If someone ask me about where my favorite destination in Indonesia, I would simply say Komodo National Park. Why? Because this place has everything. From the white pristine beaches, the exotic hills, to the breathtaking view of the underwater beauty. Not to mention the Komodo itself, the last dragon on earth. No wonder this National Park was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature on 2007.
If you want to experience the Komodo National Park to the fullest, you can join sailing komodo trip (4 days 3 nights) departing from Bangsal Harbour, Lombok, to Labuan Bajo, Flores. When I joined this sailing trip last March 2016, I wasn’t alone. In fact there were 22 other participants. Mostly were hardcore travelers who had been months away from their homeland to travel around the world and by coincidence were traveling in Indonesia. Some from Europe, some from States, and some other from Latin America. If before I knew the existence of this type of traveler through Indonesian travel writer’s book and blog, now I had the chance to meet them in person and got inspired. After all they were super fun and very friendly, making this sailing komodo trip more excited than I expected.
Our Sailing Boat
After spending a night on the boat, we arrived in Moyo Island on the next morning. We could feel the relaxing and peaceful ambience once we set our foot on the island. And hidden beneath its tropical rain forest, laid Mata Jitu waterfall. By the locals Mata Jitu is defined as springs that fall right on the pond below. Just from distance we could hear the sound of splashing water broke the silence of wilderness. For sure this is one of the prettiest waterfall anywhere found in Indonesia and I wasn’t surprised if this waterfall was the reason why Lady Diana, David Beckham, Mick Jagger, dan Maria Sharapova came to Indonesia and visited Moyo Island.
Not far from Moyo Island, laid another exotic island surrounded with colorful corals right nearby its white pristine beach. It was Satonda Island, our next stop. This island is very famous for its salt water lake that has salinity more than the ocean. Scientist believed that the lake on Satonda Island was previously covered with fresh water like any other common lake. But the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 created big tsunami towards the island hence replaced the fresh water with salt water.
On the next day, we arrived in Gili Laba after 16 hours sailing nonstop from Satonda Island. Gili Laba is uninhabited island that offers one-of-a-kind view of Flores Sea from top of the hill. A combination between the white sand beach with the turquoise color of shallow water and the dark blue deep ocean. The island itself was surrounded with vast green savannah that turned yellowish when dry seasons came. We spent the entire morning there by trekking to the top of the hill, then gazing in disbelief how could such this beautiful place does exist on earth.
In the noon time, we went to Manta Point to swim with not only one or two manta but a lot of it. Swimming gracefully like a butterfly in the ocean. Later we proceeded to the most talked beach on earth, Pink Beach Komodo. Actually the color of the sand there was red and made from coral rubble, but appeared to be pink when seeing in distance. The best time visited Pink Beach was during afternoon when the red sand released its best color under abundance of direct sunlight.
Besides enjoying the famous Pink Beach, we also tried snorkeling there. Some people claimed snorkeling spot in Pink Beach Komodo is one of Indonesia's very best. Well, it wasn’t exaggeration though as I would say it was not only Indonesia's best snorkeling spot, it was a world class snorkeling spot indeed. Covered mostly with red-colored hard corals and soft corals, also tons of marine creatures like in the fish market.
Pink Beach Komodo
Pink Beach Komodo
After having great times in Pink Beach Komodo, came the most awaited time as we arrived in Komodo Island on the next day. Before we started trekking, we did short briefing with the komodo rangers regarding the rules inside the park. What do’s and don’ts. Then got to choose from 3 walking trail options: short trail, medium trail, or long trail. For sure we chose the medium trail as the short trail was too short so small chance to meet komodo while the long trail was too far and too long.
Less than 30 minutes walking we could spot our first komodo on their natural habitat, slept below the shades of big trees. And the more we entered the forest, the more komodo we had seen. Sadly until the end of walking trail, we couldn’t spot komodo baby who spent their entire childhood hiding on top of the trees because it was afraid of being eaten by adult komodo. Komodo is a cannibal animal but normally it hunts deer, wild boar, or buffalo which can be found anywhere on the island. On its mouth there are more than 50 deadly bacteria so one bite can lead a fatal result. If we happened got to be chased by komodo, the best ways were running zig-zag since komodo can’t switch direction instantly or climb a tree.
Kodomo? No. It’s komodo. The Dragon
After spending half day on Komodo Island, we went on to our last destination, Padar Island. Situated between Komodo Island and Rinca Island, in the past Padar Island was also inhabited by komodo dragon. But because the island lack of their prey such deers and wild boar, komodo in Padar Island slowly disappeared and finally extinct. Today komodo only can be found in Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Gili Motang, and Nusa Kode.
Although Padar Island had no komodo to offer, we found our visit there very delightful as the island was charming and photogenic at the same time. We spent the rest of the day by hiking to the highest hill then spotted again the majestic combination between white sand beach, amazing Flores Sea, and the vast green savanah.
Finally after our lovely visit to Padar Island, it came to the end of this sailing komodo trip. Even though it was a short trip but this journey kept remind me again how wonderful Indonesia is. The white pristine beaches, the exotic island, the breathtaking underwater beauty, and the komodo dragon, what an endless beauty. I don’t think I would ever get bored of these scenery. Thank you Komodo National Park. Thank you Indonesia. You are truly wonderful.
This is a backpacker trip with budget 1.5 to 2 mio depends on which tour provider you take. Duration is 4 days 3 nights, departing from Bangsal Harbour, Lombok, to Labuan Bajo, Flores. You can also take the sailing trip in reverse direction: from Labuan Bajo to Lombok OR the one that start and finish in Labuan Bajo with similar budget. The trip already covers your daily meals, entrance fee, and accommodation on the boat. But flight ticket must be purchased separately.
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