20 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Komodo National Park

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Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage sight that includes three main islands:  Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, as well as numerous surrounding islands.  It’s home to the infamous Komodo dragon, but that’s just one of the many reasons tourists flock to this gorgeous destination.

You’ll be left speechless at the gorgeous landscape, rich marine biodiversity, and postcard perfect islands.

Sailing around Komodo National Park is definitely one of the highlights of visiting Indonesia, and should be a top priority for anyone planning a trip through South-East Asia.

If you haven’t been yet, these 20 pictures will definitely be inspiring your next holiday plans.

All of these photos were taken by me!


1)  All Aboard.

Waking up to these views every morning is pretty amazing…

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2)  Idyllic Islands

Anyone up for a swim and a snorkel?

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3) Snorkeling and Scuba-diving

T.G.F.G.P.  — Thank God For Go Pro’s.

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4) Komodo Dragons

The largest living lizard in the world is a sight you need to see for yourself.  But not too close.  Their saliva is deadly.


5)  Sailing in Indonesia…

Warm water, beautiful beaches, and stunning views.  Does it get any better…?

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6)  “Pink” Beach

A famous beach that has turned a pinkish color from crushed up coral.


7)  Live Aboard Views…

“I’m on a boat”

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8)  Paradise Found…

Give me a book and a beer — I’ll be here all day.

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9)  Boat Jumping

Cool points if you do a back flip.

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10)  Chilling Out

Music, Beers, and Good Company

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11)  Komodo National Park View Point

On the hunt for Komodo dragons…

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12)  Gili Laba View Point…

Quick little hike for this rewarding view. DSC_1059


13)  Blue Skies & Stunning Landscape

I wish I were a bird and could fly over these mountains…

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14)  Sunset Sailing

Life’s better at sea…

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15)  Pristine Snorkeling Locations

Do you even snorkel, bro?

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16)  Indonesian Sunsets

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

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17)  Komodo National Park Entrance

*Cue Jurassic Park theme song*

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18) How Bout Them Dragons…?

I shall call you Khaleesi.

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19)  Colorful Coral

 

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20)  You’ll Never Want to Leave

Take me back…

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These are just a few of my favorite photos I’ve taken during my travels through Komodo National Park.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the world, and a highlight of my travels in South-East Asia.

If you like these photos, please check out my Instagram for more of my travel photography!


So, who wants to meet me in Indonesia…?

Share with your friends!

If you’re ever planning a trip to Indonesia, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have.  I’ve spent a good amount of time in Bali, The Gili Islands, Lombok, and (obviously) Komodo National Park.  I’d love to help out anyway I can.

Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep Waterfalls: Exploring North Lombok

“Water Is The Essence Of Wetness…

And Wetness is the Essence…of Beauty”

–Derek Zoolander

My alarm went off in my comfortable hotel room in Senggigi beach, and I was extremely excited for two things.

  1. The Hotel buffet breakfast I was about to destroy…
  2. Exploring the two beautiful waterfalls in Nothern Lombok — Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep.

I had visited Lombok on two separate occasions before.  Once was to hike to the top of Mt. Rinjani; which to this day is one of the most intense hikes I’ve ever completed.  And once to explore the Sengiggi Beaches & the Immigration office in Mataram to extend my tourist visa while I was living on Gili Trawangan.  For my third visit to Lombok, I could not have been more stoked to experience something new.  I actually had never really seen pictures of these beauties, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But I must saw I was completely blown away by the beauty of these waterfalls

The Drive to the Falls

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Our group jumped into our caravan and began the 1.5 – 2 hour drive to the waterfalls.  The drive along the Lombok coast is absolutely gorgeous.  Large green mountains, beautiful beaches, and heaps of coconut trees along the roads.

We stopped a couple times to take advantage of a some nice viewpoints. The hardest part about this drive for me was staring out at the Gili Islands.  \

Gili Trawangan.  My favorite place in South-East Asia.  I was so close.  Yet So far.

Gili Trawangan in the distance

Gili Trawangan in the distance

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Sunnies anyone…?

The Hike to Sendang Gile Waterfall

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We drove up through the mountains to where we would begin the hike to the first waterfall.  It was a brief but beautiful hike down an easy trail, and soon were brought around to a stunning waterfall.  We couldn’t swim here, so we just  spent about 15-20 minutes doing what bloggers do best — snapping pictures, videos, and various selfies.

The surrounding area was gorgeous and green.  It was incredible to breathe in the fresh mountain air, hear the sound of rushing water, and take some pics of a beautiful sight.

Note: It was incredible to travel with a bunch of fellow bloggers who understand the need of capturing the perfect photo!

Getting Wet at Tiu Kelep Waterfalls

We continuted our trek through the jungle barefoot through the jungle.  We crossed rivers and streams until we were rewarded with one miraculous view.  I’ve seen heaps of waterfalls along my travels in South-East Asia, but the Tiu Kelep falls quickly became one of my favorites.

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The water was absolutely freezing, but also pretty damn refreshing.  The majority of our crew braved the temperate water, and managed to take capture some pretty great pics.

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But this is when the day took a little turn.  RAIN.

Torrential Monsoon Season Rain.

We hiked back to restaurant in this unforgiving rain.  Not an inch of any of us were left dry.  What was even worse was that this is a group of travel bloggers and photographers.  We all tucked away our camera equipment, praying that our cameras would be left unharmed.  I had a protective cover over my backpack, but unforunately for me that didn’t help all that much.  I’ve been dealing with problems with my Nikon DSLR ever since.  I don’t think it’s completely ruined, but it’s been a pain in the ass.

But we made it back to the restaurant, attempted to dry off, and enjoyed a decent meal.  We even got to visit a local “village”, but too be honest, it did seem kind of staged as just a touristy attraction, but that was just a general opinion.  We hopped back in our caravan, and made the 2-hour journey back to our Hotel to shower, relax, and get ready for dinner at a local restaurant.

We made it back to the Hotel just in time for this beauty of a sunset…

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Overall, the day was pretty damn awesome.  Would I have preferred for it to rain a little less?  Absolutely.  But you can’t complain about it.

One of the best aspects of the day and it’s unpredictable weather was watching how our group reacted to the difficult situation.  No one complained.  No one was bitchy.  Everyone just laughed off the situation, and took it for what it was worth.  We are all travelers.  We know that when things don’t go ideal, we go with the flow.  I know a lot of people would have complained the entire time, and it would ruin their entire day.  But everyone in our crew handled it correctly.  We go through it, laughed it off, and know we have a good story.    

 

The 15 Best Places To Party in South-East Asia

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Looking for the best places to party in South-East Asia?

You’ve come to the right place…

Whether you move over here to teach English, book a short vacation, or embark on long-term backpacking trip — you are going to fall in love with South-East Asia.  The food, the culture, the beaches, the islands, the cities, the hostels…and the epic parties.  This region of the world has it all.

I’ve spent over 18 months in total traveling around South-East Asia, and I’m always down for a good rager.  I’ve always said that I’m happiest when I’m on a tropical beach, listening to good music, and watching the sunset (or sunrise after a long night of dancing).

I’ve put together this list of which I believe to be the best 15 places to party in South-East Asia.  If you’ve been to any of these places, I’m sure you can agree that they are all amazing places to get a little boozy, meet fellow travelers, and have a solid night.  If you’re planning a trip to any of these destinations, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have.  I’d be happy to help out anyway with any questions.

How many have you already visited…?


1)  Koh Phangan, Thailand

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While most people head to Koh Phangan just for the infamous Full Moon Party — this island actually has so much more to offer.  I like to refer to Koh Phangan as the “Ibiza of South-East Asia”, because there is literally a different party every night of the week.   If you’re planning a trip anytime soon, make sure you check out a website called the Phanganist.com.  They go over all the parties, hostel information, and other useful tips for visiting Koh Phangan.

Parties On The Island To Check Out Other Than The Full Moon Party  

  • Merkaba Beach Club — A really cool Ibiza style club with a pool, and amazing underground house music.  Check the FB page for upcoming party dates.  I actually went here one night instead of the FMP!  Located just a short drive away from Haad Rin Beach.
  • Maya — A beautiful and colorful venue in the jungle.  The type of music varies for each party, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
  • Guy’s Bar / Eden — An absolute must attend during your visit to Koh Phangan.  Tucked away in the deep part of the jungle, these are two of the best places to party on the island.  Known for it’s long hours, it’s the party that doesn’t stop.  It’s hard to get to, where you have to take a jungle taxi or boat to get to, but it’s well worth it!
  • The Jungle Experience — Normally happens before and after each Full Moon.  A bit expensive for the entry charge at 400 baht, but it’s a solid party with amazing music.  You’ll meet a ton of people, and see some pretty interesting characters dressed up in crazy body paint.
  • Sandcastle — A small club venue located in Haad Rin that is the best place to party during the Full Moon Party.  It’s not located directly on the beach, but definitely cruise here for a couple drinks.
  • Backyard Afterparty — If you go to the FMP and don’t see the sunrise, consider yourself a failure.  As well, part of the Koh Phangan experience is going to an afterparty.  Go to BACKYARD.  It’s amazing.

