The Jakarta Post
Domestic and foreign tourists are seen at Pink Beach in Komodo National Park in West Manggarai, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara on May 10, 2017. The site has become a popular spot for foreign visitors who want to enjoy a natural beach and underwater beauty. (The Jakarta Post/Markus Makur)
Traveling solo to an unknown destination might sound like a terrifying idea. But there are advantages to taking a trip on your own.
First of all, as pointed out by lifehack.org, it is a great way to discover your true self, as being alone out there on the road will require you to make decisions, overcome fears and rely on yourself. There will be experiences that test your ability to overcome obstacles, challenge you and help you grow as an individual. Don’t forget, all these challenges and chances to grow come with the beauty of a new place you have never been to. Feel like packing your bag now?
Choosing a destination for your solo adventure is at once exciting and thrilling. Especially if it’s a place you’ve never been to. And if you’re looking for a beautiful destination with a healthy dose of challenge in one place, Flores is the answer. You will meet the natives with their distinctive culture, and some of them will probably offer to take you to the hidden gems in the area. Not to mention you will also meet fellow travelers who may end up becoming your new friends.
Here are a few tips to get you ready for the adventure as compiled by tempo.co:
Double your travel budget
Among the perks of traveling with friends are splitting transportation costs and sharing accommodation. There is a possibility that you will meet a new friend along the way and split some costs with him or her. But it is better to be prepared with extra funds.
Choose the right port of entry
Morning sun shining on Kelimutu volcano on Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara. (Shutterstock/File)
Take a flight to Ende from Denpasar if you are planning an overland journey. Bear in mind that upon landing, the locals will be rather pushy about offering their transportation services .
Typically, the next destination after Ende airport is Moni village, from where you can depart to the iconic Kelimutu lake for a spectacular sunrise. Another must-visit area is the town of Bajawa, famous for its cultural festivals, picturesque nature and natural hot springs. Consider also visiting Bena traditional village, spiderweb rice field, and trekking to Wae Rebo to see the authentic traditional houses where you can spend a night or two.
Meanwhile, if you are into island hopping around Komodo, choose a flight to Labuan Bajo from Denpasar. Living on board is a great option that will enable you to hop on and hop off the islands and beaches. Komodo Island, Pink Beach, Manta Point, Gili Laba, Kanawa Island and Padar Island make excellent places to include in your itinerary.
Consider air travel instead of land travel
Flores is a vast island. It’s a good idea to hop on a plane to get from one place to the next. If you want to combine overland journeying and island hopping, air travel is an even better option. From Labuan Bajo, you can fly to Bajawa or Ende. It is more time and cost efficient than long distance travel by rental car.
Count on 'ojek'
Taking an ojek (motorcycle taxi), is a good way to get around the island. Some destinations are well hidden and you need to take the road less traveled. You are in for hills, bends and slippery roads. Rely on the locals' knowledge of the area.
Prepare a cell phone with sim cards from different providers
There is a possibility you will lose phone signal in certain places. If that happens, try switching the sim card. A working smartphone and internet will help you find any information needed and help you stay in contact with friends and family back home. (mut/kes)