Flores’s biggest cities are all located near the sea and Riung is no exception. A small fishing village mostly known for its marine park, the 17 Islands or Taman Laut Riung offers visitors a once-in-lifetime adventure to an untouched, rugged land that is home to a plethora of marine life. From the pier of Riung you can arrange a boat, which will cost you between 500,000 and 800,000 Rp. or less. The final costs depend on your skills in bargaining. The park charges an entry fee of 100,000 Rp. per foreigner. Locals enter at a much lower price.
The people of Riung survive by fishing, farming and small-scale tourism as it is an interesting backpackers’ destination. Riung is surrounded by a beautiful coral coast but has no beaches; instead there is a magnificent mangrove forest which is the home to a massive colony of fruit bats. We recommend being outside around 6PM to see this colony of bats take to the air in large groups to feed and you will find yourself in a Jurassic-like environment! The city only consists of a pier, a market, several shops and one single ATM. So make sure you bring enough cash before embarking to Riung. Another recommendation is to have a fish barbeque dinner, we heard it is amazing!
If you are lucky and your timing is perfect, you might be able to attend the special celebrations of the Ngada people. Their faith consists of an ancient belief and Catholicism – this unique combination creates some fascinating ceremonies that would be sure to stay in your hearts and minds for years to come.
Photo courtesy: http://javajunkie.travellerspoint.com/27/
- Visit the marine park, 17 Islands
- Have a dinner fish barbeque
- Bring enough cash
- When your timing is right, visit the Ngada people to witness their ceremonies