Don’t worry, there will be no more Wikipedia-typical-article on this introduction session like you usually find on other blog. You know what? because it is a cool blog! *yihaa
- and a cool blog is written by an awesome author,
- and yeah you’re right, that means I am awesome!! (wtf!)
Let’s get down to the business, how to reach there? (more detailed info is on the last page)
Get to Labuanbajo either from Bali, Ende or… Bali.
If you reach Komodo by air, I suggest you to take a window seat as the view is so crunchy!
There is plenty 3D2N boat from Lombok which also stop by in some cool destinations like Sumbawa and etc. Or, take a public ship (Pelni) from Bali for more affordable price. This would be a cool alternative if you don’t have any seasickness.
If you are not in hurry and want to feel Indonesia in a more deep ways, try to get here by land from Bali/Lombok. Jump to Sumbawa Island and get across to Sape by bus. If you are lucky (and most of the time yes, you’ll be lucky), you will ride a roofless bus with an extra wide-open-view-service. Means that you are on top of the bus as the inside part is fully packed. Then afterwards, cross the strait from Sape by public boat.
If you intend to explore the archipelago, as soon as you reach Labuan Bajo, either by boat or by flight, then you are already there, which means that both the port and the airport is already in the central tourism area. There will be plenty choices of accommodation, restaurant and warung available within several minutes walk. I am not saying that Labuan Bajo is small. It is huge, but the tourism area is just nicely packed within one compact region.
The airport is located on IDR 20k distance by ojek and the port is right on its center. There is one main street there - length around 15 minutes walk - and by its each side you may find any restaurants, hotels, cafes, dive centers, information centers, warungs, ATMs and many more. There is also night market on the corner of the city where you can find local affordable and delicious grilled seafood!
By the time you have some walks across the main street, you may easily notice that there will be a lot of white-boards mention about “2D1N Rinca trip” or “Join live-a-board for Komodo watch” or “Snorekeling trip + Komodo 2D1N” or the empty one because the shop owner is currently out for traveling. Basically that’s the easiest way to do island hopping in Komodo. Such a share-cost trip will provide you a visit to Rinca for a meeting with Komodo, snorkeling at Pink Beach; Kelor; Manta Point & a short stop to Kenawa Island. Just don't stop and wait on the shop with an empty board one.
However, if you want to feel more atmosphere of Komodo Islands, such trip is barely enough. Especially if you are an avid photographer, or loves photography, or loves to take selfie, or a-kind-of-people-who-has-plenty-time-off-and-you-don't-know-what-to-do, then you get to opt for other choice - which is to take 3D2N trip by your own boat. And that’s where the holy sweet fruit is.
The problem is, you get to have your own group so you can share the boat cost. The price is various and depends on the boat facility and services. However, for the standard one with 3-5 pax capacity, usually it will cost you around 5-6 million IDR for this 3D2N trip complete with all meals and snacks (or 1.2 to 1.5 million per pax). So, come with a group or try to ask other visitors who would like to join your trip, then go to the port area and ask the price directly to the boat captain there. More details will be provided on the last page :)
For my case, I know this ship owner by a recommendation from a friend in Internet.. hmm actually, I didnt know him. Well, basically Google introduced me to his blog and since the info he provides is useful, so I considered him as my friend. Anyway, I met the boat captain during the night just before sailing and there we had further discussion about the spots that we are going to visit. He is very kind and open for alternative and his details are also available on the last page. Yeah! I forced you to open my web-page one by one before getting the info you require ;)
The 3D2N journey began at 8AM with our first destination is Kanawa Island. During that time, I was impressed with the accommodation and meals which are provided onboard the boat. The food is very nice, even much more nicer than what I usually eat (-__-)
There is indeed a peaceful feelings whenever I visited this island again. When I had my first solo traveling experience years back ago, somehow I was trapped into this island as the weather suddenly peak up, resulted the port to be closed temporarily - and temporarily means it was closed for 5 days. There was no other choice for me except to stay in this hotel and fortunately, I brought enough cash at that time to afford my accommodation there. Long short story, it was started by a disaster which force me to stay on that tiny island, but it ended up to be a kind of memory that I will never forget as we - the trapped guests - round up in the small bar and we randomly shared our story, had a laugh, with a cold bintang in our hand, gazing the night stars together (well, this stargazing part is not actually happened.. that would be so gay~). This experience also what have made me getting addicted to solo traveling. Kanawa is where it all started.
This island is so damn great for snorkeling. the underwater park is large, shallow and so colorful. I haven’t tried to dive there but the resort has its own dive center which I think it is worth to have a taste. There is a hill with an easy trek amidst the island which is great both for either sunrise or sunset peek. You may also easily circle this tiny island for morning jogging in around 20-30 minutes. The hotel crews are so lively and they always invite me to join their volleyball game which is usually taking place around 4.30 - 5pm.
Back to my first visit on early 2014, the resort has several types of accommodation started from a simple tent, bale to bungalow. However when I came back again last time on late 2015, I found that there is no more bale and tent available. Now they only provide bungalows for IDR 500K/night. Well, I don't think that I can afford to stay there If I got trapped on that island again.
Kanawa Beach, from the back side of the island.
We continue sailing and our next destination is Pulau Sembilan. it is not an entirely an island I guess, it is basically just a deposit of sands which is packed in one small area and make this looks like an island. By the way, if you have a drone and look at the aerial view of this island, you may see that the shape of this island is like figure 9, that’s why they called it island of nine. And then, what’s the special thing about this island?
One thing that made this island is worth your visit is because the island is shaped like a figure 9! Hooray! (That's it? Are you kidding me? What's so special about figure 9?)
Nope, not that one, I'm just kidding you. The true reason is because there is a small pond within this island and that pond is a habitat of stingless jellyfish! That’s a real awesome like? By visiting this island, you can have a taste how is it like to touch the jellyfish without a worry of getting stung. So, by the time you reach this island, don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear.