Ongky Darmawansa


Travel & Leisure

Budget Travel: Alternatives to Hotels

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There are numerous alternatives to hotels that won’t sacrifice cleanliness, safety, and comfort
Restricting yourself to hotels have been cited as a costly mistake a traveler could make; especially if you’re one of those budget-efficient travelers who love to save as much as you can.

Alternatives to hotels

Hostels are always a great alternative to hotels

The general expectations for hostels would be shared rooms. But these days, a lot of hostels also provide private rooms as well. Private rooms are generally more expensive. But it’s great for people who need their privacy. Opting for hostels is a great way to meet fellow travelers.

Another great choice that’s becoming more popular: Apartments

It’s been known that sites like Airbnb are simply revolutionary. It changes dramatically the way people travel around the world. With home rentals, you can often both meet with locals and have a guaranteed place to stay.

For home rentals, it would be so much cheaper for groups or families since the cost is shared. It’s a more affordable option compared to staying at a hotel.

Say hello to Couchsurfing

This is probably one of the very few legit free ways to stay. This should not be your primary method of accommodation if you’re staying for a long time. A week stay in Couchsurfing, for example, is generally considered to be quite long.

A lot of hosts only allows you to stay two nights at most, initially. You need to remember that everything is up to your hosts. And with everything that comes without a price tag, it has certain expectations imposed on you.

It’s your job to find out about this. For example, some hosts clearly stated that you need to pay for meals, then go out to find other dining options if you’re not interested in what they offer. But the most general expectation from the Couchsurfing community is the interaction with hosts.

Sure, it’s free.

But that does not mean you can just use their place to crash for the night and then leave. Be courteous to your hosts. Interact with them on a regular basis. Bring them some simple gifts from your home country. And it does not have to be expensive gifts. Even unique snacks or food are sometimes a good choice.

There’s a general rule of couch surfing, which is also the very foundation in which the community is built; sharing. You’re generally expected to socialize with your hosts. The community is founded through communication. As with any community.

Share stories. And in turn, listen to their stories. It can be anything from your travel experiences to random things about yourself. If you’re new to traveling or the travel community in general, then ask questions! Chances are, people who decide to host are travelers themselves.

It’s an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge from fellow travelers. make good use of it.

If you and your hosts get along, you may even be allowed to stay for a longer period! This is also a great way to meet the locals. As long as you do it right, it’s beneficial for both solo travelers and groups alike.

Home Improvement

Brings Home the Portable Parachute Hammock

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Mostly, when it comes to talk about the hammock, many of us will think about the escaping plan from our daily routines. We will need a holiday and we are thinking that a parachute hammock should be taken out there, as if using it at home is not something recommended. In the other hands, we have been known that it can be setup anywhere.

So that, stop thinking that the portable parachute hammock is only fits for a variety kind of outdoor activities, nonetheless that will be some good things to experience to say the least.

brings home portable parachute hammock

But I would be understand if people are still saying that the great outdoors is actually has been always the common habitat for a hammock. It is understandable when you are resting your back while being suspended on a hanging hammock out there, breathing the fresh air while looking up the blue sky are the things you really want and also hard to beat. Many of us wants that badly!

However, we could do and have more than that, and we don’t really have to wait for the holidays just to use and start taking advantages of our own portable parachute hammock. Never start to draw a line and put a limit for yourself, you could get more amazing experiences along with the benefits as well by bringing your hammock to the indoors.

So far, one thing that I admiring about life is that, human being can be amazing. We are so creative for sometime without getting apart the silly things that we have been done before as well. Since long ago, our home is always been the great space to growing up. And we can really getting through it in more fun and relaxing way by hanging the hammock inside.

Welcome home for the portable indoor parachute hammock

I’ll guide you how to getting started with it.

When using the portable parachute hammock at your home, the first thing you can do is that to choose which room and space will be used to set it up. It doesn’t matter if you will have to move the furnitures around if the spot you have chosen will needs that. You should as well considering about the spaces for the hammock itself and the extra space to have so you can move comfortably inside the room.

After that, you can then start getting your hanging kit on the walls or if you have been get your own stands for mounting the hammock, then you are good to go.

