Page 2 of beetboxer Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Maninjau January 26th 2011

Sumatera has been a dream of ours for some time and to finally be here is wonderful. This place has delivered far more of the adventure than we expected to find and yet my spine is in quite some pain. There is a trans-sumatera highway that runs an incredibly zig-zaged path from Banda Aceh (north tip) to Banderlampung (south tip). There are few stretches where the road travels straight in any direction, you are always crawling uphill or hurtling downward at unsafe speeds and angles. From lake Toba we reached the unimpressive capital Medan with our one goal of obtaining Iron Maiden tickets. This goal was easily completed as the mall where they were sold was 2 km from our mini-hotel. In a stark juxtaposition the grand mosque of sumatera is across the street from where ... read more
maninjau
maninjau
maninjau

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba January 26th 2011

Seventy five thousand years ago a large volcano blew its top leaving a massive crater in North Sumatra. Near the middle of the crater a slow flow of lava trickled from beneath the earth's crust, forming a big lump that would become samosir island whenever the crater filled with water. Creation through destruction is the lesson volcanoes are here to teach us. The idea of violence in a place as peaceful as lake toba seems preposterous but when you hear old lore about canniblistic tribes deep in tropical jungles this is the source. Shamanism and consuming human flesh have been replaced churches and very emotive hymn singing as toba is the heartland of christianity in Indonesia. The first cross bearers weren't exactly welcome with open arms as the Batak people were protective of their territory. The ... read more
Toba
Toba
Toba

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Berastagi January 13th 2011

When i was 8 there was the school trip to ontario place at the end of the semester... pretty lame in retrospect. What i will never forget is viewing my first IMAX movie in the Cinesphere, The Pacific Ring of Fire. Mountainous volcanoes spewing lava all around tropical islands and filmed from a helicopter; it blew my young sense away and made me want to see these vast wild landscapes. Now we're here and its not quite as titillating as i thought it would be when i was a child but we did climb our first active volcano yesterday and it was beautiful and surreal. A relatively smaller mountain at 2095m above sea level, gunung (mountain) Sibayak was once taller but long ago blew its peak off and is now a wide Caldera with several peaks ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra January 9th 2011

While sitting in a hammock you hear goats under the deck, a gentle lapping of the sea and the shrill screams of an insane local as she beats her dogs and it dawns on you how truly strange a place you are in. The sultry allure of weh warps your perception of time and space as all that you could want or do is within view of your front door. The only difficult things to come by are beer and a reason to ever leave. Unlike the nearly all of asia there are no motor bikes, no "tour guides" trying to sign you up for a jungle trek, and no hassles in general. Usually you have to put up with a big pile of annoyance to be surrounded by such beauty but not here. From the ... read more
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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pulau Weh January 1st 2011

so where to begin? We are no longer sick and in sumatra. our second trip to malaysia was short and very sweet. The goats at permaculture perak were stubborn but we once again made them our friends and had them eating out of our hands. Christmas was a small but merry time celebrated with fun folks from around the world. we feasted on a far from traditional dinner of stir fry, prawns and water buffalo bbq. After the buzzing streets of bangkok the highland jungle was the perfect place for respite and rejuvenation. we parted from our farm friends grudgingly but recharged and ready for the sumatran gauntlet. that lies ahead. leading up to the flight from kuala lumpur to banda aceh it felt as though a dark expanse of unknown lay before us. it was ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok December 6th 2010

UPDATE: MASSIVE IMAGE UPLOAD FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PERUSE! And: Jenna does not have Malaria or dengue or scrap! She has some bizarre combination of a cold and virus and possibly parasites but is on the mend. Now this may sound worse but its not, i assure y'all. Also... i am coming down with one of the afflictions she had but also will be fine. Cheers! Our return to Thailand gave us much to look forward to. The food is fresh, bright, delicious and everywhere. There are many consumer items available easily that are quite hard to find even in Malaysia. And of course the return of one of our favourite games... punch-pink-polo. Much like punch buggy for a volkswagon beetle but whenever we see a man wearing a pink polo shirt the goal is ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok November 28th 2010

The trip back into this metropolis went as smooth as silk. Our bus ride was uneventful and the drivers didn't try to swindle us out of money or take us to fake border crossings. There is a smorgasbord of problems associated with the border we used that include fully functional fake border offices and bus stations. Aside from the crossing proceeding at a snail's pace, taking over 2 hours which is slow even for Cambodia, the experience was painless. While in line we witnessed diplomats arguing with a military officer who was trying to force them to line up with the rest of us plebeians much to the diplomats dismay. They eventually got their way with enough complaining however. The cherry on top of the trip was that our bus dropped us off right smack in ... read more
Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap November 23rd 2010

For starters let me say that we were not in Phnom Pehn or near it when a stampede of people on a newly opened bridge killed 395 and injured 250 people. I don't know what kidn of Khmer news gets around the world but its has "gone viral"over here and everyone is talking about it. Here's the link from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/22/cambodia-stampede-phnom-penh?intcmp=239 Bon um Tok, or Water Festival, is the most celebrated holiday in Cambodia.. even more than Tet, the Buddhist new year. Every country in this region has boat races on the swollen waterways at the end of the rainy season to celebrate it's retreat. this year the season was not as wet and later than usual but that dosen't hamper anyones enthusiasm. When we were in Lao they had their boat races and when ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » East » Banlung November 22nd 2010

It has been a week since we left Ratanakiri and there is still mud on many articles of our clothing... it seems to have bonded molecularly or something. Our guide book said that the red dust and mud would stay with you but i figured that to be more metaphorical and was incorrect. Much like Chi Phat, ban lung is geared up for eco-tourism of all kinds. We wished to do a 2 day kayaking trip along tonle sap river but the company running tours wouldn't drive out to base camp because the previous day they had almost lost their vehicle to the mud. In the rainy season there is little to no access for vehicles except motorbikes and well equipped 4x4s. The roads get graded by the same trucks we use as snowplows in Canada ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » Central November 11th 2010

And off the road for that matter. The tiny village of Chi Phat. nestled in the southern Cardamom mountains, is accessible only by river boat or dirt "road" (on the back of a dodgy motorbike) so we opted for the Boat. The village is part of a project to end poaching and deforestation by giving remote villagers jobs in eco-tourism rather than destroying their locale for much needed income. An NGO initiated and oversees the program but locals operate the facilities and tours. They offer 1-5 day treks using a combination of kayak, bicycle and hiking in whatever arrangement you want. The people who make their way here are an "üp for it" crowd as there is nothing else in the area tourists frequent. For us the village was very reminiscent of Laos; a self-organized community ... read more




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