Toraja is indeed Melo II – Death, Funerals and Graves

Continued from Toraja is indeed Melo I – Batutumonga and the Bamboo Forest This is the second of a three-part account of a recent short trip to Tana Toraja. Situated in the highlands of central Sulawesi, it is a land of breathtaking beauty, rugged landscapes and and a unique culture that embraces death, bloody sacrifices […]

The sad old town of Jakarta

A feeling of sadness always descends on me when I travel to the old, colonial part of Jakarta, Kota Tua. It was once the busiest part of Jakarta since it was close to the sea and port. Many old buildings stand there still. A few have been restored well, some have been mangled by modern […]

Visually immersed at the Argos in Cappadocia

Unspun‘s been in many hotels, even the ones he can’t afford. Usually he and a few of his cheapskate friends would go there for tea and ask to see the rooms. The Aman and other resorts and fallen prey to such cheapskatery. But of all the hotels Unspun’s seen none has been so captivating and […]

Unspun’s impressions of Mrauk U in Tempo English

Been a long time since Unspun played writer (as opposed to a mere blogger) and Tempo, the English version of the magazine, this week carried his travels and impressions in a 6-page spread from the ancient city of Mrauk U in Myanmar. Here it is: For more photos of Sittwe and Mrau U, go here […]

Does Indonesia Suck as a tourist destination?

@anakcerdas just alerted me to this blog posting in Travel Blog with the terse and succinct message: “Memalukan yah” (Shameful, isn’t it?). Yes, it is indeed shameful if even half of what the blogger, Mike Foster, says is true. As someone who’s adopted Jakarta and Indonesia as my home I feel duty bound to defend […]

Indonesian tourism’s secret weapon?

Someone help Unspun here please. Can anyone explain how a “senior” singer such as Eddy Silitonga, him of the cheesy mustache and unkempt haircut, is going to attract droves of tourists to Indonesia’s shores? Does the Tourism Minister, in his infinite wisdom and impeccable taste, think that Eddy will appeal to would be tourists in […]

Malaysians’ shopping haven in Indonesia

If you’ve been to Bandung lately you’ll know how bad the traffic gets during holidays. It’s mostly people from Jakarta but also an increasing number of tourists from Malaysia with an eye for bargains. This from The Jakarta Post Malaysians flock to Bandung to shop Yuli Tri Suwarni ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Bandung   […]

Rasa this!

This (clip below) looks like another cultural time bomb for Malaysia.Perhaps the Malaysian government should just step aside, shut up and let Indonesia and and Malaysian bloggers set the relationship right. Malaysian Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan, on the off chance that you even even get debriefed on blogs, please see the posting Now to Rasa […]

A tale of two rumpuns

Interesting to see the different reactions to the Rasa Sayang(e) controversy both in Malaysia (see comments here) and in Indonesia (see comments here). On both sides of the Straits we have nationalism come to the fore, good sense go out the window, fear and loathing of the other. But what should the real issue be […]