Blogs from Indonesia, Asia - page 11


Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Penida April 16th 2015

Nusa Penida is an island 18km South East of Bali and it might as well be a lifetime. Whilst every other person on Bali is a tourist on Nusa Penida there was only a handful. We had been told to wait four days for our visa extension by the Denpasar Immigration Office and decided to heed the advice of guesthouse owner: 'why don't you go to the islands'. We could have gone to Nusa Lembongan, Penida's smaller neighbour, and opted for Penida when we found out it was less developed. Just getting there was trial. Getting tickets was easy and we loaded up our stuff on to the high speed ferry over the stern outboards straight from the beach at 8am that morning. There was plenty of space at the front seats and we soon discovered ... read more
Gunung Agung in Bali from the beach on Nusa Penida
Delivering fish from the market in Bali
These two fish straight off the boat cost us 10,000INR

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Togean Islands April 15th 2015

Moving on from Tentena, I continued my way north towards what I presumed would be one of the highlights of my trip -- the Togean Islands. But first there would be the small matter of a 6h drive to Ampana for an overnight stop, before another 4h boat trip to Wakai, the unofficial capital of the Togeans. From there, it was a fairly quick speedboat transfer to Pulau Kadidiri, my intended destination and where I would hunker down for a few days. Quite a lot has been said about the Togeans, the location's relative remoteness, serenity, and of course, natural beauty. With its relatively untouched corals and clear, still waters, the islands are of course a boon to diving enthusiasts, several of whom I met at the resort where I stayed. Not being much of a ... read more
Pulau Kadidiri

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Karimunjawa April 14th 2015

Vanuit Vietnam naar Malaisie te reizen zou veel elebogenwerk kosten, om ons door de massa's toeristen te werken. We zagen er beiden tegenop en vlogen naar Indonesiƫ. Indonesiƫ blijkt groot, heet, vulkanisch en vruchtbaar te zijn. Natuurlijk kunnen we erop rekenen dat Claire goed voor onze kamerplanten zorgt, en dat ze goed groeien, maar als we ze mee hadden genomen en een weekje hier in de grond hadden gezet hadden we reuzeplanten mee terug genomen. Als je je mangopit uitspuugt staat er morgen een mangoboom. Niet alleen planten vinden het klimaat fijn, ook insecten zoemen in donkere wolken om ons heen, groot, groter, grootst. Toen we op Karimunjawa, eilanden ten noorden van Java, tijdens de avondschemering op onze scooter door de jungle terug ijlden om snel thuis te zijn voordat er ongelukken zouden gebeuren, gebeurde er ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali April 11th 2015

On the ferry to Lombok, April 11, 2015 We arrived in Bali on the ferry from Java (possibly the slowest ferry trip in the world) with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. Anticipation because we knew there was great coral reefs and sea life: Apprehension because we had to extend our Indonesian Visas and the rowdy image of Southern Bali, which we desperately wanted to avoid, preceded it. In the end it turned out to be exciting ten day adventure. On the ferry we met a French couple and we shared a taxi to Permuteran which cut the cost. We had unnecessarily booked ahead at the top tripadvisor choice, the Taruna Homestay. It was very nice with a warm pool, hot shower and large room. It did not match the Kapang Indah hotel in Banyuwangi and ... read more
Eel on the loose
Scorpion fish
Fish everywhere

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 10th 2015

It's done! The leg of the journey that I had some apprehension over - Rantepao to Tentena. It turned out to be a rather long 12h plus as expected, but mercifully the bus was actually pretty comfortable, and save for a few segments, the roads were in decent condition. And none of the passengers smoked on board! (Ok one guy did bring his lit cigarette in after a bathroom break, but he stubbed it out soon after). Hopefully the worst of my intra-Sulawesi bus journeys are now over, though there will still be a few more several-hour rides to come... And so from the Torajan highlands, bypassing vast swathes of picturesque vegetation, I'd arrived in Central Sulawesi, in the small town of Tentena which sits on the edge of Indonesia's third largest lake Danau Poso. Coming ... read more
Danau Poso

