Island hopping in Labuan Bajo area in Flores was the main reason for the short escape from Singapore. I specifically chose this tour operator (even though it was slightly pricier) for its boat safety and the service quality. And I think every penny was worth it. We started the day pretty early (about 5 am) and headed to Padar island for a short hike to get this beautiful view. I also started to understand why the tour combined this activity with snorkelling. It was HOT! The heat and the sun was super harsh and a mix of dry and humid, totally different from Singapore.
Seriously, just look at how pretty this place is.
After that, it was back to the boat to chase some manta rays at the manta point. Even though I didn’t get into the water because I can’t swim, it was a funny experience witnessing my boat mates chasing the manta cluelessly. Here’s them floating about after failing to see the manta the first time around. Eventually, a rope was thrown to them in the waters and they had to hold on to it as we went in search for the manta. I did see the manta’s head poking from the sea waters, which was really clear.
After everyone saw the manta rays, we headed to the pink beach. This was the main reason I was glad to choose this operator. They brought us to the longest pink beach in the area that had nobody because it was off the main boat route. Here, you can do some slight snorkelling to see baby turtles and sharks (if you’re lucky). But it’s a pretty safe zone for snorkelling. I also saw a squad of squid from the bridge (below) as we were walking over to the beach. The water is actually that clear and pretty (there’s no editing done to this picture)!
The pink from the beach comes from the red corals that has eroded over time due to the waves. The sand here is actually some of the finest and softest sand I’ve felt. You literally sink slightly as you take each step forward. But it’s really fun. It was here I also started to understand why people enjoy beach holidays. Something I usually scorn. This location was sooo pretty I felt slightly sad to leave.
After the pink beach, we headed over to Komodo island. It was noon by the time we arrived, so we did a mild hike, except for a short portion that was slightly tougher because it was very sandy and my shoes didn’t have a good grip on the steep slope. I also experienced my first sun burnt here. That’s how harsh the sun was, considering I don’t burn even without sun screen and being out in the sun for a long time.
The view from the top of the island, which is where the komodos usually hang in the morning when it is cooler.
There’s this small white patch on the ground in the picture below, and that’s where the komodo have mark its sun bathing spot.
Our one and only komodo that we saw. Male, 26 years old, he was resting next to their water basin. He was just lying there and everyone was pretty calm. But when he suddenly stood to walk to a shadier spot, everyone literally scampered away, yet trying to capture its movement at the same time.
After lunch at komodo island, it was down to Taka Makassar, a crescent beach located in the middle of the sea. At first everyone had to swim a good distance to reach the beach. But after the boat got closer slowly, me and my friend who were the only one left on board could actually walk over. But it was super crowded, so I didn’t head over. Plus I’m really short, so the water would probably reach up to my neck (based on the water level against my taller friend that eventually went in for a dip).
Corals from the boat.
The crescent beach from afar.
The last place for this tour was Kanawa island, a private island open to the public for free. The sand on the beach here was not as nice as the pink beach (more pebble-like), but the waters was still pretty clear. I even saw 2 starfish that was found in the shallower waters.
This marks the end of my first short beach getaway. It was fun and relaxing. Though getting on and off the boat is slightly intense because of how slippery and high the dock is to the boat. So the locals always had to pull us up, in particular when we arrived back onto Labuan Bajo, just in time for the sunset. Till the next post, bye!