all your hiking efforts. Allow yourself to spend sometime in the Pink Beach. Pink Beach is a perfect place for a beginner snorkelers and divers to enjoy, as the beach is quite safe and the water is still and shallow, you can enjoy the underwater life while waiting for the sunset. Did I tell you, seeing sunset in east part of Indonesia could be the best compliment in your life? You’re on the cloud nine now.
Cruising in Phinisi Boat through the crystal clear waters in to see how Indonesia’s island like no where else to be found. The last island to visit before heading back to the main island is Rinca. The landscape of Rinca Island slightly different from the other two, savannah climate is very prominent in here. Especially in dry season, the green hills will turn into a yellow-savannah. Less population and impact of tourism, Rinca is also a habitat for Komodo Dragon and other wild animals, such a Cobra. Rinca is also popular for the adventure-trekker to enjoy the euphoric view of the national park. The island itself is lovely, full of interesting flora (trees, flowers and other plants), the path is smooth, less rocky and steep. At the time I visited Rinca, the local government starting the campaign to preserve Rinca’s mangrove, the visitors could give a donation as a form to participate to the program.
After snorkeling, trekking and hiking, catching sunrise and sunset, seeing the Komodo Dragons, and also enjoying the excellent service, delicious meals and comfortable stay in Phinisi Boat for the past days, now it’s time to return to the main port in Labuan Bajo. Labuan Bajo is captivating, to say the least.