Corona Virus (COVID-19) Indonesia and Flores
13 May 2020
Correct information is hard to find, some reports are incorrect or outdated within hours. The cases on Flores vary from 3 to 14, which is still very few. There are a lot of rumours to reopen the country again but untill this is not officially announced we still cannot plan anything.
I hope we will know some more around mid June. I also hope travelers will come to Flores again as Flores needs every support to get back on its feet again. The situation is getting grim.
3 May 2020
NTT (=Nusa Tenggara Timor) has now 10 official cases of Corona. It is not clear how many of them on Flores, some talk of 2 and some of 3. Exact figures are difficult to find and whether they are correct as Indonesia has a quite complicated and vague system. But, if the figures are correct then this is still a low one.
Restrictions on Flores become more and more serious. In the meantime all districts have locked down and it is difficult to get from one district to another. Some authorities only let people through with an official letter from the government, trucks with fresh fish on board are sent away back to where they came from...
25 April 2020
In the meantime Indonesia has decided to stop all air- (and sea) travel.
Flores is still Coronafree, but with a lot of checkpoints and complicated travel.
Travel to Indonesia: travelrestrictions have been changed a couple of times. Check on the homepage what is the current update.
30 March 2020
At the moment I am in Labuan Bajo on Flores and will try to give you an idea of the situation here.
First of all: Untill now there are no positiv tested persons on Flores. That's the good news.
Facilities on Flores are very limited which is a serious concern. However like anywhere else in the world people are asked to pay attention on things like washing hands, keeping distance etc. Schools are closed untill 21st April. Events, church services are forbidden.
Tourist objects closed untill 25th May
Like in other parts of Indonesia all national parks are closed so is Komodo National park, Kelimutu National Park and Riung Marine Park 17 islands. Besides that also the traditional villages, waterfalls etc. can’t be visited. For how long is not clear as this varies from a couple of weeks up and untill the end of May.
Ferry ASDP Labuan Bajo to Sape (Sumbawa) closed
The route was closed between 26th March and 3rd April
Many kabupaten (districts, on Flores there are 8) have their own restrictions. Borders between the districts are checked by police, soldiers and/or health authorities. There are bodytemperature checks and at some borders cars and passengers are sprayed with desinfectant.
Hotels in/near Bajawa, Riung, Mbay and Larantuka are closed for guests.
Guests who want to overnight in Moni, Ende and Maumere are send to a hospital or health centre for an obliged health check.
Another thing is that some local people are very suspicious about foreigners, everyone who is not a part of their own community. This can lead to uncomfortable situations.
As the closure of schools have been extended untill the 21st April I suppose other restrictions (health checks, hotels etc) may last untill this date as well.
At the moment I am in Labuan Bajo (since 24th March, mainly to avoid undesired situations elsewhere on the island) and there are very very few tourists. There is low activity, Jalan Soekarno Hatta is more or less empty, some hotels and guesthouses have closed, also many eateries have shut down.
Information is difficult to gather. I am searching local newspapers and official sources everyday. And I am in contact with local people (also who are working in the tourism industry). Not so easy as there is a lot of hoax around.
For the few travelers who are already in the country like on Bali or Jawa I would advise tio think twice to come as for the moment it is not getting better. And if you come the best option is Labuan Bajo.
Although still no COVID19 cases on Flores the situation is not really comfortable plus you can't visit touristobjects.
I will try to update as much as possible.
Be safe everyone!
21 March 2020
The situation with the Corona virus has disrupted daily life as also the travel world.
Since Friday 20th March it will be almost impossible for foreign travelers to travel to Indonesia as free stamps and VOA are not available anymore at the airport for a period of 30 days (which can be extended). Foreign travelers only can travel with a visa which has to be applied via the embassy with a clear purpose of your journey and together with a health declaration from the authorities in your country.
I don’t need to explain this is a disaster for the tourism worlwide including Indonesia and in particulair Flores as this is one of the poorest islands of the country.
I still hope you will visit Flores in better times, maybe within the near future or later this year.
Here below a few collected links with usefull information.
The link below is from the Indonesian Government of Health
and another one below is from Bali.com which seems reliable to me
Information via telephonecalls: The COVID-19 hotline
Tel +62215210411 (landline) +6281212123119 (mobile, WhatsApp)
PLEASE STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY
2 March 2020
29 February 2020
In the meantime I suppose the whole world knows what's going on.
It is hard to find correct information about the situation in Indonesia.