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2)  Vang Vieng, Laos

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The hedonistic party capitol of Laos has gotten a bad reputation in the past decade for being a destination fueled by booze, drugs, sex, and irresponsible backpackers.  Several years ago a few backpackers died in Vang Vieng, and the local authorities finally cracked down on the city.

While the current party status of Vang Vieng might be a little bit more tame than “the glory days”…have no fear– this place is still absolutely insane.  If you’re not careful — you will lose your mind.

Tubing in Vang Vieng is an absolute blast.  It’s basically a bar crawl, but instead of walking from place to place, you float down your tube (beer in hand), and get pulled back to the mainland with a rope at the next bar.  The backpacker vibe is awesome.  Everyone is here to meet people, drink, and have a good time.

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One of the bar stops while tubing in Vang Vieng

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When you’re not tubing,  you’ll most likely find yourself paryting at one place — SAKURA BAR.  The motto of this place is “Drink Triple, See Double, Act Single.”  This place gets ridiculous at night, and you’ll definitely love it.  They offer free alcohol every night before 8 P.M, decent drink specials, and sell large laughing gas balloons.

If you happen to find yourself in Vang Vieng on a Friday night — make sure you check out the weekly Jungle Party.  It’s about a 15 minute drive away from the main strip, but there is free transportation available outside Sakura bar.  The venue is really cool, the party lasts all night, and it’s amazing underground house music.  Don’t miss out!  They also sell mushroom shakes there if you’re feeling like taking a trip down the rabbit hole.

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3)  Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

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The largest of the three Gili Islands has been nicknamed “The Party Island” — and for a very good reason.  Gili Trawangan isn’t just one of the most beautiful places in South-East Asia, it’s by far one of the craziest places to get your drink on.  There is a “weekly schedule” on the island for which bars / clubs to go to, and each and every one of them is a pretty damn good time.

As well, Gili Trawangan has two booze cruise parties that are too epic for words.  You join dozens of other young backpackers on a beautiful boat, sail around idyllic islands, and listen to amazing music.  The booze can get really pricey, but it’s all worth it for the experience.  The atmosphere on the boat is awesome, and watching the sunset while sailing around Indonesia with a bintang in your hand is something you’ll never forget.

Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise

Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise

As well, Gili Trawangan throws their own version of the “Half-Moon” & “Full-Moon” Parties.  It’s basically just an all night beach rave about a 20 minute walk from the night market, but it’s hands down one of the best parties on the island.  If you’re feeling like getting a bit more crazy, there are (practically legal) mushrooms on Gili Trawangan that are guaranteed to take your night to the next level.

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4)  Halong Bay Castaway Island, Vietnam

Halong Bay.  Castaway Island tour.  Pure debauchery.  If you’ve been on this tour already — then you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam and are keen for an intense 3-day booze bender while visiting one of the most stunning areas in South-East Asia, then you need to book this Castaway Island Tour.  If you’re a budget backpacker, than the price of the tour is probably going to piss you off.  Yes, it’s damn expensive — but it’s honestly a really great experience.

However, I was fortunate enough to go on this trip with an incredible group of people and two awesome tour guides (Shoutout to Emilio & Tom).  But just with any packaged group tour, I think a trip like this ALL depends on the people you travel with.  I think the majority of the time you’ll meet some great people, drink heaps, and enjoy sailing through one of Vietnam’s highlights.  With that being said, not everyone is lucky.

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5) Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

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If people give you advice to skip Koh Phi Phi because it’s become “too touristy”  — ignore them.  Yes, I’m sure visiting Koh Phi Phi 20 years ago was so much better, but it’s definitely still one of the most beautiful places in Thailand!  Oh, and Koh Phi Phi is one the craziest party island in South-East Asia.  

In my opinion, Koh Phi Phi is a backpacker’s paradise.  There’s tons of people everywhere, amazing and cheap food, and really great nightlife.  It’s not a big island, but there’s still plenty to do and explore.  The snorkeling trips are affordable and gorgeous, the view points are stunning, and you can’t leave Thailand without visiting “The Beach”…right?

Favorite Places to Party

  • Slinky’s Beach Bar — This is the place to be when the night comes to an end.  Loud house music, laughing gas balloons, dancing on stages; this place is wild.
  • Ibiza Beach Bar — This starts out as a really chill lounge bar during the sunset and couple hours after, but things start to pick up towards the end of the night.
  • Stones Bar — Located right next to Ibiza Beach Bar, another great option to chill, play pool, and start your night.
  • Banana Bar — Happy hour from 4:20-6:20, Movie’s play every night at 7:00 P.M, then after the movie the party starts with beer pong, loud music, and tons of people.
  • Stockholm Syndrome —  A great place to beer pong, meet people, and party before making your way to the beach.

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6)  Bali, Indonesia

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The “Island Of The [Party] Gods”.

Bali is one of those destinations people visit once, and will keep going back for another stint in paradise.  There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and that includes those looking for an epic night of partying.  There are basically two main areas to party in Bali:

Kuta, Legian, & Seminyak Area

Sky Garden — This legendary mega club is a place you need to party at least once during your time in Bali.  There are so many different areas and rooms, and there are often big name DJ’s that stop by and play.  If you get in early, there can be ridiculous drink deals as well.  Insider tip: Try to rooftop buffet for dinner…it’s incredible and affordable.

Potato Head Beach Club — This probably needs zero introduction.  Potato Head Beach Club is one amazing venue in Bali, and is definitely the best location for a bit of Bali day drinking!  It is probably one of the most expensive places in Indonesia, but sometimes you have to forget about the budget, and “treat yo self”.  The pool is the perfect place to have a few beers, watch the sunset, and chat up other travelers.  I’d recommend eating before you go there, because the food is heaps expensive.

Jenja — If you’re in Bali on a Friday or Saturday night, this is where you want to go for a night of excellent house music.  This is a much fancier and more elegant venue than the majority of other clubs in Bali.  So dress in your finest, be ready to pay an entrance fee, and prepare for a quality clubbing experience.  Check out their Resident Advisor page for upcoming DJ appearances.    

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Saturday Night Parties on Padang Padang Beach — Every Saturday locals, travelers, and head down to Padang Padang beach for an awesome night of live music, followed by DJ sets playing some commercial house tunes.  Who doesn’t love a beach party…?

Sundays Sessions at Single Finn — The absolute best party on Bali is found every Sunday night down at the beautiful Single Finn venue.  Perched at the top of Uluwatu Beach, this is the ultimate place to enjoy dinner, drinks, and the gorgeous Uluwatu Sunsets.  Around 9-10 P.M the place gets absolutely packed with beautiful people, and everyone dances to some top-notch electronic music.  You won’t be hearing any obnoxisous EDM here, just quality deep and tech house.  Definitely have a few drinks before you go in, because it can turn into a pretty expensive night.      


7)  Boracay, Philippines

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While Boracay might not be on the typical South-East Asia backpacker route, it’s hands down one of the best places to party in South-East Asia.  For starters, you have to experience The Boracay Pub Crawl.  It’s an absolute blast, and really does “Turn Strangers Into Friends!  ”

After that, you need to check and see if there is a party at Area 51:  Top Secret Party Facility.  It’s an amazing venue away from the all main action, but there are only parties twice a month for the full moon and half moon parties.  If this place isn’t having an event during your visit, then check out what EPIC Nightclub has got going on.    

There’s tons of bars and nightclubs in Boracay to discover; it really just depends on what you are into and where the night takes you.  Check out this Ultimate Guide to Boracay’s Nightlife  for a more comprehensive look at all your options.

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8) Koh Rong, Cambodia

“Nothing Can Go Wrong on Koh Rong” is the motto of this Cambodian paradise.  What is awesome about this place is that it can be exactly whatever you want it to be.  If you want to relax, do nothing, and forget about all your worries; that’s definitely possible.  But for those looking for a good time, Koh Rong has a lively and active party scene.  If there was one place to get to soon in South-East Asia, I would recommend Koh Rong.  Things are changing quickly on the island, but it currently still has it’s authentic charm.

Partying on Koh Rong is simply, all you have to do is walk up and down the main street, and follow the crowd.

When I was there, I spent a good amount of time at Vagabonds.  Definitely swing by there for a drink or two, and then see what else is going on.  The main stretch on Koh Rong isn’t large at all, so it won’t be too hard to find where the party people are at.  As well as the above two islands, Koh Rong does offer it’s own version of the Full Moon Party.  There’s no body paint or neon tanks, but there’s a party tucked away in the jungle with amazing underground house music.

No matter whether you want to party or not, just make sure you get to Koh Rong.  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in all of South-East Asia!


9)  Langkawi, Malaysia

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Two words come to mind when I think of Langkawi:  TAX FREE.  Yup, Langkawi is a “duty-free” island, which makes the price of alcohol extremely cheap compared to the rest of Malaysia.  During high-season, this place is packed with budget backpackers and vacationers looking for a good time.

