Blogs from Indonesia, Asia - page 11


Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Sengigi March 25th 2015

Deciding to leave Bali today to travel east to an island called Lombok - after a bit of haggling I got a price I was happy with for a return journey to and from the island. Setting my alarm for 05.30 for another early start and being driven to Padang bai ( about 2hrs from Seminyak on the east coast) and waiting for what seemed like ages for a boat - we were finally on our way! Arriving an hour later ( the public boat taking 5hrs!) and being offered a motorbike ride with my heavy bags to the hotel for 60,000 rupiah - £3 I didn't think was too bad. Arrived at the hotel to be greeted by really friendly staff, so after I unpacked my bags I headed out to find the local shops ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gili Air March 25th 2015

After having a good nights sleep but not being able to face a cold shower, I had my breakfast and got picked up along with 7 others to be taken to the harbour. Waiting with a couple from Belgium and a couple from Canada for the public boat to be full and we would be on our way. Sharing the long wooden boat with about 50 locals, boxes of beers, baskets of vegetables and fruits - 20 minutes later we had arrived at Gili Air. There are no roads on the island, so no traffic, and only one path that winds its way round - which can be walked in about 1hr. If transport is needed its by bicycle or horse and cart. The beaches are very clean with mostly white sand and clear turquoise waters ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Payakumbuh March 24th 2015

On the plane from Padang to Jakarta March 24, 2015 The final part of the drive to the homestay was simply breathe-taking. We were each on the back of a bike with all our kit. Jane had the one helmet offered which added to my excitement. As we sped to the entrance of the Harau valley in Central Sumatra we were confronted with a wall of rock 100 metres high and a waterfall spumeing from the jungle at the top before it disappeared into the nearby rice paddies. Our bungalow was at the base of the waterfall. It loomed above you as you sat on the loo! The setting was truly spectacular. It did finally make one feel that the tortuous journey we had had to get there was worth it. We had come by night ... read more
Crossing the equator by bus from Parapat to Bukitinggi
Rice paddies in the fertile Harau valley
A typical bamboo bridge for crossing the irrigation canals between paddies

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba March 21st 2015

75,000 years ago the explosion must have caused something like a nuclear winter if not a mini ice age. It is believed to be the largest explosion on earth over the last 25 million years and deposited some 6 to 9 m of ash over parts of Asia and Africa. The world and Sumatra would have been very different then. What remains now is the largest crater lake in the world (Danau Toba) filled with a high sided island (Samosir) larger than Singapore. We climbed up on the windy Trans Sumatran Highway from Medan slowly at first and then with increasing recklessness and speed as the driver calculated we could make the 4pm ferry from Parapat to the island. We dropped down into the caldera winding along the lake edge which sits at 900m. Tourists at ... read more
The door to our room was not more than a metre high
Traditional Batak houses at a museum complex
The hearth was traditionally in the centre of the house

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 20th 2015

Yesterday evening Danielle and I booked to be taken an hours drive north to a small town called Ubod. One way was 60,000 rupiah - £3 with just having to make your own way back. On the journey up I sat next to and chatted with a nice man from Holland. We all got dropped off at a central car park from which the monkey forest was signposted so we decided that would be our first stop. Only about a ten minute walk away, paying a small entry fee and picking up a map we headed in. The forest was quite small with obvious paths and easily signposted quite a novelty really after the walking I did in Malaysia! There were stalls selling big bunches of bananas to feed to the macaques, which of course the ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Seminyak March 19th 2015

Not feeling hugely motivated to rush out of bed I didn't and had a lay in. After enjoying the ( included in the price ) breakfast I spent the next couple of hours researching flights out from Bali, as my visa is expiring in 10 days time. After chatting to the staff and working out that there is no public transport on the huge island, and so obvious difficulties for getting around I headed out first to get my haircut! Having had a few issues with my feet this last week - first small sores that became infected - dirty, dusty roads and pavements with hot sweaty feet in cheap sandals. After being treated and purchasing some more sandals these also decided they were going to rub against my feet but a different area! Plasters not ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra March 19th 2015

It was just a walk in the woods. We entered from the village and climbed up the hillside over tree roots. It was drier in this jungle than we had experience in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. And there he was! Hanging nonchalantly from the branches above us was 120 kg of Orang Utan. He seemed remarkably unperturbed about 10 tourists pointing cameras at him. He just hung there as if this was a rather boring part of his day job. He was a good age, over thirty. Males tend to live until they are in their early forties and develop a flat face with large cheeks. So in the New Forest you have ponies and in the Sumatran jungle you have orangutans. They are just part of the scenery. In six hours of walking round the ... read more
You can look them in the eye.
The orangutans are just part of the scenery
A Thomas's Leaf monkey

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta March 19th 2015

Had to set my alarm for 05.30 to get to the airport on time for my flight to Bali. Having again a bit of an issue with the taxi driver - first him not wanting to go on the meter, would rather charge me 180,000 rupiah as opposed to 50,000, secondly driving really slowly even though there being no traffic on the road and thirdly trying to make me pay for airport parking! I gave him 50,000 as that's what it cost from airport to hotel, had a word and got out the car - annoyed from how unnecessary he had been! Sitting waiting for my plane a lady with her 8yr old daughter from Borneo wanted a photo and a hug! Very unexpected but very endearing all the same. Next I chatted to a nice ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta March 18th 2015

Having booked to stay for a 4th night this morning I had to move from my room to a deluxe room ( but hotel kindly offered it at the same price - I explained im a poor traveller on a budget!) the only difference being a teas made and air conditioning - as apposed to free tea 5 metres from your room and a perfectly adequate fan! After breakfast and heading off together, this time hiring a motorised rickshaw ( our guilty conscience from yesterday!) we were first taken to the sultans palace. With not really a huge amount to see we then popped back to the cafe - which is very close - to say our goodbyes to the lovely couple from Thursday. What is special about the cafe is a large cat type creature ... read more

Asia » Indonesia March 18th 2015

So Rebecca and I decided that getting up at 4am was a really good idea to go and see 2 temples - ive seen enough temples to last me a life time but these 2 you just have to see - apparently! We got picked up sharp at 04.45 and being the 1st on the tour bus we were then taken round to collect the others. Sitting next to a lovely lady from India we chatted for the hours journey to the 1st temple - Borobudur. This is a Buddhist temple built in the 9th century by the Saliendra dynasty - covering an area of 200 sq metres by many tiers of 35 metres high and so being the largest Buddhist monument in the southern hemisphere. Theres not so much of an inside more a walk ... read more

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