Has anyone recently visited Flores? Any must see places? any recommendations on how to travel around the island? Can you recommend a good boat tour between Lombok and Flores?
Ha ha....the R900000 was for the entire trip, 10 days and for 2 of us in total...
Very funny response....can you just imagine? poor tourists being cast into lakes and off of cliffs for a decent tip?.....will it ever come to that I wonder...hmmmm
We will aim a tad lower in total tipping, and if you are aware is it more polite in Indonesia to tip individually or is it ok to hand money over to the guide that hopefully will distribute the tips?
Cheers and thanks againEdited: 15 June 2011, 04:36
Hey some of the people I have met, I wouldn't put it past them!!! :)
yes, I know you mean 900,000 for all ten days...that's a 90,000 tip every day! And earlier I suggested 10,000 a day. rp, 90,000 a day is more than the minimum monthly salary for Jakarta, a large, expensive city! And that is a tip, above and beyond whatever they get as a tour guide/driver/whatever. I estimate that rp 900,000 is more than the average monthly salary of a Flores office worker. There are people in Bali who don't earn that much in a month as their basic salary. Again, for a ten day tour, 900,000 is just excessive...And I still really don't think they will be expecting a tip, unless they have already guided your twin brothers before.
But, no matter what you give, you can give to each person individually. there is no guarantee that the peson who physically receives it will distribute it evenly. You can do in private, discretely. Fold the money in half and give it with your right hand and thank them.
I must ask my twin what he paid!....ha ha ha.....sure he was not as soft as I....
OK, I will take your advice....and thanks again for your tips, not been to Flores before so not really sure what to expect...guess it couldn't be much more different from Borneo...perhaps so.
Have friends that lived in Flores for work for 3 months....some wild and woolly stories let me tell you...but no tipping tips....go figure....
Flores is very different from Borneo, which has big oil, foresty, palm oil plantations,mining, and settlers coming in from all over Indonesia.
Flores is a primarily agricultural island with deep-seated Catholic culture and not many good jobs,...so many people have to leave the island for work. It's a pity that the eco tourism industry has not really yet developed there. It's a fascinating place, which your friend has no doubt told you about.
If you have time go further East...it's a beautiful part of Indonesia.
Hope you have a good trip. ;)
Yes, that was one of the things my friends told me, a fascinating place. We are just dying to get there and explore it.
We wish we had more time this year to go as you say further east, but will try to make the most of it as it stands.
Thanks again for all your advice.
We had a fabulous time with Dino Lopez www.flores-overland-online.com/ during our 7 week honeymoon in Indonesia June-July 2011. We booked an 11 day overland trip (including our own private boat cruise to Komodo National park),.
Dino was an amazing guide and driver who is from Flores, speaks fluent English, safe driver and knows all the coolest places to eat, stay and visit. We were so glad we found him (thanks the the Lonely Plant thorn tree). My husband and I agreed, thanks to Dino this was our favorite part of our honeymoon and feel so fortunate to have found Dino.
We flew from Bali to Maumere (Dino got us the flights) where Dino met us in the airport and then made our way westward with great stops along the way. We ate the most delicious and fresh (literally right from the sea) meals, visited out of the way villages with no tourists, snorkled off of deserted islands
note, Dino did require a deposit and we were fine with it and thought it was reasonable since that way he knows that you are definitely coming - it was a reasonable amount, especially given what a great guide you will have.
I did the Komodo/Flores trip in October with a friend:
- flights to Flores with Lion Air/PT Wings
- expect delays flying out of Labuan Bajo (and therefore the flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo are also often late) so make sure you don't book the boat trip for the day you are due to arrive as you might miss half a day
- book your boat and overland trip with email@example.com. You can expect the prices to be around 3.5m rupiah for two people for 3 day boat trip and 4m rupiah for two people for a 4 day overland trip.
- getting our own boat is worth it, and getting your driver is also worth it so you can choose where to stop and what to see, and you will feel much safer on the crazy roads in a good car.
- if you can, bring a pillow and sleeping bag or a sleeping bag sheets and your own towel, it will make you much more comfortable in the not so glamorous hotels along the way.
- do get up for the sunrise at Kelimutu
1. Labuan Bajo
We flew from Bali to Labuan Bajo, booked directly from PT Wings/Lion Air (from Lion Air website - http://www2.lionair.co.id/) There are no problems paying with foreign credits cards as some other airlines seem to have based on other reviews. As far as airlines in Indonesia go, this was in pretty good and their fleet is very new.
One night in Labuan Bajo would have been enough though as there is not much to see. Bintang Flores hotel was great, good food, great service, great pool area and apart from the rock hard pillow very comfortable and clean.
Whilst in Labuan Bajo I would recommend going to the paradise sunset bar in the evening. Food was good and the view at sunset even better. They have live music some nights too.
2. Komodo Boat trip
We had our own boat for the two of us rather than share with any package tours and did 2 nights and 3 days on the boat going to Rinca, Komodo, Pink beach, Angel Island, etc. From talking to various agents, there seems to be a set itinerary that the captains are used to doing, but if you charter a private boat you can of course ask for any changes and skip the bits you are not interested in.