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya April 9th 2015

In this section, I'll talk about my last few months in Indonesia, as well as a bit about the characteristics of the people and the culture that have been so eye-opening over the last year of my life! I felt myself enjoying the country more and more as the months progressed, and I'd lived in Indonesia for about 7 months at this point. I'd managed to find a properly equipped gym, a running route, a local swimming pool, and learned a fair amount of the Indonesian language. However, I was also beginning to tire of the numerous aspects of the culture that caused me frustration on a daily (and often hourly) basis. These frustrations included religion being a constant presence in public places, lack of infrastructure, people being late, transport being inefficient, and constant attention for ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja April 8th 2015

And so after the relatively brief arrival and layover at Southwest Sulawesi's capital Makassar, it was time to get more serious and start the arduous journey northwards through the rather inhospitable terrain of the inner regions of the island. This was also something that had played on my mind ever since I started planning for this Sulawesi trip. I have, of course, not forgotten the painful, cigarette smoke-filled 18h intra-Sumatra journey from Bukittingi to Parapet, and reading about others' experiences with the difficult bus journeys in Sulawesi, I tried to prepare myself for the worst. This 9h first leg from Makassar to Rantepao in the Tana Toraja ("Land of the Heavenly Kings") turned out to be pretty easy after all. It was a nice, big air-conditioned bus with comfy seats and most importantly, no smoking, which ... read more
Lemo Effigies
Torajan Rice Terraces
Tattiest Notes in the World

Asia » Indonesia » North Maluku April 6th 2015

In the months since my trip aboard the Tambora, I have seen many articles written by trip organizer Simon Pridemore and realized there was a lot more to Simon than being a very nice guy and one of the scuba worlds most respected Professionals, Simon is also a passionate environmentalist and writes for several sustainability publications. I was reading a piece he wrote in Gaia magazine about tourism to remoter areas and if it can ever be sustainable. Instantly I messaged Simon with a heap of questions and considerations that have long played in my head - how much am I part of the problem?. Can this delicate dance of truly ecological sustainable tourism ever work? This trip was something very special in that we explored areas not often visited if yet visited at all and ... read more
Papuan Sunset
The house of the man we scared
2014-09-28 09.09.39

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur April 6th 2015

The whole purpose of this brief trip to Indonesia was to visit the Buddhist temple at Borobudur. Built in the 9th Century, the temple complex looked stunning, and our mission was to visit at sunrise. I was a bit dubious about my chances given a history of failed attempts to see either sunrises or sunsets at various famous places, Angkor Wat being the most recent. However I am nothing if not an optimist, hence the early start. The alarm went off at 3.30 and it didn't feel like I had been asleep for long. Soon enough though I was wide awake, as our driver drove like a madman. We were on the edge of our seats, so it was hardly a relaxing drive, wondering if we would make it alive or not! But luck was on ... read more
Sunrise at Borobudur
Sunrise at Borobudur
Sunrise at Borobudur

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Banyuwangi April 5th 2015

If you want to know what hell is like go to Ijen. The path down to the base of the caldera is steep and treachous by torchlight at 2am. We had our gas masks on to keep the devil and his sulphurous fumes away. You could dimly make out the fizzure billowing out acrid steam. As you get closer you can see the ethereal blue flames of the burning vapourised sulphur dancing above the dark rock. When the steam blows your way you crouch down holding your mask and closing your eyes to stop the burning. You wait until the wind changes. Molten sulphur drips from corroded pipes in lakes and stalactites. And people work down here on a daily basis! We were accompanied by Eno (not Brian!) having booked a package with Ijen Expedition Tours ... read more
With the sulphur sample given to us by a miner
Breaking up a slab before carrying it up the crater
The fizzure billowing acrid steam next to the acidic crater lake in the morning light

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