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”

The small plane of Garuda Airlines, an ATR type aircraft, ascended from Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java, to a beautiful morning with clear skies. It was a good thing that the seat number given to me was a left window seat and a little behind the wing of the plane. I looked out the window and all I can see was sloped greenery but in a few minutes, the outline of a volcano came into view. As it rounded the mountain, to my bewilderment,…Continue Reading “Seeing eight of East Java’s volcanoes in one hour”

I’ve always wanted to explore the Gili Islands, Bali’s more laid back sister popular for its marine life. The Gilis consists of three islands: Gili Trawangan, the party island and the biggest of the three, Gili Meno in the middle, and Gili Air, its name derived from the Bahasa for water because it is the only one with underground fresh water. It’s located northwest of Lombok. Cars and motorcycles are prohibited via a local ordinance and the main transportation around these islands are either bikes…Continue Reading “Swimming with the fishes and more at Lombok’s Gili Islands”