Indonesia


Monkey forest bali tourists 2
It is no wonder that Bali is often called the ‘island of gods’. Every corner of it abounds with temples, beautiful beaches, ancient customs and some lip-smacking food. At the center of all this is Ubud, which was relatively unknown until Elizabeth Gilbert decided to find true love there.   While Ubud is nowadays a haven for vegans, yogis and other spiritual creatures, there is also another group of primates which have called Ubud their home much before them. Oh yeah, even before Elizabeth Gilbert got here after India.   The crab-eating macaques of the sacred monkey forest. Or as […]

Beyond the Monkeys of the Monkey Forest: Ubud, Bali


Kecak firedance uluwatu 2
In Ron Fricke’s ‘Baraka’ – which incidentally was also one of the movies that set off the wanderlust in me– there is a mysterious and esoteric sequence from Bali. A group of bare-chested Indonesian men sat in a semi-circular huddle wearing the checked Balinese sarong and a flower in their ear – and sang a peculiar song which only had the sounds of ‘cak cak cak’. As visually captivating as ‘Baraka’ is, the scene also was an aural delight. The chants echoed through the open courtyard of the temple, and there was something else about the whole scene. Something that […]

Chasing the rhythm of the Kecak in Uluwatu. A Bali story.


Just a short ferry ride away from Singapore, lies an oft-visited weekend destination named Bintan. And in a less-explored trikora beach, lies a lesser known hideway called – tantalizingly – ‘Shady Shack’. Enough of suspense-filled opening narratives. Let’s get on with the blogpost, shall we? Riau Archipelago, Indonesia For some of you who live in Singapore, I wouldn’t be surprised if you believed that the Riau islands – which include Bintan – was a part of Singapore. And to some extent, there is some historical credibility to this misinformation too. Bintan is a part of  the Riau archipelago which – along […]

A Shady Shack on Trikora Beach: Bintan, Indonesia   Recently updated !



tough mudder bali indonesia
I was no stranger to Bali. But I knew this trip was going to be different. It was for the Toughmudder in Bali. Oh yeah. Waaaayyyy different! As I sat on the window seat of the Airasia flight, on a turbulent Friday night, it slowly dawned on me that the turbulence was more inside me, than outside. This was probably the 4th time that I was visiting Bali. I have rode a motorbike through the entire island in the past, and even stopped here on the way to my epic trip in East Timor. I had seen pretty much every […]

Getting muddy in the Island of Gods: Toughmudder in Bali


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My legs are cramped. I am unceremoniously woken up to the sight of a blank arrival card, which I need to fill up. And the smell of a prebooked meal, consisting of chicken and some dry pieces of vegetables thrown in together, with some kind of a barbeque sauce to cover everything. With the heavy turbulence that I am experiencing currently, I have no idea how that chicken is going to end up in my mouth. I MUST be on an airasia flight to Bali. A tiring week had ensured that I slept off the moment I had taken  my […]

Sunset or Sunrise? : Campuhan Ridge walk in Ubud, Bali


Galungan celebrations in Bali 2
The first time I visited Bali was at the end of March 2013. The date is critical, because it coincided with one of the best Balinese local festivals, which is simply named, the Galungan. I have previously written about other colorful festivals in the South East Asia region, namely Masskara, Panagbenga and Thaipusam, so a post on Galungan is highly apt.   ============================================================== Check out images from the Campuhan ridge walk in Bali! ==============================================================   Indonesia is mostly a Muslim country, but the island of Bali is unique with its Hindu majority and hence remarkably different customs from the rest […]

Images from the Galungan Festival : Bali, Indonesia



Waterfront ferry terminal in Bintan 2
When in Singapore, the closest international getaway for most people is to Johor Bahru, in Malaysia, where Singaporeans tend to settle down to the cheap food and shopping. All you had to do was cross the border from Singapore, and there are even public buses that you could take, costing just 1 SGD. Johor will have to be another blog post, but for now, am going to talk about another international getaway. Just 40 minutes by ferry,  lies the Indonesian island of Batam, which for long was considered as a sex-tourism getaway for Singaporeans. Thankfully, not anymore. According to news […]

A weekend getaway at Harris Resort : Batam, Indonesia


Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon 2
Everybody is doing it. So, I might as well.   To recount a year is difficult, and especially when it is a year like 2013 which was nothing short of momentous. I checked my hard disk to find out that I have travelled to a total of 14 countries this year, and the total pictures in my hard disk totalled up to 32000! So, what better way to recount a year, than to show it in pictures.   January The Thaipusam festival is one of the most bizarre festivals that one can imagine. I have been wanting to check out […]

2013: My year in travel photos