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Flores

Bath
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Flores

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?

Seattle, WA
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16 posts
53 reviews
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51. Re: Flores

My husband and I went on a Flores overland trip in October of this year, from Labuan Bajo to Maumere. I wanted to mention, in addition to the other comments about places to stay, that for us, the best accommodations during our entire stay were had at the Hotel Happy Happy in Bajawa. We had not heard of this hotel prior to our trip, and actually just drove past it while looking for a place to stay the night. Henk and Marie, the owners, just opened a few weeks prior to our visit. As such, the rooms and common areas were spotlessly clean and freshly painted. You could eat off the gleaming floors, honestly (not that we did). There was hot water in the bathrooms, Western toilets that actually flushed, the beds were comfortable, etc. Breakfast, included in the room rate, was stellar--fresh baked bread, fruit, eggs to order, etc. This place was an oasis for us, compared to the other places we stayed (Bayview Gardens-Labuan Bajo/convent-Ruteng which had lukewarm showers and a miserly breakfast of very cold eggs/Hidayha-Moni which was the worst ever/as well as Sea World Club-Maumere. I have been checking to see if TripAdvisor has listed Hotel Happy Happy, and have requested that they do so (as has Henk apparently), but so far, nothing. If I could review this hotel, I would give them an A+ rating. I hope other travelers will check this place out.

Melbourne, Australia
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35 posts
36 reviews
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52. Re: Flores

Hi. My partner and I went to Flores this year in July and we traveled from Maumere to Labuan Bajo as we were volcano hiking. We stayed in some pretty dodgy places as there is not much around really to satisfy a 4-5 star taste, mostly the accommodations are 2 star to 3 star in western tastes, but regardless of that we had an unbelievable good time.

We stayed at Seaworld club which was ok and since we overnighted there and were up at 2am to climb Mt Egon we did not see much of it, but accommodation was fine . We then stayed at Bintang Wisata in Bajawa which was very average but comfortable, ask if you can for a room with a balcony as the one we had was four walls with a hideous bathroom and all we could smell was cigarettes..... BUT the worst of the worst was a place called Nusa Bunga which I think was in Moni! it was absolutely hideous and so lifeless.....I can not even begin to tell you how foul it was....bad beds and rooms falling apart with horrible toilet and bucket bathroom....you get the picture. Bring your own mosquito nets and try and hang them above your beds as these rooms were festooned with them....get creative as there is no where to hang them....we scoured the outside to find nails and screws so that we could stand on the bed on a chair and attach our nets to the fibro (???- asbestos) roof....LOL it was tragic there but yet funny....felt like a prison yard....

From there we headed to the Convent in Reuteng which was nice but the nuns are a tad surly and the breakfast was a joke.... We then stayed at Kelimutu eco lodge which was wonderful and highly recommended but by far the best accommodations was at Labuan Bajo where we stayed at Golo Hilltop hotel which was gorgeous and we had the suite right at the top of the staircase and that faced towards the sunset and it was glorious. I am sure I may have missed some places but if you need some more advice or tips please feel free to contact me any time.

Flores is very underdeveloped and not for the faint hearted as one sees Indonesia as an untouched and very un-touristy place, but if one allows all your preconceptions of the place go you will actually love it. We did and would highly recommend it. We saw amazing things and spent time with beautiful and warm people whom even without any personal luxuries or wealth would still try to make you welcome and comfortable. Things like being the only westerners at a tribal village ceremony were unforgetable and of course the amazing volcanoes of the island which we climbed and almost felt like dying from the exhaustion (ha ha ha). You are in a great position to see Indonesia as it was 20 years ago before it all became like Bali....and as raw and rough as it is it is still beautiful and will beg to be re visited as there is tons to do.

We loved Kelimutu....and we were lucky as we had no clouds so the sunrise was stunning, climbing Egon volcano was perhaps the best of our climbs and the one that left the most pain and scratches and bruises but so worth it. If doing the dragons tours I advise that you skip Komodo as you will see hardly if any dragons there, go to Rinca instead they are everywhere there!!! we took a boat ride overnight to Rinca and overnighted on board to head to Komodo next day....stunning, great food and company.

You could skip the Arak wine making tour which most agents try to fit in as it is mostly pretty dull and at every stage people are trying to sell you stuff....

Blue beach was also a bit underwhelming, maybe because when we went it was wet, but I guess it was worth seeing (especially if you want to see how humanity rapes the natural world of it's beauty).

