Category Archives for Indonesia

02Sep2014

Home Sweet Home? Ubud

Women processing to a ceremony in Ubud, Bali

New Year’s Day seems an appropriate time to head to Bali and start a new life – and, let’s face it, getting on a plane somewhere and not getting off it for another few weeks is an easier resolution to stick to than, say, giving up smoking. The plan is to head to Ubud, which […]

23Oct2012

What is Ubud Like? A Few Perspectives

Flower seller at Ubud Market

Embarrassingly for someone who writes for a living and has spent months in Ubud, I spectacularly failed the other night to answer the question “What is Ubud like?” Because the answer really does depend on your perspective. So here are a few perspectives on Ubud, the Balinese town where Elizabeth Gilbert found the “love” in […]

21Oct2012

Bali — A GREAT Place to Lose a Child

Flower-filled pond

When it comes to places to lose a child, I can confirm that Bali beats the hell out of Bulgaria and the UK. It’s not that I make a habit of losing children. Admittedly, I did once misplace someone else’s in the course of a sleepover. And I once inadvertently left my own child on […]

10Feb2012

The Friday Photo: Ready For Some Beach

Kuta-Lombok

The beaches in Kuta, Lombok, where we learned to surf, are some of the prettiest I’ve seen in Indonesia — even including the wonders of Pulau Derawan and Morotai. But the Middle East, where we’re headed next, has some amazing beaches, too. And, right now, I need me some of that.

06Sep2011

Comedy Highlights Of Motorbiking Asia With A Child

Z on our motorbike in Indonesia.

I have a bunch of funny motorbike stories from our trip across Indonesia and Timor Leste that I never got time to write up. Here’s a few of them. The Time I Drove Our Motorbike Into The Hotel Bar On arrival in Dili, Timor Leste, we were kind of knackered. There’s something about a challenging […]

06Aug2011

Our Last Hurrah

Flying Fox Ijen

All of a sudden, as we load up the bike and bump out of the coffee plantation and over the waterfall bridge, it feels as if we’re in a hurry. We’ve been meandering across Indonesia and around Timor Leste at a more or less leisurely pace these last few months. We’ve covered well over 5000k […]

04Aug2011

More Adventures in the Ijen: Escape from the Toxic Lake

Adventures in the Ijen

Before we can escape the lake of farts for the coffee plantation, there is, as ever, the little matter of our motorbike. After our ordeal getting up here, it is a) low on gas and, b) as I discover, with the assistance of a small-to-medium crowd of helpful chaps, almost completely out of oil. A […]

30Jul2011

20 Words to Get You (Almost) Anywhere in Indonesia

Indonesia Lead Image

I once ordered “fried p*ss” instead of “fried potatoes” in a restaurant. And, on presenting a landlady with her key, I announced, “I’m so sorry! Here’s your cat!”. So I’ve had my adventures in learning Indonesian. And, my Bahasa still isn’t pretty. All the same, if you’re thinking of getting off the beaten track in […]

26Jul2011

Z Versus the Lake of Farts

Z Versus the Lake of Farts

After our trials and tribulations getting to Ijen, the mountain refuge feels, well, gooooood… Basic, sure. But basic in a good, sweet, simple way. We’re aiming for a 4am start to climb up to Kawah Ijen, the sulphur crater lake we childishly call the “lake of farts”, with its dazzling views over the volcanoes of […]

23Jul2011

The Road to the Lake of Farts

Lake of Farts

Frankly, on arrival in Bali I feel like kissing the ground, Pope-style. Or, as Z puts it, “Civilisation! We’re back in civilization.” We have a lovely few days. Catch up with friends. Go to Waterbom. Develop a disturbing addiction to stuffed chilli peppers at what purports to be a Greek restaurant. Shop for a new […]