Category Indonesia

Stories Left Behind in Indonesia

THERE ARE LITTLE THINGS that slip between cracks when trying to keep up a blog. V and I have met a lot of genuine people, some for even just a few moments, who made an impression on us but whose stories got left behind after we moved on; they felt too short to justify full-length […]

Borobudur at Dawn

I DO NOT REGRET spending a total of $50 (40 for the ticket, 10 for the taxi) on the Borobudur Sunrise package, even though it’s almost twice the regular cost of admission, and here’s why: It’s literally unrepeatable. The much-vaunted experience is monopolized by the Manohara research group, which I know very little about but […]

Photo Essay: The Nearly Abandoned Theme Park of Surabaya, Indonesia

NOTHING ONLINE INDICATES that Ken Park, a huge swath of land in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, is actually abandoned. But you’d be blind to think it isn’t. There are signs for hotels that don’t seem to exist, enormous dollhouse-style corridors devoid of people, restaurant stalls left unattended. And it feels even emptier because of how […]

The Bus Across Java That Tortured Us Mentally, Physically and Somehow Culturally

THE REALIZATION THAT YOU WILL spend the next six hours (maybe seven? It’s not really clear) on a bus that certainly, at one point, has transported convicts to death row, and is indeed still probably haunted by their ghost terrors, is a sort of badge of honour in the travel world, something to offer a […]

Conversations Over Coffee at the Santi Agra Visata, Bali

THE BEST PART of the Santi Agra Visata coffee plantation is not the coffee, nor is it the stunning view of the sloping valleys of crops and wildlife behind their backyard picnic tables. What makes Santi worth a visit is the refreshing honesty of its owner, Wayan, a young Balinese man with gelled hair and […]

Welcome to the Bali Show

“IF YOU WANT TO SEE REAL BALI, Ubud is the right place,” our driver, Lemon, told us en route from the airport. It’s not like Kuta in the south, he explained — “That is not my culture,” he said, shaking his head at the notorious northern party beach — but a genuine place overflowing with […]