Trip of Wonders 2016

by Sonja Faul

By participating in an online quiz hosted by Wonderful Indonesia, the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, I was one of the lucky participants to win a trip for two to Indonesia! We were taken on a once in a lifetime adventure to explore Komodo National Park, one of the seven New Natural Wonders of the World! It truly was a Trip of Wonders.

The trip took place from the 23rd to the 26th of November 2016. The prize was all-inclusive and included roundtrip airfare from my home to Bali, three night’s accommodation in 4* hotels, all transport within Indonesia, tours and sightseeing, and all our meals. There was also an option to extend your stay in Indonesia if you wanted to.

I was treated like royalty, right from the minute I touched down in Denpasar until the tour ended. Come and join me on the Trip of Wonders!

Day 1

Arrival at the airport

My husband and I were met at the airport by a representative of Wonderful Indonesia and escorted to the lobby of Novotel Ngurah Rai Airport. Here we met Bule, the organizer of the quiz and trip, and Sandy, our host. We were given local sim cards and spending money, and shown to our room for some much-needed rest and refreshment.


Welcome Dinner

Later that evening we met the fellow quiz winners from all over the world: Brazil, Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. We were also joined by four Indonesian travel bloggers and social media influencers. As if the delicious buffet dinner wasn’t enough, we were also spoiled with packs of postcards and gift bags filled with goodies: a personalized water bottle, a t-shirt, a bag with a pin, a very useful hat and a power bank!


Day 2

Flying from Bali to Labuan Bajo

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, we caught an early morning flight to Labuan Bajo, the gateway to The Komodo National Park. From the airport, we headed straight to the pier for a speedboat ride to our first destination for the day, Rinca Island.



Rinca Island

This is the island to go to if you want to see live Komodo Dragons! We saw lots of them, mostly around the base camp area.



Friendly and knowledgeable guides escorted us along the shortest trail around the island. A beautiful view awaited us at the top of the trail.



After our short trek, we enjoyed lunch at the base camp surrounded by wild creatures.


Kanawa Island

From Rinca Island, we headed to Kanawa Island. The island has a beautiful beach, with lots to see in the blue waters.


This is the perfect place to snorkel! The floor is covered in sea stars, and tons of fish swirl around the coral reefs just a couple of meters into the water.



Checking into Laprima Hotel

After a full day of adventure and sightseeing, we headed back Labuan Bajo and checked into the Laprima Hotel. The part of the hotel is its killer view.



Later we headed into town to enjoy a tasty buffet dinner at Tree Top Restaurant.


Day 3

Padar Island

Today we continued to explore Komodo National Park! After eating breakfast in the hotel, we took a speedboat to Padar Island. This is the island for hiking and losing yourself in Nature. The climb took some effort, but we were rewarded with beautiful views!



Komodo Island

From Padar Island we headed to Komodo Island. Here we took some group photos and saw more Komodo Dragons!




Pink Beach

Our last stop for the day was the Pink Beach! The beach is beautiful and this is also a great spot for snorkeling. After lunch, we took a short hike up a nearby hill to enjoy the view of the beach.



Farewell Dinner

After yet another adventurous fun-filled day, we returned to the hotel for a short rest. Sadly, tonight was our farewell dinner at the poolside of the hotel. A member of the ministry of tourism for the district joined us. We were serenaded with live music as we enjoyed local cuisine.


Day 4

Desi Liang Ndara

Today we got a dose of the local culture! After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we took a bus up the narrow and winding roads to a small mountain village. We were welcomed with open arms by the elders of the tribe.


We then witnessed four traditional dances!

The first dance is called Caci, and its purpose is to serve the gods in a fun way.


The second dance was performed by the ladies of the tribe. It is a friendship dance called Dung Dung Dake and we were invited to join in.


The third dance was a rather complicated Bamboo dance. This dance is performed to find a soulmate.


The last dance is called the Sanda dance. This is a peace dance.


Flying from Labuan Bajo to Bali

After a great morning in the village, we boarded our flight to Bali. Sadly, upon our arrival at Denpasar, our tour ended. We said our goodbyes and continued with our adventure in Bali.


The best part for me

Like I mentioned above, this trip was truly all-inclusive and we were treated like royalty every step of the way. We saw a unique and beautiful part of Indonesia and met some wonderful people along the way.



The highlight of the trip for me was the Komodo Dragons! Seeing the largest lizard in the world was amazing. The fact that they only occur in this small part of Indonesia made the sighting even more memorable.


A thank you note

I would like to thank all the people involved with Trip of Wonders and Wonderful Indonesia. I was blown away by your generosity, hospitality, and kindness. Thank you for an excellent and unforgettable trip.

I hope to return to Indonesia soon!

You may also like


Jelte December 4, 2016 - 12:12 pm

Hi Sonja, your story turned a smile on my face again while reading. It took me back to the great time we had. I totally agree it truly was a trip of wonders! It was also great to experience this with you guys and all the other fellowtravellers from around the world. A lifetime experience 🙂

All the best, Jelte

Bianca Cavalcanti December 4, 2016 - 1:04 pm

Hi Sonia! Great post! As Jelte said it was a lifetime experience! I feel so blessed to have visited Indonesia!
Hope to see you and all other participants again, hopefully in Indonesia. 🙂
Best regards, Bianca

Fiona Callaghan December 5, 2016 - 8:51 am

Hi Sonja!

I love your writing about our Trip of Wonders to Komodo National Park 🙂 It’s been too short but also soooo Fun! I am blessed to have a chance to meet each and everyone of you. I hope we will meet again somewhere and sometime but also hopefully in Indonesia again 🙂

Don’t hesitate to reach us if you ever come by again. Cheers!



Leave a Comment