Recently I lived in a land of the dragon. And yes, I mean Labuan Bajo or famously known as Komodo. for people who don't know, when I said that i lived in Komodo, does not mean that i literally lived on the island! The majority of people and tourist are living in Labuan Bajo, and if people wanted to go to Komodo Island, it will only take about 3 hours or so with a boat. Other than Komodo, there is also Rinca Island which you can see the komodo dragon. Having been living there for 6 months, I am going to tell you things about Labuan Bajo. You're welcome ;)
Where to see sunset:
Paradise bar. Probably the most infamous bar there is in Labuan Bajo.
Any restaurant that is facing the beach, including TreeTop, Blue Marlin cafe, The Lounge's sky Bar
Padar Beach, especially if you sneak a swim in Bintang Flores Hotel (which cost you Rp 50.000,-)
Bukit Cinta. In order for you to get here, rent a motorbike up to Paradise Bar street and go beyond that. If you starting to see the ocean and all the little boat, you're there
Puncak Waringin. It is actually the top picture. Just imagine the view when the sun is setting
Where to eat:
Warung Mama. Indonesian style food. The most delicious one I think is the rendang. But the juice is not made from fresh fruit, but it made from frozen fruit and it just plain weird.
TreeTop. A lot of good seafood. My favorite and my go to food (especially if I need a good wifi ;)) is fried squid seasoned with salted eggs. There are also oyster with peanut sauce and fried fish with spicy lemon sauce. Be careful if you're ordering the Sapo Tahu. Ask first if they're using tofu rather than local tahu because if they're out of tofu, the taste will be unbearable
Bajo Bakery. Sandwiches, muffins, quiches, brownies, everything there are delicious!
The Lounge. I especially love their cheese burger. The best burger i've ever tasted! Don't forget to try their sodas too because it's good. Accompanied by live music, even better
Coto Makasar. It is located in Padar Beach street, so it's a bit far from the town center.
Kampung Ujung. It is not a restaurant or a food joint, it's actually street food carts which you could find many things there including soto, bakso, gado-gado, gorengan, and lots of fresh seafood
Where to dive:
Karang Makassar. Or some poeple said Manta Point. Well I guess it's obvious that this site is the go to diver if they want to see some mantas! No mantas? Don't be too disappointed. You could also see turtles, white tip sharks, and even barracudas! (i've seen one)
Batu Bolong. Probably the most famous dive site in KNP today. A great wall of corals and fishes, it's like you're in an aquarium! Nudibranches, moray eels and more are waiting for you there!
Wainilu. If you're a macro lover, this is the place. All the macros looks like they came from a different planet
The Cauldron. The most fun dive site if you like currents. There is a small pathway that they call Shotgun, which basically will suck you from 15 meters to 2 meters in seconds! But it was a hell of a fun ride!
Other than that, there are Castle and Crystal Rock, Mawan, Siaba Besar, Manta Alley, and many many many more my diver friend
Where to stay:
There are a lot of hotels ranging from good to okay and from Rp 60.000,- to Rp 1.000.000,-
If you're planning to stay there more than a month, there are a lot of kosan or a house that you can rent. Just make sure that you have good access to a clean water all the time including the dry season
If you're on a budget, try to find some friends there. Good luck ;)
PS: There are some flights that goes there but you have to transit in Bali first. I don't think there are direct flights yet to Labuan Bajo. There are no flight up from 6 pm because it's a small airport. For people who want to dive there, you must have a diving certificate or else you have to take your license there. You can choose if you want to dive with daily boat or live aboard. Any question? Don't hesitate to ask dear :)