Tag Archives for hot springs


Getting the Seasons Wrong in Wudalianchi


“Can we see the cranes?” I ask Zhang Wei, in my still resolutely rubbish Chinese. “They’re not here,” he replies, driving at a pace so glacial I wonder whether he’s secretly Australian. Bugger! Spring has come late to this part of China, which means we’ve come to Wudalianchi early. Way too early. The cranes aren’t […]


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 […]


The Great Hot Springs Disaster

clouds and mist overhanging volcanic gorge, ruteng, flores, indonesia

The rhythms of life at the convent in Ruteng do not encourage sloth. The sisters start their day early, in their cells up the hill, and long before dawn, according to the typed roster that hangs beneath a particularly dyspeptic portrait of Pope Benedict, they are up buying bread, preparing breakfast and cleaning rooms. After […]


Mr. Confidence

Z, grinning, coming off slide with rubber ring. Poring Hot Springs, Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia.

Sometimes, something happens which makes you look at your child with new eyes. This morning, Z and I were at Poring Hot Springs, the sulphurous waters which seethe out of the jungly lowlands in the shadow of Mount Kinabalu. They function, if not as a panacea, at least as a salve for muscles recovering from […]


Hot Springs, Tamarinds and Tricycles


So here we are in the Philippines, on the little island of Marinduque to the south of Luzon, experiencing the Pilipino Easter in all its crazy pagan-Catholic magic. Flagellants, crucifixions and, erm, an Easter Sunday beauty contest? Only in the Philippines… And, best of all, Z has his grandparents along too! We bumped into Granny […]