While there may not be heaps of options of party locations, that doesn’t really seem to matter here.  There are a few beach bars located on Pantai Beach which can be a great place to start the night with a few cocktails.  My recommendation would be to grab dinner and drinks at Yellow Café.  It’s a popular spot on the island, and should be visited at least once during your time on the island.

After grabbing dinner and a few drinks, you pretty much one have option — Sunba Retro Bar.  This is where you will be doing the majority of your partying when you’re on Langkawi.  This is pretty much the only club on the island, and it’s a damn good time.  It’s not the biggest venue, but the music is excellent, and it’s a great atmosphere inside.  If you’re not feeling like heading inside the club, just check out the bar right next door to Sunba.


10)  Koh Tao, Thailand

While backpackers normally flock to Koh Tao for the affordable PADI Scuba-Diving courses and rich marine biodiversity, that is only one of the aspects that make this island a must visit during your travels in Thailand.

Koh Tao nightlife is serious business — and you’re in for a couple crazy party nights here.  For starters, you can’t go wrong the Koh Tao Pub Crawl.  This is a great way to see some of the best bars on the island, attend a Lady Boy Cabaret, and meet fellow travelers.  The pub-crawl guides always do an excellent job of keeping everyone entertained, there are drink specials at each stop, and you’ll be looking good rockin’ a “Koh Tao Pub Crawl” singlet.  Don’t miss out.

Maya Beach Club —  The only bar on Koh Tao that has real DJs every night and a “NO CHEESE” music policy, top shelf cocktails and an imported wine list.  Both local and imported DJs spin tunes every night from sunset till late from a variety of genres that aren’t crappy remixes.

The Castle —  Probably the most well-known and respected venu on the island, The Castle is where you go for a quality night of dance music.  It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from Sairee Beach, and they host events about 2-3 times per week.

The truth of the matter is that you really don’t even need any advice about partying on Koh Tao — it’s as simple as partying hopping up and down Sairee Beach.  There are so many different venues playing a variety of different styles of music, fire jump roping (be cautious), and heaps of people to meet.  It’s a damn good time.

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11) Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The main beach area of Cambodia “snookville” is definitely one wild and crazy party destination.  Start your evening with dinner & drinks at one of the many beachfront restaurants on Serendipity Beach.  Enjoy a beautiful sunset, a game or two of pool, and few pints of delicious Angkor beer.

The Two Main Party Hostspots in Sihanouvkville are the Dolphin Shack & JJ’s Playground.  There are several other bars and places to hang-out, but if you’re out partying in Sihaouvkille, there’s a 99% chance you’ll end up at one of two of these bars.  They both play similar music of EDM, hip-hop, and throwback classics.  The beers are cold, the drinks are cheap, and the backpacker vibe is amazing.  You’ll  drink, meet people, and will have one epic party night.

Both the Dolphing Shack & JJ’s Playground offer their own Booze Cruise — which I highly recommend.  Is there anything better than drinking while on a boat?   

12) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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The capital of Malaysia might not be the most popular place to party among South-East Asia backpackers — but this is one incredible city with an abundance of amazing nightlife options!  I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Kuala Lumpur, and I’ve had some really great nights out partying in the city.

Bar 51:  Welcome to your Kuala Lumpur starting point for the night.  Bar 51 is an upscale restaurant and bar located in the heart of Changkat Bukit Bintang, the main nightlife area in Kuala Lumpur.  There is one reason you come to this place — 5 MYR MOJITOS.  Yeah, that’s right.  You can get delicious mojitos for only $1.25 USD.   This special ends at 9 P.M every night, but you can order as many as you’d like right before the time ends, and they’ll keep bringing them out to you.  It’s an amazing spot, perfectly located, with very friendly staff.  If you’re going to Kuala Lumpur and fancy a delicious and cheap mojito, then definitely cruise over to Bar 51.

Heli Lounge This was once a helipad, but they turned it into a bar with amazing 360 degree views of the city.  Pretty cool concept, yeah?  While it might not be the best place to spend your entire evening, it’s definitely a must-visit during your visit to KL.  Go to the top about an hour or so before sunset, enjoy the views during the day and the night, and then head out for the night.

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Reggae Mansion Rooftop BarFor all the backpackers out there, this is definitely one of the most popular hostels in all of South-East Asia.  The rooftop bar is a perfect place to spend a night drinking, even if you’re not staying there!  There is a DJ playing some fun dance music, a pool table, and decent drink specials.

Zouk KL 

UnderNINE:  For underground house and techno fans — this is where you’ll want to go.  The crowd is really great, the music is excellent, and the venue is pretty cool.DSC_0805


13)  Pai, Thailand

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Haven’t you heard…?  Pai is incredible!  When you’re traveling around Thailand, it will be pretty damn hard to find someone who doesn’t think Pai is absolutely amazing.  That includes me.  The whole city is so relaxed and chilled out.  It’s truly a backpacker / hippy’s paradise.  While many will often claim that “Pai is not what it used to be” or “Pai has changed so much” — the Pai that I visited was still pretty awesome.  These were some of my favorite spots in Pai.

  • Pai Pub — A really great spot.  Decently priced beers and mixed drinks, a cool outdoor patio, a well kept pool table; a perfect place to spend a couple hours and start the night.  Located just a couple minutes away from the night market, you can’t miss the giant Kangaroo out front.
  • Sunset Bar — This a great place to chill and spend a few hours.  You’ll most likely encounter some people enjoying a joint, or maybe see some people tripping on a mushroom shake.  It’s a cool place, good music, and you’ll definitely enjoy having a drink or two.  It’s also a great place to watch the sunset (obviously).  Located on a quiet street about a 10 minute walk from the main area of Pai.
  • Don’t Cry Reggae Bar — This is the “after-hours” bar that does not close until really late at night.  When all the main bars and pubs close in Pai, the party crowd all flock to this one venue.  Awesome music and vibe, including a campfire — you’ll love ending your night at Don’t Cry.
  • Moon Parties — In the past few months, Pai has been throwing their own version of the full moon, half moon, and black moon parties.  They don’t happen all the time, but if you’re there, you should ask around or check online and see if there is one happening.

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14) Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

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While the Perhentian Islands aren’t really a destination people normally visit for it’s crazy nightlife — there are still opportunities for amazing nights out drinking.

Perhentian Kecil is known as the “backpacker island”, and that means that it’s pretty damn easy to meet fellow travelers.  The last time I visited I only planned on staying for 4 or 5 days, but I ended up staying 10.  I met an amazing group of people, and practically every night we went out drinking!

 

What’s nice is that it’s just very simply to party here because people only really go to 2-3 different spots.

  • Panorama Bar:  Probably the most lively spot with a really great atmosphere.  They also have AMAZING PIZZA that you should try at least once.  They are kind of expensive at 25 MYR, but definitely worth it.
  • Monkey Bar:  This is just across the street from Panorama bar, and where I bought the majority of my alcohol.  You could buy a bottle of rum, cups, ice, and two mixers for 45 MYR — which is a really great deal there!
  • Pirates of Perhentian:  This is where the fire-show is held every night at 10:30 P.M.  The entertainment is really great, they play great music, and this is where pretty much everyone who is going to party for the night will be.  You sit down on the beach, order some beers, smoke some hookah, and watch some extremely talented people play with fire.

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15) Bangkok, Thailand

Last but not least, how could I write a post about partying in South-East Asia without mentioning “the Big Mango”.  Bangkok is the “Gateway to South-East Asia”, and there’s never a dull moment when you’re exploring the city, and the nightlife is guaranteed to make you come back for another round.

Khao San Road:  Street food, shopping, and tons of amazing restaurants and bars.  Partying on Khao San Road is something that every South-East Asia backpacker must do before the end of their trip.  You’ll drink towers of Chang Beer, listen to loud electronic music, and meet fellow travelers from around the world.

Sukhumvit:  This major road / district in Bangkok is your best option for when it comes to a good night out partying in Bangkok.  There are tons of different clubs in Sukhumvit , it’s almost intimidating trying to choose which one to go to.  My advice would be to check out Resident Advisor Thailand  to see if there are any special events coming up.  A few clubs I have been to and would personally recommend would be BASH, Insanity, and Spicy.

While you’re in Bangkok, make sure you visit all the temples, various shopping markets, and hit up a rooftop bar!

These are the Best 15 Places to Party in South-East Asia!!

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Agree?  Disagree?  Think I missed a certain destination?

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The 5 Best Places To Trip on Magic Mushrooms in South-East Asia

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You might be surprised to find out that Magic Mushrooms are pretty common in several destinations around South-East Asia.

This hallucinogenic party drug shouldn’t be taken lightly though — the powerful components in these mushrooms can send you off on a wild and crazy experience!  I’m a firm believer that if you take these in good company and in comfortable setting (and don’t take too much), you’ll have an amazing time.  I’ve always said that mushrooms basically just turn you into a retarded baby.  Everything is hilarious, you’ll feel euphoric, and things just look much more vibrant and colorful.  With that being said, drugs effect everyone differently.  If you’re unsure, than maybe it’s best you pass on this recreational drug activity.