There are dozens of articles on the internet but not sure if all of them can be qualified as correct.
Therefore best to check the WHO (World Health Organization)
They also have a subtopic with traveladvices
Maybe some additional info via unoffical Wikipedia
The one below also seems reliable.
Voor Nederlandse lezers van het Ministerie: Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid
I will travel to Indonesia (Bali and Flores) in the second half of March and wil try to report my own experiences.
30 January 2020
Calender Events Flores Timur 2020
30 September 2019
Komodo island will remain open for tourists in 2020
After a year of rumours and also an official decision to close komodo island in January 2020 the Indonesian Government has decided to postpone their plans and Komodo island will remain open for tourists.
17 August 2019
Lonely Planet Bali, Lombok & Nusa Tenggara
(July 2019, including 25 pages Flores)
Lonely Planet has released a new book: "Bali, Lombok & Nusa Tenggara"
Flores belongs to Nusa Tenggara. However from the 480 pages of the whole book only 25 are reserved for Flores...
A lot of information is still missing and the eastern part of Flores, eg east of Maumere to Larantuka does not exist. To be correct, Nusa Tenggara is the name of the islands the islands east of Bali starting with Lombok and up and untill the island of Alor.
Lombok belongs to Tenggara Barat (the western part of Nusa Tenggara) and Flores to Nusa Tenggara Timor (the eastern part of Nusa Tenggara)
You can buy the pdf Nusa Tenggara chapter (63 pages which is including Flores) for € 3,50
28 July 2019
Komodo island to be closed in 2020
After months of rumours, headlines in local papers now it seems to be official:
Komodo island will be closed in 2020!
Here below two reliable links of tje Jakarta Post and Reuters
Only Komodo Island will be closed, NOT the whole Komodo National Park
Islands including Rinca, Padar, can still be visited. So you can still see komodo dragons in their own habitat.
29 March 2019
Aldo from Flores has won The Voice of Indonesia
On Thursday March 28th Aldo has won The Voice of Indonesia.
The first time I´ve heard him singing was about a year ago in Dito´s Café in Bajawa and I was touched by his beautiful voice. The Voice of Indonesia 2018/2019 was a great opportunity for him. Aldo is from Naga, a traditional village south of Bajawa.
`Congrats Aldo. I am proud of you. Good luck with your career and may this also put Flores more on the touristic map, especially the interior of th island`
26 January 2019
No free check in luggage anymore with Lion Air and Wings Air
Starting on 22 January Lion Air and Wings no longer offer free check in luggage. Prices for checked in luggage depend on the route.
When buying your ticket you can ad luggage with the amounts of 5 kgs up and untill 30 kgs.
Example: Denpasar to Ende (according to Nusatrip.com)
Paying for the extra luggage on the airport is (much) more expensive.
The cabinluggage should not weigh no more than 7 kgs. Different than before now they are weighing all luggage.
27 January 2019
Pasar Kuliner in Labuan Bajo has moved back again to the original place
Since the end of December the Pasar Kuliner in Labuan Bajo has moved back again to the original place on Jalan Soekarno Hatta in Ujung (the northern part of Labuan Bajo). Unfortunately they have a prepaid ticket system with vouchers of several amounts starting at Rp 10.000 up and untill Rp 100.000.
7 October 2018
Citlink (daughter Garuda) opens route to Labuan Bajo
Starting 29th October Citlink opens the route Jakarta Soekarno Hatta to Labuan Bajo. Departure 12:00 noon, arrival 15:20 pm. Prices of flights start with Rp 890..000 so very competive with Garuda and Batik Air which are far more expensive.
14 August 2018
Gurusina, traditional village in Ngada burned down
On Monday 13th Augustus most of the traditional village of Gurusina (near Bajawa) burned down. According to the latest news only 6 houses have been saved. As far as I know no personal accidents. A double disaster for the villagers as (low key) tourism was a part of the income of the community.
Gurusina is one of the three populair traditional villages close toe ach other. The other ones are Bena (the most famous one, once UNESCO nominated) and Tololela.
I hope travelers will take some time to pay a visit to Gurusina for a small donation so that they can rebuild there homes again.
16 June 2018
No more blacklist for Indonesian carriers
"All Indonesian carriers have been removed from the European Commission's airline blacklist, more than a decade after a blanket ban on the Asian state."
So travelers can use carriers like Sriwijaya, NAM Air, Transnusa and Wings with confidence, And of course Garuda and Batik Air also.
