East Indonesian islands is famous for their diving spots, especially Flores island and Komodo national park. The other islands are untouched with its beauty and off the beaten tracks. Flores island is located in East Nusa Tenggara.
This is nothing like Bali. However, the airport is pretty good and they’re cleaning up the ports. More accommodations are popping up but the roads are still dusty paths and one-lanes. There are also no malls and western brands like McDonalds and Starbucks.
About Flores Island
Flores island itself is not your typical luxury beautiful island. It’s quite poor and rural. That being said, there are other great things to do.
Places to Visit
- Alor island has some great diving site, and is much less known than Labuanbajo. This island is east of Flores
- Larantuka , is the easternmost city of Flores island. It isn’t a famous site, but it’s a beautiful city by the bay, and it has kawaliwu beach (a beach with hot spring) nearby, and a beautiful San Domingo church site
- Go west to Kelimutu crater , near city of Ende. It’s a crater with multicolor lake , easy hiking up there but worth it. There’s also 1st Indonesian president historic site there
- You’ll pass city of Maumere. This city actually has nice beach but it is more local than touristic
- Ruteng is a city by the hill with great coffee. Like Larantuka, it doesn’t have stunning tourist site, but a relaxing city to experience
- Traditional village of Wae Rebo is most likely next, you can stay overnight in this traditional village (admittedly designed for tourism)
- The port city of Labua bajo. The city itself is probably the most uncomfortable in Flores, but it does have a port where you can rent boat/ join boat tour for few days around Komodo island, Rinca, and some other small island
- Try out the local alcohol in the area: mokke and sopi. Don’t drink too much though, it’s basically local moonshine.
- The area is generally safe.
- Be careful if you’re a solo female traveller, as the people can get aggressively flirty.
- Not many people speak English so that might be a little tougher getting a local driver and all.
- People are generally super nice, polite and friendly. Basically the trait of everyone in Indonesia!
Komodo National Park
However, you must visit Komodo National Park. It is great for scuba diving and nature. The only downside is that the government is limiting people visiting the island. So there is a $1000 tourist fee. This will come into effect in Jan 2020.
Accommodation in Komodo Islands
For diving tours
Don’t bother booking in advance. Walk the main strip in Labuanbajo and decide which one looks best. If none look good to you, then book online. Be warned the boats often aren’t the same as in the photos! The hostels also will likely have recommendations.
Trevellers Tip: Arrive on Day 1 and be on the boat on Day 2. Combine scuba diving to experience all the beauty that Komodo National Park has to offer!
Trevellers Tip 2: An alternative is Rinca Island. It’s just beside Komodo National Park and still open to tourists! Great scuba diving too. AND you can also see Komodo dragons there.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.