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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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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Hiking Bukit Dinding off Samarinda Road, Kilometer 45

Bukit Dinding (Wall Hill) is a stunning backbone of boulders arching above East Kalimantan’s rain forest, about an hour and twenty minute’s drive from downtown Balikpapan. Pak Yayan has been telling us about this place for months, and since Sam had a weekend off to go further from camp, we said, “Let’s do it!” Now, the title…

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Trekking to Kali Waterfall in Manado, Sulawesi

  Kali Waterfall (“Air Terjun Kali”) is located in the rain forest surrounding Kali village, about twenty or so minutes from downtown Manado. Along the way to Kali, tarps spread with freshly plucked cloves (“Cengki”) dry in the sun. Sulawesi is one island west of the famed Spice Islands, where Columbus himself set sail for,…

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Manado: Touring the Minahasa Highlands

The Minahasa Highlands begin about one hour’s drive inland from North Sulawesi’s capital city of Manado. And while most visitors fly into Manado for its world-class diving venues, the Minahasa Highlands offer something completely different: volcano trekking, white-water rafting, extreme cuisine, moss-covered jungle hikes and glorious waterfalls are just some of the choices. And if you’ve got…

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Hash House Harriers in Balikpapan: HASH Mash

For the uninitiated, The Hash House Harriers (A/K/A “Hash”) is an international running group dating back to the late 1930’s when some rowdy British expats in Malaysia decided they needed a way to sweat off their hangovers. Despite these beginnings (or perhaps, because of them), hashes are now going strong around the world, with over…

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Thirty Meters High at Bukit Bangkirai (Balikpapan’s Canopy Bridge)

About a two hour’s drive north of Balikpapan city central lies one of East Kalimantan’s tourist draws: the canopy bridge walk at Bukit Bangkirai. Bukit Bangkirai is actually a park within the rain forest, featuring log cottages for overnight stays, a small restaurant, restrooms, several [overgrown] jungle treks, a questionably maintained swimming pool and, for…

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