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KOMODO DRAGON'S Lair & the Secret Pink Beach! #Travel2Indonesia

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KOMODO NATIONAL PARK is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature (together with the Puerto Princesa Underground River). 

It is the natural habitat of the Komodo Dragons, the world's largest living lizard, known for their aggressive behavior and mean-looking appearance. There are about 4,700 dragons that can only be found in the islands of KomodoRincaGili MotongFlores and Padar.

They say that the mystical Komodo Dragons are the closest link to the dinosaurs and going to the Komodo Dragon National Park is like visiting Jurassic Park with these endangered species.

It was also a surprise to see one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, the Secret Pink Beach of Komodo Island.

Check out this Photo Essay of our Komodo National Park experience....

Travel to Wonderful Indonesia Blog Series:

komodo
Komodo National Park is located in the Flores Islands on the East of Bali.

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We flew from Bali's Denpasar International Airport to a small domestic airport of Bandar Udara Komodo Labuan Bajo in the Flores Islands via Transnusa Airlines.

There are daily domestic flights from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo. There are  also daily flights, except Friday, from Kupang to Labuan Bajo.

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It took us about 20 minutes to arrive at the port to board a speed boat and went straight to explore the islands.

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Komodo Island, the biggest island, is the farthest from the Labuan Bajo port and people would rent a live-on-boats Phinisi boat to explore the national park. 

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Map from BaliStarIsland.com

From Labuan Bajo we first went to Loh Buaya park in Rinca Island, and then travel the next day to Loh Liang in Komodo Island and explored the secret Pink Beach :)

 

LOH BUAYA @ RINCA ISLAND

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It took us an hour to reach Loh Buaya via speedboat. It will take 2 hours for local boats.

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The entrance to the park gives an eerie feeling, you have to walk along the pathway as a safety precaution.

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@Michael Turtle of Time Travel Turtle hugging the Komodo Dragon statue. The biggest Komodo dragon is 3 meters long and lives to a maximum  30 years.

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We interviewed Maen, one of the park rangers, who was attacked by the Komodo Dragon in 2009 but survived.

Here's a great blog post by Michael Turtle about the interview:
Time Travel Turtle | “I was attacked by a dragon and survived”

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The dragons are very sneaky and dangerous. Their saliva contains poison, and if one attacks you, the rest of the Komodo Dragons will try to finish you off.  

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The dragons have a weak spot in the neck and park rangers use forked sticks to prevent them from attacking.

Short Trekking: Loh Buaya - Kepala Kuda
Medium Trekking: Loh Buaya - Panorama Hill
Long Trekking: Loh Buaya - Wae Waso
Adventure Trekking:
Loh Buaya - Golo Kode
Loh Buaya - Lengko Nggurung
Loh Buaya - Kerora Village 

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In Loh Buaya, you can already see the dragons resting after a meal under the houses.

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They go out early in the morning to bask in the sun and stay under the shade during the hottest hours of the day. 

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You can opt to have a short, medium or long hike around the island. We didn't see a lot of dragons during this time of the day.

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Here's a view of Loh Buaya, Rinca Island with the Rangers’ station.

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One of the interesting things to see in the island is the Dragon's nest.

Loh Buaya-67.jpgThe Komodo Dragons’ mating season is from July to August and lay their eggs in September in burrows like above. 

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On the average, there are 20 eggs which hatch after 7-8 months. The young Komodos mature after 8-9 years but have to fight for survival against predators and their cannibalistic mothers.

Can you see the Komodo mother guarding the nest?

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We finished our Rinca Island trip with a pre-arranged Indonesian lunch :)

 

LOH LIANG @ KOMODO ISLAND

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It took us 2 hours to reach Loh Liang (which means Bay nest) in Komodo Island via speedboat. It would take 4 hours for local boats.

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Komodo Island is the biggest island full of Komodo dragons. If I were to go to just one island, I would skip Rinca and go straight to Komodo Island.

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There are 4 types of trek  to experience the dragon's lair:

Short Trekking: Loh Liang - Tamarind Woods
Medium Trekking: Loh Liang - Sulphurea Hill
Long Trekking: Loh Liang - Banu Nggulung
Adventure Trekking: Loh Liang - Mount Ara or Loh Liang - Rudolf Hill - Loh Sebita 

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The Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island are bigger and scarier. You can already see them in the Rangers’ area looking for food.

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One of the reasons why their sizes are enormous is that they can eat a whole deer which is common on the island.

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The dragons hiss like snakes, hunt and ambush their prey by waiting while blending/camouflaging with the surroundings.

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They are very agile and can stand on their two feet supported by their tails.

