All posts filed under: explore

Travel like a local — insider’s tips on where to go and what to do

That’s the Spirit!

I’m no stranger to risk-taking—I have skydived from 4,000 metres high and gone bungee jumping. I frequently dive with sharks, and I even fell in love and got married. When adventure beckons, I brace myself, gear up and get going. Nevertheless, the concept of canyoning or canyoneering was foreign and a little bit scary for me.

Ride the Wake

As an adventurous water baby living on an island of endless summer, I owe it to myself to explore every waterhole and aqua activity. Be it scuba diving, surfing, white water rafting, snorkeling or waterfall hunting, I never turn down a chance to get wet and wild in Bali’s beautiful nature. I am hopeless at board sports and my knowledge of wakeboarding is practically non-existent, but when I was offered an experience at the Bali Wake Park, I descended from the highlands of Ubud in a heartbeat.

Ubud’s Top 10

Wake up to the rooster’s crow, catch the first rays of sunlight piercing through lush forests, caress the sparkling morning dews on the rice paddies, watch the town come alive and the locals go about their rituals… Ubud is a heaven on earth for travellers, a healing pit stop for wounded souls and a safe home to many hopeful dreamers. Let us take you to its heart; feel its pulsating core, leave a little love behind and take a piece of its magic with you.

Entering the Twilight Zone

My name is Meliana, and I’m an adrenaline-a-holic. I’ve ridden on some hair-raising roller coasters, gone on blind dates, bungee jumped into a dodgy pool, went for a moonlit stroll in a monkey forest and leaped from a perfectly good aeroplane at a height of 4,000 metres. I’m constantly googling my next fix in the hope that I will continue to get high on life…

Finding My Moyo

Despite being blessed with almost-infinite options for an island holiday–with 17,000 islands remaining uninhabited–very few Indonesian-archipelago explorers venture out of Bali, Lombok and Java. One of the reasons for this is the remoteness of these locales, which means rare and complicated transportation, very basic lodgings and amenities and unreliable logistics…

Banda in a Nutshell

The Indonesian edition of “Lonely Planet” introduces this country as “big, cheap, rough, and effortless.” By effortless we assume they mean that is is effortlessly beautiful; because there is nothing effortless about getting to the archipelago’s fabled spice islands: the Banda Islands…

Fleeing to Flores

I will always remember taking my first breath underwater. It is one of the most liberating and astounding sensations imaginable. Scuba diving marks the beginning of my lifelong love affair with the ocean. My mask opens a window to an exciting new world; my fins propel me into extraordinary journeys. Within two years, I’ve logged in more than a hundred dives in most of Indonesia’s top-notch dive sites, stretching from the pristine waters of Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, the infamous Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi, to my ultimate favourite: the sublime islands of Raja Ampat, West Papua…

Finding Mola

I shudder at the thought of hypothermia. At a chilly 19º Celsius and 30 metres down, my three-millimetre wetsuit is no match for the brutal thermocline: the wild temperature variations as steep as 8º Celsius in the space of mere metres. I rub my arms vigorously in an attempt to maintain my body temperature. We are on a hunt. Photo hunt, that is. “When I dive, I feel alive. Everything else is just a surface interval”, said Dr. Phil Nuytten, a renowned Canadian ocean explorer. A statement I can easily relate to. I am blessed, as I live in the highlands of Bali. For a scuba fanatic, it’s a dream come true. I often feel the need to descend from the hills to answer the call of the ocean and lubricate my lungs. The beauty of living on a tropical island is that world-class dive spots are simply a phone call and an hour’s drive away. Divers from all over the world congregate in Bali between July and October to catch a hopeful glimpse of the …