Blogs from Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia - page 7

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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 8th 2012

Yesterday we left Penang. Before this we were on Langkawi a couple of days, unfortunately we didn't post anything on the blog yet. We thought maybe it was time to stop with trying to catch up, because it doesn't seem to work out, instead we get more behind. We left Batu Ferringhi thinking it was time for another adventure. We took a plane and flew to Medan. The flight was very short (1h), even too short for the kids... We stayed one night in Medan 14th floor of a hotel and immediately by arrival we became spectators of an impressive thunderstorm. The electricity of the whole city went, except for the buildings with generators ( we were lucky). We saw the most amazing and longlasting lightning show of our life, just incredible. We were so happy ... read more
motorcycles have to be checked out
On the way to Samosir
Nice beds!

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Padang April 19th 2012

Mum was lying on a sun lounger reading when the 8.6 quake occurred, apparently a significant enough quakes to make worldwide headlines and generate mass panic..except for mum, who chose to just keep reading. She felt her lounge start shaking and thought..hmm..what's going on here. So she stood up, lifted the lounger to see if there were 'animals' under there moving around. Now think about this. Statistically, what are the chances that a couple of pangolins wandered out of the jungle and thought, yes, just what we need for our romantic interlude, an australian on a sun lounge, right at that moment. Like that would happen! Now statistically, the chances of an earthquake on the Sundra arc is pretty high, up there in the top places likely to make your lounge move. So mum stood up, ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Padang April 18th 2012

On how many levels does a journey exist? Is the journey sometimes a destination unknown or unexpected? Ive spent my adult life watching for the Oh Not Again! Disapproving face my mother would pull every time I would casually mention I was going diving..in a couple of days..in papua new guinea. I wanted to show my mum the side of me that comes alive when I am travelling and diving, a new world to explore, where I feel my best. I wanted her to understand why I travelled alone to parts far flung and on the Smart Traveller website as reconsider need to travel. So, I took her to Cubadak. A tiny island off the west coast of Padang in Sumatra. On that ohh so sexy Sundra Arc (You will have to excuse the geomorphologist im ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pulau Weh April 2nd 2012

For the first time I am planning to go to Asia on a holiday. I have only ever been over there “travelling” before so I would normally not have as many plans but I have spent some time planning this trip to make sure it is maximised. It feels a bit strange doing it this way but I have a job and a flat and all that shizz now so there is no other option. After an overnight stop in KL we got on a short flight to Banda Aceh with AirAsia. There is an early morning flight and an afternoon flight at present. If you do not want to spend a night in Banda Aceh then you will need to take the morning flight – not that there is anything wrong with BA! We were ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba March 16th 2012

After our beach day in Krabi we headed south to Penang Malaysia via minibus. The roads in Southern Thailand are paved, but they are rather bumpy and it made for a rough ride. Crossing into Malaysia was easy (only country where you don’t have to fill out Visa forms), but the lines were long. We arrived in Penang around 6:00pm, having set-off around 7am, an eleven hour day. On the ride we sat next to a very chatty German who was a retired contractor, I’m guessing he was around 65. He has travelled a lot and now calls Asia home. He made the trip very interesting as he told us all of these stories about the United States that he learned through the “news” – many of which I have not heard. I say “news” because ... read more
Man On A Ledge
Mom and Baby
Male Orangutan

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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pulau Weh February 17th 2012

We are back underwater for few more bubbles, this time, it's Pulau Weh. Most of you are going to ask, but where is this place. Well, it is the northern point of Indonesia, just above Banda Aceh. Does this help? If not, another clue, we are next door to the ground zero of the 2006 tsunami which killed thousand of people. Getting here is actually the first burden. You can however arrive directly here from Malaysia, with a daily flight on Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur, and few flights a week from Penang on Firefly. We arrived by Penang and left to KL. The original plan was to take some time to visit Penang, but our flight from Bangkok ended up an hour delayed....we waited 40 minutes for a bus...and a two hours ride in the ... read more
Gapang beach
Two blue ribbon eels together...cool!
Not an easy picture to take...

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang February 3rd 2012

During the last few days in Malaysia I had started reviewing my plans for Indonesia. Originally I had intended to travel Indo by land and sea only from Sumatra to Darwin, however with a 30 day visa it appeared to be a ridiculous idea. Trying to travel over a distance equivalent to London to Nigeria, during rainy season when boats were known to frequently postpone travel or simply sink and roads were closed due to mud slides or flash floods. Maybe a plan for one day, but for the time being I planned to fly from KL to Medan in Northern Sumatra, visit the tourist hotspots and then fly to Jakarta, travel through Java and then onto the islands to the south. Having camped out overnight in KL airport to catch an early morning flight I ... read more
Bukit Lawang
Mother and baby
Time to raft home

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Berastagi February 3rd 2012

Following a four hour bone shaking journey from Bukit Lawang I arrived in Berastagi, a pretty miserable town in northern Sumatra nestled between two large active volcanoes. I was on a tight time scale as I needed to meet a mate in Jakarta a few days later and so without much planning I set off, taking a public bus to the bottom of the volcano Gunung Sibayak. The buses in Sumatra are impressive, often nothing more than a knackered old minivan, they’re custom painted in psychedelic patterns and have musical horns which are constantly blaring. When the two facing benches inside get filled passengers will jump on the roof, holding on for dear life. My plan was foiled pretty quickly. I had intended on paying the volcano entry fee and grabbing a map showing the paths. ... read more
Mudslide across road
Approaching the crater
Steam mists

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba January 6th 2012

“Small but effective” appears to be the unofficial slogan of Danau Toba, an incredibly beautiful lake some 900ft above sea level which is actually the collapsed crater of a long extinct volcano. Yet, there is nothing “small” about Lake Toba! The lake is 450m deep and encircles the Singaporean-sized island of Samosir, and though the local Batak tribes-people may be small of stature they are big of heart and rest assured that they all have a decent set of lungs on them! The Batak people do not consider themselves to be Indonesian despite the country being the birthplace for many of the recent generations. The Bataks were forced to migrate from the mountains of northern Thailand and Burma many hundreds of years ago and as you might expect in the case of displaced people, ... read more
Danau Toba
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Slaughter Pole

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang December 23rd 2011

I had been looking forward to Bukit Lawang and its famed Orang-utan for quite some time, so much so that I dreamt about it whilst on Pulau Weh...but not in the way that you might think. In the dream, Amy had apparently had a child whilst we’ve been away (from where I don’t know) and had decided to name the boy Lawang! Of course I thought this ridiculous (although preferable to “Bukit”) and we argued and then...I woke up! Hopefully the place itself would not be as bizarre... Leaving from Pulau Weh, we knew we were in for one of those tediously long journeys again. A bus, a boat, a tuk tuk, two buses and then finally a final tuk tuk; all of which consumed 24 hours of our 30-day Indonesian visa before we ultimately arrived ... read more
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