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Asia » Indonesia » West Papua » Sorong February 10th 2019

I’ve reached the islands that have got travellers mouth wagging for the last few years, the place to be, the name you casually throw in the conversation to show how cool you are, to see others salivating at the thought, wanting to be you, to be there, to have seen what you have seen: Raja Ampat! So Raja Ampat is a hype, but is it also as good as people make it out to be? Is it worth spending your scarce money on it? Is it worth the inflated prices? That’s a difficult question to answer, because it depends on the person you talk to. Let’s start with the facts. The fact is that the prices are not at all in line with what you get. The price for sleeping in a simple hut with a ... read more
Kaimana
Kaimana
Fak Fak

Asia » Indonesia » West Papua » Kaimana January 22nd 2019

What's the superlative of beautiful? Extremely beautiful? Extraordinarily beautiful? Awe-inspiringly beautiful? What if none of these fits the bill? I have come to such a place, for a fleeting moment and then it was gone, like an otherworldly sunset that disappears beyond the horizon. But how did I get there? It was a long trek. It started with me landing in Bali, after my sojourn in Perth. I had a week to spare. Why? Because the boat that would take me near the place I have mentioned above (but not to it), would only leave in a week... from Tual, which you might remember lies on the Kei Islands. I decided to spent that week on Bali rather than the Kei Island, however pretty they are. It would be slightly cheaper, plus it gave me the ... read more
Lembongan Island
Ceningan Island
Ceningan Island

Asia » Indonesia January 3rd 2019

Batam, China 12-9-2018 Batam, Indonesia Viec dau tien la toi tim den Capella Hotel noi ma Donald Trump va Kim Jung Un met on 11-6-2018, cach day dung 5 thang. Day la 5 star hotel co 112 room nam tren dao nhan tao Sentora. Tu dao Singapore ra dao Sentora qua cay cau dai 300m. Tuy nhien du khach co the di bang monorail chay tu Harbor Front to Sentosa chi mat khoang 7’. Toi di bo tu Monorail stop den khach san nay. Khach san 5 sao tuong doi dep. Toi tim den noi ma Donald Trump va Un dung va di bo trong khu vien khach san nay de chup hinh lam ky niem. Toi rat thich lam viec nay nhu nhung lan truoc toi den Ha Noi cung den tiem pho ma Obama ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Sanur January 1st 2019

Bali We arrived in Bali a day before Jack, Ella and Anna & after a busy few weeks we were looking forward to a bit of a holiday with the kids. We greeted them after their long flight wearing local(ish) gear as a bit of a joke. Our first few nights were in Sanur, right on the beach with pools, tennis & bikes. It was very quiet as their peak is July. Day 4 and we had a car booked for Ubud for the morning. While waiting in the lobby Sue talked with a driver who then brought the car round. It was immediately obvious however that there was no way we were going to get 5 people plus luggage in - about 10 minutes later we worked out it wasn’t the wrong car he had ... read more
Water Palace at Karangasem .
Jack and Anna at the Water Palace
on the beach Ella and Anna

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 15th 2018

We decide to spend our last few hours here relaxing by the pool. Unlike all the other days we’ve been here there aren’t too many people around today and we have an almost unlimited range of sunlounges to chose from. Just as we get comfortable a middle aged Russian couple takes up residence on the two lounges right next to ours, and both of them immediately start puffing away on their cigarettes. They could have sat just about anywhere else, but no, it had to be right next to us. We move to the other end of the pool. Issy craves one final massage in one of the small huts on the beach front. She is disappointed. She is told that all twelve huts are being held in reserve for a delegation from a tobacco company ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 14th 2018

We waste most of the morning of our last full day here sleeping, and then set off for reception to see if we can get a late check out tomorrow. We are approached by a young European staff member who speaks to us in a tongue that neither of us can understand. Issy asks him if he can repeat whatever he said in English. The look he gives us suggests that he was speaking English the first time, and perhaps unsurprisingly our request for a late check out is denied. We head back to Bali Collection and hoe into large quantities of pizza and bread at an Italian restaurant. We are sitting right next to a large fan, and when we finish our cans of tonic water the now empty cans start sliding around randomly on ... read more
Nusa Dua by night
Huh?

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 13th 2018

Today we have arranged to meet up with our friends Mark and Jane from Melbourne who are staying in Ubud. They have booked a tour which the brochure they sent us a link to said goes to the Tenenungan Waterfall and then on to Bali Swing, so we decide to meet them at the waterfall. We are picked up from the Sofitel by the same Wayan who took us to Uluwatu Temple earlier in the week. The traffic in Bali is frenetic, but calmly frenetic. If you don’t have right of way it seems that you just nose your way in and the other drivers will accommodate you, and they seem to do so quite happily without threatening violence upon you and your loved ones as would happen if you tried this approach back in Melbourne. ... read more
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 12th 2018

We see signs in the bar telling us that the hotel has a “no straw policy”. This comes as a bit of a surprise as most of the drinks we’ve been served here so far have come complete with thin plastic tubes that seem to fit the definition of the word straw, at least where we come from. That said both Issy and I have commented at various times over the past few days that our straws have split as we’ve tried to use them, and we’ve then had to revert to the time honoured method of lifting the glasses to our lips. I wonder if the hotel has managed to develop biodegradable plastic straws and these are then considered to be consistent with its no straw policy. I think that the world’s oceans would be ... read more
Swimming pool rules
Chinese flag planted on Nusa Dua beach
Nusa Dua beachfront

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 11th 2018

There seems to be a huge focus on celebrating Christmas here in predominantly Hindu Bali. There are Santa Clauses, Christmas trees and every other imaginable type of Christmas decoration everywhere we look, and it feels like Christmas carols are playing constantly from every available speaker on the island. Today we saw a Christmas tree made entirely from full wine bottles. Admittedly a lot of this is probably for the benefit of the tourists, and we haven’t spent enough time away from the tourist centres here yet to know whether it’s more widespread, but even so religious tolerance seems to be well ingrained here in Bali and celebrating each other’s festivals is something that most seem more than happy to do. This is a far cry from the ridiculous lengths to which political correctness has been taken ... read more
Balinese musicians, Nusa Dua
It seems that you can buy almost anything at Bali Collection
The beach club, Nusa Dua

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran December 10th 2018

Today we have planned to spend the day with our very good friend Yvonne and her daughter Brigitte who are coincidentally here in Bali from Melbourne at the same time as us, and are staying over in Seminyak. We spend the morning lazing by the Sofitel pool. A Chinese couple who look like they are both about thirty take up residence on the sun lounges next to us. The man is carrying a very large blow up floatation device in the shape of a unicorn. It is mostly white, but with a gold horn, and brightly multicoloured mane and seat. We look for the child that will be using this device, but it soon becomes evident that the couple are here by themselves. They both get into the pool, and the man then climbs onto the ... read more
Brigitte jet skiing
Issy and Brigitte preparing to parasail
Issy and Brigitte  parasailing




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