Topeng Dhalang, Madura

Indonesia

gili labak, madura
In Pictures: Seven Reasons to Visit Sumenep, The Forgotten Corner of Java 

Sumenep, on the island of Madura, is an oft-neglected regency of rural calm, vibrant culture, delicious food and deserted beaches. The welcome is extremely warm, too …

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sumenep, madura
Aimless Wandering: Indonesian Locations Ripe for Exploration 

One of the lesser-heralded joys of visiting Indonesia is that of simply exploring without purpose, as evidenced by traipsing around this selection of treasure chests.

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tana toraja, sulawesi
Tradition and Lore: Intriguing Sites in Indonesia 

Whilst Indonesia has plenty to entice visitors, it is the hidden depths that often offer the most compelling allure. Here are seven such examples.

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komodo dragon, rinca
Primeval Bond: The Komodo Dragons of Rinca Island 

Our correspondent encounters ancient beasts and discovers a link to the planet’s primordial past.

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banda neira, maluku
Lost in Sync: Banda Neira Reveals Its Secrets 

Our correspondent becomes attuned to the distinct frequencies shared by the famed Spice Islands of Maluku.

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tana toraja
Peering Through: Tana Toraja and Life Under the Surface 

Our correspondent in Sulawesi creates a gap through which something tries to get out.

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bromo 2
Mt Bromo: Power, Mystery and the Hammer of the Gods 

Our correspondent encounters an elemental force channelling the very essence of Indonesia herself.

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legung
Time’s Sands: The Pattern of Life in Legung 

Our correspondent discovers a longstanding tradition on the east coast of Sumenep.

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uldaul,
Grand Ceremony: Uldaul Sheds Light on Madura’s Traditions 

Our correspondent, an outsider lest we forget, gleans understanding of Javanese culture in a trip to Pamekesan.

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bunaken
Out of Sync: Bunaken Island and a Yearning Calm 

Our correspondent, falling from a great height, lands on Sulawesi’s shimmering island.

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sumenep
Step Again into the Doorway: Another Selection of Indonesia’s Esoteric Sites 

Our correspondent delves once more into the netherworld in, of and around the archipelago.

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boat decal,
Step into the Doorway: A Selection of Indonesia’s Esoteric Sites, Part 1 

Our correspondent reels as the sheer weight and magnitude of Indonesian folklore bleeds through the cracks of reality.

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Gili Iyang
Breathe Deep: Gili Iyang and the Fountain of Youth 

Our correspondent encounters an island whereupon exists the source of a life extended.

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Gili Labak form
Island Form: An Inexplicable Encounter with Gili Labak’s Strange Presence 

Our correspondent becomes entranced
– should that be prepared? – on an Indonesian teardrop.

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coffee cart
Coffee Culture: A Brief Refreshment Break in Surabaya 

Our correspondent espies a wooden cart and follows the aroma to Java’s most famous export.

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Sunset over Pulau Saparua
Tainted Sunset: Recycling a Cause for Concern on Saparua 

Our correspondent washes up on Maluku’s Pulau Saparua and catches two glimpses: one endearing, the other disturbing.

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Ghastly Market: Jakarta’s Curiosities Pronounce Infernal Judgement 

Our correspondent bears witness to the malign reach of Indonesian folklore on notorious Jalan Surabaya.

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tobacco advert, semarang
The Devil’s Weed: Smoking, Indonesia and the Strongest of Links 

Never has there been a more symbiotic bond than ‘twixt the archipelago and tobacco.

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masjid, samarinda
Hugging the Horizon: Samarinda’s Iconic Mosque Hoves Into View 

Our correspondent gazes in wonderment at an unexpectedly eye-catching Kalimantan masjid.

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burial site, tana toraja
Grisly Passage: Tana Toraja and the Cost of Dying 

Our correspondent discovers in Sulawesi a life beyond that we can comprehend.

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boat decals, gili labak, sumenep, madura
Sumenep: Six Reasons to Visit Java’s Forgotten Corner 

Our correspondent shares yet more examples of why Madura’s social and cultural heart is just waiting to be explored.

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ijen crater, java
Something Wicked: Approaching the Ijen Crater 

Our correspondent hears uneasy truths as Java’s acid lake hoves into view. 

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tong tong, sumenep
Explore Sumenep: top things to see and do, best hotels and where to eat 

Our correspondent, an altruistic character, shares YET ANOTHER guide to Madura. This one’s slightly less wordy than the other ones but they’re essentially the same.

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becak, surabaya
Perceptive Spirit: An Unsettling Taxi Ride in Surabaya 

Our correspondent glimpses between the cracks into East Java’s ghostly interior.

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Makam Raja Sumenep Asta Tinggi
Walking With Purpose: A Pilgrimage to Asta Tinggi Royal Tombs 

Our correspondent becomes a devotee on his journey to one of Sumenep’s most iconic landmarks.

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ijen crater, java
Ijen Crater: Uneasy Acid Frequencies in Java 

Our correspondent descends to the netherworld as the Ijen Crater, Java’s acidic crater lake, ensnares yet another victim.

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Sumenep sign
Welcome to Sumenep, the Soul of Madura 

Our correspondent explores Sumenep, a region of historic significance and the cradle of modern Indonesia.

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kelimutu, flores
Sacred Lakes: Kelimutu and Indonesian Mythology 

Our correspondent witnesses the profound reach of folklore in Flores. 

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kampung pelangai, semarang
City Beacon: Kampung Pelangai and the Vibrancy of Colour 

Our correspondent finds the rainbow after stumbling across Semarang’s hidden pot of gold. 