If you have been mounted up the hammock as what it should be, the suspension is also has been well adjusted and ready to use, then you can start bringing in all the stuffs or extra items to be put in it. It is highly recommended that you brings extra blanket, the sleeping bag if you have got one, pillows, any other smooth and silky fabrics that can make your sleep even better. Just imagine about sleeping on the clouds and that what you are going to try, resting while being suspended on a light and relaxing day.

Get your own meals as well, one or two snacks is always better just before you can fallen asleep.

Doing this, not only you can take advantages of what you can get from the portable parachute hammock that usually being used at outdoors, but you can also have something better to spend your time at home where I think that suppose to be something better as well.

Brings home the portable parachute hammock is not only referring to make our stay as the place to store the stuffs like hammock and anything, but also to tone up the better way to stay at home itself.

Fashion

Traveling to Europe: What to Wear?

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If you’re wondering on what you should wear in your upcoming travel to the European countries, then it’s good that you come prepared. It’s no secret that Europeans seemed to dress better than Americans. But rather than competition on who dresses better, their put-together look all comes down to style.

Clothes when travelling to Europe

And definitely the choice of clothing items they decide to wear. Going to Europe soon? Read on.

The European everyday style

Compared to how they dress in the United States in general, people in Europe are notably more dressy when going outside. Or even just in their day to day life. You’ll find very few, if any, locals wearing just sweats unless it’s really put together.

The pressure! But don’t worry learn a few handy tips and you’re going to be set.

Pick clothes that you’d normally chose to go to work. Think of that blouse with just a bit of lace accents. Or a peplum or perhaps that tunic. A cami top or an off-shoulder during the warmer months.

Got some ideas of the outfit? Now you can work from there to create a dressier packing list for Europe. And one that does not deviate too much from your comfort zone or make you feel like somebody else. Go through some trial and error to create a balance.

Some pressure to keep up with the stylish locals

But they may be good pressure. Especially for people who love to dress up and be dressy, walking down the streets in Europe and people-watching is a pleasant activity in itself.

And when you’re traveling, you’re learning more to keep your very own comfort while accommodating the style.

Think of the surfaces you’re going to walk on

This may be a surprise to some travellers. Surfaces that are difficult to walk on especially on heels are in many parts of Europe. Paris is one of the notable cities to have cobblestone streets. They can be a real nightmare when you’re wearing some of those super slim heels.

Opt for dressy but comfortable shoes

If you love heels no matter what; chose big chunky heels instead. Or opt for wedges instead. A nice short-heeled bootie will set you off nicely. They can be worn during the day as well as for a fancy night out without sacrificing much of your comfort.

Especially when walking down the stone streets.

Winter means packing winter essentials

If you’re going during the winter, don’t forget to bring useful accessories that will save your life while you’re there. Don’t forget a pair of warm gloves and earmuffs. If you don’t like muffs, bring some hats that you know you’ll see confident in.

A beanie is comfy and warm but not everyone feels confident in them. It’s great if you can pull the look off! A dark-coloured beanie is my personal favourite. Other great options include but not limited to a fedora and a floppy hat. Look stylish in an instant with a put-together outfit completed with accessories that not only fashionable but also keeps you warm.

My Blog

Give Me 3 Minutes, I’ll Tell You Where to Rent the Photo Studio Bali

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Shooting images in a photo studio may sounds daunting nowadays. People will mostly take pictures at outdoors, somewhere else, especially when you are in Bali. You won’t spend your valuable times in a studio, will you?

However, we have also been realised that everywhere can be the great place to produce quality images. It doesn’t matter any longer to debating about where you are going to shoot, but how you will do it. Nevertheless, renting a photo studio sometime can be on your first priority.

There are some of photography studio rentals I have been known before in Bali. They are ready to serve any of us. Some of them can be rented per hour and some of them can’t allow you that but you will still can get the other photography packages.

When we are hearing about the photo studio Bali, then there will be 3 things that are coming to our mind.

First one, surely that there will be photography package for various of events whether you can take images indoor or even hiring the photographer to do the shoot somewhere else.

Secondly, as one of the main purpose of a studio itself, that is mostly to be used for taking professional images of a brand. Be it the brand ambassador, the products or services, many businesses and also the photographers are in need of a studio to get the high quality photos for various businesses.