For flights to/from Denpasar - Labuan Bajo and Denpasar - Maumere NAM Air is a good alternative as planes are bigger and faster.
9 June 2018
Suggested trips (which can be downloaded/pdf)
In the sector "planning" I have added 9 trips in pdf file which can be downloaded. However these are just examples. You can contact me for tailored trips via email or Whats App. The trips which include Wae Rebo are still in progress as last month I have found some alternative roads for Wae Rebo. I will add them before the end of June. Please be patient.
22 May 2018
Transnusa reduces luggage allowance 15 kgs > 10 kgs
Carrier Transnusa which operates on Flores has reduces her luggage allowance from 15 kgs to 10 kgs since 14 May 2018. Be prepared for additional costs.
7 May 2018
Labuan Bajo and the projects that never end
As for a result of increasing tourism Labuan Bajo is in a state of many projects already for some years.
The Pasar Kuliner has moved temporarily a few hundreds of meters inland. At the moment a big hotel is being built in the harbour area and finally they are building a real sidewalk from Ujung all along the Jalan Soekarno Hatta.
And beside that many new places are being built like hotels and restaurants. So the town is one big construction site at the moment where safety is'nt always guaranteed.
11 March 2018
Plastic not so fantastic
Indonesia is after China the number 2 in the world when it comes to plastic pollution of the surrounding seas. It has the attention of the government but sometimes you have to show the world the real impact. This video went around the world.
Although this video is made on Bali, the whole country and many tourist destinations like Bunaken near Manado (also Manado itself) suffers from plastic pollution. Also on Flores the seas are polluted, however not as heavy as in some other parts, except for the seas and beaches around Labuan Bajo which are the worst of the island. The following article is zooming in on islands east from Bali including Lombok, Moyo and islands of Komodo National Park.
See also stories
4 February 2018
Foreign tourists (also) obliged to register prepaid simcards
If you want to communicate with your relatives via sms or you want a 24 hour acces to the internet buying an Indonesian simcard is by far the best/cheapest way. These simcards for Rp 10.000 only can be buyed almost at every corner of the street.
However, due to a new regulation starting on October 2017, all prepaid simcards with indonesian telephonenumbers have to be registered. Also for foreigners, also for tourists!
Registration for tourists can only be done in person and with passport.
3 February 2018
New schedule Garuda
Amsterdam - Jakarta/good connection with Labuan Bajo
Garuda Indonesia has changed the schedule from Amsterdam to Jakarta during European summertime (25 March-27 October). Old schedule departure 15:45/16:45 Amsterdam, arrival Jakarta 11:40 (next day). New schedule 11:05/12:05 Amsterdam, arrival Jakarta 06:50 (next day).
This means that with the new schedule (only during European summertime) the flight Amsterdam - Labuan Bajo via Jakarta has a good connection (departure Labuan Bajo 10:50) and therefore from the Netherlands Flores can be reached in less than 24 hours (=next day).
19 January 2018
Batik Air with new route Jakarta - Labuan Bajo vv
Departure from Jakarta is at 10:10 which is not convenient for travelers who arrive with international flights. The flight back Labuan Bajo - Jakarta dep 14:30 arr 16:00 is better and offers a chance to connect with your international flight.
Batik Air is a reliable carrier and offers a competitive prices comparing with Garuda.
24 June 2017
Warning mosquito born disease
At the moment on Flores the Cikungunya virus is active. The virus, locally known as malaria variety (which is not) is spread by mosquitos. There is no preventiondrug. Symptons resemble those of malaria (high fever, headaches, joint pain)
-airco on hotelrooms (except for Bajawa, Moni and Ruteng)
-mosquitospray (Hit One Push, locally available)
-mosquito lotion (Sofell, locally available)
-light coloured clothes (long sleeves, long pants)
-if possible tea made from papaya leaves (bitter) and/or bitter vegetables
13 November 2016
With Pelni to Komodo NP
Pelni offers a 4 day trip to Komodo NP on one of the Pelniships Tilong Kabila. The trip is from 1-4
The website is not very clear about other dates/departures in the future.
8 October 2016
Garuda has started direct flights from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo
Dep 10:35 am (Jakarta time) - Arr 14:00 (Flores time).
For travelers who want to fly direct to Flores this is still not convenient as most international flights arrive later on the day so you have to overnight in Jakarta. The alternative is an international flight to Denpasar, overnight near the airport and continue the following day.