Visiting Tana Toraja – an unforgettable stop on your Sulawesi trip

“Do you know the story of why the Torajan people have houses with roofs shaped like boats? It’s said that our ancestors arrived from the north in a fierce storm and their boats were badly damaged, so much so that they couldn’t take to sea again. So instead they used the boats as shelter.” Tana…

Whale-watching in the Lembeh Straits, Sulawesi

The limpid waters of the Lembeh Straits lapped the black sands of Tangkoko as our outrigger canoe pushed out in search of pilot whales. The fuzzy edges of the nearby volcano slowly sharpened into view as dawn broke over this little-visited corner of Indonesia’s 17,000 or so islands. The hot roti hurriedly  collected from a…

A Sulawesi state of mind (tips for where to visit in Sulawesi)

What image does the word Sulawesi conjure up for you? Have you even heard of it? Maybe if you’re older you might know it by the names of Celebes. Sulawesi is one of the largest islands in the Indonesian archipelago, oddly shaped like an octopus or spider. Its northern tip and southern province welcome some tourists…

A dream fulfilled at Borobudur

It’s been a long-time dream of mine to visit Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple in Central Java and a few weeks ago my dream was finally fulfilled. I couldn’t quite believe I was there, just 12 hours after arriving in Yogyakarta after a very long journey from the UK. Borobudur is one of Java’s…

2 weeks in Java and Sulawesi – trip highlights in photos

The stupas of Borobudur, central Java The incredible Hindu temple of Prambanan, central Java The keraton (sultan’s palace) in Yogyakarta Javanese dance in Surakarta An amazing sunrise boat ride spotting pilot whales, Tangkoko national park, North Sulawesi   Relaxing in paradise a.k.a. Bunaken island, North Sulawesi The fascinating cliff burials of Tana Toraja, Sulawesi Torajan…

Next stop Indonesia!

It’s #WanderfulWednesday again (it seems to come round quicker every week!). If you love travelling and want to inspire and share your stories with others, this is the Blog Hop for you! Visit any of the blogs listed below to read this week’s posts. In just over a week I’ll be heading east to a…

Heading east this autumn – please share your Indonesia tips!

Photo credit – Flickr creative commons I’m very happy to say that a destination I’ve had on my radar for a while will become a reality this September. We’re off to Indonesia for 2 weeks and I can’t wait! We’ll be spending time on Java and Sulawesi, although we’re still pinning down the details. Borobudur…

Explore the Lakshadweep Islands – camping on your own desert island

I never had the Robinson Crusoe fantasy, until I laid eyes on Thinnakara, a tiny coral island in the Lakshadweep islands, 200 kms off the Keralan coast. The Lakshadweep islands are the Maldives without the intensive tourism.  They form the northern tip of the same chain of coral islands and atolls and were known as…

How to uncover Cochin’s secrets (and shop where Prince Charles did)

Cochin is fascinating, if you have time to do more than scratch the surface. Intriguing stories hide behind every door, in overgrown graveyards and Hindu temples, old lighthouses that are now hotels, fishermen’s shacks and tiny art galleries. Sitting in the garden of a hotel way over my budget (some fresh grilled fish in the…

Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India

India is not an easy place to get a grasp on in a few days. From the crowded southermost tip at Kanyakumari to the relatively chilled-out streets of Fort Cochin, it’s a puzzle and not a place I find easy to write about. And if the south is supposedly India’s laidback cousin, I can’t even…

10 Kerala photos to tide you over

It’s nearly two months since I came back from Kerala, and I haven’t written anything about it. Well, that’s not strictly true. I’ve started a couple of drafts, I’ve though about the places I’d like to share, but somehow it’s just not flowing…yet. So, in the meantime, I’m sharing ten of my favourite Kerala photos…

Kerala-bound

Image source: Amit Rawat- Flickr Creative Commons It’s not been the easiest year. Travel is an escape, although not one that everyone can afford. Right now I need that change of scenery. It’s been a dark, dreary November without much sunlight (although we’re doing better than Stockholm with only 1.8 hrs!). Light, colour and warmth…