I’m not here to educate people on the drug, or convince people to try them.  I just want to inform those people who are interested in some recreational hallucinogenic fun.

If you’re curious about the these drugs, take a read through this thorough Beginner’s Guide to Mushroom Tripping.

“The Mushroom Shake”

Before I had backpacked around South-East Asia, I had never heard of people consuming magic mushrooms in “shake” form.  This basically just means that they blend the mushrooms together with ice, various fruits, and sometimes Coca-Cola.  Each place you’ll buy them at has their own special recipe.

Fair warning — these typically don’t taste too great, but sometimes you’ll find a person who can make them actually enjoyable.

So Where Can You Trip on Magic Mushrooms in South-East Asia?


1) Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

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When it comes to magic mushrooms in Indonesia, there’s no better place to take a trip than on the island paradise of Gili Trawangan.  Grab a couple friends, head over to the sunset side of the island, and chug down a delicious Mushy Shake.  Okay…they’re not delicious — but the experience you’re about to embark will be something you never forget.  The sunsets on Gili Trawangan are some of the best in the entire world — add the hallucinogen affects, and you’ll be feeling magical.

As well, when the feeling starts to wear off — you’re in one of the best party destinations in South-East Asia .  You can continue the party at one of the many bars and clubs, meet fellow backpackers, and share your stories with others.

Where to buy mushrooms on Gili Trawangan? 

You can buy mushroom shakes at tons of different places on the island.  While you walk around the island, you’ll probably see a couple signs advertising the mushrooms.

Check out the bar opposite Rudy’s Pub, Sunset Bar, or simply ask a local bartender (they can point you in the right direction).

Cost:  150K – 200K ($13-17 USD)






 (2) Koh Phangan, Thailand

Most widely known for the location of the notorious all night beach rave, “The Full Moon Party” — Koh Phangan is definitely one of the best places to trip on magic mushrooms in South-East Asia.  There is literally a venue nicknamed Mushroom Mountain!

Head down to Haad Rin beach and walk all the way to the left.  You’ll see a staircase leading you up to this hippy paradise bar.  There’s tons of comfy seating overlooking the beach, chill music, and is decorated really funky.  Even if you don’t want to take any mushrooms, this is still an amazing spot to check out during your time on Koh Phangan.

This is often a highlight of people’s visits to this epic party island, and shouldn’t be missed!

Cost:  500 Baht ($15 USD)


3)  Vang Vieng, Laos

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This party capitol of Laos has gotten a somewhat bad reputation in recent years for being a hedonistic destination ruined by drunken debauchery.  Well, I completely disagree.  Yeah, Vang Vieng is definitely a top party destination, but it’s also one of the most relaxed and beautiful places in Laos.

Vang Vieng will definitely be a highlight of your time backpacking in Laos, and it’s also a pretty perfect spot for a little bit of hallucinogenic fun.  The vibe in this town is really relaxed (in certain spots), the shakes are strong, and you’ll be surrounded by like minded travelers looking for a good time.  Read about this guy’s experience taking mushrooms in Vang Vieng .

Where to buy mushrooms in Vang Vieng

Definitely check out the Jungle Party every Friday.  Some friends of mine bought a shake there and had a wicked trip

Cost: 100K -120K Lao Kip


4)  Pai, Thailand

This hippy backpacker paradise in Northern Thailand is one of the most relaxing places in South-East Asia.  The whole town is super chilled out and slowed down.  Your days can be spent exploring the countryside by moto, chilling by the pool, or bathing with elephants.  Every night you’ll wander through the night market, eat some delicious (and cheap) food, and have a few beers at the various nightlife hubs.  There are plenty of things to do in Pai  , and taking a little mushroom trip can easily be done.

ReadA Backpacker’s Guide to Pai

Where to buy mushrooms in Pai?

Simple — Sunset Bar Pai.  It’s an awesome bar with plenty of seating (including hammocks), colorful decorations, a pool table, and friendly staff.  An awesome place to sit back, relax, and expand your brain a bit.

Cost:  500 Baht ($15 USD)






5)  Gili Air, Indonesia

While most backpackers searching for a good party head over to Gili Trawangan — taking the quick 10-15 minute boat ride over to Gili Air in search of a fun mushroom trip will definitely leave you satisfied.  This honestly might be the better option between the two islands, because it has a much more relaxed vibe.

When it comes to the Gili Islands:

Gili  Trawangan = Party  //   Gili Meno = Honeymoon // Gili Air = Mix of both

The best way to enjoy a mushroom trip on Gili Air is to start out on the sunset side of the island.  Take them about 30 minutes before sunset.  There are tons of beachside restaurants and bars with plenty of comfortable seating, cheap drinks, and delicious Indonesian food.  I’d definitely recommend taking a stroll around the island, some stargazing, and maybe a night swim if you’re up for it!

Where to buy mushrooms on Gili Air?

The majority of bars on the sunset side of the island can arrange mushroom shakes.  If you are near Matahari Lodge…walk down the street (away from the beach) towards the other side of the island, and there’s a bar that play PsyTrance.  Get them there!

Cost: 150K – 200K ($13-17 USD)


Magic Mushrooms Tips & Advice

  1. Take mushrooms in a small / medium group of people that you know and trust.  You want to feel comfortable and safe around your fellow trippers.
  2. Stay away from crowded bars and clubs.  If there are tons of strangers and loud music, it might spark some negative vibes.
  3. Music is essential to a quality mushroom trip.  If you can, find a quiet area to hang out where you can play your own music — or chill out a relaxed place with tunes you like.
  4. Always watch the sunsetIt’s magical, and the best way to start your hallucinogenic journey.
  5. Stay hydrated.  Drink some water, but don’t be scared to knock back a beer or two.
  6. Don’t eat prior to taking mushrooms.  This will lessen the effect of them.  Definitely have some food in your stomach, but don’t have a big meal, and then consume your mushroom shake.  It will be a waste of money.
  7. Eat some dark chocolate to intensify the effects.  I don’t think this is scientifically proven, but it’s a common theory that “cacao is an excellent synergist… most known is combining with psilocybin mushrooms.”
  8. Stay calm.  If your new to recreational drug use, then the feelings of mushrooms might be very intimidating at first.  Relax, breathe, and enjoy the feeling.
  9. Start with 1/2 a shake if you’re nervous.  You should still feel some minor effects of the drug, and will help you feel more comfortable with taking another half.
  10. Only take Magic Mushrooms if you’re happy.  You shouldn’t take these if you’re feeling depressed or going through a hard time.

If your backpacking South-East Asia and find yourself in one of these popular destinations, then definitely think about embarking on magic mushroom trip.  It’s actually pretty common among backpackers, and be a really amazing and memorable experience.  You’ll laugh a lot, things will look cooler, and you’ll feel pretty happy.

SAFE TRAVELS AND ENJOY YOUR TRIP

“TO THE MOON AND BACK”

Disclaimer:  Drugs can affect everyone differently.  Proceed with cautin.  I’m not writing this article to convince people to take drugs, I’m simply informing people who are interested in the topic. 

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Magic Mushroom in South-East Asia!

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Bali: Instagram Checklist

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Welcome to Bali

Island that we LOVE the most! #Bali ❤ Regram from @devinacecilia

A photo posted by @godisland_bali on

Bali, also known as the “Island Of The Gods”, is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It has became a top holiday destination, and for good reason.  From the stunning beaches, beautiful landscape,  world-class surf spots, jaw-dropping sunsets, and vibrant culture — Bali has it all.

This is the ultimate travel guide to Bali — told through Instagram.

Take a look at this Where to Stay in Bali in Bali guide for amazing accommodation options.  Alternatively, you may also check out these top 7 Best Value Hotels to Relax in Bali by HotelsCombined to complete your Bali adventure.

Check out these 25 photos, get travel ideas, and start planning your perfect Bali holiday.

#WANDERLUST

1)  Watching the Sunset at La Plancha Beach Bar & Restaurant, Seminyak

The colorful decor, fun music, and comfortable bean bag chairs.  A favorite pick among Bali Instagrammers.

2) Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

You can’t come to Asia without throwing up at least one Instagram of cute little monkeys, and there’s no better place to do it than the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

3)  Mt. Batur Sunrise Hike

Completely worth the 2 A.M depature time…Check out this amazing amazing post about the Mount Batur Sunrise Hike to learn more about it.

4)  Uluwatu Sunsets

The best place to watch the sunset in Bali is definitely down in Uluwatu.  With so many different amazing places to choose from, you’ll be able to capture some quality sunset photographs.

If you need me, this is where Ill be…Mu Resort Infinity Pool in Uluwatu

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

5)  Watching the Surfers in Uluwatu

Speaking of Uluwatu…have you seen how talented those surfers are?  Uluwatu provides world-class waves that bring some of the best surfers of the world.  Make sure you to take some time to observe their insane surf skills, and capture the moment to share on Instagram.

