All posts filed under: Southeast

Trowulan: Beauty in Red Brick

I am standing in front of Candi Tikus, its red brick structure almost entirely below ground level as if the earth was purposefully dug out so that it could fit inside. A flight of stairs made from the same material acts as the only entrance […]

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Trowulan: An Ancient Javanese City

“You’re the only person I know who comes to Mojokerto to see its ancient ruins.” Monica expressed her amusement over dinner at a modest, dimly-lit local restaurant in the East Javan city. I knew her from college and this was only the second time we […]

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10 Years in Jakarta

How much can a city change in ten years? If it’s physical appearance we’re talking about, unless it is Dubai, Singapore or places in China, the changes – notably the skyline – in most cities are usually not too palpable. But how much can a […]

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Belitung through My Phone

  Have you ever wondered whether or not you should bring your camera before leaving the house for a trip? And when your decision is to go without it have you ever regretted it? This happened to me on a company outing almost two years […]

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Surabaya: Brash and Brave

Once upon a time in the 12th century, a Javanese oracle foresaw an epic fight between a giant shark and a giant crocodile in the Brantas River in eastern Java. About a century later, an event interpreted as the manifestation of this prophecy occurred: the […]

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Hoi An: A Revived Old Beauty

Four hours after leaving the onetime imperial capital of Hue, we arrived at the outskirts of our final destination in central Vietnam. The pockmarked roads were quite a contrast to the smooth streets of Da Nang, the country’s third largest city. We were in fact […]

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Banjarmasin: A Flood of Memories

How does it feel to go back to a city you left three decades ago? Will you remember anything? Will you recognize some places? To begin this story let me take you back in time, 32 years ago to be precise. Due to his work […]

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Blitar under the Radar

In an age of mass tourism like today, places with stately, magnificent landmarks that are hundreds or even thousands years old draw people from all over the world to come and visit, marvel at the impressive monuments, and feel that they’ve become part of the […]

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Radya Pustaka: A Forlorn Museum

Try to gather 100 people and ask them the following questions: “Who wants to go to the beach?” Most of them would probably raise their hands. Then ask, “Who wants to go to the malls?” Maybe only 50 to 60 people are keen on the […]

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Javanese Royal Palaces: Mangkunegaran

What happens when a claimant of a region is excluded from a treaty that officially divides it into smaller parts? As history suggests, this person will keep fighting for what they believe is rightfully theirs. The success of that usually depends on how much power […]

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Javanese Royal Palaces: Yogyakarta

On August 15, 1945, people across Japan, at that time an empire encompassing large swathes of Asia, heard something they considered unthinkable. The once formidable power officially surrendered to the Allies in an announcement made by Emperor Hirohito himself. Very early the next day in […]

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Javanese Royal Palaces: Surakarta

Considering the total population of Java today, one might be startled to realize just how many people live on this Indonesian island. Java’s land area is slightly smaller than Florida, and just a little bit bigger than the whole of Greece. However, while the Sunshine […]

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