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Indonesia's Flores opens to the adventurous

Just east of Bali, the island remains largely unspoiled by tourism

An encounter with local Komodo dragons is just a short boat trip away from the Indonesian island of Flores.

LABUAN BAJO, Indonesia -- Sick of the interminable traffic chaos in the Indonesian resort island of Bali? Bored by crowds of Western revelers in the nightclubs of Kuta Beach? Above all, do you want to see the real Indonesia? Then head for Flores, a largely undiscovered island to the east of Bali.

Communications with Flores were transformed in 2015, when the island's tiny airport at Labuan Bajo was enlarged, allowing flights to arrive not just from Bali but directly from Jakarta and Singapore. Suddenly there was an attractive alternative to the previous route to Flores -- deck-cargo class with Pelni, a no-frills state-run shipping company.

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