Lately, our president Jokowi make a somewhat controversial statement regarding our tourism. He said by the end of 2020, he wanted to make Labuan Bajo as an exclusive vacation site. That means no more budget or backpacking option to choose while in there. Eeach person would need to spend at least around IDR 14 million. That includes the Labuan Bajo cruise service as well, in which the price is going to be increased by the looks of it.
This is truly a shame for the people who always rely on a cheaper option to travel. But I’m not going to discuss here whether it’s a good decision or not. Let’s just step back for a moment and talk about Labuan Bajo itself. How it started from a small fishing town to a high-class resort area.
Labuan Bajo cruise favorited by many tourists, all started from this small town
The name of Labuan Bajo came from the meaning “Pelabuhan Suku Bajo”, which translates to “Bajo Tribes Harbor” in English. The name came as their elders who built the village came sailing from Bajo years ago, and finally land in there and make it a settlement.
Without a doubt, the rising popularity of Labuan Bajo is because of its surrounding areas. The town does have easy access to many islands in Nusa Tenggara Timur, most notably the Komodo National Park and Flores. Many private or public boat trips end up started from Labuan Bajo. This town even has its own airport built a while ago. That is basically the start of Labuan Bajo cruise offered by a lot of charters nowadays.
Many boats and yachts docks in Labuan Bajo bay, waiting for an adventure
Despite being famous for the gateway through Komodo or Flores, Labuan Bajo itself actually has many beautiful spots. There’s a beach near the port and a cavern. Tourists can find a lake inside is illuminated by the sun from above. Although not as beautiful as what you can see in Komodo or Flores, a tourist area in Labuan Bajo can still be enjoyed while waiting for your trip or after.
Labuan Bajo has many hotels and even resorts. From small motels to an international standard resort area is available for different kinds of tourists. Motels usually located near the village and handled by the locals. They provide the backpacker tourist who doesn’t have a budget to book a room in hotels.
On the other hand, hotels and resorts usually have way higher prices than usual. It’s quite a normal occurrence in a vacation area though. That’s why mostly only wealthy foreigners willing to spend a night in a 5-star hotel in Labuan Bajo. Even Hollywood celebrities also come from time to time.
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Backpackers are often even sleep in local’s house, for a fee of course
That was but a glimpse of Labuan Bajo. It’s interesting how tourism can completely revamp a town into a well-known resort. Lastly, if you’re interested to take a Labuan Bajo cruise, feel free to contact one of the charters available and pack your bag. Witness the beauty of Labuan bajo by yourself!