Phong Nah-Ke Bang National Park
If you want to visit some of the biggest and most amazing caves in South East Asia and also enjoy a great landscape of mountain jungle, you should go to Phong Nah-Ke Bang National Park.
This is one of the big cities in South East Asia that we like the most, because of it´s life in the streets and it´s business. Everything is colorful an there is a lot to see just by walking down the streets. Around every corner you will find something new to eat, to gaze at or to visit. You can also find many (souvenir) shops and a big coffee culture.
A Durian is a smelling fruit, which either you like or you hate and you will only get to its sweet taste, if you go through the smelly part. Whatever way, we enjoyed our stay in this big and crazy city, that has much to offer, but a traffic problem…
In our one diving free day, we made a half day trip to see a Dugong. We heard about this already on the ferry where the other tourists asked us if we will go to see the dugong. Papa Oneh is a fisherman living in Kalabahi, close to the airport. One of his friends is a male big real swimming Dugong! When you arrive at his place you either have to drive yourself or get an Ojek around the airport to get to the beach and his boat. From the beach – just a 5 minutes boat ride – Papa Oneh starts calling the Dugong and after a couple of minutes he shows up!!!!
This is one of the neighbor islands east of Flores, between Flores and Lembata is Solor, which we skipped. Lembata is a dry island in comparison with Flores, the greenest of the eastern islands. There are not many tourists here, so people will look at you and greet you, sometimes giggle and simply enjoy it, when you eat in their Warung… We only met friendly and nice people and did a motorbike trip from Lewoleba to Lemalera, one of the last remaining villages that still does indigenous sperm whale hunting.
We made the trip by boat and ferry. It´s not easy to get information about this trip, but it is possible for sure and there are different ways to do it.
The city of Maumere itself is nothing special and can be described as a “normal”, but nice Indonesian town. We were able to buy a lot of supplies here. What is actually far more impressive is the beaches east of Maumere, which are really beautiful and remote. You can find a few cute cottage places, which are basic but clean and really quiet! We met a few people that got stuck here, because they liked it so much! We went diving here and relaxed for a few days at the beach…
Between Moni and Maumere, on the Flores-Highway is a small fishing village, called Paga. There is really nothing, but a few amazingly beautiful beaches, one restaurant and a few Warungs. It’s a quiet and peaceful place, where you can relax without meeting a lot of other people.
After staying in Ende, we made our way to Moni. That´s a small village that was recently taken over by tourism, because it is the gate to the famous Kelimutu mountain and lies on the Flores highway. It´s a quiet and peaceful place, which is characterized by two things: on the one hand the traditional way of life as rice farmers and on the other hand by the short stop-over tourists that visit the sacred mountain and it´s three colored lakes.
Ende is the biggest town in Flores and a normal, not really touristy city. It has a busy and very interesting market, where we as blond and light skinned Europeans were an attraction. Everyone kept smiling at us and saying “Hello Mister” or “Hello Misses”! Sometimes they say Mister, but mean Misses or simply both of us, but clearly they want to say “Hi”….