Bule Kesasar Travel blog Indonesia

How I lost my heart and mind in Indonesia

Trip Of Wonders Indonesia part 1: Labuan Bajo, Rinca and Kanawa

In October me and my colleague and friend Bas participated in an online quiz TripOfWonders organized by the Ministry Of Tourism of Indonesia. With my knowledge of Indonesia we managed to get all the answers correct.

We couldn’t believe it was true when we received the first message that we had won! After some checking it turned out it was really true! I was so excited and felt so lucky to have won this trip.

We were going to Indonesia and visit Komodo Island and Flores with a group of other prize winners from around the world and vloggers and bloggers from Indonesia. Off course my wife Dessy was very jealous that we had won this trip, but she was also happy for me. Let me tell you more about this amazing journey!

Novotel Bali

We first went to Bali to the Novotel Nguraih airport in Denpasar where we were welcomed by the organisation of Trip Of Wonders. They were very friendly and organised and gave us the first information about the trip and told us that we were expected for dinner  and presentation in the evening. The hotel staff was also very friendly and even teached us a few words Balinese. Suksma! (Thank you in Balinese 😉 )

Novotel Bali Ngurah rai airport denpasar

Novotel Bali Ngurah rai airport denpasar

We went to our hotel room. After staying in a bungalow without AC it was very cool (if you know what I mean) to now be able to stay in a luxurious hotel room with a good AC. The people who know me a bit better als know how much I like air conditioning 😉 But I also like swimming. So after a short rest I went down stairs and went swimming. It was raining but I didn’t care. In the swimming pool I already was getting wet of course. Then it was already time to head back to my room, change clothes and meet-up with my friend Bas to go to the introduction and welcome dinner.

Trip Of Wonders Hotel Intro

Trip Of Wonders Hotel Intro

Here we met the other winners from around the world. And also enthusiastic travel bloggers from Indonesia. When we walked to the restaurant we discussed wearing long pants. In my opinion wearing short pants is the way to go in Bali, but my friend thought it was more appropriate to wear long pants for a meeting like this. When we saw the others we noticed that it was around 50/50 with shot long pants with the others so both seemed ok!

We had a short introduction by the team and got several gifts for our trip like a trip of wonders power bank, T-Shirt and water bottle 😀 After that we could start with the dinner which was very tasty Indonesian food. Then we had the chance to talk for a short while with the rest of the group. I already noticed we had a great group of people with who we were going to have fun.

Labuan Bajo

The next day we woke up early to catch the flight to Labuan Bajo in Flores. There was a lot of choice for the breakfast in the Novotel and I could enjoy some more Indonesian food. To catch the flight was really easy since the hotel was at the airport. When the plane took off first we had a great view from leaving Bali. However a while later the view when we were arriving in Flores was really amazing!


As soon as we arrived we packed our stuff and went to the harbor. Everything was perfectly arranged. We didn’t have to worry about all the other luggage because that went directly to the hotel.

Harbour Labuan Bajo

Harbour Labuan Bajo

Rinca Island

Today we were going to Rinca Island. I didn’t know what to expect yet. On the trip on the boat to Rinca we could enjoy the view with small islands and clear blue water. I could look at this view all day and just chill out.

Rinca Crocodile area

Rinca Crocodile area, no crocodiles but the komodo dragon is also called buaja darat in Indonesian which means land crocodile

On Rinca Island we were welcomed by the ranger that gave is explanation about the wildlife on the Island and off course the fascinating Komodo dragons! After a short break we started a small hike on the Island which started with the komodo dragons. To see the komodo dragons in real life gives the feeling that you are in another world. It’s unbelievable to me that these prehistoric creatures only live in this area in the world. The dragons are not fed by the rangers but live from the wildlife on the island like the deer.


If the dragon is hungry and will approach you than zig-zag when you walk or run away. This will make it difficult for the komodo to catch up with you so there is a higher chance you will survive! During the hike the ranger told us more about the komodo’s. The komodo’s have there mating season in July and August and the mating takes about 4 hours. So I guess that is about 15 minutes longer humans do. 😛 You know what the secret is for the long sex? The male komodo has two penises! Take your time to think about that.

After more interesting info we continued our hike up to the hills where we could enjoy the beautiful view.

Pula Rinca hilltop view

View from Rincal island hills

Then it was time for a group picture with the TripOfWonders group!

Trip Of Wonders Indonesia 2016 Group

Trip Of Wonders Indonesia 2016 Group, Picture taken by my friend Wira

Then we headed back to the boat where we first enjoyed a meal and some drinks. After some eating, drinking and relaxing we took the boat again. It turned out we were heading to Kanawa Island. This was really a beautiful tropical island. This made me feel like I somehow ended up in a bounty commercial. Here we had the opportunity to go snorkeling. The water was so clear and there were many fish. And also a lot of sea stars, which was a coincidence because I felt like I was some kind of sea star myself 😀

Arrived at Kanawa Island, senang!

Arrived at Kanawa Island, senang!

View to the boat on Kanawa Island

View to the boat on Kanawa Island

We took our time on the island with the snorkeling. And also could enjoy a cold refreshing drink. Man, this was a perfect day! After that I took some more pictures on the island and after that just lay down for a moment. Just a moment to dream away at this beautiful place…..

After a while we were all chill enough and we went back with the boat and to the hotel. Again the great view over the sea and islands. When we were back at the hotel we were in time to witness the sunset over the Prima Hotel and the Labuan Bajo sea.

Labuan Bajo sunset

Labuan Bajo sunset

What a great way to end the day. And for now also the first part of my Trip Of Wonders adventure. On the next part I will tell more about the visit to Padar Island with an amazing view and Melo village where the tribe performs the Caci dance!

Please let me know what you think about the trip. Or if you have any question don’t hesitate to drop a comment below 🙂

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  1. Fiona Callaghan April 25, 2017

    Good article! The trip organizer was the best. They managed everything very well. So, everybody enjoyed their time.

    • Jelte Homminga April 25, 2017 — Post Author

      Thanks a lot Fiona! Yes exactly! Normally I always like to arrange things myself. But everything was arranged so well it felt good to just enjoy and don;t have to worry about anything.

  2. Sonja April 25, 2017

    Great job Jelte! It’s nice to relive our trip again.

  3. L April 25, 2017

    How was the Prima Hotel? Was it prima?

    • Jelte Homminga April 25, 2017 — Post Author

      haha yes the name is perfect for the hotel, it really was prima! The staff was very friendly and was able to help with anything. When it was late in the evening I was still a bit hungry. The kitchen was just closed, however they made some fries for me anyway. So I am very satisfied with the service!

      Also what I liked that was the amazing view from the hotelroom as you can see on the picture with the Labuan Bajo sunset. And the hotel was very spacious overall!

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