True life: I wish I could surf…

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

6)  Pool Days at Potato Head Beach Club

Have you ever seen so many good-looking people in one place?  Beautiful location, awesome atmosphere, and gorgeous sunsets.  Once you go here, you’ll understand why this venue has become one of the hot-spots in Bali.

7)  Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud

Large, green, and absolutely stunning.  Taking a stroll through these marvelous Rice Terraces will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Rice on rice on rice…terraces

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

8)  Life is Better With Bintang

This delicious pilsner will become your favorite beverage of choice during your time in Bali.  As well, it can make a great object for snapping a great Instagram.

The Bintang life… #boozecruise #Sunset #GiliT #Globetrotter #Indonesia

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

9)  Exploring & Posing at The Temples

Bali has tons of amazing temples to visit, and they all provide the perfect opportunity to grab some stunning photos to share with your friends.

L e m p u y a n g T e m p l e Photo by @whatsthehelen Photo location : Pura Lempuyang Luhur, Karangasem, Bali Lempuyang Temple or Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of Bali’s 9 key directional temples. It is also called “ The Temple of Thousands Steps “ located at the summit of Belibis Hill at Karangasem Regency. If you are from Kuta, it will take approximately 2.5 – 3 hours drive to this place. This temple is of great significance to the Balinese culture and religion. Set atop Lempuyang mountain, it is roughly halfway between Amlapura and Amed. For tourists who love trekking, it will be a great experience for you to climb the path to this temple. There are many beautiful sceneries of volcano and greater Bali, waiting for you to be discovered and challenging paths. It is a two hour climb to the summit, up to 1700 steps, but there is also a temple at the bottom near the parking area, if you choose not to make the climb. Hashtag your photos with us #thebaliguideline LIKE US ON FACEBOOK THEBALIGUIDELINE ■ FOLLOW TWITTER @tbaliguideline

A photo posted by B a l i T r i p A d v i s o r (@thebaliguideline) on

10 ) The View from Finn’s Beach Club

Finn’s Beach Club in Ulutwatu is one of the absolute best places to spend a day during your holiday in Bali.  The entrance is gorgeous, and as the “elevator” slowly brings you down the cliff, you can’t help but appreciate this amazing island.

Viewpoint from the entrance to Finn's Beach Club in Uluwatu. A tad bit expensive for Indonesia, but worth every penny.

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

11)  Proof of Paradise

Bali – “The Island Of The Gods”

12) The Beauty of Kintamani & Batur

Whether you only visit Kintamani & Batur for a day trip, or stay here for a week — you definitely need to photography this stunning location!

13)  Over-looking The Rock Bar in Jimbaran

Beautifully constructed along the gorgeous coast-line, snapping a photo of The Rock Bar is definitely a must.  This is also a solid choice for dinner, drinks, and enjoying the sunset.

Sunday session ??? ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• An amazing photo regram from : ? @davidsudarsono Was taken at "Rock Bar, Jimbaran, Bali" Let's sharing your amazing moment with @balidaily ? ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #Bali #balidaily #visitbali #explorebali #balitrip #thisisbali #balilife #lovebali #travel #holiday #summer #instadaily #instagood #pictofthedayu #paradise#lovebali #sunset #sunrise #kintamani #canggu #kuta #legian #seminyak #petitenget #sanur #ubud #uluwatu #nusadua #lovina #lembongan #ceningan

A photo posted by Explore Bali With Bali Daily (@balidaily) on

14) The Beauty of Uluwatu Beach

When the tide is high you can watch the surfers paddle in and out of this beautiful cove, but when the tide is slow you can lay down a towel, read a book, and enjoy this stunning beach.

Where the surfers come to play #uluwatu #bali #indonesia #TravelBlogger #Globetrotter #wanderlust #islandlife #surf

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

15) Pool Reflections, Trees, and Sunsets

Resorts are all over the place.  Relax by the pool, and capture some stunning photographs.

16)  The Yoga Pose

Bali  is one of the best places in the world to so some yoga.  Even if you aren’t a hard-cory Yogi, strike your favorite pose and upload it to Instagram.

17)  Beach Days in Paradise 

Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Regram from @freddynicotjandra in Padang-Padang beach #Uluwatu #Bali

A photo posted by @godisland_bali on

 

18)  Chasing Waterfalls

Waterfalls might not be the #1 reason you come to Bali, but they should definitely be a top-priority during your holiday.  Check out this list of amazing waterfalls in Bali.

19)  The Underwater Shot

You can’t go to Bali without exploring the underwater life.  Whether you are a certified scuba-diver, or just do some snorkeling, make sure you get a couple shots of you under the water.

20)  Tanah Lot Temple Sunsets

Tanah Lot Temple is absolutely gorgeous, and has become one of Bali’s top tourist attractions.  If you find yourself here during a sunset, you’re in for a real treat…

21)  The Luxurious W Retreat & Spa

The “W” has become one of the world’s most well-known resorts, and their location in Bali will leave you absolutely speechless.

Right place right time ? ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• An amazing photo regram from : ? @achmadsholeh Was taken at "W Retreat & Spa, Seminyak, Bali" Let's sharing your amazing moment with @balidaily ? ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #Bali #balidaily #visitbali #explorebali #balitrip #thisisbali #balilife #lovebali #travel #holiday #summer #instadaily #instagood #pictofthedayu #paradise#lovebali #sunset #sunriseU #kintamani #canggu #kuta #legian #seminyak #petitenget #sanur #ubud #uluwatu #nusadua #lovina #lembongan #ceningan

A photo posted by Explore Bali With Bali Daily (@balidaily) on

22)  A Trip To The Gili Islands

While Bali is known for it’s spectacular beaches, you can’t beat the beauty of the idyllic Gili Islands.  Whether you choose the beautiful and wild Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, or Gili Air — you’ll fall in love these islands.

To stay here for another month or not…? Tough decision…

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

23)  The Gili Trawangan Sunset Shot

Everyone who comes to Gili Trawangan has to get the famous “swing shot”.

I think I've died and gone to heaven…

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

24)  Marveling at the Cultural Dances

Recommend:  The Kecak dance down Ulutwatu temple

25)  Finally — the”Airplane Wing” Shot

Because you obviously have show everyone how you get to Bali.

If you manage to complete all 25 of these Instagram ideas, consider your trip to Bali a complete success!

For more amazing Bali Travel Photos, follow these accounts!

TheBaliBibl  ///  FascinatingBali ///  GodIsland_Bali

BaliGoOfficial ///  The Bali Guideline ///  BaliDaily

If you like one of the photos, make sure you click on it and follow the featured artists.  

GOING TO BALI SOON?  SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS

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The 7 Best Places To Eat On Gili Trawangan

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Gili Trawangan is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and also one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia.  I was lucky enough to land myself a job working at the famous Gili Backpackers hostel (mainly just helping with nightlife stuff), and fell in love with the Gili T lifestyle.  I really do love pretty much love everything about this island.  That includes the food.  If you find yourself heading there, make sure you check out the 7 best places to eat on Gili Trawangan.

1.  Le Petit Grill

This is probably my favorite place to eat on the entire island.  Not only is one of the only restaurants open 24 hours to grab something to eat, the food here is absolutely incredible.  They’ve got a pretty decent sized menu, but you they are famous for their burgers.  I’d recommend getting the Greek Burger or the Crunchy Onion burger —  both solid options.  They cost around $5 and come with incredible french fries.  This is also my #1 recommended spot to grab a late night meal to either continue partying, or a drunk snack to soak up some of the alcohol for the hangover.  

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2.  La Regina Pizzeria

Probably the best pizza on Gili Trawangan.  Not only are they massive enough to share, but they are absolutely delicious.  If you are looking for a good Italian meal, than make your way over to La Regina.  Pizzas range from around 60-80,000 IDR.  

pizzeria-regina

3.  The Night Market

You’ve got to eat at the Gili Trawangan night market at least once during your time on the island.  The food is fresh, cheap, and incredible.  You have to go to the lower east corner grill and eat there.  You pick out your meat skewers, and all dishes include rice and three vegetable sides + peanut sauce.  It’s mouth waveringly delicious.  Don’t miss this place.  

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4.  Kayu Cafe

Known on the island as the “healthy” food option, Kayu cafe is definitely a must-try.  They’ve got a decent menu, and everything I’ve tried was really tasty.  I went their because I know they serve a decent falafel and hummus wrap, but everything I’ve seen looks great as well.  They also have delicious and healthy smoothies.  This place is definitely one of the more pricer options on the island, but it’s well worth the money.      

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5.  The Roast House

They’ve always got great lunch specials, and some of the biggest portions on the island.  If you are starving and looking for an amazing meal…this is where you have to go.  If you order one of their burgers, prepared to feel incredibly stuffed!  It’s large, meaty, and filling.  You want want to put it down.  Also — you must try their famous roast chicken.  It’s so damn good!  They also have decently fast wi-fi if you’re looking for a spot to soak up some internet (which can be hard to find on Gili Trawangan).  

