Bali Temples and Holy Sites: The Obscure

My previous post on the Jatiluwih rice fields and their interlinking water temples made me think of all the beautiful Bali temples and holy sites Sam and I have visited over the past few years — some before we ever came to live in Indonesia. Our list is still super sparse when compared to the huge…

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The Weird and Wonderful: Rain Forest Walk in Balikpapan

Indonesia has the world’s third largest tropical forest, after the Amazon and the Congo. And lucky us, we currently live in Kalimantan, a/k/a Borneo, where the rain forests cloister species still being discovered; currently our island — the third largest in the world — is home to a huge range of flora and fauna found nowhere…

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Balikpapan Haze: The Indonesia Air Pollution Problem

Indonesia air pollution is a major topic this year, especially for those of us living under the smoky clouds. Unlike countries such as China or the USA, where air pollution is caused largely from coal factories and automobile exhaust, here in Indonesia, the the major air pollution culprit is slash and burn farming. Slash and…

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Hiking Trails in the Mountain Town of Munduk, Bali

Two things I love the most about the tiny, mountain town of Munduk: the amazing hiking and the day-to-day activities going on all around. Here, for the most part, people couldn’t care less about the ogling tourists in their “Bali” pants, snapping photos beside waterfalls and limitless scenic vistas. Whatever. They’ve got coffee cherries to…

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Exploring North Bali: Gilimanuk to Pemuteran

The little town of Pemuteran in northwest Bali reminds me of Bali when I was a young girl: still a tad touristy, but retaining an authentic, Real-People-Live-Here vibe. And compared to  the uber visited areas of south Bali, it feels a world away. It’s peaceful. A bit more gentle and easy going. Definitely less touristy….

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The Java to Bali Ferry: How to reach it and what to expect

We recently took the Java to Bali ferry from Banyuwangi, Java to Gilianuk, Bali, and though the trip was more or less an accident, we are so glad that we chanced upon the experience! Most people arrive in Bali via the Denpasar airport: Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport. Perhaps because of this, the most developed…

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Mystical Stones of Borneo

Stone jewelry sales have exploded in Indonesia; particularly for men, who love to wear enormous stone rings and/or stone pendants strung with gold or silver chains. Within the sixteen months we’ve been in Balikpapan (East Kalimantan Indonesia), we’ve noticed a marked increase in stores and little stalls selling various raw and polished stones within the local markets…

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