Spectacular Komodo, its steep hillsides jade in the short wet season, frazzled by the sun and winds to a deep rusty red for most of the year, is the largest island in the national park. A succession of eastern peninsulas spread out like so many fingers, fringed in pink sand, thanks to the abundance of red coral offshore. The main camp of Loh Liang and the PHKA office, where you can organise treks, is on the east coast. There are also rumblings of a new privately owned resort being built on the island, which would be a first.
The fishing village of Kampung Komodo is an hour-long walk south of Loh Liang. It’s a friendly stilted Bugis village that’s full of goats, chickens and children. The inhabitants are said to be descendants of convicts exiled to the island in the 19th century by one of the sultans in Sumbawa.