Tag Archives: Indonesia

Volcanic Villages on Merapi

Volcanic Villages on Merapi | Photo Credit: John Stanmeyer, National Geographic (http://bit.ly/dBcYEZ)
Mount Merapi has been making the news this week with its major eruptions on Tuesday and Thursday that have killed 34 people and displaced tens of thousand others. I was looking at this album of photos on the volcanic eruptions when this aerial shot of the volcanic village on Mount Merapi really struck me. I was amazed by the sheer number of villages that were built on the mountain. To quote:

“Carving its slopes with steppes, farmers have set up croplands and villages as far up Mount Merapi’s ridges as possible. The attraction of Merapi’s rich volcanic soils is apparently greater than the threat of burning lava, toxic gas, or smothering mud from one of the word’s most active and dangerous volcanoes.

Worldwide, volcanic soils cover only one percent of Earth’s land but feed about 10 percent of all people, according to National Geographic magazine.”

If you’re keen to read more about the volcano, here‘s a good article on Mbah Marijan, the Gatekeeper of Mount Merapi. He has since passed away in the recent eruptions.


Filed under Blabber

Under-travelled in South East Asia

About a week ago, I received a CouchSurfing message from an American guy a fellow Couchsurfer/friend and I had brought around Singapore when he visited sometime last year. What I learnt about him during our previous conversations was that he was a drummer who had, for 2 years, played on cruise ships, and due to his job, had been to a good 170 cities in the world. Yet, he never really fully got to experience each destination as he was often just in each place for less than 24 hours. When we met, he had just disembarked his cruise ship for the last time, and was helding back to Philadelphia, USA to find a regular job.

Now, almost a year later, he was intending to come back to South East Asia to get a more wholesome experience of the area and he asked me for some recommendations. I thought about the places that I have been to, then I realised that I could not give him any good recommendations as I had not travelled extensively enough around the region.

Malaysia: all over Peninsula Malaysia (a “million” times over), East Malaysia (once)
Indonesia: Lombok (once)
Thailand:  Bangkok (many times), Koh Samui, Krabi
Singapore: Home sweet home

Pulau Redang, Terengganu, Peninsula Malaysia

Gunung Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

That’s it.

No Cambodia. No Vietnam. No Laos. No Myanmmar. No The Philippines. No Brunei. And I have not even been to a considerable amount of the countries I have actually stepped foot on.

I almost felt embarrassed having to admit to him that I could not give him suggestions based on personal experience as I am pretty “under-travelled” in the region, but still gave him some suggestions based on my own knowledge of “popular destinations” anyway.

It’s definitely time to start exploring this beautiful region a little more.

Now the question is: which country/city/area of South East Asia should I visit next?


Filed under Blabber, People, Travel