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6.  Green & Beans

Everything on the menu here is incredible.  The portions are decent, the are fairly priced, and you’ll definitely come back for more.  Definitely try the “Bangers & Mash”.  You won’t regret it.  They also have massive salads that are particularly tasty.      

greens-beans

7.  The Yoga Place

While most people head this way to attend one of the many yoga classes on Gili Trawangan, you would be dumb not to eat here at least once.  The food can be a tad bit pricey, but it’s full of healthy eating options, great juices, and giant fresh coconuts.  Located just across the street from the popular Backpacker Hostel, La Boheme, it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and do some yoga.

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Thanks for reading about my favorite places to eat on Gili Trawangan.  Make sure to check out some of my other posts on Gili Trawangan:

 

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I think I’ve died and gone to heaven…

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12 Music Festivals in South East Asia to Experience Before You Die

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There might not be as many music festivals in South East Asia as there are in other areas of the world, but that is slowly changing.  With the ever-growing popularity of electronic music, more and more festivals are popping up in this region.  You might not come to South-East Asia for the music festivals, but if you’re planning a trip out here, maybe one of these could be worked into your itinerary


Also check out:

Top 10 Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Festivals:  South-East Asia




1.  Wonderfruit Fstival

  • When: Mid – December
  • Where:  Siam Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand
  • Website:  http://wonderfruitfestival.com/
  • Why:  Live.  Love.  Wonder.  That’s the motto of this incredible 3-day camping music and arts festival held on the beautiful Pattaya Fields Siam Country Club.  I normally tell people to avoid Pattaya as a city because it really is a horrific place, but this beautiful venue is 15 KM outside the city, and you’ll fall into festival mode.  The camping area is decent and well equipped, the stages are amazing, and the line-up brings a little something for everyone.  This is one of the best festivals you can attend in south-east Asia.  Read my Wonderfruit Festival 2014 review for more information and pictures.  I was lucky enough to attend the first year, and definitely have plans to make the journey back.   

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2.  Quest Music Festival

  • When:  Early November
  • Where:  Ba Vi National Park, Vietnam
  • Website:  http://www.questfestival.net/
  • Why:  Quest is Hanoi’s weekend music, arts and camping festival.  Tucked away in a beautiful national park, this venue provides the perfect atmosphere that a festival needs.  Stunning Vietnam landscapes, great live-music and DJ sets, and the opportunity to meet incredible new people from all over the world.  Don’t miss out.  Quest Music Festival will be an experience you will never forget.

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3.  Neverland Manila

  • When: Early October
  • Where:  Manila, Philippines
  • Website:  http://neverlandmanila.com/
  • Why:  Known as the “biggest EDM event in The Philippines”, this festival brings some of the biggest names in commercial house music.  If you’re looking for a solid party, this one will not disappoint.

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4.  ZoukOut Music Festival

  • When:  Mid-December
  • Where:  Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.zoukout.com/
  • Why:  The people behind one of the biggest and well-known clubs in Asia, “Zouk”, have created it’s own music festival, and it’s been one of the more popular festivals out in South-East Asia.  Located in Singapore, you’ll find the tickets, drinks, and accomodations a bit more expensive, but you can’t complain when they bring A-list talent, incredible stage production, and an overall amazing atmosphere.

Update:  Zoukout will be heading to BORACAY in 2016!   It’s already one of the best places to party in South-East Asia, so definitely worth a visit over for ZoukOut !

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5.  Road to Ultra – Bangkok & Bali

  • When:  June (Bangkok) — Septemer (Bali)
  • Where:  Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak, Bali
  • Website:  http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  Ultra Music Festival seems like they have one goal in mind — global domination.  From Miami, Croatia, Korea, Japan, South Africa — it now looks like they have turned their eyes to South-East Asia, and have added locations in Bangok & Bali.  Two cities known for having incredible nightlife.  If you find yourself out in either of these cities, definitely try to get to one of the these parties.

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6.  It’s The Ship

  • When:  Late November
  • Where:  Singapore – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.itstheship.com
  • Why: IT’S THE SHIP is Asia’s Largest Festival on a cruise. Setting sail on the The Royal Caribbean International’s luxurious Mariner of the Seas– will play host to over 30 international and regional headlining acts.  Sailing out of Singapore to Langkawi, Malaysia, this is guaranteed to be a voyage unlike any other.

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7.  Maya Music Festival

  • When:  Early March
  • Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Website:  http://mayamusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  This new one-day music festival brings big name DJ’s to a massive venue in Bangkok.  If you’re looking to hear some of the best electronic music while exploring the capitol city, than plan a trip to Thailand in March.

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8.  Shipsomnia

  • When:  Beginning of January
  • Where:  Singapore – Phuket – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.shipsomnia.com/
  • Why:   A MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL MEETS HI SEAS MYTHICAL ADVENTURE.  Unofficially nicknamed, “Tomorrowland At Sea”, Shipsomnia has gotten a lot of positive media attention.  With the growth of music festivals at sea, like Holy Ship or It’s The Ship (#6), Shipsomnia looks like it could be the next big thing.  Sailing from Singapore – Phuket round-trip, with a quick stop in Langkawi, this looks like a party that can’t be missed.  This all-inclusive music festival is guaranteed to be one epic vacation.

Shipsomnia is also sailing from Barcelona to Ibiza in June 2017!!

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9.  Big Mountain Music Festival

  • When:  Beginning of December
  • Where:  Khao Yai
  • Website:  http://www.bigmountainmusicfestival.com
  • Why:  One of the biggest festivals for the Thai music scene, this two day festival is filled with awesome stages, hundreds of live acts, and an incredible atmosphere.  Dates for the upcoming festivals haven’t been announced, but they do have other events, so tune into their Facebook for more information.

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10.  Rainforest World Music Festival

  • When:  Mid August
  • Where:  Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia
  • Website:   http://rwmf.net/
  • Why:  Just reading the name of the festival, you can get a good understanding of what you are in for during this unique festival.  Lots of acoustic instruments with a rainforest themed, this will definitely be unlike any festival you’ve ever attended.  Borneo is a beautiful island, and this would be a great way to experience the culture while hearing some great music.

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11.  Songkran Water Festival

  • When:  Mid-April
  • Where:  All Over Thailand (Chiang Mai recommended)
  • Website:  —
  • Why:  The Thai Lunar New Year is celebrated by 3 days of absolute madness country-wide.  From personal experience, this was one of the highlight’s of my travels in south-east Asia.  The belief is that “water” washes off all the sins of the previous year, and it’s a fresh start for the upcoming year.  It’s a beautiful festival, but it’s also one crazy party.  There are stages and music playing all over the place, and great clubs and nightlife to go out at night.  The set-up is different every year, but make sure you experience this at least once in your life.  Check out my Songkran 2015 video.

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12. Full Moon Party

  • When:  Once a Month during the Full Moon.  Dates found here.
  • Where:  Haad Rin, Koh Phangan, Thailand
  • Website:  http://fullmoonparty-thailand.com/
  • Why:  Last but not least, no South-East Asia festival list is complete without experiencing at least one full moon party.  Although recently it has gotten negative attention recently, it’s definitely a good night if you’re with the right people.  Koh Phangan is one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia, and there are ton of other parties to attend on the island as well.

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While I couldn’t list all the music festivals in South-East Asia, this is a solid list of what I think to the best 12.  All of these festivals bring some great live musicians and DJ’s, and will provide a great festival environment for you to dance until your tired, and meet some amazing people.  Make sure you check out my other blog posts on music festivals.

25 Music Festivals in America To Experience Before You Die

30 Music Festivals in Europe to Experience Before You Die

30 Music Festivals in Australia To Experience Before You Die


Am I missing any great music festivals in South-East Asia?  Let me know in the comments section!


Photo Sources:  Wonderfruit, Quest, Neverland, ZoukOut, Ultra, It’s The Ship, Maya, Shipsomnia, Rainforest, Big Mountain


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Labuan Bajo to Lombok Overland Travel

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Getting from Labuan Bajo to Lombok overland takes 24 hours, and is not a journey that one would normally describe as enjoyable.  But I myself went through it to save some money, and it was not as bad as I thought it was going to.

I had just finished my incredible 4-day / 4-night Komodo Island trip, and I had experienced the best snorkeling of my entire life…but the time had come for me to leave Labuan Bajo.  My original plan was just to fly back to Bali or Lombok, but I had done little research.

The only problem was that I needed to get back to Lombok, and the flights were over $100 !

I knew that there was an overland option, and I was not too excited about it…but I realized that I had no urge to spend another 3 days on a boat…and as a budget traveler I couldn’t possibly spend that much money on a domestic 1 hour flight.  I booked my ticket, and was ready for the next 24 hour travel day.

Price :  320,000 IDR.  The listed price is around 350-400,000 but you can bargain them down to 320-330,000.  

