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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First Time in Seoul

It was supposed to be an easy trip. Back in November last year when my perennial travel buddy, James, and I were planning a short escape from Jakarta in April, we were sorting through places that neither of us had ever been to and would […]

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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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Advance Australia Fare

Australia is called Down Under for an obvious reason: it is relatively remote on the world map. Its biggest cities – Sydney and Melbourne – are located on the other side of globe from many of the world’s major cities in Europe and North America, […]

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A Pilgrimage to Purity

Remember the dream I took you into not long ago? Remember that bright vermilion color amid the lush green foliage? Remember Inari and the foxes? That was just the beginning of a journey to a magical realm I’m about to show you. No, I’m not […]

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Remembering the Fallen

What is a hero? Perhaps it is someone who, because of personal reasons and sentiments, is generally revered and exalted, someone whose name is mentioned with adoration and endearment. Our mother, father, brothers, sisters, lover, spouse, uncles, aunts, and teachers are among those some of […]

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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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A Vermilion Dream

Imagine being in a lush forest where two parallel paths are laid before your eyes. The one on the right has seemingly endless rows of torii (a type of gate usually found at Shinto shrines in Japan), and so does the left one, although peeking […]

87 comments