To lah or not to lah in Malacca

Location MapMalacca is a fantastic short trip from Kuala Lumpur Airport, from Singapore or even as a means for transiting between the two. The old town is colourful, full of character, history and even hip cafes and guesthouses. You’ll find as little or as much as you need to keep yourself amused for a few days.
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Just a Vanilla in Manila

image “Why go to Manila?”, is what everyone asked me. With all the beautiful islands of the Philippines why did I choose to go there? Well the answer was simple: I had a death wish – no I’m just kidding! The truth was that I only had a handful of days and I figured that getting to the islands would burn too much time and end up being rushed. Going to Manila meant I could have a home base, I could day trip when I wanted and I knew someone there. Cities are about who you know and who you meet anyway.
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Ha Long Bay

image We cruised for three days through the maze of islands that is Ha Long Bay. One moment we’d be in wide open water, the next we sailed through a pass and discovered another bay. I have to say that I had no idea how big the déjà vu provoking archipelago was. Seemingly there were hundreds of islands in every direction.
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Hanging out in the Hanoi Old Quarter

Location MapI really enjoyed walking around the Old Quarter of Hanoi. For me it had a totally different feel to other Asian cities at least in the heritage area. Small streets, old trees, busy but not too busy, tall narrow European style buildings and with the familiar yet so very unfamiliar Vietnamese use of the Roman alphabet.
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Two weeks exploring Java and Lombok in Indonesia

Location MapDuration: 16 days
Expenses: AUD$532 or AUD$31/day
Internal Flights: Surabaya to Bali AUD$41

Indonesia really feels like a place I could backpack around for months. The food is fantastic, the people are kind, the islands are beautiful and I only saw a handful of them. Unfortunately I only budgeted 16 days in Indonesia – 8 for East Java and 8 for Lombok. The purpose of my trip was to hike Mt Rinjani (Lombok) and Mt Bromo (East Java), but I feel fairly certain that I will come back to see more someday. Indonesia has so much to offer: mountains, volcanoes, jungle, rainforest, beaches, diving, hiking, food and more!

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Chilling out on Gili Air

Location MapI’m certainly not a beach person. I don’t like the idea of spending (wasting) a day lying on the beach doing nothing, but I’m trying to learn the art of relaxation. Gili Air of the Gili Islands in Lombok was the perfect place to get used to it. Laid back island life, friendly locals, quiet beaches, but still a slew of restaurants and bars to check out. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, there was no way to do it all. I guess I’ll just have to come back.
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The three amigos climb Mt Rinjani

Location Map
Mt Rinjani, a towering pyramid of rock that at sunrise casts a triangular shadow across the Segara Anak lake that fills the caldera and it’s little offspring, Gunung Barujari. Believed to have been created during the biggest eruption of the 13th century the caldera and its mountains are a masterpiece created well before the great European artists.
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From Bali to Lombok

Location MapAhh Lombok, such a refreshing change from Kuta, the dirty armpit of Bali. A more relaxed pace, the people are nicer, the island is beautiful and far less tourists make the effort to cross just 50km of water. We took rest in Senggigi, a small series of towns and beaches in the west of Lombok before seeing some of what the island has to offer.
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Solo Mt Bromo

image Mt Bromo (2,329m) is what everyone talks about and goes to see in East Java. I wouldn’t say Mt Bromo itself is very impressive at all really. It’s just a small smouldering crater below the perfectly shaped Mt Batok (2,470m) and the towering Mt Semaru (3,676m). Together though, within the vast caldera that they call home, this volcano group makes for some stunning scenery surrounded by Tenggerese villages.
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The Blue Fire of Ijen Crater

Location MapI must have screwed up my research because I completely overlooked the Ijen Crater in East Java. I didn’t remember it looking very appealing the first time I looked it up, but when I arrived in Probolinggo it became an instant must do.
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