Finds a photo studio Bali for various purposes

Last but not least, there are also many of the businesses that are need that their high quality images have to be edited. For example the accommodation business such as hotels or villas, when you have the products and more. If there will be the editing services, then one of the place to finds one is at the photo studio Bali itself.

A photo studio for a photographer can be one of the main place to get the ideas and realised them all. It is a place to learn and dig into more creative thinking processes. Being at outdoors can also be the place to learn, but inside the photo studio, you won’t really understand about what’s going on in there.

So that, it surely will be the great thing if the photographers will have their own photography studio, nonetheless it won’t be an obligation at all.

For your information, don’t get me wrong about this. I am not comparing about taking images in a studio and at outdoors. Each of them have their own advantages and obstacles, so, one thing can’t be better than another. Both of them are better for me.

Taking images in a studio will mostly allowing us to control every aspects of what are in there. You can say that it is a fully controlled environment where you can control almost anything of your image productions. While shooting images at outdoors will makes us worrying about the temperature, weather, unwanted objects and many more.

If you are interesting about this and you will needs one, you can try to find a studio Bali at Jl. Gunung Soputan, Teuku Umar Barat, Seminyak, at the main street of Kuta and some more. Those places are really my recommendations where you can rent the photo studio or hire the photographer.

If you are preferring to rent a studio at Seminyak, you can try Kesato or the Le Studio. If you are heading to Kuta, the Bali Pro Photo Center may needs to be checked. At Jl. Gunung Soputan, you can try the 7 Arts Studio or you may want to know about the Momo Baby Photography nearby the Jl. Teuku Umar Barat.

Hope all of the short information above will helps you a bit in finding your favourite photo studio Bali that hopefully closer to where you are staying as well as offering the interesting packages, useful photography tools and many more.

Travel & Leisure

Travel Safety from Professional Agents You Should Follow

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When traveling, there are many possible hassles you may encounter. No matter what they are, your safety is your priority. Visiting new places especially for the first time can be overwhelming that you sometimes forget about your own safety.

Important travel safety tips from professional agent

The excitement sometimes overcomes your awareness of the threats around you. Of course, being paranoid is also not the best thing to do when traveling because it can kill the fun. However, being aware of your surrounding and more guarded can also help you to avoid problems that risk your safety. It is important matter especially when you are traveling solo.

Important travel safety tips from professional agent

FBI and CIA agents are professional who work in various situations. Their work requires them to travel from one place to another. Their safety is priority especially when they are undercover. You don’t have to be as guarded as CIA or FBI agent when traveling.

However, their travel safety tips will be helpful for you to keep your safety. Even though you don’t own skills in martial art to defense yourself, at least you can learn a thing or two about keeping you safe since you leave your home until finishing your trip. So, what are some of the helpful tips to use for traveling?

We all do need to make sure that it is highly advisable to blend with the locals. You need to avoid wearing clothes that scream ‘i am a tourist’ when traveling. Maintaining low profile is highly advised because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. If you dress like a tourist, you will become the target easily.

It is also important not to show too much eagerness when you visit tourist attractions. People will recognize this behavior as the right target for crimes aimed to tourist such as theft or pickpocket. To blend perfectly with the locals, you need to do your own research. You need to know how the local dress and what customs they have.

It is also recommended to plan everything in advance instead of doing it on the spot. For example, you can book hotel room and transportation prior to your departure. The arrangements will help you to plan your itinerary. This way, you will never leave your home without contact details for every stage of your itinerary.

During your trip, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings. It doesn’t mean you need to always have bad thought of people around you. However, you need to stay alert to avoid unnecessary problem that may arise when you lose your guard.

Find potential threats within the locals in advance so you will also be more prepared of what to do when you visit the place.

The last but not least, always inform people at home before you leave. You need to inform them of where you go and when you should be back. Thus, you will get help if something is off the plan. The most important point to guarantee your safety during your trip is to always plan everything in advance.

Lifestyle

Start Using the Eco Backpack Now and Be More Friendly to Environment

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Everyone has responsibility to preserve the environment. It is not only the job for certain people or government institutions and organizations. It is all of us duty. When it comes to talk about the sustainable fashion, shirts, pants and shoes are usually the first thing come to our mind. But, we need also concern about the green accessory like the backpack. We need to start using the eco backpack to be more friendly to our environment, our planet.