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Terminal, Pamekasan
Madura’s Lesson: On The Bus in Java 

Our correspondent boards a bus and encounters a fascinating snapshot of Madurese life.

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Gunung Api
Welcome to Banda: Meeting The Boss in the Middle of Nowhere 

Our correspondent enjoys a low-key, energetic welcome to the Banda Islands, Indonesia’s most charming secret hideaway.

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semarang
Off The Tourist Trail In Indonesia: Five Underrated Destinations 

Our correspondent spent x amount of time in Indonesia and found these lesser heralded, but by no means inferior, destinations.

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bahasa kamus
Bahasa Indonesian Primer: Numbers and Basic Transactions 

Our correspondent, fixing for more bargaining in Indonesia, presents a guide to Bahasa.

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madurese language
Language Primer: Madurese 

Our correspondent steps onto Madura and, vernacular guide in tow, senses the rest of Indonesia withdrawing everso slightly.

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tomohon, sulawesi
North Sulawesi: Highlights from The Highlands

Our correspondent shares some choice morsels from a trip to another Indonesian hotspot.

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Spider, Gili Trawangan
Paradise Burden: The Home Truth Of Gili Trawangan 

Our correspondent encounters an uncomfortable dose of reality on a so-called ‘paradise’ island.

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Bus journey, Sumatra
Long Haul: Crossing Sumatra On The Midnight Bus To Nowhere 

Our correspondent savours the sensory overload of an overnight bus journey in Indonesia.

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sampang, madura
(Very) Rough Guide: Madura, Java’s Ignored Corner 

Our correspondent, excited beyond all reason, remains grateful for the existence of this jagged slice of Indonesia.

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bromo, java
Reverence and Mysticism: Mt Bromo Displays its Might 

Our correspondent egdes through the murk as a brooding volcano in Indonesia leaves an indelible psychic footprint.

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Gunung Api, maluku
(Very) Rough Guide to Banda: Maluku’s prettiest island chain in a nutshell 

Our correspondent was lucky enough to reach Maluku and fell deeply for its soporific island outliers.

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Sunrise, Pamekasan, Madura
Introducing Madura, Part Three: How to Get Around and Speak Madurese (Kind Of) 

Our correspondent offers a vague guide to Madura which is neither vague enough to be useless nor concise enough to be helpful.

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masjid agung, sumenep
Introducing Madura, Part Two: More Useful Snippets of Island Life 

Our correspondent continues their vague guide to life on Madura, an Indonesian outpost of some repute.

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Topeng Dhalang, Madura
Introducing Madura, Part One: Room to Breathe Away from the Crowds 

Our correspondent finds themselves on Madura, one of Indonesia’s lesser-known locations, and embarks on a short tour.

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orangutan, bukit lawang
Men of the Jungle: An Encounter with Orangutans in Bukit Lawang 

Our correspondent treks through a Sumatran rainforest on the hunt for orangutans. Is he prepared for what he’ll encounter? 

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Bunaken, Sulawesi
The Rising Sun Awakens Bunaken 

Our correspondent savours the perfect sunrise as he adapts to island life in Sulawesi.

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weekauri lake, sumba
Weekuri Lake: Sumba’s Stunning, Obscure Aquatic Attraction 

Our correspondent hops on a bike in search of one of Indonesia’s least-visited bodies of water.

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lovina, bali
Lovina: Impressions of a Town Trying to Catch Up 

Our correspondent, upon arriving in northern Bali, finds a town struggling in the midst of a barren low season.

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ijen crater, java
Ijen Crater: An Infernal Descent 

Our correspondent encounters the fiery pits of a nightmarish hellscape in Java.

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saparua
Pulau Saparua’s Gloriously Golden Sunset 

Our correspondent rubs their eyes, cartoon-style, as the days comes to a shimmering end in Maluku.

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Arek Lancor with Masjid Agung Asy-Syuhada, Pamakesan, Madura
Arek Lancor: A Slight Introduction to Madura 

Our correspondent finds a lowkey icon in the middle of Madura.

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tomohon, sulawesi
North Sulawesi: A Brief Guide 

Our correspondent – still enamoured of Indonesia – presents a rough guide to North Sulawesi.

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borobudur, java
Snapshot in Time: Borobudur Keeps a Watchful Eye 

Our correspondent is truly privileged to absorb a vital part of Java’s history.

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bromo, java
Reverence and Mysticism: An Encounter with Volcanic Mount Bromo 

Our correspondent takes a step back as the sheer historic scale of a colossus in Java threatens to overwhelm him.

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manado, north sulawesi
Snapshot in Time: A New Day Begins in Manado 

Our correspondent embraces the calm before the storm as Manado gears up for another busy day.

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bunaken
Bunaken: A Quick Capsule Guide to Island Life 

Our correspondent, enamoured of this little getaway in Sulawesi, provides some hopefully helpful hints and tips.

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bunaken
Snapshot in Time: Navigating the Trans-Bunaken Highway 

Our correspondent takes a walk around Bunaken and finds himself constantly looking over his shoulder as the ‘constant’ island traffic whizzes by.

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tomohon, sulawesi
Elemental Force: Seeing Mount Lokon Up Close and Personal 

Our correspondent wakes up early for a volcanic trek in Tomohon.

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Tomohon
Tomohon: A Brief Guide 

Our correspondent presents a rough guide to Tomohon, a stand-out attraction during any trip to Sulawesi.

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