Indonesia

Scuba Diving with Manta Rays at Blue Corner Dive Nusa Penida

Posted on August 15, 2017

Manta photo by Jason Fondis On a recent family trip to Bali, I made a side trip to Nusa Penida, detouring to the largest of three islands 20 km southeast of the mainland, to check out the newest shop of Blue Corner Dive, who I dove with on my first visit in 2013 when I was covering a scuba diving story for an inflight magazine.  After opening two shops on the popular jumping off point of Lembongan island (Blue CornerRead More

The World’s Tallest Jesus Statue in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi

Posted on July 19, 2017

Our last day in Tana Toraja started with watching the sea of clouds in Lolai village, followed by breakfast at Toraja Heritage Hotel before checking out for our journey back to Makassar. Along the way back, we stopped by Makale, the capital of Tana Toraja regency and the commercial center of Torajaland (versus the cultural center of Rantepao, capital of North Toraja). Makale is also an important gateway to this region, since Pongtiku airport is located here. Lording over MakaleRead More

Tana Toraja’s Best Sunrise over the Sea of Clouds at Lolai Village

Posted on July 19, 2017

I wasn’t particularly excited about waking up at 3AM, especially when it took us nearly nine hours to get to our accommodation, Toraja Heritage Hotel, all the way from Makassar. This was followed by a packed one-day itinerary ticking off the must-see sights of Tana Toraja, the cultural heartland of the Torajan people known for their dramatic architecture and extravagant funeral customs. But the idea of catching Toraja’s best sunrise over a sea of clouds at Lolai, a mountain village 20Read More

7 Must-See Places in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi

Posted on July 17, 2017

One of the most fascinating cultural destinations in Indonesia is Tana Toraja, literally “Land of the Toraja”, in South Sulawesi. The word Toraja was derived from the Buginese phrase to riaja, which means “people of the highlands”. Nearly half of the 1.1 million Torajans live in the mountain towns of Tana Toraja, 300 km north of Makassar, the biggest city and gateway to Sulawesi island. Despite the distance, travelers are still drawn here, owing to the uniqueness of Torajan cultureRead More

Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa: A Family-Friendly Beachside Oasis in South Bali

Posted on November 11, 2016

Kuta is the go-to place for most tourists, but if you’re looking for some quiet and relaxing downtime with your family and friends, the beach resorts of South Bali would be a far better choice. After a few days checked in at Loft Legian Hotel in Kuta, where I usually stay when I visit Bali, I went south to spend the rest of my vacation at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa at Tanjung Benoa Beach. Only a 15-minute drive southRead More

Loft Legian Hotel: Stylish & Affordable Rooms in the Heart of Kuta, Bali

Posted on November 7, 2016

Kuta – the notorious epicenter of tourist activity on Bali – is chockfull with hotels and guesthouses that it can be daunting to pick the ideal hotel for your budget. On my last visit to the island, after journeying across Komodo and Flores, I found one of the best-value places to stay in town. I was hosted by Loft Legian Hotel, a contemporary boutique hotel managed by Avilla Hospitality, that offers chic comfort where all the Kuta action is. The modest-sizedRead More