Hooray, I have visited Flores and see the Komodo!
The plan to visit this place is actually started when I and my friend, Ardi, attended the SkyScanner event in September last year – yes last year! – where we had the contest called ‘Inspirasi Travel 5 Juta’ (Travel Inspiration with the budget of IDR5 million). We needed to make a travel board wish of the place that we wanted to go for only IDR5 million. So our group decided Flores! Then our group needed to promote our travel wish board on Twitter in order for us to get the most RT and Like (it was ‘Favourite’ back then). The hunt of getting RT and Like started in December 2014. I still remember that I promoted this everywhere, including in a blog post, Twitter, many Facebook posts, and LINE messages too! We promoted until the very last minute, and we were really thrilled that we finally won it!
We got free tickets!!!!!
— Skyscanner Indonesia (@SkyscannerID) December 2, 2014
We can actually chose any destinations that we want, not necessary the same with our travel wish board destination, but myself and Ardi, decided to stick to our wish … Flores and Komodo!
And this trip was realized this October this year … Haha!
We used the free tickets to buy the flight from CGK to DPS, as there is no direct flight to LBJ at the moment. We needed to buy the flight ticket from DPS – LBJ, and based on Skyscanner, there are 2 major airlines that serve the route of DPS – LBJ, i.e. Garuda and Wings Air. And seeing the name, Wings Air, I could guess that this route uses the ATR plane 😉
We used Garuda for the flight of CGK – DPS and DPS – CGK, also the flight from LBJ – DPS, while the flight from DPS – LBJ, we chose Wings Air so we flew to Labuan Bajo on the same day we arrived in Bali.
We could only go for 5 days, which meant we only had a time to do trip around Labuan Bajo and the Komodo Island and the surrounding island. It is quite sad that we could not visit the Wae Rebo, but perhaps I will just save that destination when I did the overland trip on Flores Island 🙂
There are some way to visit the Komodo Island and the surrounding islands. Either you can do a day trip from Labuan Bajo, or you can have a LOB (Living on Board) trip – where you can spend a few days on a boat, usually it will take around 3D2N, but it really depends on the package provided. The LOB trip can start from Labuan Bajo and end at Labuan Bajo, or you can start from Lombok and end at Labuan Bajo or vice versa.
I chose to do the LOB trip, but I did not know that I could do this LOB trip from Lombok to Labuan Bajo, as if I knew it in the beginning, I could bought the ticket from CGK – LOP and DPS – CGK for the flight home! Haha …
This was my first LOB trip, and I did not check the providers until last minute! I thought it was easy to get the LOB trip provider, and if I wanted to join an open-trip, I should follow their schedule, but I have already applied my leave on a certain period, where there was no open-trip available. Thus … I chose to have a private trip, which will cost you more than if you join an open-trip. So the more participants in your private trip, the more you can split the fare.
Finding a private trip provider is not that easy either, but luckily I could find one! Really last minute! Phiew! Haha.
This ‘travel wish board’ trip to Labuan Bajo started on Wednesday morning. We headed to the airport quite early to avoid the traffic jam coming in to the airport.
Little that I knew the plane that we used was the big plane of Garuda, even though it was only a trip from CGK – DPS. It has three sections of seat in the economy class, and glad that I chose the emergency exit seats. It is the big plane, so it has more space in the emergency exit area. I was also happy that I got the window seat – means great view for me! Haha …
It was a smooth flight, and we arrived in DPS at the same time with the flight of Garuda from DPS – LBJ. I imagined that if I booked that Garuda flight for DPS – LBJ route, I think we still got a time! Well … probably not! Haha.
After we had lunch in Ngurah Rai airport, we got ourselves ready for our flight to LBJ! Really excited!
And I was right … the Wings Air was using the ATR plane. From the big plane of Garuda to a smaller ATR plane of Wings Air haha, but I always love the ATR plane. It will fly in a lower altitude so I could have a better view from my window seat!
Too bad my window was not that clear 🙁
Finally we arrived at Labuan Bajo airport!!!
The airport is still under construction, especially the runaway, as they are in the middle of extending the runaway, so the Boeing plane could land there. This means, there is a possibility of a direct flight to LBJ in the future! Woohoo!
So … Hallo Labuan Bajo!!
- CGK: Cengkareng = Soekarno Hatta International Airport
- DPS: Denpasar = Ngurai Rai International Airport
- LBJ: Labuan Bajo = Komodo Airport
- LOP: Lombok = Lombok International Airport
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