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Tropical Christmas 2013

If You Trek the Dieng Plateau

The night before your tour of the Dieng Plateau region, your guide will ask if you want to trek or drive–both tours take roughly the same amount of time, though many people aren’t interested in hiking for a solid seven hours. The driving tour is a totally valid option and will let you see the highlights of the region . . .

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Lembang Floating Market

I already wrote about seeing the volcano near Bandung when Josh and I went on our Tropical Christmas trip, but since we had a car at our disposal for the day, we wanted to check out some of the other attractions in the area. When our driver recommended the floating market, we were intrigued and agreed that it would make a great addition to our itinerary, though we weren’t entirely sure what it was.

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Best Meals: Tropical Christmas Trip

I have found that Indonesia is a deliciously easy country to be vegetarian in, with an abundance of soybean products like tofu and tempeh, interesting vegetable dishes, and exotic fruits. My adventures over Christmas only confirmed this fact, and in case any potential visitors to Indonesia are worried about finding some good food, here are the five best meals I ate during a week of traveling around Java.

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The Ministry of Coffee

In my past travels, I’ve mostly just looked for whatever accommodation was cheapest, a strategy that usually landed me in a mediocre-to-crappy hostel. But my most recent adventures have been different because in Indonesia–where accommodation is significantly cheaper than the US or Europe–I’ve been able to find much better places to stay for roughly the same price I would pay for a dorm bed in a London hostel.

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Dieng Plateau Paradise Tour

Dieng Plateau Paradise

When I was planing my trip to Central Java, I wanted to be sure that my itinerary included some kind of trekking adventure. Mount Merapi originally caught my eye–many tour operators advertised an overnight climb to see sunrise from the top of the mighty volcano. I was sold, but a quick internet search of Merapi told me that it had just erupted the month before and wasn’t currently safe to visit. Okay, regroup.

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Borobudur is Best at Sunrise

Borobudur Sunrise

I knew almost nothing about Borobudur Temple when I arrived there on a starry morning one December day. I knew that it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest Buddhist structure in the world, and a beautiful place to watch the sunrise.

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Photo Essay: Mystical Mount Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perabu

In my last post, I wrote about the Sundanese legend that explains the existence of the volcano Josh and I visited on our trip to Bandung. We did not yet know Tangkuban Perahu’s creation story at the point that we arrived, but I was nonetheless expecting our volcano expedition to be mystical.

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The Legend of Sangkuriang

Tangkuban Perahu

Once upon a time, a beautiful girl named Dayang Sumbi lived in the ancient and mystical lands of West Java. As she grew, many noblemen and princes fell in love with her, but she spurned their advances and instead spent her days weaving beautiful textiles.

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