I’ve been visiting this landlocked province for the past few years, Abra. First upon the invitation of then Vice Governor Chari Bersamin, and I have been fortunate enough to visit its many pristine wonders. And this particular visit was just a whim, a short sidetrip to a more beautiful waterfall deep in the highlands of Tineg, my eventual destination. But when I saw this beautiful waterfall in Abra online, I was thrilled. Why not? I was in a race for time as I alighted from…Continue Reading “An almost hidden waterfall in Abra”

Just as what I wanted, an almost deserted and quiet beach, golden sand, the blue sky and the wide Andaman Sea. If not for hotel guests a few hundred meters away and the occasional beach comber, I would have this part of Mai Khao Beach all to myself. I love its quietness, a far cry from crowded Patong, Nai Harn, Kata and other beach strips around Phuket teeming with foreign tourists, beach lounge chairs and parasols. But the water was not as clear as I…Continue Reading “An almost deserted Mai Khao Beach in Phuket”

Bandung has so much surprises for the traveler and if you want something out of the ordinary, why not visit two volcanic craters? Kawah Putih and Tangkuban Perahu are two of the very accessible volcanoes in this city. Kawah Putih stuns with its white to bluish to greenish crater lake while Tangkuban Perahu, the drive up volcano, so to speak, gives you that raw feel. Kawah Putih I got excited when we were already heading to Ciwidey, passing through villages and fields as the temperature…Continue Reading “Two very accessible volcanic craters you can visit in Bandung”

I never thought it is possible to do a safari in Southeast Asia with real Asian big animals, well, other than the one in Calauit in Palawan which are actually imported African wildlife, until we visited Baluran National Park with its extensive lowland forest and savannah which covers around 40% of its total land area. Although I know of big Asian mammals, I was with the impression that these are all forest species. But I was wrong! There is actually a real savannah in East…Continue Reading “A savannah safari in East Java”

I was catching my breath as the stream of hikers in both directions were passing the narrow but stony path down to where the famous blue fire was. Hikers in trekking gear while others were in jeans and sneakers. I just didn’t mind the incessant offers of pieces of sulphur and gas mask. All I can think of was if it’s worth the risk considering my condition. It was already past 0430H and our main guide told me that it might no longer be advisable…Continue Reading “Fear and loathing climbing to the crater of Kawah Ijen”