All the above is my personal opinions only and though some bits were negative I must admit the overall experience was positive and we would return.

Have fun and as mentioned if you need any more tips get in touch.

Cheers

53. Re: Flores

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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
2 posts
13 reviews
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54. Re: Flores

Hi, There are so many really wonderful stories and descriptions here, it brings back fresh memories of our recent trip to Flores in Oct 2012.

A lot has already been covered, so I won't go over old ground but I will just add that we were very happy with our stay at the Ruteng Seminary. The rooms were clean and the nuns were pleasant and full of smiles.

The only downside was there wasn't any hot water for the shower but we didn't really mind - a shower/bath need only take a couple of minutes, and we were more concerned with electricity and cleanliness which we got here.

Also, the breakfast was very good, food is put on the serving table at 6.30am so maybe if one arrives later in the morning, it's cold? At any rate, we were served omelette direct to our plate from the kitchen, maybe they've changed what they do now.

The main reason I'm writing this post, is to mention Wae Rebo Traditional Village as I can't see it mentioned here. It's a little different from the other traditional villages you might read about because you have to trek up a mountain to reach the village. It will take an average visitor around 4 hours to reach the village.

Once there you can experience what it's like to be among people who live in the traditional manner. It's well worth the visit and a terrific way to really experience Flores.

I've written a comprehensive blog about my Wae Rebo trek and visit to the village, feel free to check it out here: www.piajessen.com

On our way up the mountain we met a group of 'senior' Canadians, there were about 12 and with the exception of maybe two people, there were all over 55-60yrs. I reckon if they can make the trek, then anyone can!

They all said the climb was 'worth it'. The only thing they were unhappy about is that their tour operator had not organised an overnight stay at the village which meant they had to trek up and back on the same day! The usual thing to do is to stay overnight in one of the guest traditional houses.

Worth the time to check it out!

Cheers

Edited: 02 December 2012, 03:34
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
35 posts
22 reviews
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55. Re: Flores

http://www.uniqueindonesia.com/#

This tour for the Island of Flores was incredible! The guide spoke English, and was incredibly knowledgeable. The van was clean, and we were able to plan our own private tour to meet our interests/budget/and timeframe.

Ivan can be reached at +62.852.392.54677

Sentosa Island...
1 post
1 review
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56. Re: Flores

BAsed on your recommendations we booked Teddy for a 4 day, 3 night overland. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children. His price was 6,000,000 for the whole trip not including accommodation and food. He told us on the morning of the first day that he wouldn't be able to join us until the 4th day because his wife was having a baby. That seemed to be fair enough but when he did show up he contributed very little to the trip and spend most of his time on the phone. He then expected us to pay him just 500,00 less than the original price. We had been told by some other people that they paid only 3,000,000 for a car and driver and were quoted 300,000 per day for a guide. Sadly I think Teddy has lost his touch. Perhaps he has got too used to the money or bored with his job. He told us that people in Flores are not interested in money or tourists and that is why prices are high because they can take it or leave it. However he soon had an issue when we offered him what we believed was a fair price of 4,500,000. We finally agreed to give him 5,000,000 knowing we were paying over the odds but wanted to walk away feeling absolutely sure we had been fair. He however was bitter and was mumbling under his breath as he walked away. My advice, avoid Teddy Aimbal. In general I would also advise people to take charge of their own itinerary. There is a gravy train in Flores where a few are doing very well. Tourism is at a stage where competition is limited and therefore money comes easy. Very few of the service providers gave us the impression of wanting to please you and give you a great experience which is sad because Flores is beautiful and so are it's people (apart from those trying t rip us off). There were comments earlier about tipping. The same probably goes for buying goods. We wanted to be good tourists and spread some money around but at times it became irritating because we felt set up for a stressful situation where people won't take no for an answer and our time was dominated with trying to kindly say no thank you. I would still recommend going to Flores but my advice is to be prepared for the pitfalls and so your research so that you can be in charge.

Amsterdam, The...
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57. Re: Flores

Hello,

On the 12th of October I will land in Bali, from there I want to fly directly to LB, Maumere or Ende to start my trip in Flores. Do you recommend traveling from west to east or east to west, I would like to take a flight back to Lombok or bali afterwards.. And another concern is that would I be able meet other people if I fly directly to Maumere or Ende, I'm traveling alone.

Thanks!

Edited: 29 September 2013, 09:47
58. Re: Flores

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