Blogs from Sulawesi, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park April 28th 2023

For many years, we had an aquarium in our home. I recall spending whatever free time I had at the end of the work day with my face glued to the glass, mesmerized by the aquatic ecosystem I was watching. However basic, it was always calming to loose myself in that water world. So when I find myself now, twenty metres below the ocean surface, buoyantly floating amidst schools of thousands of fish; hovering over an enormous sleeping turtle; captivated by a gigantic manta ray or an angelic spotted eagle ray passing by - at all times awestruck by the brilliant colour and extensive diversity of the coral reef, and the equally vast array of marine life sustained within the reef ecosystem - I again experience a deep sense of calm, along with a profound sense ... read more
Embarking upon a Night Dive
Night Dive / Pen Sea Urchin
Awestruck Amidst the Abundance of Life

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Ampana March 1st 2023

World Cruise 6 Publishing on 1st March as we arrive in Bitung on Silowesi, Indonesia. Sunday 19th / Monday 20th February 33S. 26 degrees C 151 E Arrived Sydney 5am. Cpt wanted to dock before ferries started running. R very excited and dragged me out onto balcony to see Harbour Bridge as we approached. Impressive sight I must admit. Ship all tied up at Circular quay by 6 am. Some excursions departing 7 am doing immigration on way out. All passengers needed to leave ship before anyone could return. If not going on trip needed to collect ticket and disembark as called. . We had arranged to go to Jennifer’s hotel which we could see from our just one block up from quay. She was due in from Melbourne at about 9.30 so we were in ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi February 13th 2023

One benefit of living and working in the Netherlands, especially working in academia, is that you get plenty of holiday and it is perfectly normal to take four or five weeks off in one go. So that’s what we did. I’d always always always wanted to travel around Indonesia and had planned multiple trips that never took place. The first time was supposed to be during my year-long round-the-world trip when I was 22, but the Bali bomb went off while we were in Malaysia, a few days before our arrival in Bali. Therefore, the Indonesia part was skipped and we went to Australia a month sooner. Planning this most recent trip, therefore, was more a process of exclusion because I probably know the Lonely Planet Indonesia section off-by-heart and it was tough to decide what ... read more
Prambanan Temple, Java
Waiting for the boat over to Bunaken Island, Sulawesi
Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, Java

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja February 4th 2020

Tana Toraja, I went, it seems like a dream.... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja February 4th 2020

Tana Toraja-A Land Like no Other. I went in December 2019, my time there seems like a dream. Woke in my little room near the harbor in Bau Bau, SE Sulawesi in the early morning hours, 4AM. Bad sleep night, excitement on my mind, reflecting for hours on my great journey so far and what was to come. Walked outside, toward the end of the lane I found a guy I had talked with the night before about a lift to the airport. We hopped on his moto, streets almost empty, zipped up the hills of this lovely city and headed south in the cool (ish) morning air. Though I had only spent 2 whole days in this town, I had grown to love it. Something special, beautiful setting, pretty much no tourists around. I think ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi January 16th 2020

I'm sitting in a little coffee shop on a cold and sunny Seattle day about 2 weeks after returning from my trip, memories flooding back as I write this. I never know I'm going to have free time until suddenly I do, the stars aligned Dec 10th or so. I had planned to go to Sudan, had my visa and everything. Had some intense reflection before my trip, decided that the democracy was too new, the demonstrations too large. I'd wait a year or so. Where to go instead? Sulawesi had been at the top of my list for awhile. Just like that, researched for a day, bought a ticket and was off to Jakarta, flying through Taipei. EVA Air has been my go to for more than 20 years since my first trip to Asia. ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar July 11th 2019

I hope you enjoyed the silly third person narrative in my previous blog. It was my attempt at putting a humorous spin on the bus ride from hell. I knew that there wasn’t much sightseeing to be done in Makassar, and, with my flight to Bali being in the evening, I wanted a centrally located hotel with a pool. Citadines Royal Bay fit this bill perfectly. My plan was to enjoy my room as much as possible, check out around 11am, store my bag at reception, do a round of sightseeing, and return to the hotel to cool off in the pool. My first stop that morning was Chinatown. I walked to the requisite Chinatown gate, looked around a bit, and thought to myself that this was the quietest Chinatown I have ever been in. There ... read more
Paotere Harbor
Fort Rotterdam

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar July 10th 2019

By most standards, The 50 Year Old Backpacker (“T50YOB”) is much more (fool)hardy than his peers. He loves to travel the rustic way because it is more interesting and fun. His peers roll their eyes when he talks excitedly about his travels; they cannot fathom why he doesn’t just want to sip mai tais at a resort. Or, even worse, go on a cruise. But, T50YOB knows that he cannot travel like he used to 25 years ago, so he makes concessions. Despite this, from time to time, he needs to get his a** kicked to remind him that sometimes, age is more than a number. Upon conclusion of the amazing time he had in Tana Toraja, T50YOB had two options to get back to Makassar for his onward trip to Bali. He could: (1) hire ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja July 9th 2019

If you followed my Midlife Crisis Flashpacking trip two years ago, you may recall that I chose not to travel to Tana Toraja after traveling overland through Flores because I couldn’t handle the prospect of yet more crazy winding mountain roads. So, I opted to chill in Bali instead. Last year, my friends Ryan and Anthony announced they would be getting married in Bali this July, so I decided to check off another bucket list item - Tana Toraja - before heading to Ubud. As an added bonus, my friend Trixie - you might recall her from my various blogs from Australia two years ago - was going to the wedding as well, and so we planned to spend eight days exploring Bali. Getting to Tana Toraja My initial plan was to arrive in Makassar on ... read more
Eddie and I
At the Bus Station
Scenes From the Bus

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar May 13th 2019

Budicek 6.30. Ranajky opat len keksi. Motorka bola nachystana presne ako sme sa vcera dohodli. V nadrzi okolo ¾ benzinu. Sadam na stroj a smer bulusaruang. Vcera som sa este opie pytal kde zacina trek, som jej poslal aj bod z google maps ale miesto potvrdenia resp vyvratenia mi poslala zvukove nahravky co popisovali uz samotnu trasu a nie jej umiestnenie. Tie nahravky vsak uplne nepodstatne, z ¼ tam furt mlela ako sa to povie anglicky. Ah keby to bolo take zlozite napisat. Este sa na mna nasrala, bo som jej nepovedal, ze som bol 6dni v bira, kam chcela ist i ona. No pritom mi vravela, ze v maji uz bude v kanade a este dva dni pred prichodom do biry, som jej pisal, ze tam idem. Fakt divne to difca. Nazad na cestu. Siel ... read more

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