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Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later

11 December 2012

Categories : Culture and Heritage - Adventure

Experiencing Bali, Four Years Later

Dig far enough back through the archives on Go Backpacking, and you’ll find Bali was the first place in Asia I visited on my trip around the world. It was my first time in Asia, too, so the culture shock hit me hard and fast. Walking around Kuta my first day, I quickly learned to stop making eye contact with vendors and touts, and focus on going about my business. My hotel the first few nights had a beautiful swimming pool, complete with Swedish girls. I...

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Tag : Kuta Beach, Bali Spirit Festival

Komodo Dragons in the Wild

10 December 2012

Categories : Adventure - Hiking, Trekking, and Eco

Komodo Dragons in the Wild

The stories began on Rinca Island. A park ranger ambushed in his office when the door was accidentally left open. An elderly villager attacked. A local child killed. Our guides seemed to take it all in stride, having grown up amongst endangered Komodo monitors, the world’s largest living lizard, all their lives. As a visitor, I was both fascinated, and increasingly worried. The only tool guides carry to fend off aggressive Komodo dragons, as they are...

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Tag : Komodo National Park

Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java

10 December 2012

Categories : Adventure - Hiking, Trekking, and Eco - Sightseeing - Travelings

Mount Bromo: Visiting an Active Volcano in East Java

Stumbling out of bed, I skipped the shower, brushed my teeth, and stepped outside into the cool darkness. Craning my head toward the night’s sky, I was greeted with a scattering of white stars. It was a good sign. In a trip filled with early mornings, getting up at 3 AM to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo in East Java was the earliest. We’d been warned to dress warmly, as temperatures can drop close to freezing, but I didn’t even find a hat...

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Tag : Mount Bromo

A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta

10 December 2012

Categories : Sightseeing - Cuisine

A Behind the Scenes Look at Making Gudeg in Yogyakarta

The heat from the flames was almost unbearable, the lack of air circulation stifling. A surprisingly tall, young, shirtless man in flip-flops entered the room. Male or female, it was hard not to notice his abs, covered in sweat, and seemingly carved from stone. He deposited a shovel full of red-hot coals underneath one of the many large cooking pots, without a word, and left the room again. Walking into the kitchen of Gudeg Yu Djum, a famous restaurant in...

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Tag : Yogyakarta

Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple

7 December 2012

Categories : Sightseeing - Travelings - Culture and Heritage

Watching the Sunrise from Borobudur Temple

Approaching the stone steps of Borobudur Temple in the pre-dawn hours, the sky slowly began to lighten, revealing a blanket of grey clouds. Getting up at 4 AM was no longer about seeing a multi-colored sky, but experiencing one of Indonesia’s greatest cultural landmarks with as few people as possible. Borobudur Temple is the world’s largest Buddhist monument, its construction dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries (300 years before Cambodia’s...

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Tag : Borobudur