Ibu Volcano: The Ultimate Camping Experience Halmahera, North Maluku, Indonesia

Yet another active volcano on Halmahera Because Dukono was great and because on Halmahera island there’s another one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, we absolutely wanted to go to Mount Ibu. Plus, we were told that there we’d be even closer to the action (is that even possible?!). Our guide for this tour was Alex Djangu, a native…

Dukono Volcano: Playing With Fire Halmahera, North Maluku, Indonesia

Force of Nature It’s dark. You walk up the steep crater, on loose ash. The ground shakes with every thunder from the active volcano underneath you. The closer you get to the smoking crater, the louder the thunder and the faster your heartbeat. You’re scared. You know this is crazy and you should better turn back,…

Morotai: Back in Time Morotai, North Maluku, Indonesia

Exploring Morotai Daruba, Morotai’s main town, has at least one very good restaurant: Rumah Makan Irfamas (Ikan Bakar, what else.). However, apart from eating good fish there’s not much to do in Daruba. You have to get out of town. Muhlis Eso, the guy from Morotai’s WWII museum (it’s a small private collection, but a big museum…

Island Hopping Indonesian Style Morotai, Dodola, and the Bandas. Or not.

Banda Islands: Sounds like a plan Plans are just that; plans. Where you really end up is another thing altogether. Our plan was (and we were looking very forward to it) to go to the Banda Islands. From Ambon, they’re accessible by plane or by speedboat. At least that’s how it should be but, for…

Pulau Saparua: Dream & Reality Maluku, Indonesia

Who doesn’t dream of a tropical island with white sand beaches, palm trees lining the shore, and colorful fish swimming in the corals off the coast? Dream islands like that exist, yes, but unfortunately, in reality they often look a bit different. The white sand beach is strewn with garbage and it’s not uncommon to swim among…

Arfak Mountains: A Bird’s Paradise West Papua, Indonesia

Situated on the east of West Papua’s Vogelkop, the Arfak Mountains are the habitat of some of the world’s most unique and astonishing birds: birds-of-paradise. Only few people live in the Arfak Mountains and just a handful of tourist guides offer tours and accommodation in the Arfak region. One of them is Hans Mandacan, a…

Bunaken: Overwhelming Underwater World Sulawesi, Indonesia

A change of plans Back from Tangkoko, we booked a flight to Ternate for the next day. Ternate is practically just a volcano sticking out of the ocean. Unfortunately for us, that volcano decided to spit out some big ash clouds the day we wanted to fly and all flights to Ternate were canceled indefinitely. Since…

Thousands of Dolphins & One Boat Sulawesi, Indonesia

Dolphin watching and snorkeling in Batuputih Batuputih is not only the gateway to wonderful Tangkoko National Park, it’s also a great place to go snorkeling, diving, or dolphin watching. Lea, the local guide and divemaster (find her contact info below) with whom we booked a snorkeling and dolphin watching tour, promised us that, if we’d go, our boat…

Tangkoko: Where the Wild Things (Still) Live Sulawesi, Indonesia

On the easternmost tip of North Sulawesi lies Tangkoko National Park. According to the Lonely Planet, it’s possible to get there by public transport from Manado, but in reality this proved to be close to impossible. Even if you’d manage it, it wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper than a taxi from the airport directly to Batuputih,…

A Day at the Market Sulawesi, Indonesia

Rantepao’s big market takes place every six days. Vegetables, fruit, fish, livestock, baskets, knives, clothes, coffee, you name it. Here you can find almost everything you need (or don’t need). As a tourist, you’re usually offered fresh fish – and not only here but in other places as well, actually this happens at almost every…

Tana Toraja: Living Among Dead Getting to know the unique culture of the Torajan people in Sulawesi

Death is just another part of life for the Torajas. When someone dies, that person isn’t buried immediately because the deceased is not considered dead but sick and keeps on living in the family home. Dead but not really With our guide Yacob (a very kind and knowledgeable man who last year guided a National Geographic…

Born to Die: Funeral Ceremonies of the Toraja Sulawesi, Indonesia

In the land of the Toraja In Indonesia there are over 300 different ethnic groups. One of them are the Toraja, who live in the highlands of South Sulawesi. Tana Toraja, the “Land of the Toraja”, is known for its good coffee but also for the – for an outsider rather strange (or, more accurate,…