When travelling, one must always be prepared. What should you bring? How much money is enough? Are there money changers? What about hospitals? Can you get the medicine that you need? What should you do in case of emergencies? In this issue, we’re going to help answer some of your most pertinent questions yet. So if you’re planning a trip to Flores, especially Labuan Bajo in the near future, here are some tips that could prove to be helpful.
Photo by @balnyes via Instagram
Those travelling to Flores before 2016 would have said that health care facilities are very basic but with the recent opening of Siloam Hospital in Labuan Bajo this perception is now slowly changing.
There are also government-run public hospitals in Labuan Bajo, Maumere, Ende and in other districts within Flores and health centres established by Catholic missionaries from the time of the Dutch. You can opt for local doctors in town, with their own small examination rooms where they receive patients. Other districts each have their own public hospitals established by the Government, which have been serving locals and visitors alike since before 2016.
Minor Ailments & Malaria
It is best to pack some medication with you as an act of precaution that could treat minor ailments such as headaches, light fever, diarrhoea, body aches and light pains. Traveller’s diarrhoea is the most common travel-related ailment due to compromised food and water, so do bring along an antibiotic and an anti diarrheal drug to be started promptly if significant diarrhoea occurs.
As an act of precaution against Malaria, do speak to your doctor on how to prevent contracting Malaria while travelling. As Malaria is transmitted via mosquitoes, try to avoid mosquito bites with the use of insect repellents. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent Malaria, depending on your travel plans.
Click here to see a list of local hospitals and pharmacies in Flores.
ATMs & Banks
There are many banks in Flores both government and private bank and they have ATMs where you can access your international bank account or change currencies. Most dive operators, 5-star hotels and luxury villas do accept credit cards although smaller, local-run establishments do not.
While it is possible to withdraw money from international accounts at any local ATMs in Labuan Bajo, we recommend that you bring sufficient Indonesian cash with you in cases of ATMs not working, power shortage or if systems are down. Bring plenty of small notes to pay vendors who may not have change for larger notes and do stash some away for emergencies. Do be careful with your personal belongings; when travelling anywhere, it would be wise to not simply leave your things unattended.
Exchanging currency is also an option but better to be on the safe side and avoid matters that could be time consuming or inconvenient. There are official money changers available in both Labuan Bajo and Maumere, however in other parts of Flores; you will have to head to bank offices during office hours to conduct any money changing activities and transactions.
Photo by @apol_rastarch via Instagram
While you’re in Labuan Bajo, you would obviously want to see the Komodo Dragons at the Komodo National Park. Be prepared; here’s an estimate of how much you would be spending when you embark on your trip.
Have any tips to share with us? Submit your videos and photos of Labuan Bajo, the Komodo National Park and Flores via our Instagram and Facebook page and stand a chance to be featured. Join us next week with FloresPlus Magazine as we Rediscover Hidden Paradise and don’t forget to tag #floresplus!
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Rediscover Hidden Paradise
Flores Plus Magazine’s weekly newsletter is filled with important and interesting bite-sized information on everything you’d need to know about Flores and its surrounding islands, both above and underwater, from the Komodo National Park to the Komodo Dragons, Mount Kelimutu to the Drum Houses in Ende, spiderweb rice fields, pink beaches and thundering waterfalls to fascinating ceremonies, myths, traditions and village lives of the local people. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores and Komodo. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, the magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.