Chicago, Realwonderoftheworld.com – Komodo National Park: Real Jurassic Park with the Real Dinosaurs
“We don’t need tales of Jurassic Park to see a reptile-dominated world. It’s all here (at Komodo National Park)” – BBC wildlife series ‘Life’, narrated by David Attenborough
Wonderful Indonesia is much more than just the paradise island of Bali. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. For travel enthusiasts, the country may offer hundreds of magnificent cultural and natural wonders; there are Borobudur Temple Compounds, Prambanan, Sangiran Early Man Site (one of the key sites for the understanding of human evolution), Lorentz National Park, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, Ujung Kulon National Park, and Raja Ampat Islands to name a few.
One real wonder of the world that may fascinate travel adventurers is the Komodo National Park. Located in the eastern part of Indonesian archipelago, this park may just as well be the only place in the world where travel adventurers can experience an authentic adventure with the living dinosaurs by their side.
This real “Jurassic Park” is an area consisting of several large islands such as Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Padar Island, Gili Motang, Nusa Kode, as well as several small islands, the habitat of some 5,000 Komodo dragons, ancient dinosaur reptiles left on Earth.
It may not be a paradise like Bali or any other wonders of Indonesia, but Komodo National Park is indeed a heaven for curious travel adventurers. “Real dragons spurt no fire, have no need to fly and cast no magic spells. And still, one look from them might render you speechless” said Dr Sapta Nirwandar, Director General for Tourism Marketing at the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of Republic of Indonesia.
These komodos, the real living dragons, are a sight indeed. Gigantic, the lizard-like creatures are about two or three meters in length. They can easily weigh about 165 kilograms. Despite of their sheer size and appearance, they are not active hunters. What makes them intimidating is the fact that they are a patient predator. In the wild, they stalk a victim, usually a weak or injured one. One bite and that’s what it usually takes. After following the victim for a while, sometimes up to several days’ time, the komodos will devour the dying prey.
Declared by UNESCO as the World Nature Heritage Site and Man and the Biosphere Reserve, the Park has become a conservation area to protect the overall biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.
The natural conditions of these islands are unique, with huge savannah and Asian Palmyra Palm trees. It also offers a heaven for underwater enthusiasts as it has fascinating underwater scenery. You can find 385 species of beautiful corals, mangrove forests, and seaweeds as a home for thousands of fish species, 70 types of sponges, 10 types of dolphins, 6 types of whales, green turtles and various types of sharks and stingrays.
Claimed by many legendary divers as one of the best diving sites in the world, Komodo Marine Park (Castle Rock & Cannibal Rock) is recently voted as The Best Dive Sites in The World by Scuba Travel UK and 2011 Top 100 Gold List by Scuba Diving Magazine.
The Real Wonder of the World or the Real WOW
Held in Navy Pier’s Crystal Garden in Chicago, Thursday, 22nd September 2011, Komodo Night in Chicago is held to gather many Friends of Komodo in the United States. The event is part of the ongoing campaign by the government of Indonesia to encourage worldwide participation in preserving the Komodo Dragons as the Real WOW (or the real wonder of the world).
It features several exhibitions such as arts and cultural artifacts from the Komodo Islands of Flores, Komodo themes games and non-games mobile apps (for iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, and Android) from some of Asia’s best Mobile application developers who participated in Komodo Apps Challenge, as well as video screening of “Concert for Komodo” which took place in Kuta Beach Bali, July 31, 2011, and gained a worldwide Trending Topic on Twitter.
Attended by friends of Komodo from travel industry, wildlife experts, academicians, travel media, travel adventurers, and diving enthusiasts, the event provide insights about Komodo dragon as the Real Wonder of the World and Komodo National Park as the Real Jurassic Park in this world.
Presented by The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT), Republic of Indonesia and hosted by The Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia in Chicago, Komodo Night is Chicago is organized by Marketeers Media Fleet (part of MarkPlus, Inc group) and fully supported by Friends of Komodo in the United States.
Among Friends of Komodo attending the event is Prof Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who has been recently appointed by the government of Indonesia as the Special Ambassador for Indonesian Tourism (along with Bill Gates and Richard Gere).
“This Komodo: The Real Wonder of the World initiative is to support our “Beyond Bali” program to promote other wonders of cultural and nature of Indonesia” said Dr Sapta Nirwandar, Director General for Tourism Marketing at the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of Republic of Indonesia.
Director General Sapta Nirwandar explained that Chicago was chosen as representation of the high enthusiasm shown by Americans towards Tourism in Indonesia. “The high enthusiasm can be seen from the rapid growth of American tourists to Indonesia” he added.
Bringing the world closer to all the wonders of Komodo, Komodo Night proved to be most effective platform for international public to experience the Komodo National Park as the real wonder of the world.
How to get to Komodo National Park
Step 1: Fly to Bali Indonesia
From west coast, you can get flight from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Singapore (by Singapore Airlines) or to Hongkong (by Cathay Pacific) or to Tokyo (by JAL) or to Seoul (by Korean Air) then get connection flight to Bali with the same airlines.
From Midwest, you can get flight from Chicago to Singapore (by Singapore Airlines) or to Hongkong (by Cathay Pacific) then get connection flight to Bali with the same airlines.
From east coast, you get flight from New York to Singapore (by Singapore Airlines) or to Hongkong (by Cathay Pacific) or to Dubai (by Emirates) or to Abu Dhabi (by Etihad) then get connection flight to Bali with the same airlines.
Step 2: Fly from Bali to Labuan Bajo (Flores)
By far the best option – and one that will work out cheaper than a “tour”- is to fly from Bali to Labuanbajo (the little town on Flores that is the access point from the park). From there it is incredibly easy to arrange, at very short notice, a trip to see the dragons, either a day trip via reliable ferries or boats to Rinca (which is the more attractive of the park’s two main islands) or an overnight trip to both Komodo and Rinca.