Multi-colored volcanic lakes. Haunted resorts. The world's largest mud volcano. The world's most elaborate funerals. An abandoned chicken church and other abandoned structures. Yes, this is Indonesia Off The Beaten Path. When I arrived in Indonesia for the first time ever, I assumed one month would be long enough to see all there was worth seeing. HA! How wrong I was. Here it is many years later and I'm still finding new places to travel in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of those countries where for every one place you visit, you learn of two more places that you have to…
Indonesia is an amazingly vast and impressive country. When I first arrived here I thought one month would be enough. HA! How wrong I was. Six months later and I am still exploring this diverse country. Doing almost all of it by motorcycle, as well. Many Westerns are scared or worried about navigating the wild and unpredictable streets of Indonesia -- or any nation in Southeast Asia for that matter. Audrey of That Backpacker wrote a post about it several months back that further reinforced peoples' fears. However I'm here to tell you it's not as bad as you might…
Indonesia is a vast and diverse archipelago that continues to impress and surprise longtime expats and even locals. To think that because you've seen Jakarta and done Bali then you "know" Indonesia is to be sorely mistaken. As one expat told me: "Just when you think you're starting to understand Indonesia, that's when you realize you don't understand it at all." From amazing cultures and regional customs to a seemingly neverending variety of local cuisines, Indonesia is home to more diversity in some of it's larger islands than other nations have in their entirety. Especially when it comes to langauges…
Surviving Jakarta. It was afternoon when I arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta airport and first thing I did was get a cab. The most reliable taxis are the Silver Bird (the make is Mercedez-Benz, very comfortable), Blue Bird (the make is Toyota), and Express. Most locals will recommend this and only this for you. For the record, I took Silver Bird because my friend's uncle was the driver. Traffic In Jakarta One thing you will notice as soon as you get on the road is the traffic. Superbly congested in a nice way. You can see people along the road promoting…
Departing Phuket Island's harbor on a ferryboat A long tail boat near Phi Phi Island's shore Impressive sailboat visiting Phi Phi Don Phi Phi Island's harbor Green waters at Phi Phi Ley Island There's heavy traffic around Somebody boarded the boat A boat around Phi Phis Islands beachside
Do I need warm clothes? Do I need to bring my hiking boots? Or is my toothbrush, tickets and passport enough? In only a few days before I'm off to Thailand. I'm excited, chaotic and nervous. Its my third or fourth time that I will be visiting Thailand but I'm still worried. Worried I'll forget something. Now I have to pack my backpack and every time its a challenge. I always pack too much, but for the first time I’m going backpacking for a short time. Only two weeks, which means that I don’t need a lot and anything which…
Phuket is Thailand's largest island and an incredibly popular tourist destination. There is so much to see and do there that often visitors get overwhelmed and miss some of the best opportunities. From sports to excursions to local cuisine, there is plenty to do beyond the beaches. Truly Phuket is one destination that does not disappoint. Here is what not to miss during your next vacation to this beautiful island. Take A Thai Cooking Class Thai food is one of the most well known -- and loved -- of all Asian cuisines. It can be found in countries around the…
Visiting Bangkok at any time of year is a great choice. Visitors from around the world will enjoy the fascinating culture, incredible attractions and friendly residents regardless. However, planning a trip to Bangkok during the annual Songkran Festival is one of the best possible decisions you could make. Songkran Festival is the traditional New Year celebration in Thailand, and being in Bangkok during this time is a way to get an inside look at the incredible culture and traditions in this country. Whether you are interested in the spiritual and religious aspects of the holiday or you just can't wait…
Singapore is a small island city-state, which means that it quickly gets boring for uninformed travelers. Three days in Singapore, and you have literally done it all — or so you might think. But the next time you find yourself passing through Lion City, drop your bags off at a nice hotel in the best part of Singapore and then knock a few of these offbeat activities off your travel bucket list: Explore Pulau Ubin, the Last Kampung Singapore is a sprawling metropolis — at least the main island is. However, up north, next to Malaysia, lies the smaller island…
It's More Fun In The Philippines Let's get the basics out of the way first, for those of you new to the region (for the rest of you, just skip down two paragraphs). The Philippines is the world's 12th most populous nation, with a population of over 90 million as of 2008. An estimated figure of half of the population resides on the island of Luzon. Manila, the capital city, is the eleventh most populous metropolitan area in the world. Life expectancy is 71.23 years, with 73.6 years for females, and 69.8 years for males. Population growth rate between 1995…
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