Adventures in Indonesia

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A Postcard from Bali

When you meet locals here they ask you “How long have you been in Bali?” Not, “How long have you been in Indonesia?” This is perhaps because the majority of tourists fly into Bali directly, as opposed to coming overland (or, more accurately, over-sea, from other parts of Indonesia), but I think it is also because locals self-identify as Balinese, rather than Indonesian, and see themselves as a very much a separate entity to the…

This man isn't in any of the stories, I just really like the photo!

Travel Snippets: The Goat Man, two taxi drivers and a rude laundry man.

This is, hopefully, the first of a new series. I have so many little encounters with people, but only a small percentage ever make their way onto here, as they are, more often than not, just singular events rather than part of a wider narrative. So I’m hoping this will be a way for me to tell these stories. Let me know what you think! The Goat Man, Yogyakarta When I was staying at Yabbiekayu,…

NEVER AGAIN | VISITING S21 AND THE KILLING FIELDS IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA | TRAVEL BLOG LINK-UP

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Tales from Myanmar

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Myanmar: The Useful Stuff 

Myanmar is changing so fast that up-to-date information about the country is hard to find. For instance, most of the guidebooks still say ATMs are scarce (they aren’t), and that the bus from Yangon to Bagan takes 8 to 9 hours (the road has been repaved and it now only takes 6). So this is all the useful information I could think of, all accurate from my trip in February / March 2015. I hope…

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A Tour of Inle Lake | Thoughts on Sustainability

A red and blue school bag hanging from a wooden post, reflected in the water. A woman, squatting on one of the wooden steps leading from the water up to her house, washing plates in a pale blue plastic bowl. The sound of pop music wafting in and out of earshot with the breeze. A tiny boy, standing at one end of a long wooden boat, carefully rowing between the houses. A man leaning over…

A POSTCARD FROM SINGAPORE

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Stylish Stays

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Yabbiekayu Homestay | Eco-friendly bungalows in Yogyakarta | An Airbnb Review

This place really is something special. It’s the sort of place you never want to leave, and when you eventually do, you instantly wish you were back there. Yabbiekayu is an eco-friendly homestay in Tembi, a village just outside Yogyakata in Java. It’s owned and run by Dave Hodgkin, an Aussie ex-pat who is based there but spends a great deal of time travelling with his disaster relief company. He was in Nepal while I…

Pages from my Travel Diary

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On learning to enjoy dining alone

I read a blog post recently which advised solo travellers to snack a lot, so they don’t have to eat out and therefore feel more alone. This, and one other piece of “advice” which I’ll write about separately, infuriated me. I mean, seriously? How miserable does that sound?  Sitting alone in your room munching on a cereal bar, rather than going out and eating some hot, delicious food? I’m going to break it to you,…

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On souvenirs and marital advice | Travel Link-up 

“Don’t come to Istanbul on your honeymoon. There is too much to see and then when you get back to your hotel you are too tired…” I don’t know about you but I rather enjoy a little bit of marital advice along with my souvenir purchases. I’d even go so far as to say I now expect it. This is because on both our trip to India, and our trip to Istanbul, Joe bought cushion…

Blogroll

automat edited

On learning to enjoy dining alone

I read a blog post recently which advised solo travellers to snack a lot, so they don’t have to eat out and therefore feel more alone. This, and one other piece of “advice” which I’ll write about separately, infuriated me. I mean, seriously? How miserable does that sound?  Sitting alone in your room munching on a cereal bar, rather than going out and eating some hot, delicious food? I’m going to break it to you,…

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A Postcard from Bali

When you meet locals here they ask you “How long have you been in Bali?” Not, “How long have you been in Indonesia?” This is perhaps because the majority of tourists fly into Bali directly, as opposed to coming overland (or, more accurately, over-sea, from other parts of Indonesia), but I think it is also because locals self-identify as Balinese, rather than Indonesian, and see themselves as a very much a separate entity to the…

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This man isn't in any of the stories, I just really like the photo!

