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Labuan Bajo

Haritri Goswami
We took flight from Bali around 7:30 and reached Labuan Bajo 8:45am. We had booked 2 days 1 night cruise trip from Labuan Bajo to komodo island. The package had airport pickup included. They picked up from Labuan Bajo airport and transferred us to a cruise . There are two options here. You can book shared ship with much less price and private ships are also available. We booked a private one. Except us 4 persons was in the cruise. Captain, his assistant, a cook and guide. All meals was included and they cooked delicious foods on ship itself. We saw spectacular views from Kelor island first. Then somewhere in the middle if the sea (I can’t remember the name of the place) we did snorkeling and went to Rinca island to see dragons. The day ended with watching thousands of flying fox in kelong island. At night boat was stopped somewhere in the middle of the sea and we had a very good sleep.
Harshit Gupta
We headed to Labuan Bajo using flight and checked in at Laprima Hotel (https://www.agoda.com/en-sg/laprima-hotel/hotel/goron-talo-id.html) It was a good hotel with a very nice Jetty. As there is nothing much in Labuan Bajo City, we decided to take rest there only for the day as a long day was coming up.
Gaurang Garg
I left for diving post breakfast. The new hostel was a 12 minute walk from Blue Marlin dive shop.The three dive sites today were Tatwa Bisar, Batu Balong and Karang Makassar. The third one was the other manta point in the Komodo National Park. We ended up seeing eagle rays and schools of manta rays. It was an amazing experience. The mantas literally came out of the blue and glided right over you. At one of the other dive sites, I saw a huge school of fourteen grey reef sharks. One dive site that I really wanted to do was the Cauldron. This was again a drift dive in strong current. Apparently the current here was stronger than the one at Golden Passage.The diving in total cost me 510USD over three days (9 dives in total). This included everything: the full gear rental, dive computer, park fees and taxes. The park fee to enter Komodo National park is 275000 IDR on weekdays and 325000 IDR on weekends.I explored the different places in the evening and went to a coffee shop called the Flores coffee shop (La Bajo). It was nice.I went for dinner to a restaurant called La Cucina. It was an Italian restaurant which was always packed. The food was really nice and the ambience was great. The pricing was about 130000 IDR per person without alcohol.
Gaurang Garg
After an early breakfast at the dive shop restaurant, we departed in the speedboat by 8 am. Today we were going to the north side of Komodo National Park. This is apparently where the best dive sites are. I was super excited and nervous about today. The first dive site we did was called Castle Rock. The depth was about 21 meters and the visibility was a good 30 meters. The dive site was basically an underwater mountain and we entered the non current facing side of it. This was probably the best single dive site that I have ever been to. The first 10 minutes of the dive were pure bliss and I was just awestruck. There was so much happening. We saw white tip reef sharks, schools of giant Travellis, Barracudas, Napoleon Wrasses. There were so many fish, I had never seen so many at one time. It was incredible. After those first 10 minutes, the current picked up and we drifted around the mountain. Eventually we came back to the same spot later and all the fish had disappeared. Thats how lucky we were.The second dive site was called Golden Passage. This was a strong current drift dive. The maximum depth was 35 meters and the dive time ended up being just 20 minutes because of the strong currents. This was a struggle of a dive. Never have I felt current this strong. We literally had to hold on the the reef in order to not be swept away with the current. Here we saw a big school of Barracudas swimming against the current. Apart from that, I was just too busy swimming and holding on to dear life :pPost lunch, our third dive site was called Crystal Rock. This was a challenging dive site due to the currents. The maximum depth was 23 meters and the visibility was about 20 meters. This dive site was also a mountain but unlike castle rock, the mountain broke the surface of the water. The current hit the mountain from one side and split into two and we were diving in-between that split. We had to be careful to remain in that split, otherwise we could be in some serious trouble. It was a very challenging but fun experience. We saw plenty of stuff like baby white tip sharks, pygmy sea horses and schools of fish. We returned by about 3:30Pm. I had to switch hostels today and had booked this place called Seaesta. This is one of the best hostels that I have stayed at in all of South East Asia. They had amazing dorms, a great rooftop with a pool and a bar, clean bathrooms and a great overall vibe. The hostel cost about 210000 IDR per night. I would highly recommend staying here.
Gaurang Garg
I had an early start to the day. I left the diveshop at 8am post breakfast to head out to sea. The jetty from which our boat departed was 100 meters from the dive shop. The speed boat itself was very comfortable with a sun deck on the roof and personal dive stations. They had coffee/tea, fruits and lunch on-board. The first dive site that we went to today was called Police Corner. Apparently, it was named after one of the two things, a police boat had crashed here or a policeman had discovered this dive site. The maximum depth was 33 meters and visibility was 25-30 meters. We saw a lot of Nudibranches, Coral Bandid shrimps, Snappers, Batfish, Oriental sweet lips, et cetra. The dive lasted 50 minutes, after which we went to the next dive site. The second dive site was called Mawan (Manta Point). The maximum depth was 16 meters. Here we got some strong currents. The Komodo area is famous for its strong currents which are often unpredictable. This was my first dive in strong currents. On top of that, we had to swim against the current for most of the dive, which was super tiring. This dive site was one of the Manta cleaning stations in Komodo National Park. Here we saw schools of Manta rays, which was a mind boggling experience. We also saw black tip sharks, Octopuses, scorpion fish, lion fish, crabs, et cetra.We ate lunch after our second dive site which was a pre-packed meal. It included rice and a chicken gravy dish. The third and final dive site for the day was Waililu. The maximum depth was 16 meters and the visibility was just 6-8 meters. The dive site was just off of the mangroves of Rinca island. This was a muck dive, which meant that we had to search for the small stuff like shrimps, Nudibranches and worms.We were back in Labuan Bajo by 3 pm. This was the entire advantage of having a speed boat. I went and saw sunset at this place called Bacarita cafe, which was a cute cafe located in a mall (literally the newest building in town). It was not too expensive (30000 IDR for a coffee) and had a beautiful view of the sunset.I went for dinner with some of my dive boat buddies to this place called Mediterranio. It was an Italian restaurant and towards the expensive side. A meal here with alcohol cost about 200000 IDR. That being said, the food was great, especially the pizzas.