Mount Papandayan in Black and White

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Cleaning up my hard disk storage, I stumbled upon this collection of pictures which were taken when I climbed on Mount Papandayan a few years ago. Situated about 15 km Northwest from Garut city, West Java, Papandayan is an active stratovolcanic mountain which has four large craters at its summit.

With Garut gradually growing as one of West Java’s popular tourist destinations, Mount Papandayan is also gaining more and more visitors especially over weekend. Its not-so-heavy terrains and gentle slopes makes Papandayan popular among novice climbers. Continue reading

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Minimalist Packing Tips: How to Lighten Your Load

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“He who would travel happily must travel light,” my favorite French author, Antoine de St. Exupery, once said. Although I’m still a newbie both in this minimalist and vagabondish things, having traveled with different groups of people I always find my bags are amongst the lightest of all the participants. Still, personally I sometimes feel that I bring more than I really need. Unpacking bags after getting back home, I ‘d still be able to find unworn shirts and stuffs which could actually just be left at home rather than making my bag heavier to carry around.

Simplicity has always been the essential key to minimalism. The same applies to traveling. If you travel often only for a short period of time, you might want to read and apply the onebag philosophy. I found their tips useful and their perspective on traveling light refreshing as well as mind-opening. Continue reading

Walking a Harmonious Life on Harmony Street

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A lengthy reverent chant is humming from outside my hostel room’s window as I am barely awaken from sleep. Curiously looking out below from the balcony outside my room on the second floor, I can see that the continuing chant is coming from the Sri Payyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple right across the street from where I stay in Malacca. Apparently, it is the Hindus devotedly chanting their morning prayer. I feel at ease just listening to the vibration of it. Continue reading

Learning Batik at Kampung Batik Kauman

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Thick smell of burning wax is wafting heavily in the air as I step into this old Batik Shop. A weathered wooden board is hanging sturdily in front of the shop with the name of the shop largely engraved on it, it says “Batik Tulis Gunawan Setiawan”. Located at the heart of Kampung Batik Kauman, Surakarta, the shop is one of around 30 other batik shops and entrepreneurs which have also been operating there since 19th century.

Learning how to create batik pattern art on a piece of cloth as well as getting to know more about the batik process itself is the main reason I am here on this perfect Sunday morning. A young Javanese lady greets me with a slightly smile then she directs me into another room at the back of the shop where the batik lesson is going to take place. Several small batik stoves have already been prepared there. So, I just sit there quietly on a plastic mat in front of the stove hardly can wait for the class to start. Continue reading

Surviving Jakarta #1: How To Cross The Road In Jakarta

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Traveling in Jakarta means Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) = unpredictable. Time wise, nothing is ever certain in Jakarta. And unfortunately, nothing is 100% safe either. For foreign pedestrians, getting from one side of the road to another in Jakarta can be a stressful and frightening task. The heavy traffic jam might be helpful in taking you to the other side of the road, but the sheer volume of scooters flooding the streets (and also the side walks) can be overwhelming and challenging.

Then, how to get yourself to the other side of Jakarta’s street when teleporting is not an option? Being born and raised in this capital city of Indonesia, here are some hopefully useful tips from me. Continue reading