Travel Snippets: The Goat Man, two taxi drivers and a rude laundry man.

This is, hopefully, the first of a new series. I have so many little encounters with people, but only a small percentage ever make their way onto here, as they are, more often than not, just singular events rather than part of a wider narrative. So I’m hoping this will be a way for me to tell these stories. Let me know what you think! The Goat Man, Yogyakarta When I was staying at Yabbiekayu,…

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Myanmar: The Useful Stuff 

Myanmar is changing so fast that up-to-date information about the country is hard to find. For instance, most of the guidebooks still say ATMs are scarce (they aren’t), and that the bus from Yangon to Bagan takes 8 to 9 hours (the road has been repaved and it now only takes 6). So this is all the useful information I could think of, all accurate from my trip in February / March 2015. I hope…

Read More
yabbiekayu cover

Yabbiekayu Homestay | Eco-friendly bungalows in Yogyakarta | An Airbnb Review

This place really is something special. It’s the sort of place you never want to leave, and when you eventually do, you instantly wish you were back there. Yabbiekayu is an eco-friendly homestay in Tembi, a village just outside Yogyakata in Java. It’s owned and run by Dave Hodgkin, an Aussie ex-pat who is based there but spends a great deal of time travelling with his disaster relief company. He was in Nepal while I…

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Borobudur, Indonesia: Tofu, pigeon racing and “poo” coffee. 

A colossal Buddhist monument blah blah blah overlooking green paddy fields blah blah blah awe-inspiring piece of architecture blah blah blah. I found Borobudur itself rather underwhelming. Perhaps I’ve just seen too many temples at this point, or perhaps it was down to waking up at 4.10am to see this spectacular sunrise: Totally NOT worth it. But for whatever reason the highlight of my time in Borobudur ended up not being the temple itself, but…

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A Postcard from Yogyakarta

I find changing countries as I travel an unnerving experience, even with ones that are physically and culturally close to each other. I get settled into countries. I figure out the currency, and how to convert amounts quickly back into pounds. I learn to say “hello” and “thank you” in the local language, and how to appropriately greet people. I learn the rules for visiting religious sites, what to wear and how to behave. I…

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On souvenirs and marital advice | Travel Link-up 

“Don’t come to Istanbul on your honeymoon. There is too much to see and then when you get back to your hotel you are too tired…” I don’t know about you but I rather enjoy a little bit of marital advice along with my souvenir purchases. I’d even go so far as to say I now expect it. This is because on both our trip to India, and our trip to Istanbul, Joe bought cushion…

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A Postcard from Singapore

On my way to the airport my tuk-tuk ran out of petrol. We had to pull over on the side of the hot, sweaty highway, and I had to wait while my driver flagged down a fellow tuk-tuk driver who funnelled some of his petrol into a water bottle, and poured it into our tank. We then continued on, my driver nosing his way aggressively between the haphazard assortment of vans, cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks…

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Travel advice from three months on the road.

Last week marked three months since I landed in Yangon and began this trip. In an odd moment of symmetry I arrived at Singapore Changi airport almost exactly three months to the day since I was first there, waiting for my connecting flight to Myanmar. I remember my jitteriness, how I had to force myself to think just one small step ahead, as thoughts of what I was attempting to do in its entirety would…

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Sinkeh

Sinkeh Guesthouse | A bold 19th century shophouse conversion | Airbnb Review 

Step back, we have a winner! This is officially my favourite place I’ve stayed in this trip, possibly ever, including the much pricer, more luxurious boutique hotels I’ve treated myself to. It’s called Sinkeh, is in Georgetown Penang, and is a guesthouse I found on Airbnb. “Sinkeh” means “newcomer” in the Hokkien dialect which was spoken by a group of Chinese immigrants who came to Penang in the 19th and early 20th century, and is…

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