Catching a boat between these 2 islands is a super way of exploring the Lesser Sunda’s which are sometimes overlooked as a result of their difficult location. Would I do it again? Yes. Would I do it differently? Yes. Here’s why.
It has almost been 11 months on the road now and as I sit here in Bali, on Kuta Beach, enjoying my third (fourth?) Bintang, I’m reflecting on this and realize I was a bit of an arsehole prior to jumping on that plane all those months ago.
I try to make a point of mentioning those moments of my trip that are WOW moments or top 10’s as it may help someone with an itinerary. Then Tao Philippines came along and cast shade on everything!
Sagada is the natural next stop from Banaue as it provides a taste of some interesting culture and small town vibes. I mean, surely hearing the phrase ‘Hanging Coffins’ is enough to get you there?
Northern Luzon in the Philippines is home to the best rice terraces I’ve seen in the past 10 months. Couple this with quaint villages to hike through and sleep in, it makes the region really special. Here’s a photo blog of our journey to the terraces, and a little practical information as the internet is lacking in good advice for the region.
The Ijen Plateau is home to a massive volcanic crater, complete with blue burning sulphur fires at night and a turquoise lake. It has all the critical ingredients to make the 1am wake up and hike worthwhile.
Mount Bromo is an active volcano in East Java – it is set within some of the most otherworldly landscapes I’ve seen. Technically, the vast area below the crater is called the Sand Sea (what a cool name) but it looks more like the landscape from an alien movie. Getting here wasn’t all fun and games though!
After leaving Mabul, I made my way to Kota Kinabalu (KK) – the capital of Malaysian Borneo. This meant a midnight flight in a small plane through a storm. I once said I enjoyed turbulence. I may need to retract that comment – Malaysia Airlines needs to steam clean seat 2A now. I also nearly had a vicious attack by a monkey. An animal sanctuary may need to do a bit of a clean up too.
It’s been a dream of mine to travel through Borneo, and I am finally ticking this off my bucket list. My first proper stop was the small island of Mabul, located in the Celebes sea. There’s no doubt the waters in these parts are stunning, but for how much longer?