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TRAVEL AND TOURIST INFORMATION

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On Flores, transport options are public bus (bone-jarring!) or a hired car and driver. There's a lot to see and do on the island, but much of it is inaccessible without a guide. Hire a freelance guide, with a car and driver, by asking around at hotels in Maumere or Labuanbajo or Ende.

Moni Cliff Rice Field

The cost of a private tour, is negotiable but reasonable -- US$350 (Rp.3,400,000) is a good rate to travel the length of the island for five days, including guide, driver, car, and gas. You'll see and learn so much more in the company of a guide, who will speak several of the island's five main languages alongside Bahasa Indonesian and English. Ask other travellers for recommendations, but don't put much faith in official guide licenses - getting one takes bribery, not skill.

Visas and Documents

Visitors from most western countries are allowed entry into Indonesia without a visa for stays of up to two months. Check before departure, Australian's need a Passport valid for at least 6 months.

Health and Safety

Despite the political turmoil elsewhere in Indonesia, Flores has remained a tranquil backwater. You do need to be quite careful about what you eat and drink, since it's a poor island with poor sanitation. Stick with bottled drinks or boiled water, and eat only thoroughly cooked food.

Money

Take at least half of your money in cash (US dollars are best) since credit cards are useless, and travellers' cheques can be changed only in large towns like Maumere and Ende. Moni-Wolora is so peaceful there is no money changer, closest is Ende 1.5 hrs by road.

Communication

Communication is tricky. Phone service seems okay in Maumere and Ende, but is unreliable (or nonexistent) elsewhere. Postal service is glacially slow. You'll do much better to carry your treasures home with you. Some villages have no Post Office or Telephone - mobile phones only work in Ende or Labuanbajo.

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