Labuan Bajo Trip (Komodo Islands): Day 1 - Desa Melo (Caci & Tete Alu)

3:18 PM


[this post is bilingual]
Sebelum aku memutuskan untuk ikut Trip Labuan Bajo ini, aku galau berat. Aku takut laut. Yes, kedengerannya aneh, tapi aku bener-bener takut laut dan semua yang ada di dalemnya. Aku lebih mending naik roller coaster super tinggi di kursi paling depan daripada harus nyemplung ke laut. Aku selalu ngerasa kalau laut itu misteri. Bisa ada monster laut, ikan yang aneh-aneh, dan kalau kita jatuh ke dalamnya, kita nggak akan bisa ditemukan. Belum lagi ortuku suka ngingetin, "Awas keseret ombak!" kalau aku main ke pantai. That's why walaupun di Bali banyak pantai, aku jarang banget mau nyentuh airnya dan selalu panik kalau airnya makin naik.

Before I decided to join this Labuan Bajo trip, I got a bit hesitant. Well, I'm afraid of sea. Yes, sounds weird, but I do afraid of sea and everything in it. I'd rather to ride a very high roller coaster in the front seat than dive into the sea. For me, sea is a mystery - sea monster, weird creatures and once we fall into it, we will never be found. My parents even make it worse by always throwing a warning, "Be careful! You can get dragged by the tide!" every time I am about to go to the beach. That's why, even though Bali has a lot of beaches, I seldom touch the water and always turn panic when the water gets higher. 


Setelah lebih dari 5 tahun nggak menyentuh 'air asin', akhirnya aku memberanikan diri ikut trip ini. Aku ikut trip AyoLiburan dari Garuda Indonesia karena menurutku 5,6 juta untuk 4 hari 3 malam dengan segala fasilitas dan itinerary yang ditawarkan itu worth banget. Ini itinerarynya:

  • Hari 1: mengunjungi Desa Melo & menginap di hotel bintang 4 La Prima Hotel
  • Hari 2: mulai berlayar di LOB, melihat komodo di Pulau Rinca dan mengunjungi Pink Beach
  • Hari 3: Trekking di Pulau Padar, mengunjungi Takka Makassar/Manta Point
  • Hari 4: Trekking di Gili Lawa, snorkeling di Sebayur

After more than 5 years I never touched the 'salt water', finally I decided to join the trip. I join AyoLiburan trip from Garuda Indonesia because for me, IDR 5,6 mio with such itinerary and facilities is so much worth it. Here is the itinerary:

  • Day 1: visiting Melo Village & stay at 4-star La Prima Hotel
  • Day 2: start sailing on the LOB, to Rinca Island seeing Komodo and playing around Pink Beach
  • Day 3: Trekking at Padar Island, snorkeling/playing around atTakka Makassar/Manta Point
  • Hari 4: Trekking at Gili Lawa, snorkeling at Sebayur
Kita naik penerbangan langsung dari Jakarta ke Labuan Bajo pk 10.55 WIB dan sampai Labuan Bajo pk 14.25 WITA. Saat berangkat, semua sudah diurus oleh tim AyoLiburan. Kita dapat check-in counter sendiri trus ke pesawat dianter mobil yang biasanya bawa penumpang business class.

We were using direct flight from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo at 10.55 Jakarta time and arrived at 14.25 LBJ time. On the departure, everything was taken care by AyoLiburan team. We got a dedicated check-in counter and went from the boarding gate to the plane using the cars that usually are used by business class passengers. 

Business Class Shuttle


Using CRJ, it took about 2,5 hours from JKT to LBJ

Sampai di Labuan Bajo, kita langsung menuju Desa Melo. Di Desa Melo, penduduk desa menyambut kita dengan pengalungan selendang tradisional dan mengundang kita masuk ke rumah tradisional mereka. Sesuai ritual penyambutan tamu di sana, mereka menyuguhkan pinang dan sopi (tuak tradisional) pada semua orang. Semua orang saling lirik ragu-ragu, tapi akhirnya sebagian besar dari mereka mencoba keduanya mumpung sedang di sini. Aku sendiri memilih untuk skip pinangnya setelah ngelihat wajah beberapa orang yang kusut sehabis mengunyah sirih-pinang yang diberi kapur itu. Lucu banget lihat gigi mereka yang berubah oranye kemerahan. Menurut penduduk lokal, semakin merah, semakin bagus.

After arriving, we straightly went to Melo Village. At Melo Village, the local people greeted us by putting a traditional scarf on our neck. They also invited us inside their traditional house. Following the welcoming ritual there, local people served us 'pinang' (areca nut) and sopi (local traditional palm wine). Everyone was glancing at each other in doubt, but at the end most of them decided to try it. I skipped the pinang, not sure if I could handle it. It's funny to see their teeth turning reddish after biting the areca nut. According to the local people, the more red your teeth turning into, the better it is.

A warm greeting from Garuda Indonesia Labuan Bajo Office

Stunning view from Melo Village


People from Melo Village 

Their traditional house

The greeting ceremony inside the house

Aku akhirnya nyoba sopi yang dihidangkan. Sopi itu diekstrak dari pohon enau. Dari aromanya aja sudah tercium kalau ini kadar alkoholnya tinggi. Bener aja, pas aku minum, rasa panasnya kayak langsung ke leher dan kepalaku. Menurutku, rasanya kayak minum alkohol buat bersihin luka, hahaha (nggak, aku nggak pernah minum alkohol luka kok). Tapi ada juga yang suka dengan rasa sopi.

I decided to try the sopi. When I smelled it, I knew straightly that the alcohol content in it was so high. When I sipped it, it burnt my throat and brain. But some people like it. 

Sopi. You can refuse it by politely saying you don't drink alcohol.


Setelah itu, kita diantar ke halaman. Sudah ada bangku bambu untuk kita duduk lengkap dengan pisang goreng, kopi, dan teh. Beberapa pria menari Tari Caci. Jangan kaget saat lihat mereka saling cambuk, karena itulah Tari Caci. Setelah Tari Caci, para wanita Desa Melo kemudian menampilkan Tari Tete Alu. Si penari akan menari melompati celah bambu yang terbuka. Setelah menari beberapa lama, mereka akan memberi kesempatan penonton untuk mencoba juga. Aku inget waktu ikut Pramuka di SD, sempet diajarin main ini. Kita dulu bilang ini tari tongkat.  Aku juga inget pernah kejepit kakinya saat main tari tongkat, jadi aku mending nonton aja, ahaha. Oh iya, mereka juga menjual kain tradisional mereka lho. Untuk yang mau beli, ingat bawa uang cash ya.

We, then, were escorted to the yard. They set us some bamboo benches with fried banana, coffee, and tea. Some of the local male showed us the Caci dance. Don't be surprised when they whipped each other, because...that's what the dance is. After the Caci dance, it was the time for the female to perform Tete Alu dance. They danced between the bamboo sticks. Oh, they also are selling their traditional clothes. If you wish to buy it, remember to bring enough cash.

Caci Dance

I forgot the name of the next dance :(

Tete Alu Dance
With the local ladies

With the Caci dancer
Flores traditional fabric (songket)


Setelah mengunjungi Desa Melo, kita makan malam di Tree Top Restaurant lalu menginap semalam di La Prima Hotel sebelum besok mulai berlayar. 

After that, we had dinner at Tree Top Restaurant and stayed for one night at La Prima Hotel before start sailing on the next day. 

Tree Top Restaurant


Baca cerita hari berikutnya juga ya!
Stay tuned on my blog post about the rest of my trip!

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