The boat was great, especially compared to some others that we saw along the way and it is clearly very well looked after. It was a local wooden boat and had a toilet/shower, a cabin with two beds, dining area, sundeck, kitchen and the crew area. We chose to sleep on the deck rather than the cabin and the crew made our beds on the deck each night on request. There is also electricity. We had a crew of three (captain, cook and general helper). All food was provided on the boat and the food was great every time. There were around 5 dishes at lunch and dinner, fruit smoothies, coffee and tea all the time, afternoon cakes and a tasty little breakfast. Water was provided but we brough on board our own soft drinks and alcohol.
We saw plenty of dragons both on Rinca and Komodo, went snorkelling in a number of places, saw manta rays, the flying bats etc. Snorkelling equipment was provided. The dragons on Komodo are bigger although there are more in Rinca, so I do think it was worth going to both. Bring some cash on the boat as you will need to pay to take a camera there.
For the 3 day boat trip we paid 3,5million rupiah (around US$350) for two people which included our own boat, all meals, water and fruit juices, snorkelling equipment, transfer to the boat and off the boat, and a crew of three. To me, that seemed good value.
We had originally booked the boat with Jeffry at Putri Komodo tours. However, we was slow at responding and on the day, it turned out that the engine had failed and he tried to find us another boat but it was all a bit of a shambles. In the meantime we contacted the guide, Teddy Aimbal who we had booked for our overland trip and he sorted us out with the boat within half an hour and sent the captain to meet us at the hotel. We paid 1m rupiah the day we booked and the rest once we got to the boat the next day. What was especially appreciated was that with other agents we had spent ages negotiating the boat prices to around 3m rupiah but Teddy just gave us the fair price to start with. He also followed up with the captain during the boat trip by phoning in to make sure everything was going well.
3. Overland to Maumere
After the boat trip we spent 4 days driving from Labuan Bajo to Maumere. We booked Teddy Aimbal as our guide (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he sorted out the driver who was his friend. 4 days seemed a bit tight and for the driving distances I would recommend spending couple days more if you can. But it can be done in 4 days with just enough time for the main sightseeing spots. The driving time each day was around 5 hours on average. The longest day I think was 7 hours.
Labuan Bajo - Ruteng: In Ruteng we stayed at some new hotel and I can't remember the name but the guide can book it. It was clean and comfortable 3*. The nunnery, Santa Maria was also recommended to us but it was full that night. We stopped at the spiderweb ricefields along the way but as we set off quite late in the day there was not much time for other stops.
Ruteng - Bajawa: We stayed at Hotel Edelweis. It was ok for one night but no hot water and I wished I had brought a sleeping bag and my own pillow.... We had dinner across the road in a nice restaurant and then went to the hot springs where you can sit under a hot waterfall. During the day we also stopped at an arak distillery and some other spots.
Bajawa - Moni: We stayed at hotel Hidyah. It was so nasty I thought it was a joke when we arrived... All I can say is book early while there is still availability at the Moni Eco Lodge! We just booked so late that it was already full so had to choice. This day was probably the most beautiful scenery ever along the drive. However, it was close to the Kelimutu lakes so we managed to get to see sunrise over the lakes.
The prices for these hotels was around $25-35 per night and they were all booked for us by Teddy. No advance deposit was required, just pay on check out.
Moni - Maumere: We stayed at the Sea World Club at their ocean front suites. It was heaven after the less than luxurious hotels along the way and I wished we had more time there. Ask for the one with the four poster bed. http://www.sea-world-club.com/
I booked by emailing them directly and no deposit was asked before arrival.
Along the way we also stopped at a black sand beach, white sand beach, beach with green and blue stones, a traditional village, an arak distillery, lots of ricefields and a number of scenic stops. Having our own driver and guide was great as the trip was based on how we were feeling each day, so we could sleep in if we wanted to and pick the stops that we wanted to make from the recommendations the guide had.
We flew out from Maumere again on PT Wings, booked directly from website.
As reported by many the roads are crazy at times but we had a good driver and were never worried. The car was great and so comfortable you could just recline and nap if you wanted to. Food everywhere was great (we followed our guides recommendations for restaurants) and we had no problems with upset stomach or anything like that. People throughout the island are really friendly and helpful and I felt safer than I do in London. Having seen the local buses I would not recommend them. It is not that expensive and definitely worth the money.
We paid 4million rupiah for two people, which included private car and driver, guide, petrol, national park fees, and food and accommodation for the guide and driver. We paid half at the beginning of the trip and the second half on arrival to Maumere. No advance deposit was requested. Teddy was pretty quick in responding to our queries and booking things and was also contactable by mobile beforehand. I would recoomend him as a guide and for car ask for the "hunny bunny" car which was great. We were well looked after often until late at night but alway unobtrusively and sensibly, he had answers to pretty much any questions we came up with, handled hotels for us, knew all the best places to eat and made sure we got to try lot of Flores specialities and also cooked himself us the best meal we had all week when we got to Maumere.
Flore is an amazingly beautiful island and the only thinkg I would change about our trip would be to stay longer!
need someone to go ruteng flores...
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need companion to ruteng flores..
i have seen dino lopez posted a few times is he legitimate??