In April 2017, we came to Indonesia. We started our travels in Bali, visiting Ubud, Sidemen, Amed, Munduk and Sanur, before heading off to Flores. After diving outside Maumere, then driving across the island of Flores, we did some extraordinary diving in Labuan Bajo, where we also saw Komodo Dragons! Followed by Yogyakarta, Borobodur, and the jungle in Sumatra! Keep checking back, there’ll be more videos added as we continue through Indonesia.
We spent a few days at the Bukit Lawang Hill Resort. We had an incredible time seeing some of the snakes that Bobi rescues, and also trekking in the jungle to see the orang utans. We finished the jungle trek with a fun river float!
Kakadu National Park is known for its water and rocks: incredible floods and waterfalls, rivers, pools and waterholes. There are beautiful places of rock and Indigenous art. Vistas that go on forever. Kakadu is listed as a World Heritage site, and is the largest national park in Australia, at nearly half the size of the country of Switzerland!
It’s our third day in the Borneo rain forest. Two boat trips down the Kinabatangan River each day. It’s a rain forest, and it seems to have set out to prove it! We’d been on a short trek into the forest surrounding our camp earlier that day, and had squelched through the rich brown mud in our borrowed wellies, almost losing them sometimes to the sucking of the land. We had brushed aside mosquitoes, gazed in awe at the second smallest frog in the world, and laughed at the white fluff bugs as they jumped around (I still don’t know what they’re called!)
We spent about 4 weeks in Borneo! Borneo is the name of an island, occupied by three separate countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and the states of Sarawak and Sabah of the federal constitutional monarchy of Malaysia. Malaysia consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, situated largely on two land masses: Peninsular Malaysia, and Eastern Malaysia (Borneo). We’re visiting the state of Sabah, first to see the terrestrial wildlife at Sepilok and Kinabatangan, and then to Semporna to do some diving off the east coast.
While we were in Semporna, the Regatta Lepa took place. This is an annual event – a magnificent display of the traditional wooden carved single-mast sailing boats of the Bajau people. The Bajau are a nomadic people, of various groups, clans and families, that traditionally live on the water in this region.
Saigon, or as it’s now known, Ho Chi Minh City, is a port city, and so it’s been settled by many different peoples, merchants and traders over the centuries. Khmer fishermen lived here before the Nguyen Dynasty came in. Later the French colonists, looking for a trading post in SE Asia, seized the city and declared it the capital of French Cochinchina.
*** We have many more posts on Vietnam still to come ~ watch this space! ***
We spent six weeks in Vietnam during February/March 2017. We very much enjoyed meeting the people, learning a little about the different cultures around the country, including some of the ethnic minorities in central and NW Vietnam. Oh and the food!
Sapa is a town in the mountains of NW Vietnam, near the Chinese border. The French used it as an escape from the heat of Hanoi. It’s now popular as a base for visiting the ethnic minority villages around: the Black Hmong, Flower Hmong, Red Dao and others. We very much enjoyed a two day motorbike tour with Sapa O’Chau, which included a homestay in a Red Dao village.