Liveaboard Leisure Trip in Indonesia: Komodo Island Tour, East Nusa Tenggara.

Adventure into the Komodo Island National Park was my long time dream. My passionate for the trip came over as the Komodo Island was designated as the New Seven Wonders of the World, my activity in the public sector occupied most my time. But this time, I had a full support from my boss. Wasn't it  a big luck for me. Since the attractions I was looking for spread over a number of islands which required me to hop from one island to another, then liveaboard leisure trip would suit me best.

It took me a while to browse the Internet searching for a tourist package by local tour operators to Komodo Island offering the one I needed. at the end of the day, I had booked a stay at 'Bajo View Hotel'  and  a liveaboard trip of 3D2N from November 10 to 12, 2016  or three days on the go and two overnight stay with the following itinerary:

Day 1: Labuhan Bajo - Kanawa Island - Sembilan Island - Overnight at Gili Lawa (Sun Set);

Day 2: Gili Lawa (Sun Rise) - Manta Point - Pink Beach - Komodo Village (overnight);

Day 3: Padar Island - Rinca Island - Pulau Kelor - Labuhan Bajo.

Provided during liveaboard including: full AC along the trip, pick up and drop at hotel and harbour, foods and drinks, life jackets, snorkeling gear, tour guide and ranger in the Komodo National Park, entry tickets into all destinations, as well as documentation with drone, a Quadcopter.

I decided to get to Labuhan Bajo by hopping over two big citries : Jakarta and Denpasar, out of missing it so much for such a quite long time  beside ample time I had. Actually, I could have flied directly by Garuda Air Ways, our national flag carrier , which just opened six times a week to Labuhan Bajo. After making preparation for the trip, I departed from Jakarta on November 9th, at 8.20 WIB with Lion Air then landed on time in Denpasar. After stopover for around four hours, I flied again to Labuhan Bajo at 14.00 WITA and landed on time.

Arriving on the airport, with a bit of confusion on how to go to my hostel, I then grabbed a taxi with flat rate Rp 60,000.0. Around five minutes, the taxi dropped  me ' Bajo View Hostel'. The hostel was not quite good and costed me only Rp 110,000.0. I reckoned it as budget one, particularly when discounted with a harbour view.

Still having time before the ' real show time', I chose to take a walk to the harbour for photography hunting and sunset in the evening. In the night, I spent it having fun in a cafe called 'Le Pirate'. It was already full with foreign visitors, all of them  tourists I supposed.

The next day, on November 10th, I spent my first day in Labuhan Bajo to explore the nearby attractions. After eliciting some information from a hostel staff, I chose to go to Cunca Wulang water fall. I got out the hostel at around 10.00 WITA and took me almost one hour with a hired motor cycle to the entry post of  the destination area. The ride was not a easy one as it was  an ascending and winding small road with bushes on the left and right. I needed to pay an entry ticked of Rp 70,000.0 including a local guide, Mr. Zakarya.

After trekking for nearly thirty minutes, we arrived at Cuncawulang waterfall. There were already eight foreign tourists, most of them are western visitors. It was quite interesting attraction of a lake with two colors, green during dry season and blue  wet season. you can do cliff jumping and swimming in a cool water. You would see the natural harmony over there with local people empowered as the forest custodian. Notably, all contributions into the area go to the local people. Black cloud on the sky gave me a sign to go back to the hostel.Thank you Mr. Zakarya for guiding you are such a humble men.

I had no idea with who and how many I was going to share the trip with. Thursday the11th, I was pick up on 09.30 WIT (East Indonesia Time) at the Bajo View Hostel and dropped at Kampung Ujung and rounded up at the port. Until, I realized that I was going to  share the joy with six teen others and all were young country folks eight young men and eight young women from a number of cities in Sumatra and Java. Nearly all of them seemed to me a kind of easy going and easy to mingle with.

We then departed for Kanawa Island, a fifty minute sailing. The Island offers a wonderful nature where you will find its crystal clear water and a beach with white and soft sand. Visitors were mostly snorkeling here.

we had our lunch on the boat while sailing to Pulau Sembilan or Nine Island. its actually an atoll reef  with a shape of nine. that's why it is called Pulau Sembilan. In this island, we swim and touched jelly fish. Don't you worry touching jelly fish is not hurting since its sting is so small.

Having fun in Pulau Sembilan, we set off to Gili Laba.  It took us around three hours depending on the sea current and the weather. Luckily, it was a good weather when we were ashore. Then, the Tour Leader took us trekking to the hill on the left to find the best spot for watching  sunset.

Before twilight we had to be on board again, we went down the hill with care as the way down was slippery and steep.  We stayed overnight here.

we all woke up very early in the morning at 04.00 WITA by the tour staff to start another trekking for the sun rise. The trekking line was quite challenging and not easy for some guys but the attraction was worth it. After around twenty minutes of an ascending route, we finally got to the peak with the Sun still behind the cloud.

A couple of minute later, we marveled at the appearance of yellow lights from the Sun appeared.Our next destination was Manta Point. In this spot, we swim and  gazed at a cluster of manta looking for food. Remember, do not touch it because the tail is very dangerous.

From Manta Point, we then, continued our trip to Pink Beach. It really is a stunning beach with pink fine sand which attract so many tourists to come enjoy its uniqueness.

you can do many things here including sun bathing, walking along the beach, photo taking, snorkeling, and trekking. when trekking choose the route to the highest spot because you could see the whole terrain of Pink Beach, as well as Komodo Island.

Komodo Island was our main destination with Loh Liang as the entry gate. In local language, Loh means egg, and Liang hole; all together becomes egg hole. Actually, there are three entry gates into the Komodo Island National Park depending the length of trekking route: short, medium, and long. we chose the short one, any how we still saw a herd of deers and six Komodo Dragons.

Before started trekking the ranger gave us some dons along the route: do not make noise, do not make a surprising move,  do not swing beg, or scarf as it looks like foods to them, women with menstruation expected to report as they could smell it and like it, and lastly do not litter along the way. Once finished, we got back to the boat and head off to the water of Kalong Island and stayed overnight there.

On the last day of our liveaboard trip, we head off to Pulau Padar very early at 04.00 WIT.  Pulau Padar is also the icon of this trip for its breath taking view. We arrived at a temporary jetty there around 06.00 WIT. The trekking route to the hill in Pulau Padar is less challenging as the way up is not so steep. It took only twenty minutes to the hill top.

Indeed, the view of three beaches that make  up  a half of circle is really stunning. I was speechless at the first time gazing over the dazzling view in Pulau Padar. Sailing back to Labuhan Bajo, We made a stop at Pulau Kelor and enjoyed the beauty of its beach and small hill. Trekking in this island was more entertaining than playing in the beach.

We arrived at the habour of Labuhan Bajo at 12.00 WIT and drove to the airport afterward. Before departing for Denpasar, I brought home some souvenirs sold in a souvenir shop, just across just the airport. Don't forget to bring cash

I guested it was a perfect trip for me, a value for money trip. I could enjoy quite a variety of attraction along the trip; enjoy the beauty of  mother nature on the beach and islands besides I could do many things like watching sunset and sunrise, sunbathing, trekking, swimming, snorkeling,gazing Komodo Dragon, touching jelly fish, and watching manta. Indonesia is,indeed, a wonderful country with friendly local people where ever you go.

Note:  This blog thanks a great deal to Mr. Robby for sharing his experience. 


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