Using the ecological accessory like the backpack have more benefits than you know. If you think it will really only like the regular backpack, it can actually be your shopping bag as well. That’s for true.

It is because many of the eco backpacks are foldable and compact where you can bring one to anywhere in traveling or shopping. I am not a fashion expert but I do believe that it won’t put you in shame when using it. And no matter how light and thin it would be, the backpack is also super strong that can even carry around a dozen of kilograms.

We need to start using the eco backpack to make a better quality environtment

We have known that the usage of cotton fabric have long gone, so there is the other alternative materials that can be used. The one that is increasingly high on demand is the nylon that is standing for the vegan products with less environment impacts. I have found the eco backpack made of the silk nylon parachute fabric that is rot-resistant and is also washable. You can use the vegan backpack in style while keep on contributing to a better future. It is not a perfect one, but it is getting better than the older product.

It is devastating to me knowing that what we do can really harm the surroundings. I myself have no solution for all the environmental issues, but at least I know that using the eco backpack won’t make me as an environment destroyer.

We have known that every single materials taken from nature will slowly damage the life order and quality of environment. Animals, organisms, plants and trees, will be threatened their life by human. So that, using the eco backpack itself is not only considered useful for us, but also reversing the quality of environment itself. We are going to make the planet great again!

We are no longer need how good and best the backpack is for our life, our fashion, and more, but we should be thinking that what we are going to do and get is the best useful thing in life. If the backpack can be part of your lifestyle, you may are thinking and trying to combine that you will get the one that is not only fashionable and also eco-friendly. But, even if you could only get one option, make sure that maintaining environmental quality is always your priority.

Anyway, many people may said that the nylon itself is actually the synthetic fabric that can be formed into various shapes and fibers. For short, it is fine when you are also considering it as the plastic material that is shaped through melting process. Still, it can actually be one of the solution and alternative for us to get all the benefits of the eco backpack while reducing and reusing the plastic waste. That’s how recycling is working right?

So, for those who are really need the backpack for any activities like traveling, shopping, hiking, jogging, camping, etc, keep in mind to think about the ecological backpack for all the items you should bring. I think that will be one of the ethical ways to live and to provide the better future for our generations.

Travel & Leisure

Unusual Diseases You Possibly Catch When Traveling

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Traveling while being sick is not ideal thing to do and it is riskier for you catch more severe disease. One thing you need to know about traveling is that souvenirs are not the only thing you could bring home with. You could return from your trip bringing weird diseases with you. The most common diseases you can catch while traveling are cold or flu. However, there are also other diseases you catch during traveling and you could bring them home when you return.

Be aware of diseases you may catch when or after traveling

Unusual diseases you possibly catch while traveling

Sometimes travelers forget to pay attention to their health when traveling due to the buzz of excitement. They also tend to be more ignorant of food they eat throughout the trip. Sanitation is also often to be the main issue of catching disease when traveling. Here are unusual diseases you could catch while traveling overseas:

  • Schistosomiasis is a disease usually caught by travelers who like swimming. The symptoms shown include itchy, rash skin. Not long after, fever comes, accompanied by cough, chills, as well as muscle pain. It happens when travelers swim in contaminated fresh water such as ponds, lakes, or rivers. The most potential places you could get this diseases are some areas in Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. If you are unsure of the water you are going to jump into then you’d better stick with pool water or ocean.
  • Next unusual disease you could catch when traveling is African Trypanosomiasis. The symptoms shown include fever, joint pain, headache, and itching. The second stage is disrupted sleep cycles. It happens due to the bite of an infected tsetse fly. The fly transmitting parasite and infection happens. This happens often in sub-Saharan Africa and it is life-threatening disease. Thus, you’d better use preventive techniques just like you do to deal with mosquitoes. Wear proper clothes and mosquitoes repellent all the times.
  • Hookworm is weird disease you could catch while traveling. The symptoms shown include painful blisters and itchy feet. They are followed by the swelling soon after. It happens if you often to walk barefoot on the beach. Keep in mind that hookworm larvae live in the sand. It can penetrate your skin when you walk on it. This can be treated but it leaves marks that can be hidden afterward. Thus, wear flip flops and avoid skin contact with the sand throughout your beach activities.
  • Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) is a condition when you wake up with no memory of how you get in the place where you are or even who you are. It is bizarre disease but a 2006 study showed that 3 of 10 people contracted this disease. People in age between 51 and 80 are the most common to suffer from it. Travelers with migraine and susceptible to heart diseases have higher risk to experience TGA, as well as those who take too much of sleep aid. People in severe stress when traveling can also catch it.
Travel & Leisure

How Important the Luxury Villas Seminyak Beachfront are?

