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 held 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. When you meet the villagers, they will be excited and proud to introduce their customs and traditions. You’ll visit the school and spend time with the children, introducing them to English and playing simple games with them. Leaving the village you’ll continue to beautiful Pink Beach, located in Komodo National Park. 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.
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