Travelling to the Komodo Islands: First Solo Trip
Read more about the Komodo Islands in my Komodo Islands Travel Guide HERE
Check out my guide on Diving in the Komodo Islands HERE
In March this year, I attempted my first ever solo trip. I know that travelling solo at the age of 21 might surprise many of you. However, many people in Singapore do not travel solo at all. In fact, many of my peers were surprised at my decision. I even hid it from my parents, who found out about it 2 weeks before this trip. What a disaster 🙂
As you guys should know by now, I like travelling to places that are atypical by Singaporean standards. So I ventured off to the Komodo Islands, known to be a diving paradise off the coast of Flores, one of the mainlands of Indonesia. Of course, my parents didn’t know about me diving as well. But that’s a story to tell later…
Here are some of the big-cost items during my trip.
I used Skyscanner to search for my flights. I flew using Jetstar from Singapore to Bali, and then from Bali to Labuan Bajo (Main town in Flores closest to the Komodo Islands) through a domestic flights (Airlines were Garuda Indonesia there and Wingsair back). I actually used Tiket through Skyscanner to book my domestic flights in Indonesia. It was my first time doing so, and I was a little apprehensive. But it worked just fine for me!
Costs & Durations
1. Singapore to Bali [ 2 hours 40 minutes direct]
- Return Ticket: Jetstar: SGD 125
2. Bali to Labuan Bajo [ 1 hour 35 minutes direct]
- Departure: Garuda Indonesia [IDR 775200](They provide free food on the way, which was a pleasant surprise) I chose this more expensive airline for my departure to LB because of its timing. It departed at 10.50 and arrived at 12.25pm (just in time for lunch). I also wanted to book a few dive trips for the following days and I wanted some buffer time for delays and travel fatigue.
- Arrival: Wings Air [IDR 503000]
- Total: SGD 142
*Prices do not include check-in luggage, seat allocations or in-flight meals, all of which will incur extra charges
I really recommend Booking.com (I use the Ipad & Iphone app) for accommodation. Besides the random Airbnbs here and there, I mainly use Booking.com because many accommodations listed under them have free cancellation. This is a must for me, as I tend to change my accommodation based on friends’ recommendation (when I actually arrive at my destination), and due to the occasional sudden change in weather. In fact, I did cancel my pre-booked accomodation on the Gili Islands to a recommended one. The best thing is that its totally free.
Tip: I suggest staying in Labuan Bajo and using it as a base for day trips and such if you want to visit the Komodo Islands. Its the closest town you can get to them, unless you do a liveaboard dive trip.
Labuan Bajo Accommodation
Ciao Hostel (Links below): I cannot recommend this accommodation enough. It is BEAUTIFUL. Rooms were clean, the place was spotless. People usually took off their shoes at the entrance of the hostel building so there was no sand or dirt in the hostel itself! This hostel has a really great view of the sleepy Labuan Bajo town and the surrounding bays (definitely worth your money).
This hostel was one of the BEST hostels I EVER stayed in! It has movies screening every night (you vote with 3 choices), and people were just lounging on bean bags chatting and bonding with each other, really social atmosphere. I stayed in a 6-bed dorm and it was perfect as it was not always full everytime. The security was good (lockers provided), air-conditioning was much-needed comfort after a day of diving, please remember to ASK for a towel at the reception (if not they will not provide it, I only realized on my last night 🙁 . I loved it honestly, and if i plan to visit the Komodo Islands, I would definitely stay here. I’m missing my Komodo Trip so much (much of it due to this hostel I stayed in), even though I went in lull season, I still made a ton of friends, much more than my hostel in Kuta. The view is also incredible. You’ll have to see for yourself.
Price: SGD 15.70 (IDR 150000) per night in a 6-bed dorm with air-conditioning.
Tip: However, if its not high season I recommend booking for a night and extending at your own time. This is because Booking.com charges an extra IDR 10000. So you pay IDR 140000 /night if you book when you arrive physically. Alex the owner was so nice and gave me a discount for my last 2 nights! So I paid IDR 130000/night because I was considered a regular! How nice of him 🙂
Tip: Ask for your free towel at the reception, unlike most hostels, this one will not provide it unless you open your mouth.
Tip: If you can survive without Internet for a few hours at least, I suggest you purchase a SIM card from them. I bought mine from the airport at IDR 250000 for 8 GB worth of data and thought that I had gotten a good rate. Ciao Hostel is selling SIM card for one whole month at IDR100000 for 20 GB. Yes, you read that right. 20 GB worth of surfing (& additional 10GB but you need to download an app to be able to use those 10 GB [only for downloading programs and movies through that app]), so essentially its 20GB only of surfing through normal web broswers / Instagram / Facebook etc.
Safe travels and don’t get eaten by the Komodo Dragons 🙂