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How important does the luxury villas Seminyak beachfront is for your accommodation when you are in Bali? That will be the complete sentence of the question. As you know, many are staying in Seminyak village either the foreigner travelers or the domestic ones. If it will be possible for you to live up and experience the best ways to spend your vacation, then staying in a villa can be one of the very possible way you can do.

What will be better than waking up in Bali while viewing the sea or ocean as your front yard? That will be a great morning to start living the day. And what if that will be all of the next mornings to come? You can really get such experiences by renting the luxury villas Seminyak beachfront.

how important the luxury villas Seminyak beachfront are for your traveling?

The luxury and beachfront villas at Seminyak village can’t be found anywhere around the area. They are too much special so there are not many of them. You will need to see some of the luxury villas and start to determine which one will be your choice. Then, feel free to experience your own ultimate vacation.

An accommodation should also gives you chance to create beautiful memories. The unforgettable things that will always make your life excited when you are remembering them. You are visiting all the planned spots and destinations for that one purpose among the other intentions. Even if that will not be as one of your best moment in life, but actually, staying in the luxury villas Seminyak beachfront is something that is also contributing for most of the parts of your holidays.

Now, where to find or at least see those best luxury villas Seminyak beachfront offers?

For that, I think I shouldn’t reminds you about the sites such as TripAdvisor, Trivago or the others right? You can directly visit your favorite reservation sites and start comparing which will be more affordable and have a great deals to support your best moments while traveling in Bali.

It is easy now to know about luxury villas Seminyak beachfront since the internet of things are truly helpful for this case. You can also ask your own friends that have been in bali before and at least know a bit about Seminyak so they can explain to you why you will need to stay at that beach’s village.

And it is one of the village that has its own beaches in Bali and Seminyak itself has been popular and known by most of the new visitors that were coming to Bali. Not all of them, but I believe that mostly will knew this area because thousands have been living and staying there.

You’d better hurry if you want to rent the luxury villas Seminyak beachfront since you are not the one that want and need to stay there in the coming days. You may will have to “compete” with the other tenants.

There many other options if you still want to stay in a luxury villas at Seminyak, but if you will required the beachfront villa, then you have a small numbers of options. They are not available in many but the demands are increasingly high. Later, when you think that you have to stay in villa, it then getting more important than before and it can be expensively valued.

Travel & Leisure

Bali Official Airport Taxi: Why is Their Rep So Bad?

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For a famous destination that sees close to 10 million visitors annually, Bali doesn’t seem to care about investing on a reliable and affordable transportation for their visitors. There have been various stories of nightmare experienced by tourists visiting Bali. The most common one? Rip-offs. A lot of people had recommended taking taxi outside of the airport. Some people had even dubbed the Bali airport taxi as “taxi mafia”. Wow. Is it really that bad? Let’s take a look at some of the most glaring flaws of the ‘official’ transportation of one of Indonesia’s biggest airports.

Bali Official Airport Taxi: Why is Their Rep So Bad?

Feels like a downright rip-off

So much for being an “official” taxi. The Ngurah Rai Bali airport taxis are arguably the most expensive option that you can get inside the airport area. Their fares are fixed. Which is the case of most of Bali’s transportation rates. The Bali airport official taxi is a monopoly. They’re the only taxi allowed to operate and get passengers from the airport.

The taxi is already the most expensive option, no? Regardless, prices can go up without notice. So the information on price you found before you board to Bali can be different. High seasons and low seasons are often what determines the changes in prices.

