To me, everything is still pristine in Labuan Bajo, the main island in the Lesser Sunda chain. From the windy hill top, islands look like green shells continuously reaching for the horizon. They are held by little waves which surround intact white sand beaches.
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It took me 90 minutes by plane from Bali – the most famous tourist island in Indonesia to reach this primary place. We then set off for a 3–day cruise on Labuan Bajo. Let’s discover the legend island through this Komodo island trip blog.
In the evening, we boarded a ship from Labuan Bajo.. Land and sea seemed to merge into one infinite blue. Tourists often refer to Lesser Sunda as “ Indonesia’s Ha Long” seeing that green islands spread in the vast ocean. The only difference between Halong and Lesser Sunda is their soil. While Ha Long, Vietnam is made of ortholimestones, Lesser Sunda is made of a big variety of soils.
The green pearl in the island country
Unlike other Indonesian islands, Labuan Bajo and Komodo have not yet been commercialized. Strolling on the green hills of Labuan Bajo, from where one can see the beaches hugging the island, I noticed that nature here is still intact. Just listening to the waves and breathing the fresh air from the hilltop makes the experience worthwhile.
In the afternoon, we went diving in the deep blue area near Komodo where the coral reefs sparkle and parasites gracefully move It was easy to believe we were in a scene from the movie“ The Mermaid”, where colorful fish swam and hid behind green moss or in the gaps of coral reefs.
There is nothing more exciting than getting lost in an isolated and virgin island and discovering its wilderness. Whether diving, sunbathing or reading books while the light faded in the horizon, those were unforgettable moments.
Komodo island facts and history: Part of Indonesia’s most famous national garden, Komodo Island consists of small islands and a diversified maritime system in an area of 1817km2. Most islands are desert with trodden pathways. The place is also famous for the Dragon Komodo – the largest lizard living in the natural environment. In the surrounding sea , there are many big fish, especially sharks and stingrays.
Komodo Island was discovered by local Bugis prisioners inthe early 19th century. It is the most exotic island in Lesser Sunda, named for the .giant creature the Bugis people found there.
Prisoners told fantastic tales about a giant fire-spitting creature that killed people and animals as big as buffalos and wild boars. These legends spread and reached the Dutch sailors, which led Mr. Hensbroek, an official of the Dutch Colonial Administration, to take a trip to this strange island and find out about the legendary creature.
He shot one and brought it to the office in Flores, Lesser Sunda where he and biologist Ouwens examined it. The studies published in 1912, based on made up stories by Dutch sailors revealed the creatures name, which is . Varanus komodoensis, meaning Komodo dragon. Contrary to myth, Komodo dragon is a type of iguana, of the lizard specie. It was first seen in Australia 4000 years ago. An adult Komodo dragon may weigh as much as 100 kilos and measure up to 3 meters. Their habitat have a diversified fauna and floral system which include plants, birds, and other mammals. Since 1915, this rare dragon is legally protected under Dutch authority..
At the Komodo National Park, we carefully followed the tour guide’s instructions as Komodo Dragons are known to attack tourists at close distance. During a 30-minute walk we learned about the Komodo Dragon’s routine as well discovered the diversity in the island. The guide showed us big holes the dragons have dug in the sand in their breeding season, which happens once a year, between May and June. Hatching lasts about 3 months, and their egg weighs a couple of kilos. An infant dragon weighs from 15 to 20 kilos. Due to many environmental factors, the ratio of successful hatching is not high.
Only in Labuan Bajo
The Komodo Dragon is not the only peculiarity in Labuan Bajo. The island also has pink beaches, which is the combination of mud, ocean salts, and white sand. For the remaining 2 days we joined in other outdoor activities on pink beaches such as snorkeling and trekking.
At the end of the day, the sky is painted red before the sun sinks in the horizon and gives way to the night. One by one, the lights from fishing boats and tourist’s ships come on, making a twinkling string in the dark landscape.
Tonight I sleep on the boat and listen to the waves. Its soft motion after an exciting day makes a perfect symphony in this memorable expedition to the exotic Komodo island.
+ How to get to Labuan Bajo? (Komodo island from Bali): Bali is the main island and the only terminal to Labuan Bajo. There are two airlines with direct flights to Labuan Bajo, Garuda Airlines and Lion Air. Tourists can go by ship from Labuan Bajo to Flores island. From Vietnam, there are no direct flights to Bali, tourists must transfer at Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
+ Heritage: Komodo Island was voted as one of the seven new wonders of the world in 2011.
+ Visa: Indonesia exempts visa for Vietnamese tourists to the country with 30 day-stay per entry. Indonesian currency is Rupiah (1USD =13300 Rupiah)
+ Notice: When going to the island, tourists should bring sunscreen, swimsuit, towels and other diving equipments (these can also be rented from shops). Tourists should also bring snacks as they are hard to find in the island.
+ Health: Komodo discovering tour has many popular activities such as trekking, hiking or diving and seeing coral reefs. It is crucial that the tourist visiting Komodo Island be in good physical health to enjoy all the activities the island offers.
+ Reference tour: As a new destination in Indonesia, the place is still pristine and not yet commercial. When you come to Indonesia, you can refer to tours from local tourism agencies such as…
PT. Flores Komodo Tours
Emanuel House, 2nd Floor, Gg Lerikson, Nai Roa Street, Maumere of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Read more Indonesia travel guide at here.