FLIGHT OF THE HORNBILL
Watch this space for travel tips to where the action takes place in Flight of the Hornbill.
Bali is known for its beaches. I prefer the mountains and valleys. This is sunrise, seen from room 11 at Homestay on the Hill in Tirtigangga, Bali (US$8 per night including breakfast when I was there in 2002.)
Jakartans love to give funny names to buildings and monuments. This heroic statue in a traffic circle is known as "Pizza Man."
Some of the best food in Indonesia is found on pushcarts called "Kaki lima." That means five feet — three wheels on the cart and two feet on the person pushing it. So long as the vendor looks reasonably healthy, it's in an area where there are a lot of kaki lima (competition) and you can see that at least a reasonable amount of caution has been taken with food storage and hygiene, they are generally safe and delicious places to grab a bite.
Sunda Kelapa, the old harbor in Jakarta, has hardly changed since the 1500s. The only change in the hardwood boatsthat are held together with wooden pegs rather than nails or screws or rivetsover the past five hundred years has been that most of them now have small motors to get in and out of the harbor. Once out to sea, they cruise along under sail power. The harbor is one of the great places to take a walk. Go there in the early morning before it gets too hot. Then walk back to the old town square of old Jakarta and have brunch at Cafe Batavia.
Surabaya, in East Java, is the jumping off point for trips up into the volcanic mountains. There are wonderful hikes to be had all over that end of the island. Surabaya itself is seldom visited by tourists, but is one of the most interesting cities in Indonesia. It has remarkable markets full of enormous vegetables, thanks to the highly volcanic soil. It also has one of Asia's largest and most interesting red light districts. It is generally safe to walk around in the area, and there are a great many bars and nightclubs playing a wide variety of styles of Indonesian music.
All photos copyright Eric Stone