Touts everywhere

Right after you step foot outside of the building, you’re going to be approached by an untold number of people who will harass—I mean, who would offer you their services. They can range from an apathetic call of “Miss” or “Mister”, to a very enthusiastic and a very persistent “Taxi taxi, where do you want to go? Kuta?” As they follow you around until you brush them off or until they see another prey. They’re extremely annoying. If not downright intrusive. And many people have voiced that it does feel like being harassed. They would be even more intrusive and persistent if you’re a woman. Quite unsurprisingly.

If these taxis are “official” why do they still do this? Isn’t being official meant the service provider should establish a system and facilities so that passengers can board in a much more organized manner? Where is the value for those who chose to board the so-called “official taxis” with the rates double and even triple those of other options?

It’s the most expensive option

Prices are very expensive unless you’re going to a very faraway place like Ubud or Uluwatu straight from the airport. The fare to the aforementioned area is 300,000 IDR. However, the price difference is often not much with the metered taxi such as Blue Bird. Meanwhile, other options can go as low as 2,500 IDR (public bus). Why would anyone in their right mind should chose the most expensive option available?

Then what can you do?

If you dislike the idea of being ripped-off just as much as every other person, do some research regarding the alternatives to the Bali airport official taxi. There are plenty of solid options that you can try out. Pick one that works best for you. There are public bus known as Sarbagita, online taxis, among other choices.

 

Travel & Leisure

How to Life the Best Komodo Liveaboard Experience in Komodo

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The Komodo National Park steadily rise into fame thanks to numerous gorgeous attractions spreads on its colony of islands and world class dive sites in betweens. Given the landscape, an adventure to Komodo is nearly impossible without the participation of many liveaboard boats that’s been busy going back and forth around the national park, taking tourists from all paths to explore Komodo’s stunning beauty.

Labuan Bajo have large variance in definition of liveaboard and it’s easy to distinguish the humble backpacker type, the middle comfort, and the posh one. Many proclaim themselves as the best Komodo liveaboard around—and they have a full right for that! The best liveaboard around Komodo usually represent something more like a floating resort rather than s simple boat to sleep in. While facilites do help, in the end your liveaboard experience is determined by what you’ve done in the excursion.

How to Life the Best Komodo Liveaboard Experience in Komodo

Things To Do for Best Komodo Liveaboard Experience

Wake Up Early!

Morning in Komodo National Park is awesome, even when you just watch it from the boat. From the vast darkness, the sun slowly rise and reveal mountainous silhouette, before everything gets completely washed by the golden light. It feels wonderful to bask in the tranquil, quiet morning before the world get busy. In a land as wonderful as Komodo, it’s such a waste of time to get up late and missing out a lot of time!

Don’t Bring Too Much Luggage

Even though you are booking mid to high level liveaboard Komodo, don’t think that your cabin will be the size of resort’s Master bedroom. The cabins, while it might charmingly decorated with coordinated theme, is really just a room to sleep and storing our personal stuff. So keep your luggage small, simple, and don’t clutter—especially when you are paired up with a cabin mate.

Make Friends

Unless you are booking the boat for yourself, you are destined to spend the whole Komodo excursion with other adventure seekers in the boat. So prepare some conversation starters and make friends on board. A happy and successful bond on the boat will make a best Komodo liveaboard experience that you won’t forget!

Replace Gadgets with Books

It’s time to unwind. So leave your gadgets and dwell in a good book for a quality me-time in the liveaboard. Beside, you won’t get much signals there on the open sea anyway!

Bring on Seasickness Medicine

Seasickness is a serious party pooper. You don’t know when it will attack, you don’t even think you’ll get seasick but it comes anyway. And once you feel the familiar nausea, nothing on board feel fun anymore. All you can think is your squishy bed at home, ruling up with blanket and sleep the seasickness.

That’s why it’s really important to bring seasickness medicine—especially the one that you know will work. You might not return to Labuan Bajo in a short time, so ward off the seasickness and soak up in the gorgeous landscape while you can.

Bring the Best Camera You Can Have

Drone and underwater camera will do a good job in Komodo. The national park is blessed with extraordinary terrestrial beauty that will look spectacular in drone as well as astonishing marine life that’s so rich in diversity and looks like a wonderland altogether. Some travellers even travels to Komodo for the sake of the surreal landscape, so if it’s a deal breaker to you, make sure you bring your best camera along. Leaving with great stock of awe-inspiring photos in your storage surely will make a best Komodo liveaboard experience, after all!