Bali and Flores, Indonesia - Tips, Please!

I plan to travel to Bali in June with a side trip to Flores to see komodo dragons and another isand off that to see bats. The trip will last between seven and ten days, and I plan to use Daniela for flight tickets, as she comes highly recommended.

Has anyone been to Flores? How long would we need there? Any other sights really worth seeing, or are we better off heading back to Bali? We are choosing Flores over Komodo to see the dragons as it is more natural and less touristy.

And what places can you suggest to stay in Bali? We are on a tight budget. We don’t mind beaches or mountain, as long as we’re in a nice natural setting, and perhaps with lively stuff within a short commute.

And how much would we need to spend in Bali itself, once flights and accommodation were paid for? We’re two people who would be eating out a lot but not drinking so much, and wanting to join one or two tours of natural wonders.

So, any hints or tips on places to stay or things to see would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


Avoid Kuta like the plague.

Ubud is very nice. At least it was 10 years ago. Lots of artists there and some cool kecak dancing/chanting shows, plus some nice caves nearby.

Do you dive/snorkel? If so, Tulamben on the east coast has a great wreck dive on a WW2 troop carrier. Part of the boat sits in 5m or so of water, so it’s possible to see it snorkeling, but the seabed drops pretty quickly so the other end of the boat is in 25-30m, making for a nice dive.

Snorkeling sounds good.

We’re intending to make this a stock-photo trip, too.

You plan to fly from Bali to Flores? It’ll probably take several days overland.

When I did it we had to transfer from the big ferry which runs between the big islands to the little boat from Komodo on the open sea.

I don’t know about today, but ten years ago Komodo Island was as unspoilt as you could hope for and the reefs were gorgeous. No diving facilities though, but that has probably changed. It was a national park with only one place to stay - rotting wooden cabins on stilts, no electricity after 9pm, rats in the rafters. Komodo dragons wander through the facility, and the day I arrived there was a deer grazing about ten feet away from a sleeping 4m lizard.

At that time they had stopped doing the live goat feeding show as it discouraged the dragons from hunting. We took a hike and saw numerous piles of sleeping dragons. This is pretty much all they do, and there was a TV crew there who had spent two weeks waiting for something interesting to happen.

Beaten track, forest, silence, no sign of civilisation except for the helicopter pad that was rarely used. Oh, and we saw two Komodo Dragons tear a live deer to pieces after rounding a bend in the path to find it held firmly by a set of strong teeth around its neck. Sadly, the TV crew weren’t with us. Apparently this is a really rare thing to witness.

Flores was interesting. I remember an excellent day tour conducted by a guy named Lucas which included undeveloped hot springs on the slope of a volcano and dinner in his village, which was on of those places you could believe was created just to impress tourists if there had been more tourists. Can’t remember the name of the place though.

Keli Mutu was worth getting up early for, and we walked down the mountain afterwards and finished up having a swim in a waterfall. We stumbled into a house where a lady tried to sell us some of the Ikat weaving she was working on, for a tenth the price you’ll see it for in Kuta. Also, I remember meeting people who were walking up the mountain on dirt trails to church, dressed in their Sunday best (still barefoot) and with their bibles balanced on their heads.

You could spend a week on Flores without difficulty.

Maybe this isn’t your cup of tea, but the one thing that I would when in Flores would be to check out exhibits of those tiny pre-humans whose remains they found there a couple years ago. They were three feet tall, mini Homo erectuses who scientists say inhabited the island until around 18,000 years ago, although the locals often tell stories about them so it’s likely they hung around until well after that.

I don’t know, maybe the bones aren’t even back from analysis yet, but it’s something to look into if you’re at all inerested in this kind of thing.

In any case, have a great time!

Rescuing dogs and cats is paying well these days, Sean? :wink:

He’s selling them in Vietnam, although God only knows what they would want with them.

No, boarding them is. :wink:

Actually, I intend to make enough selling stock photos to pay for the trip. Otherwise, I really can’t afford it, which is why I’ve not had a holiday for several years now. :frowning:

Some kind souls are coming to stay at my pad to take care of the animals in the evening, bless 'em. :notworthy:

Now all I have to do is convince the girl of my dreams to come with me … :pray:

Of course she’ll have to travel in a pet box with the cargo.

Of course she’ll have to travel in a pet box with the cargo.[/quote]

True enough, and she’ll probably be quarantined the entire trip.