The homeland of Komodo dragons, Komodo National Park, have charmed many travelers to go off the beaten path for the sake of enjoying its rare, natural wonders. Ever since its rise as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, travelers has long been taking turns to walk with the dragons, stalking Komodo’s pink beaches, and taking breathtaking pictures in the national park’s vast savannah fields. Island excursion becomes tourists’ favorites among anything else. Little did they know that, behind the gorgeously arid islands, lies hidden traditional villages that are wonderfully preserved against the stride of time. Most of the time, however, tour to these villages are not featured on most Komodo island trip, which mainly covers Komodo islands and several small islands and diving sites around it. But if you have enough time to travel around Flores, these traditional villages are totally worth a visit. They are all centuries old, exclusive, and absolutely one of a kind.
Today, we are going to take you into a mini tour to Flores hidden villages that just happened to slip from time.
Komodo Island Trip to Flores’ Three Top Preserved Villages
The Top of Mountain: Wae Rebo Village
This UNESCO Awardee of Top Award of Excellence is probably the only one in the world. The little village sits in a valley, rising up to 1,100 me above sea level, with peaky mountain surrounding the area. Thin fogs always casually hang around the village, giving off slightly cool, dim, with a touch of mysterious vibes to the village. Above everything else, however, what gives We Rebo a distinct characteristics are perhaps the brown, pointed conical houses that entirely covered with thatched roofs. They look like giant party hats punctuating Wae Rebo’s foggy hills. That’s the Mbaru Niang houses. Build on seven tall bamboo skeleton, this village is made up of approximately seven cone houses sitting in semi circle in an open fields.
Wae Rebo villagers go through a simple life every day. The daylight are spent to farm coffee beans in their humble plantation, while women cooks and made Ikat. Night rolls as the sky dimmed, leaving a serene night with warm cup of freshly brewed coffee and a sky full of stars. And without internet signals, Wae Rebo is a perfect place for city dwellers to get a quick digital detox and get reflective. A lot of Komodo island trip passengers gains new insight of things they usually took for granted with a new dash of values upon their visit to Wae Rebo.
Stuck in Megalithic: The Bena Village
Bena is porobably the most famous and most visited traditional village among all. Located right at the foot of Mount inerie, Ngada district, Bena consist of two parallel lines of huts with triangle-shaped thatched roofs, surrounding a pair of stone shrine in the center. These megalithic formation served as a sacred site for the villagers to enter the supernatural realm and connect with their ancestor. Ancestral spirits holds an important position among villagers and are often sought for a blessing. Been is one of the most popular Komodo island trip destination in mainland Flores. It’s a great place to look back at pure megalithic tradition that stand strong against the wave of modernism.
The Colourful Manggarian Tribe: Melo Village
One of Flores’s best preserved traditional village, Melo, is popular for the infamous Caci dance performance. Located just 1 hour from Labuan Bajo, Melo village is everything about color and vigor. They love to welcome visitors with energetic welcoming ceremony which involve loud whipping and agile defend. Among all traditional village in Flores, Melo is probably the most adaptative ancient village to modern tourism without being a tourist traps. They have a tourist headquarter called the “Panorama”, where you can immersed on layers of breathtaking landscape of Flores—which get even more magical near dusks. The Panorama was built for a place to unwind from a long Komodo island trip, sipping some coffee or sopi (Melo’s traditional liquor), and a place to spend the night with some donations.