It’s no secret that dragons are on the agenda for most people who visit the island of Komodo, but those wanting to dig a little deeper will delight in a visit to the ‘other side’—literally and figuratively—of this astounding island. Away from the dragons and surrounded by Komodo National Park is Kampung Komodo—a small village that is mostly ignored by the many visitors who come to see the island’s legendary wildlife. Historians believe that the early Komodo islanders were subjects of the Sultan of Bima. Bima is a city on the east coast of Sumbawa Island, so Komodo’s remoteness meant its affairs were infrequently addressed by the Sultan. Thus the village infrastructure of Kampung Komodo is very limited—in fact, the average level of education here is roughly that of a fourth grader. There is an elementary school located right in the village, but new students are not recruited each year. The village’s water supply is a natural spring a couple of miles away and waterborne illness is commonplace. Despite the village’s economic problems, the people are quite delightful and enjoy a charming community living system. They are talented craft-makers too. Arriving by tender at Loh Lian Bay’s pier in Komodo National Park, you will walk 350 yards to the new concrete pier and board a large wooden boat. It is a 30-minute ride to Kampung Komodo Village. Upon arrival, you will meet the villagers who will be excited and proud to introduce you to their customs and traditions. You’ll visit the school and spend time with the children, speaking English and playing simple games with them. Leaving the village you’ll continue your boat ride to beautiful Pink Beach, located in Komodo National Park. Since there is no pier available at the beach, you will then transfer to the beach using a small fiberglass boat, hopping out into the water to wade ashore. Most of the sand is white, but a smattering of red sand naturally mixed in gives parts of the beach an overall pink cast. Stunning coral formations and clear water make this the ideal place to snorkel. Relax, sunbathe, swim and enjoy the peaceful surroundings before you return to the ship. At the end of the tour, the small fiberglass boat will transfer you from the wooden boat to the Komodo jetty.Notes: This tour is part of a community effort to support the local people. Your participation on this tour directly benefits the inhabitants of Kampung Komodo and the local school. You will not see Komodo dragons on this tour. Weather conditions can be extremely hot and shade is limited; dress accordingly and bring bottled water. Weather conditions can be extremely hot and shade is limited; dress accordingly, wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring bottled water. If you wish to snorkel, bring your own gear from the ship, as snorkel gear is not available for rent.
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