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Here's a Komodo Dragon with Indonesian Celebrity Olga @OlgaLy_DIA who promoted the park for the New7WondersofNature campaign in Indonesia.

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The dragons are carnivorous and dangerous because of their agile stealthy abilities, mean sharp claws and poisonous saliva.

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It was an experience to see them fighting with the alpha male asserting his dominance.

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To give a perspective, here's how big the Komodo Dragon is along the beach of Komodo Island.

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The Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island are definitely bigger, meaner, and scarier. They are an endangered specie because they are hunted for their hides and for terrorizing villages. 

It was educational to see them in the wild and to understand their nature.

 

PINK BEACH

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Along the way to Loh Liang is a secret cove known as the Pink Beach or Pantai Merah.

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The powdery white sand turns into pink because of the crushed pieces of the red coral.

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You can hike to the highest vantage point and appreciate the pinkness of the sand and beauty of the entire cove.

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This is one of the favorite places of Olga and definitely a must-stop when you visit Komodo Island. 

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There are no developments on the Island yet except for this hut reserved for catering lunch for organized groups.

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Love the freshly-grilled fish and chicken with sambal for lunch!

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I love our after lunch conversations on the beach over Bintang beer.

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Stephen of Bohemian Travel showing off his Komodo Dragon impersonation.

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I can't believe it that there's such a beautiful vibrant coral life just a swim away from the beach!

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Usually, if you have a nice white sand beach there is no good snorkeling area  and vice versa. But the Pink Beach is an exception and you must snorkel to believe :)

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The Awesome People of #Travel2Indonesia with the International Travel Bloggers and the Ministry of Indonesia team :)

KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Kasimo St. Labuan Bajo, Flores NTT 86554
Telephone: +62 385 41005 / 41006
Email: info@komodo-park.com, tn_komodo@yahoo.com
Official Website: www.komodo-park.com 

Komodo National Park Fees (Domestic/ Foreign):
Entrance Fee: ( Rp.2,500, Rp. 20,000)
Handy-cam non commercial: ( Rp.15,000, Rp. 150,000)
Photo camera non commercial: ( Rp.5,000, Rp. 50,000)
Diving: ( Rp. 50,000, Rp. 75,000)
Snorkeling: ( Rp. 40,000, Rp. 60,000)
Camping: ( Rp. 20,000, Rp. 30,000)
Canoeing: ( Rp. 25,000, Rp. 40,000)
Surfing: ( Rp. 40,000, Rp. 60,000)

Related Komodo National Park articles:

Travel to Wonderful Indonesia Blog Series:

For more info about #Travel2Indonesia, check out the Official Indonesia.Travel Website!

Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Follow @antondiaz and Like our Official Facebook Page: Our Awesome Planet :) 
If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at anton@diaz.ph.

Full Disclosure: I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don't accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog. Our trip was courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to promote travel to Indonesia. 

P.S. Here are some tips on what to do on Labuan Bajo, Flores Island:

1). TREE TOP RESTAURANT, LABUAN BAJO 

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This is the best restaurant in Labuan Bajo with an eclectic tree top hut ambiance, nice view of the harbor, free wifi, and yummy Indonesian food. 

Treetop Seafood Restaurant-21.jpg Tree Top Restaurant Menu:

Breakfast | Appetizer | Main Course | Burgers/Sandwiches |
Pasta 1 | Pasta 2 | Grill | Dessert 1 | Dessert 2

Vegetarian Corner | Chicken/ Ayam | Beef/ Daging Sapi, Prawn/ Udang | Squid/ Cumi-Cumi | Crab/ Kepiting, Fish/ Ikan |
Seafood/ Macam-Macam Seafood | Seafood 2 | Set Special Menu

Drinks (Softdrinks, Beer, Mineral Water, Juice, Coffee & Tea) | 
Drinks (Milkshakes, Cocktails, Shoots)

 

 

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If you are a diver, you have to meet the legendary Wally Siagan (who owns Tree Top) who is known to have logged 5,800+ dives around Flores Islands and Komodo National Park and known to be the only guy who can drink beer underwater.

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Wally is a co-author of the diving book about Bali and around Flores Islands. A new specie called Squat Lobster is named after him. 

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TREETOP RESTAURANT
Jalan Soekarno Hatta, Kampung Tengah
Telephone: +62 385 42093 or +62 82 124111221

 

2. MEDITERRANEO RESTAURANT, LABUAN BAJO

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Mediterraneo is the only restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine in the Labuan Bajo area.  It's a good dining alternative with free wifi and bean bag tables.

