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Travel

Tightly wound at the Thousand Islands

I was having a stressful business trip in Jakarta. The client was pushing back meetings; meetings that were not pushed back were getting delayed with alarming regularity; my work outside of Jakarta was getting negatively affected. I had to extend my trip into the next week so I decided to check out the nearby Thousand […]

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Travel

Gunung Padang

I have been to Indonesia so many times that I have lost count. It started with the disastrous “Lost Christmas”, many years ago. Indonesia has provided me with a variety of travel stories, being the country where I learned to scuba dive; checked out a bunch of volcanoes; tried a hand at surfing and saw […]

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Travel

Lost Christmas

“You get the best stories when shit happens to you”, a traveller once said to me. I had agreed. I could tell and retell stories of some of the worst things that I had endured. When everything went according to plan, there was usually not much to talk about. It was December 24, 2009. I […]

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Travel

Muck diving in Lembeh

I was on a scuba diving trip in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The first part of the trip was spent on the island of Bunaken, including my best New Year celebrations ever. Part 2 was to be spent on the island of Lembeh, known for its muck diving. At the port of Bitung, I found myself a […]

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Travel

The Ride to Moni

My vacation was ending in just a few days and I was heading to my last stop: a volcano named Kelimutu. I had wanted to see the three famous crater lakes that were reputed for their distinct, striking colours. It was 4PM and I was about fifty kilometres from my destination, a village named Moni […]

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Travel

Three palm trees to the jetty

I had met my friend Plamena while we were both travelling in Timor-Leste in 2016. We stayed in touch through Facebook and realised we shared a love for beer. After an incident in 2017 where I heroically saved a beer when I fell into water and got immersed to my head, we decided, over a […]

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Travel

A good dive

Back in 2015, I was scuba diving off the island of Nusa Penida near Bali in Indonesia. Nusa Penida is famous among divers for the massive ocean sunfish, locally known as “mola mola”. The sunfish is the largest bony fish in the world (i.e. aside from sharks and rays, it is the largest fish). The […]

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Travel

The ride to Tinggi Raja

Tinggi Raja is a hot spring in northern Sumatra, an Indonesian island. What was special about it was that it had ridiculously blue waters inside and sides coated with a white substance, that gave it a nickname of “Kawah Putih”, white crater. The place was obscure enough that there were not many directions to get […]

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Travel

Rescue Diver: Part 2

A dive boat being loaded. Day 1Following my theory and pool training for PADI’s rescue diver certification I proceeded to the open water training over the Christmas weekend. A bunch of us boarded a morning ferry from Singapore to the Indonesian resort island of Bintan on Saturday. The group consisted of five rescue diver trainees, fifteen or so open water trainees, dive masters, instructors and DM trainees.We headed out on two launches to the dive site, Kelong. The rescue divers kitt […]

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Local / Home

Haze

This month, perhaps for the very first time, I was not looking forward to returning to Singapore from a trip. After days or weeks of energetic and exhausting travel, I am always glad to set foot in the train (MRT) station at the airport and experience the familiar comforts of Singapore. This time I was not looking forward to the gloom enveloping Singapore: the trans-national haze from Indonesia, courtesy of people there who burn forests (no kidding!). Other people have expressed similar thoughts […]