Departure:  9:00 A.M…Check in at 8:30 A.M.

The ticket booklet you get for the journey. DO NOT LOSE.

The ticket booklet you get for the journey. DO NOT LOSE.

Part 1 — Labuan Bajo – Sape

I showed my ticket, boarded the ferry, and the journey had officially began.  For some reason, I believed that the ferry would be empty, and this particular journey was a fresh start with all new people.  I was completely wrong.  The boat was already packed with people.  I failed to realize that this boat had arrived earlier that day from somewhere further east in Indonesia.  

I walked up the stairs, and found a large area with a ton of beds.  All of them occupied with sleeping families and kids running around.  I went one floor up, and found the inside sitting area.  There was one or two TV’s playing movies, a small little cafe to get food, and loads of chairs.  I had two backpacks, and they were kind of big, so I continued to the top floor for the outside area.

I found the perfect place to drop my bags, pull out my laptop, and get some work done.  To my surprise, the entire top deck was really chill.  Not too many people, and you can always find a seat in the shade.  I spent the entire ferry ride on the top area, and would recommend it to everyone.

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Part 2- Mini-Van Ride to Dara

This isn’t the longest leg of the journey, but it definitely was the most uncomfortable.  The vans are in poor condition. and if you’re tall like I am, be prepared to be squished.  

The ride however is pretty scenic driving through Sumbawa island, and you’ll see lush green mountains, and nice small villages.  This part is only 2-3 hours depending on traffic.  Have an ipod ready.

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Part 3 – Overnight Bus to Ferry Port

This is the longest part of the journey, but if you’ve been backpacking South-East Asia, then you are no stranger to overnight bus rides.  The bus wasn’t too comfortable, and you won’t have your own 2 seats, but it get’s the job done.

Make sure you buy some snacks and some water.  Also — sleeping pills are your friend.

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Final Part 4 – Ferry + Bus to Mataram, Lombok

For this part of the journey, the bus you slept on overnight will accompany you on the ferry over to Lombok island.  So you can leave your bigger backpack on the bus, and it’s just a short 1-2 hour ferry ride.  There is a movie playing, but I didn’t care to watch it.

The views from the boat can be really beautiful, but the actual boat is pretty crappy.  So it’s as comfortable as the first ferry, but it’s a short journey.

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Where To Next

When you get dropped off at Mataram, one of the largest cities in Lombok, you have a couple options of where to go next.

  • Kuta, Lombok — A popular destinations for surfers with great waves and decent nightlife
  • The Gili Islands — Probably the most beautiful place in the world.
  • Sengiggi Beach — A nice area with a few different beaches to explore by moto.  Lots of resorts and budget accomodations to choose from.
  • Mt. Rinjani — Hike Indonesia’s 2nd largest peak, for what is guaranteed to be one of the most intense hikes of your life.

My personal recommendation would be to hear straight to Bangsal Harbor, and get on the first boat to Gili Air or Gili Trawangan!  [divider]

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Gili Trawangan; It’s Not Goodbye…It’s See You Later…

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I’m sitting in a restaurant waiting for my boat back to the mainland.  I can hear the bells ringing from the horse carts, the distant sounds of prayer coming from the mosque, and eavesdropping on a couple young backpackers recanting their drunken night.  These are sounds I’ve grown accustomed to over the past 45 days.

Am I ready to leave…?  To be perfectly honest, no…not at all.

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Maybe it’s because over the past year, I’ve been traveling quite a bit, and it’s been amazing…but pretty damn exhausting.  Besides spending a month in Chiang Mai, and relaxing a bit at a great apartment in Kuala Lumpur — I’ve been a nomadic grasshopper, hopping around Asia and checking out as many new destinations as I could.

But I came to Gili Trawangan for a different reason…to slow down a bit, get involved and work at a hostel, and live in paradise.  But what I have found has been so much more than that.  I have found a home.  Yes, I said it.  I feel a very strong connection with this island now, and whenever a connection like that is made — it’s hard to leave.

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When you come to Gili Trawangan as a backpacker — you party, you swim, you relax on the beach, and then you leave.  You do the same things when you live here, but you also get involved with the expat community.  A solid mix of dive instructors, entrepreneurs, and people who are obsessed with this addictive island life.

I’ve made connections here that could potentially change the rest of my life.  One of the homies even said they are opening up a new hostel, and we’ve discussed getting me a position as a manager when that time comes.  I don’t know when it will be, but just hearing that is pretty awesome.  I’ve got an offer from bar owners that will give a percentage of their bar sales just for bringing people there every night.  I’ve got offers to come back and sell tickets for the booze cruise (which I hear can actually be quite lucrative).

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Booze Cruisin’

The longer I stay here, the more people I meet, and the more earning potential I am seeing from living here for a longer period of time.  Yes, I have to return to Kuala Lumpur, but there’s this strange feeling inside me that has me thinking I actually won’t be gone for long.

Living in Paradise has truly been life-changing.  It might have only been for a short 45-50 days or so, but I do think it has been monumental for my future.  After finishing my Master’s degree, I feel like it’s expected that I get a corporate job, and finally go back to “reality”.  But I feel like this is MY reality.  Yeah, I might not be earning six figures, but if I’m truly happy, why do I need to be making more money?

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I’ve met people who have moved to Gili Trawangan, and have built a life in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It just goes to show you that you don’t have to live a “typical” life.  If you want something, go for it.  And that’s what I plan on doing.

It’s not goodbye Gili Trawangan…It’s see you later.

Batu Batong: The Best Snorkeling of My Entire Life!

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Just a couple days ago I encountered hands down — the best snorkeling of my entire life.  I joined Uber Scuba in Labuan Bajo, Flores on one of their dive trips.  The entire experience was really great, and I would highly recommend diving with them.

I still don’t have my PADI certifications to go scuba-diving (hearing problems), so I only could free-dive, but it was still amazing.  I saw turtles, sharks, a manta ray, and so many different types of fish I can’t even count.  If you’re coming to Indonesia, you NEED to make sure you plan a scuba or snorkeling trip to this dive spot — Batu Balong, Flores, Indonesia!

WELCOME TO BATU BATONG..

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IT MIGHT JUST LOOK LIKE A ROCK…BUT LET’S TAKE A LOOK UNDERNEATH

I had to hold my breath for the longest I think I ever have in my entire life to catch up to this turtle to get the perfect selfie with it.  You can’t really tell, but this is actually pretty damn deep.   

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I DO LIKE THESE PHOTOS, BUT IT HONESTLY DOES NOT EVEN DO IT JUSTICE FOR HOW AMAZING IT WAS.  IF YOU FIND YOURSELF AROUND KOMODO…MAKE SURE YOU SNORKEL / DIVE AT BATU BATONG…


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Uber Scuba Diving in Labuan Bajo, Flores

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I had just finished an incredible 4 day trip sailing from Lombok – Flores, and I thought my adventures on a boat were finished.  I was wrong.  So very wrong.

Friends that I had met on the Komodo Tour decided to book a diving trip with Uber Scuba.  Two of them actually completed their Advanced Open Water Certification with them.  The friendly staff offered me a free snorkeling / freediving trip with them if I wrote a blog post about the experience!  How could I turn that down?  I can honestly say that it was one of the most epic days I’ve had while traveling Indonesia, and I’m stoked to tell you why.

Snorkeling, Free-Diving, and Scuba-Diving in Labuan Bajo is an absolute must during your trip to Indonesia.

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THE BOAT

I haven’t been on many diving excursions before, but I was amazed about how great the Uber Scuba diving boat was.  It’s named the “Iona”, and it was recently completely renovated within the past year.  All my friends and I agreed it was probably the nicest dive boat they had ever been on.

It had a really comfortable seating area, clean flushing toilet, awesome sun deck, and spacious dive preparation area.

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THE FOOD & DRINKS

Before and after every single dive, we had something to eat.  It was great to walk on the boat in the morning and have donuts and bananas waiting for us.  As well as unlimited fresh drinking water, coffee, and tea.

  • After the first dive, they had delicious watermelon for us.
  • After the second dive, lunch was served — it was DELICIOUS.
  • After the third and final dive, they had pancakes with nutella or jam for us, and the option to purchase some beer for the ride back to Labuan Bajo.

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THE STAFF

The Uber Scuba staff really know their stuff.  The main divemaster Adrian was instructing the Advanced Open Water Course, and she was really friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.  I listened to a couple of her lessons for the course on buoyancy, negative entry, and a couple other diving topics.  I can’t dive because of a hearing condition, but it was still really cool to listen to her.

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DIVE 1 — MANTA POINT

If you read my Komodo Island Trip Review, you’ll know I wasn’t lucky enough to see a Manta on the trip.  After listening to the instructor, we discovered it’s not the best time of the year to see them.  She said it really just depends on luck, and I’m happy to share that I finally got to swim with a Manta Ray.  

The two other freedivers and myself were only fortunate to see one, and it flew under us pretty quick and effortlessly.  But I was able to snag one shot.  It was pretty deep, but at least I got one photo!

