Komodo dragon and three colored lakes of Kelimutu have made the East Nusa Tenggara province famous, and Flores island especially known by world. Moreover komodo dragon has become one of new seven wonders of the world, the people are stunned by it.
Not only Bali, now foreigners also have alternative way to spend holidays in the small heaven in the east part of Indonesia, in Flores.
According to the data tourism department of East Nusa Tenggara province (NTT) in 2018, since the 2013 to 2016, the number of visitors has increased significantly even has gone beyond the target. Noted 425.440 tourists visiting NTT.
This is spectacular thing. No wonder, we can see tourists everywhere here. They walk in city, they travel by car and motorcycle, and some of them visit the traditional village and feel the fresh air in the untouched touristic area. They also visit to villages to enjoy other natural gift that we have given.
Because of loving to Flores, some of them repeatedly come to Flores.
For a new tourist, Flores makes them curious. Like durian- a special tropics fruit in Southeast Asia, they want ‘to taste’ beautiful experience on this island with area around 14.300 km².
Penney, a traveler from Netherland, came to Ruteng at beginning of October 2017. This is the first time she came to Flores. He had a chance to eat a durian that she has never eaten before.
She said that it is good with chewy sense. “It is not to bad”, her comment after eating it.
She traveled around the Flores Island from Labuan Bajo and finished in Maumere. She found the beautiful nature like heaven.
She was amazed by the underwater with the various kind of fishes and coral in Labuan Bajo. She hiked and took a great picture on top of Padar island. She was amazed with spider-web rice field in cancar. She followed the wedding party in Manggarai.
She found a heaven in seventeen island of Riung and enjoying with so many bats there. In Moni, she fell love with a magic of three colored lakes of volcano kelimutu. And she finished by enjoying the paradise in coconut beach garden in Maumere.
Mikko, a solo traveler from Finland, made a trip to Flores last year. He was grateful as he had a chance to visit Flores. As a biologist, Mikko found various and endemic animals and plants, underwater, birds and the giant Lizard, Komodo. He was very glad to follow the harvest thanksgiving in Manggarai.
That’s why he said that the people in Flores is closed to nature and he hoped that people have to take care the nature.
A great girl from Hungary, Judit traveled to Flores twice. When she came for the first time, she was surprised with nature and culture of Flores. She trekked to Wae Rebo, a traditional village in Manggarai and had found happiness there.
Not only culture and nature, travelers also meet the people. Why coming to Flores for twice? Because of the people of Flores. She made a second family here that she never forgets them. They last longer in her heart.
Mikko also loved the simplicity that showed by people in the village. They make him felt as a part of their culture. By ceremony of welcoming, he is becoming a part of family. He wouldn’t forget it.
Although Penney underwent a shocking experience of Flores culture at the first time she came but the people made her like at home and can adapt with the situation.
She found smiling and laughing children, welcoming, hospitality, and friendly people. She felt how people give from what they have.
“They invite you into their life. And within a moment you can feel like you know them forever,” she said.
Third World Country
In the tourist activity, tourists also experienced the real life in Flores. And one undeniable fact and they realized that Flores is including in third world country with all its lack.
“It’s a big difference I come to a third world country…”Penney told. It is about the infrastructure, for example; the roads. “Most of the trip you make you will always get many challenges as the road is really bumpy. There are no electricity in some villages as well,” but it is an experience she added.
Some of the tourists found the problems of health here. They saw that there are still a lot of people are lack of education about the health.
Talking about the third world country is identical with background of education, infrastructure, tourism, economy, politic, sanitation and anything else still developing.
So, like a Durian, Flores has thorn-covered rind but has good taste inside. Durian also has a strong smell. Some people like it. But other people don’t like it. Flores also has a unique strong smell and our task is to make it to be good smell for all people in the world.