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,…

Kuching: Colors, Cats, and a Crocodile A few days in the capital of Sarawak, Malaysia

The city of cats Kuching is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Its name means cat in Malay so it’s no wonder the city is full of cat statues and paintings. Even the souvenir shops sell all kind of cat related things. A pleasant place Kuching is probably one of the nicest cities in…

Semporna: Ocean Life Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Google “Pulau Bohey Dulang” and you’ll see why we absolutely wanted to go to Semporna. Semporna itself is an ugly place. It’s that forgotten place in the outermost corner of the country, it’s dirty and full of rubbish and children beg in the streets – something we haven’t seen anywhere else in Malaysia. How to get to…

Kinabatangan Cruisin’ Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Wildlife spotting in Borneo A great place to spot wildlife in Sabah is along the Kinabatangan river, the second longest river in Malaysia. Actually, the reason why there are so many animals, is a sad one: They have been pushed ever closer to the river by logging and clearing of forest for palm oil plantations. Most of…

Sepilok: All About Orang-Utans Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Endangered orang-utans Orang-utans, native only to Borneo and Sumatra, are endangered due to habitat loss (because of logging and palm oil plantations), poaching, and the illegal pet trade. Until it’s seven to ten years old, an orang-utan baby depends heavily on its mother and if the mother dies, the baby is likely to perish as well….

Kinabalu: A Walk in the Park Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Pristine rainforest still exists in Borneo, for example in Kinabalu National Park. The park encompasses Mt Kinabalu, the island’s highest peak and a popular destination for hikers from all over the world. In order to climb Mt Kinabalu during high season in July and August however, it’s necessary to book a spot months in advance…

Borneo: Jungle Dream Palm oil plantations make the rainforest disappear

Borneo. A huge island covered with impenetrable jungle, where orang-utans swing from tree to tree, elephants and rhinos roam the forests, wild cats and leopards hunt their prey, and crocodiles reign the rivers. That must have been Borneo many, many years ago. Now, it’s mostly palm oil plantations as far as the eye can see. I must…

Ulu Temburong: Brunei’s Green Heart A day in Brunei's biggest national park

Ulu Temburong National Park lies in Brunei’s Temburong district, which is cut off from the rest of the country. The only way to get there without having to cross the border to Malaysia is by speedboat from BSB. The speedboat really lives up to its name and the ride is lots of fun as the…

Brunei: Surprisingly Different Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Brunei is a tiny sultanate of only half a million inhabitants on the northern coast of Borneo and very rich in oil. If you’re expecting a kind of Dubai however, you will be either very disappointed or very surprised. Bandar Seri Begawan, short BSB, the capital and biggest (and actually only) city of Brunei, has a…