A beautiful mountain village at the foot of mount Kelimutu
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.
How did we get here?
In Ende we rented a Motorbike and drove in direction of the bus station that would bring us to Moni. On our way there, we met the typical driver guys, hanging at the side of the street and asked them how much they would charge, if they would bring us. It turned out they were so called travel drivers, that are shared cars that pick up people in the streets and work between a bus and a private car. We paid 50.000 IDR each and he picked us up at the hotel. The drove was 2,5 hours and went through some amazing rice field areas.
The village used to be a rice farmers village. It´s really small and its just along the street between Ende and Maumere. You´ll find many homestays or small guesthouses on both side of the street. We called before we came here, but realized that it would have been possible to just arrive here. It´s easy to find a place to stay! We stayed at Bintang Bungalows, which is directly next to Bintang Lodge and Restaurant and paid 350.000 IDR per night. The restaurant is kind of the center of Moni and full every night.
The village´s timetable works between 4.00 a.m. and 9 p.m., because almost everyone goes to the mountain top for sunrise and therefore has to go to bed really early.
Since Anna got food poisoning on our first night in Moni, we stayed here two nights. In the morning of the second day it was cloudy, so we went later in the day, when it was clear sky.
The mountain is sacred to the local people, they still come here once a year to have a big celebration. And as usual in Indonesia there is a story about the different colors of the peak lakes: Every soul that died goes into one of the lakes, depending the age of the dying person and because of the good or bad doings of that soul in the world the color of the lakes change.
To see these different colored lakes, we rented a motorbike at Bintang Lodge for 100.000 IDR per day and drove to the parking space close to the mountain top ourselves. The road was a little muddy in the beginning, because it rained during the night, but in general the road was an easy drive. Shortly before you reach the parking space you have to pay an entrance fee for the Kelimutu National Park, which is 150.000 IDR per person plus some fees for the vehicle you arrive with (we paid 5.000 IDR for the motorbike). From the parking space to the mountain top you have to walk about 20 – 30 minutes. Since Anna was still recovering from her horrible night, we walked up really slow 🙂 There are two platforms from which you can see the lakes. On the first platform you see two lakes, which are situated directly next to each other. And on the second platform you´ll see all three of them. The view is really amazing! The colors of the lakes were blue, green and turkis, when we were there. They looked like someone just threw a bottle of paint into them, that´s how bright the colors were. It´s a special place to visit, if you are into mountains and natural scences.
Many people just take a driver that brings them to the mountain top and then walk back to the village. It´s a beautiful walk that takes between 3 and 4 hours, leading through some small farmer villages and rice fields. To take the private taxi to the mountain top, you have to pay 100.000 IDR per person (one way). We didn´t do the walk, but still enjoyed the views and stopped every ones in a while to take a picture.
On top of the mountain and on the parking space are toilets and little shops to buy drinks and food or souvenirs.