Sunday, September 18, 2005

KOMODO DRAGONS - Up close and personal with Indonesia's beasts of fire

A colourful article on a visit to Komodo to visit the Komodo Dragons... Full story at the FT.com
There are some places where the free market just doesn’t work. So it is in the little town of Labuanbajo. Here, low barriers to entry and minimal regulation have resulted not in innovation, better consumer choice and low prices but in an economy where everyone sells exactly the same OK product at exactly the same OK price. You can visit one operator or a hundred: it doesn’t matter where you buy your Komodo dragon tour from, it will be exactly the same.

Perhaps this is to be expected. In Labuhanbajo, there are two career options: you’re a fisherman or you work in the dragon industry. At our hotel all the other guests were here to see the dragons. Well, all except one. He was a scientist who was studying the dragons and having a spot of bother with his GPS collars, which, with their butch leather straps, looked a bit like reptilian S&M gear.