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Mediterraneo Menu:

  • Special of the Week 
  • Appetizers, Carpaccio
  • Pasta, Home Made Pasta, Soup
  • Mains
  • Pizza
  • Indonesian Food
  • Dessert
  • Teas, Coffee, Soft Drinks, Milk Shakes, Beer
  • Spirit, Cocktail, Shots
  • Wine by Glass, Wine by Bottle (Red/White)
  • Lemoncello Cocktail, Fruit Cocktail
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    MEDITERRANEO RESTAURANT
    Jl. Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo
    Telephone: +62 821 4616-1663
    Email: info@mediterraneoinn.com

     

    3. LA PRIMA HOTEL, LABUAN BAJO

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    We stayed in the best hotel with a stunning view of the Flores Sunset. The hotel is quite new and there are maintenance issues, and food is just OK. 

    (Note: Flores Island is the only island in Indonesia that is predominantly Catholic so you can ask the hotel for the church services when you are in the island.)

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    LA PRIMA HOTEL
    Pede Beach Labuan Bajo West Flores
    Telephone: +62 623 8541700
    Facebook:  http://facebook.com/laprima.l.bajo

     

    4. KANAWA ISLAND, KOMODO NATIONAL PARK

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    Kanawa Island Resort is a private beach resort in the Komodo National Park with beach bungalows, white sand beach and a good snorkeling area. 

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    This is a good accommodation alternative if you like to live the island life as you explore the Komodo National Park.

    KANAWA ISLAND
    Komodo National Park, Indonesia 
    Telephone+62 (0) 385 42089 / +62 858 5704 3197 
    Diving+62 821 4480 2882 
    E-mailinfo@kanawaresort.com
    Website
    http://kanawaislandresort.com/

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    Hi Anton!

    I noticed you've been blogging about other countries now, most especially Indonesia lately.

    I think it's well and nice but just wondering why you are promoting other countries, their food and travel destinations instead of the Philippines now?

    I was under the impression that OAP is all about bringing the best out of our country and encouraging Filipinos to visit and travel to our own local destinations rather than abroad.

    Are you focusing away from featuring Philippines exclusively? I know it's your blog and whatever free food, travel and accommodation you got from the government of Indonesia for writing about them is up to you.

    I admire you for featuring places not because someone else paid for it and for you to write about them but isn't this sponsored trip by Indonesia technically a compensated series of blog posts?

    Hope you continue blogging with passion as always! More power to OAP!

    BR,
    Claire

    They can stand up! Incredible :O

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for the question and I'll be happy to answer them.

    OAP is about the Philippines and the Filipinos. Recently, there is a trend that the Filipinos are becoming a dominant segment in World Travel.

    Case in point, Filipinos are the 6th biggest tourist market now for Singapore and the fastest growing market next to Chinese. Filipinos started to have a lot of disposable income and a lot of people now can travel to neighboring countries because of low air fare as well.

    One of the most frequently asked questions in the blog in 2012 is where to eat when traveling to Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, and neighboring asian countries like Indonesia.

    In 2013, OAP will feature our Asian Neighbors and at the same time continuing to focus on the Philippines as the core content. The Indonesia series is meant to help Filipinos have an awesome food and travel experience in Indonesia when they travel.

    We blog about our experience and we disclose if it was a sponsored trip or not, if we paid for it or not, or it is an sponsored post.

    Yes the Indonesia posts are meant to promote Indonesia to the Filipinos. At the same time, the Indonesians who never travelled to the Philippines will be curious about our country as well. All of the travel people I've met in Indonesia have never been to the Philippines. They started to get curious about Boracay, and the other food and travel destinations we feature in the blog.

    Thanks for supporting OAP and reading our adventures!

    Anton

    Hi, Anton.
    I'm Ari from Indonesia and for the last 2 years i've been your silent reader. it's quite surprising to see you are blogging about Indonesia lately. Yeah, i know it is related to our ministry program.

    But at very first place, you are providing a lot of information about Philippines travel & food. And i took a lot reference from your blog before traveling to The Philippines in May 2011, Oct 2012 and (i hope) next year. Thank you.

    Hi Anton,

    I understand that you traveled there to promote Indonesia, though I cannot find information on how to get around the Komodo area even in other sites. Can you recommend a travel agency for a Komodo trip from Denpasar? I only see Perama as the reputable company but their boat sank a few years ago. Or is there a way to do a "DIY" trip. By the way, I'm female and will go solo. Thanks!


    Its quite difficult to navigate the area indeed. For the best insiders info, contact my friend @NilaTanzil who worked in that area before. She can give you a good recommendation. Tell her, she was referred by Anton of Our Awesome Planet.


    Anton

    Thanks so much Anton! I found her blog and will send her a message. More power to your blog and future journey! :)

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