Around the wild corners of Bali

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Bali

Interesting to know…

Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia. When the Islam came in 15-th century all the aristocracy and the priesthood of Java came here and established their Hindu bastion. The religion has remained unchanged for 500 years but the differences to Hinduism in India are obvious. