Western Flores: Heading to the Dragons

Dry, hot, flat. As soon as we left the endless verdant hills of Manggarai, a vast expanse of flat plains scorching under the midday sun welcomed us. No more snaking roads with sharp… Continue reading

Manggarai: Life in The Land of Abundance

Amid the woods just outside the town of Ruteng in western Flores, a village was hidden from plain sight where dirt trails provided the sole telltale of a settlement behind the trees. Children were… Continue reading

Wogo and Bena: A Tradition Preserved

Leaving Ende with its mountains and blue pebble beaches we continued our journey westward to Bajawa, the capital of Ngada Regency on the island of Flores. Situated on the slopes of Mount Inerie… Continue reading

Ende: The Birthplace of Pancasila

With an area sprawling as far as 5,200 km (more than 3,200 miles) from east to west, dotted with more than 17,000 islands – including some of the world’s biggest, inhabited by more… Continue reading

Kelimutu: A Dream Fulfilled

“Konde… Ratu… We want to see you…” Dino taught us what the local people say every time they want to see the lakes of Kelimutu, often shrouded in thick mist more than 1,600… Continue reading

Sikka: Traces of A Kingdom

Dino skillfully drove the minivan through impossibly narrow roads, sandwiched between steep slopes and the southern beaches of eastern Flores, with patches of renovation work along the way to our destination. Sikka Natar… Continue reading

Flores: From Maumere to Komodo

As the propeller plane flew over the eastern part of the island of Sumbawa – Flores’ big neighbor to the west – Mount Sangeang Api emerged from the Flores Sea, puffing grey smoke… Continue reading

Tai O: Withstanding Rapid Change

Time moves in a constant pace, everything else changes along the endless tunnel of it, some do so faster than the others. When it comes to cities across the globe some places are… Continue reading

A Bat Cave Like No Other

Bli Komang took us along the main coastal road in eastern Bali where earlier that day he introduced us to what is now my favorite place on the island: Taman Ujung Sukasada. Passing… Continue reading

Food of the Fragrant Harbor Part 2: Little Treasures

On Earth, heaven can be found in idyllic tropical islands with turquoise water, picturesque villages amid green pastures on the slopes of snow-capped mountains, scenic freshwater lakes surrounded by verdant hills, or… in… Continue reading

The Tale of Two Temples

Set against the rocky coast of western Bali lies a sacred rock topped by a Hindu temple, a creation of the Majapahit priest, Nirartha, who fled Java to Bali in the 16th century.… Continue reading

Anniversary of the Big Durian

“I don’t want to work in Jakarta. Living there seems very stressful.” Those were the words I said to my friends back when we were still in college in Bandung, a big city… Continue reading

Places of Worship: Beyond the Structure

A massive man-made structure surrounded by green pastures emerged from afar, in the eastern part of Semarang near the city’s suburban region with a volcano lurking from behind. Four pointy small minarets stood… Continue reading

Food of the Fragrant Harbor Part 1: Earth & Sea

Hong Kong is known among Asian visitors as a gastronomers’ paradise. Apart from its world-renowned dim sum, countless local dishes await to be discovered and devoured beneath the endless skyscrapers – reason enough… Continue reading

Revisiting Bali’s Spiritual Monuments

A girl in Balinese traditional sarung for woman puts canang sari – a small basket of woven palm leaves filled with colorful petals and shredded pandan leaves – on the ground, then sprinkles… Continue reading