If you are not too keen on dogs, you will probably love going to this island for your next holiday. The island is called Kukusan Island. It is not the only good thing regarding all about Kukusan Island. There are other beautiful things there.
So, where is Kukusan Island? From Labuan Bajo Harbour, it only takes about 45 minutes by boat to go there. This island is not so populated; only about 300 people or so. Since the people who live here are all Muslims, you will not get to see dogs roaming the streets freely. Consider this a bonus point for you who are a bit afraid of dogs.
However, other animals are ruling the streets in the neighborhood there: cats and goats. According to the Islamic history, cats were Prophet Muhammad’s favorite pets, so it is no wonder that these lovely felines are allowed to roam around freely. Muslims also celebrate Idul Adha, when they slaughter goats and cows before distributing their meat to the poor. That is why goats also roam around Kukusan Island freely.
The houses in Kukusan Island look relatively mild and humble, all painted in mostly pastel colors. These shades are a great combination with the crystal clear and aqua marine color of the ocean.
Check out the people’s houses there. Most are made of woods and designed as ‘stage-houses’ (rumah panggung).
If you would like to enter one of the houses, you must take a few wooden steps up. Some stage-houses are tall enough that you can take a shelter under their floors if the sun gets too hot. Little kids love doing that. This island is mostly quiet and calming, but the people are very welcoming and friendly.
What to do in Kukusan Island:
For those of you who are looking for a rare experience on the island, Kukusan Island is the place for you. You may not get much of loud action here and there, but you will find some peace and quiet here.
Kukusan Island is a home to over 70 families of Bajo tribes. To be on the safe side, perhaps there are some things that you can do first before roaming around the island:
Since the people of Kukusan Island still hold their traditional values, greet the local elders and the hajj first. Ask them about how everything goes on the island. That way, you could avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and other possibilities related to clashes between cultures (you can hire a local guide who is also an interpreter if you cannot speak Indonesian or/and their local dialect.)
Be friendly and greet the locals, including their children.
- Be aware of their culture and habits. That includes asking the local Hajj or any resident whether you can have a bath on their houses during sunset.
Then you can start your little adventure here. With little kids, you can ask them to take you on a sampan ride (a large wooden and board-like boat) from the coral beach to the white sandy sea. You get to see their one and only school, which was built from scratch. Simplicity makes these little kids appreciate what they have even more.
You can also treat the kids with money for their water and snacks. Make sure that you remind them not to litter at the sea as well.
Another thing that you can do while you are in Kukusan Island is to try bidara fruit with the kids. What is that? Bidara is a round fruit that look like an apple but small. The flesh is crisp and white. This fruit is a bit juicy and has a pleasant aroma when slightly under ripe. The fruit’s skin is glossy, thin, smooth, but tight.
Of course, you can also swim and relax on the white sandy beach. Be careful with the sea urchins, though. They may look beautiful from afar, but they can prick you with their thorns if you touch them, intentionally or by accident. Removing it from under your skin will be a painful task, so avoiding contact with them is a wise choice.
As usual, do not forget to bring your camera. Take some shots. However, you may not be able to find a stable network connection here. That means you need to take a break from the cyber world. Try something old-school. Bring your notebook to write your daily journal or a sketchpad if you are into drawing and sketching. With a cup of coffee or tea by the beach, the scenery right in front of you is too beautiful to ignore.
How to get to Kukusan Island:
Are you interested already? From Labuan Bajo Harbour, just take a boat to Kukusan Island. As mentioned earlier, it only takes about 45 minutes.
Now you know all about Kukusan Island, then what are you waiting for? Enjoy the real experience of living on an island.