Bukit Lawang

19 01 2010

From the northern tip of Sumatra, we headed back down to the village of Bukit Lawang, famous for its orangutans and jungle park. We needed to get back to Malaysia so we only stayed one day, but we were still able to see some orangutans. Bukit Lawang is on the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park and has an orangutan rehabilitation center where you can watch them feed the primates up close. Read the rest of this entry »

Pulau Weh

18 01 2010

Underwater camera!

From Banda Aceh, we headed for the island of Pulau Weh, known for great diving and snorkeling.  We were not let down.  The coral here in Pulau Weh is not the best you can see in Southeast Asia, but the real draw is the variety of fish species and size of the fish.  We have seen cuddle-fish, lion-fish, large barracuda, huge trigger fish, moray eels and many, many others while snorkeling. A Dutch couple let us borrow their great underwater camera set-up, and we were thankfully able to get some great photos to share. Read the rest of this entry »

Banda Aceh

12 01 2010

Our ride

We headed up to Banda Aceh to cross over to the island of Pulau Weh to do some snorkeling and maybe diving.  Banda Aceh is the provincial capital of Aceh, the northern most province in Sumatra.  Well known for the suffering and devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami which wiped out much of the city, Banda Aceh is recovering from the tsunami. However, this tragedy affected everyone in Banda Aceh, as much of the city was completely wiped out. Read the rest of this entry »


10 01 2010

Gunung Siyabak

From Lake Toba we headed north to the Karo Highlands and the town of Berastagi.  In Berastagi, our goal was to climb a volcano (Gunung Sibayak) and then move on north to Bukit Lawang, where there is a park with orangutans.  The highlands around Berastagi have many active volcanoes and the rich volcanic soil provides for some great growing conditions for fruits and vegetables.  Berastagi is famous for the passion fruit they grow here, plus the many other excellent fruits and veggies.  The people here are very nice and there are not many tourists. Read the rest of this entry »

Danau Toba, Sumatra

6 01 2010

Batak houses

We took a ferry across the Strait of Melaka from Penang to the port of Medan in Sumatra.  After a little confusion at the port of Medan, our first stop in Sumatra was  Danau Toba, a massive lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.  We arrived late and stayed in the port city of Parapat, and the next day we crossed over to an island in the middle of the lake called Samosir. Read the rest of this entry »

Bali Road Trip

29 07 2009
The road to Perancak

The road to Perancak

We rented a scooter in Ubud and headed west along the coast of Bali to see some of the temples along the coastline and to spent some time cruising around Bali.  The main road from Denpasar to the port at Gilimanuk is a major transit line for large trucks carrying cargo from Java to Bali (with many buses as well) so we learned that it is not exactly the most relaxing route. But we did enjoy cruising some quiet back roads around the port area of Perancak, which has large and colorful fishing boats.

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Back to Bali

23 07 2009
Balinese offering

Balinese offering

We came back to the town of Ubud to do some extra things and because Ubud can be a fairly laid back town to relax in. We came back to take a Balinese cooking class, eat Babi Guling and do a bicycle tour of the countryside, all of which we heard from other people are very good. However, since the recent bombings in Jakarta, many tourists have left the island of Java and headed over to Bali, so the town is much more crowded with tourists than it was when we were here two weeks ago. Read the rest of this entry »