One thing I really wanted to do while traveling in SEA was to find a nice beach bungalow where I could unload my backpack and relax for the rest of my life, or at least a few days. I had visions of gently swaying hammocks, empty stretches of soft-sand beach, and swimming with exotic sea creatures that we’ve only seen on Animal Planet. When I found out that such a place existed near our next stop I immediately made plans to park my ass on one of their hammocks.
Kanawa Bungalows is the only accommodation available on Kanawa Island and the reviews sounded fine by us. Basic accommodations for about $40 USD per night. Trying to make reservations over email wasn’t very easy so we headed to their office when we arrived in Labuan Bajo. We reserved for three days even though we had to be moved each morning due to other bookings. It would be annoying, but we’d make it work since we really wanted to be on the beach rather than at the harbor and having to take a boat out each day to snorkel.
The next day we got on the transfer boat with about ten other tourists and less than an hour later we were walking down the long, picture-perfect jetty towards Kanawa Island. We checked in at the front desk and a porter brought our bags over to Bungalow 15. We scanned the room, checked the mattress, admired the view from our porch, then got changed and headed back down the jetty to jump in the crystal clear water.
Within minutes of sticking our heads underwater we saw lion fish, clown fish, cuttle fish, and a gazillion other sea creatures. It was awesome. We thought snorkeling off the beach in Koh Tao, Thailand was fantastic, but Kanawa made the snorkeling there look like a child’s hobby aquarium. After exploring a bit longer we headed back to the restaurant to get lunch. Unfortunately, they only serve lunch until 2pm and it was now 3pm. That sucked since we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and the only food we had were brownies that we smuggled in from Labuan Bajo. So, we had brownies for lunch. Let me recap this day so far: A scenic boat ride to a private island with a beautiful beach and spectacular snorkeling within a few hundred feet of our bungalow and then brownies for lunch. Yep, life is good.