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DIVE 2 — BATU BALONG

Without a doubt, this was by the BEST SNORKELING OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!  I would encourage everyone to travel to Indonesia, just to be able to visit this amazing place.  From the boat, it might just look like a random rock, but underneath you’ll find the most amazing collection of coral, fish, and biodiversity.

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DIVE 3 — MINI WALL

After visiting the Batu Balong dive spot, we made our way to our last stop.  To be perfectly honest, it was a little disappointing — but only because we had just seen one of the craziest snorkeling locations I’ve ever seen.  It was still beautiful, with lots to see, and it is the spot where I really pushed the limits of my freediving abilities.

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CONCLUSION

Although I didn’t actually scuba dive, the entire experience of Freediving Komodo with Uber Scuba was absolutely incredible.  From the comfortable boat, helpful staff, delicious food, and stunning snorkeling — I can see why Komodo is ranked as one of the top 10 diving locations in the world.

Finding Uber Scuba could not be easier.  They are located right on the main street when you exit the main port.  Their address is:

Uber Scuba Komodo Dive Center, Jl. Soekarno Hatta, Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo, Nusa Tenggara Timur 86554

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Komodo Island Trip Review: Sailing from Lombok to Flores

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You know the saying, “third time’s the charm”…?  Well, that’s how many times it took me to come to Indonesia and finally hop on one of the Komodo Island tours.   I’m actually kinda mad at myself it took me this long, because the entire experience was absolutely incredible!  This Komodo Island Trip review will go over all your questions, the itinerary, and help you plan your trip to this amazing corner of the world.  After researching different Komodo tours, I decided to go with one of the higher recommended companies — Wanua Adventures.

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There are a few of other options, but the most important factor of these types of tours is the boat.  ALL of the companies have the exact same trip itinerary, so you want to get on a tour with a decent boat — which is why I chose Wanua Adventures.  They have departures from the Gili Islands / Lombok every Wednesday & Friday.  They also do the same trip in reverse from Flores – Lombok.

THE BOAT

Compared to the other companies boats I saw, the Wanua Adventures boat was much larger, and seemed much more comfortable.  There was plenty of room in the main deck / eating area, and a nice spot at the front of the boat to enjoy some sun while sailing.  I’d say one of the biggest differences I noticed was that our boat had a great balcony at the back of the boat that was prime for sunset watching.  It also allowed for people to get into the deck (sleeping area) at two different spots.  Which really comes in handy if there’s a full boat.  It was also a great area to hang up your wet clothes and towels after swimming.

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DAY 1 – TRIP DEPARTURE AND SAIL TO SUGIAN ISLAND

I’ll be honest when I say that this trip got off to a very ROUGH START.  The weather conditions were poor for sailing, and for hours the boat was making everyone a little queasy.  I do not get sea sickness, but even my stomach was a little upset.  After a few hours, the water smoothed out, and we made it to our location.  Even though the waters were a little choppy, the views of cruising alongside the coast of Lombok were stunning!   We ate dinner, enjoyed the sunset, drank a few beers, went for a swim, and had a little group bonding with our fellow travelers.

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DAY 2 — MOYO ISLAND WATERFALL TREK & STUNNING SATONDIA ISLAND SNORKELING

We woke up bright and early around 7 A.M, enjoyed some breakfast and coffee, and prepared for the day’s activities.  The first was a mini-trek through Moyo Island to a nice waterfall.  Now, I’m not a morning person, and the idea of trekking that early was not my ideal way to wake-up, but it actually wasn’t bad at all.  It was a short 20 minute walk through the jungle to a tucked away waterfall.  Compared to other waterfalls in South-East Asia, it was nothing special, but still great to look at and take a quick swim in.  We then hopped back on the on the boat and made our way to Satonda island, which had some of the most amazing snorkeling of my entire life!

 

 

DAY 3 — GILI LABA VIEWS — MANTA POINT  — RED BEACH

This was by far my favorite day of the trip.  It was another early start of the day for a quick 20-30 minute hike to the top of the Laba Island View Point.  It was not until this moment that I realized how incredible Komodo and the surrounding islands are.  The landscape of the islands rising out the sea was incredible.  The hike was not bad at all, and was worth every drop of sweat for the pictures.

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After the spectacular Laba View Point, we head back down to our boat, and set sail for what I was hoping to be one of the highlights of the trip — MANTA POINT.  Unfortunately, the water conditions were so rough that we barely got out to swim for a brief 15 minutes.  There was no chance of us seeing a Manta.  I had heard that on this trip they market that it is a possibility, but it is not guaranteed.  We then decided to swim to an amazing beach located near Manta point.  It is honestly postcard perfect.  The swim was actually pretty difficult because of the strong currents, but it made for some good exercise and even better pictures.  We got to do a bit of decent snorkeling, and then made our way to the famous Red Beach.  (Which too be honest, was a beautiful beach, but typical pictures make it look ALOT more red).

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DAY 4– KOMODO NATIONAL PARK & RINCA ISLAND

The fourth and final day of the trip.  The day the trip is named after.  It’s time to visit Komodo National park and see these beasts in person.  We got off the boat and made the short walk to the entrance of the national park.  We were told that since it was mating seasons for the komodo dragons, it was actually pretty rare to see them on the island.  I could tell everyone in the group was saddened to hear that, especially after we hadn’t seen the manta the previous.  We began our tour through the jungle, in hopes to see what the famous Komodo Dragon.

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Then we soon found out, that lady luck was on our side.  I turned a corner and saw our group taking pictures at a smaller Komodo dragon.  Our guide told us it about 3 years old or so.  It was awesome!  We continued taking our pictures until everyone was satisfied, and continued down the trail.  We thought our tour was over, and at least we saw a young Komodo dragon.  Then out of nowhere some yells “DRAGON, DRAGON”, as if it were a scene of Game of Thrones.  We rushed out, and saw this big beast just strolling along the beach.  We followed it for 10-15 minutes, all trying to get the perfect picture, and I’m happy with mine.

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After the excitement of seeing two different Komodo dragons when the expectation was rather low, we got back on our boat and made our way to the last stop; Rinca island.  I wasn’t feeling very well, and wasn’t up for an hour & a half trek, so I just journeyed into the main area.  But still enjoyed checking out the visitor area.

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After the group returning from the trek through Rinca Island, we set sail for our final destination — Labuan Bajo.  We did however make a pitstop for a quick swim and snorkel session at an island really close to LB.  The way back was full of beautiful views, and it was really hard to put the camera away.  It was a nice time to really think about the past few days, and how amazing this part of Indonesia is.

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FOOD & DRINK

I’m a big guy, and I eat pretty often — so I was actually pretty happy with the food served on board.  You get three meals each day, and there’s pretty much always enough for seconds.  Most of the meals are served with some soy based dish like Tofu or Tempe, a vegetable dish, plain rice (and noodles occasionally), and a fruit platter.  They have tons of cases of bottled drinking water.  You grab a bottle, and write your name on it so you don’t confuse them with others.  There’s also unlimited coffee and tea.  Also — before you get on board you have the option of buying beer and soda from a vendor who will run to the store and grab them for you.  I brought 12 large Bintangs on board, as well as a bottle of Vodka.  (What can I say?  I like to party).  There were actually a couple nights where we had a decent party going on.  Music playing, drinks flowing, and good vibes.

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USEFUL TIPS & INFORMATION

  • Bring Snacks — They do serve food often, but it definitely will come in handy after snorkeling or swimming to have something small to snack on.  Pringles, oreos, peanuts, and the ever so popular kit-kat.
  • Bring a Book — There were a couple times I found myself thinking I should have brought a book.  There are long days where you sail for hours, and it’s nice to have something to read.
  • Sunscreen is your friend — A lot of this trip is spent in the sun, and if you don’t want to look like a burnt lobster, then definitely plan on bringing plenty of sunscreen.
  • Underwater Camera — Whether it’s a GoPro or just a waterproof camera, you’re going to want to take some photos while snorkeling.  There is some amazing snorkeling, especially at Satonda Island!
  • Plan Ahead — I’m talking about your plans after getting to Labuan Bajo.  If you plan on exploring Flores, that’s great!  But if you have a plan on getting a flight back to Bali or Jakarta, book in advance, because flight prices can be ridiculous.  And I can almost guarantee you won’t want to spend another 3 days on a boat journeying back to Lombok.

 

 

Conclusion

If you have the time, than I couldn’t recommend this trip enough to anyone traveling Indonesia!  You’re comfort levels are tested at times, but it is absolutely worth it.  You’re guaranteed to see some incredible sights, meet awesome people, and have the trip of a lifetime.  Check out the Wanua Adventures website for more information.  I would definitely recommend traveling with them.  The staff were all really friendly, the boat was decent, and they showed us an amazing time.  I also have to give a shoutout to everyone on board our trip.  It was a pleasure meeting all of you, and I hope to see you around the world again soon!

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