Padar, Indonesia

Here be no dragons

Action Asia - - ISLANDS -

The whole world has heard of the is­land of Ko­modo and its fa­mous dragons. Thou­sands gawp its im­mense scaly preda­tors ev­ery year, while oth­ers head to nearby Rinca to see the pop­u­la­tion there in­stead. Cu­ri­ously, the smaller is­land in be­tween – Padar – has no dragons, but it de­serves to be on any vis­i­tor’s itin­er­ary any­way. Like its larger neigh­bours, Padar is shaped like a par­tic­u­larly en­thu­si­as­tic bug-splat, but it alone has a spec­tac­u­lar pyra­mi­dal peak from which to sur vey the glo­ri­ous ge­o­graph­i­cal con­tor­tions. It helps that en­joy­ment of this climb won’t be abruptly cur­tailed by you be­com­ing a lizard’s lunch. You may even be able to make out the dif­fer­ent colours of Padar’s beaches, for parts of this is­land are famed for arcs of pink sand. The other draw­card is less ap­par­ent from up top: the seas around this and the neigh­bour­ing is­lands are hum­ming with life. For this rea­son, nature-lovers are ad­vised to make their Ko­modo ex­pe­ri­ence a live­aboard trip – if you dive, you’ll not want to miss out on the rich­ness of the area’s reefs. To find out more, check out Seven Seas, www.the­sev­enseas.net

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