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Category Archives:Asia

The Many Friendly Faces of Indonesia

friendly faces of indonesia header

Indonesia is stacked with glorious hidden beaches, island escapes, and more adventure than I care to dream about. But when I visited Indonesia last year, what blew me away was the incredible friendliness extended my way by the locals.

I’m not talking about stall holders who are being friendly because they want you to buy a $3 pair of genuine Ray Bans (I did that anyway). And I’m not talking about the people paid to be there.

I’m talking about the people going about their daily life who just want to say hi. It was the unexpected highlight of my vacation in Indonesia. Continue Reading

VW Safari Tour: A unique way to explore Bali

Bali is beaches.

Bali is parties.

This is much of what makes up the reputation of the island in Australia. But it is not entirely accurate. I mean, it is accurate, but there’s so much more to island than that.

I had a couple of days in Bali, and while it was not near long enough to truly experience all that it has to offer, I was able to have a lot of fun without lazing on the beach and hitting the night clubs dripping with cheap Bintangs.

VW convertibles filling the Mercure Bali car park.
VW convertibles filling the Mercure Bali car park.

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Komodo National Park by boat

I’m just going to come out and say it. Sailing around Komodo National Park was without doubt the highlight of my whirlwind tour of Indonesia.

We flew into Labuan Bajo from Tanjung Pinang (Bintan Island) via an overnight stop in Bali on what was one of the most spectacular flights of my life. It was only half an hour from Bali so I’m not sure we even got to cruising altitude. But on the way, we passed many islands and many mountains. This is Mount Rinjani and was shot out of the window of the plane.

Mount Rinjani from the plane window
Mount Rinjani from the plane window

After a couple of days as landlubbers, it was time to find our sea legs out in the Flores Sea.

Sarah Feeling free sailing through Komodo National Park

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Mixing Culture with Adventure on Bintan Island, Indonesia

About a 75 minute ferry ride from Singapore lies Bintan Island, home to (it seems) as many Chinese and Singaporeans as Indonesians, simply due to geography. And to be honest, even though I was expecting rural, after only a few days in Jakarta I was still taken aback at the contrast from the big city.

Driving from the airport showed a completely different side of Indonesia I did not expect (but probably should have). The earth was a rich red, not unlike outback Australia. The township was very rustic, old, and full of square, concrete buildings with very minimal infrastructure. Continue Reading

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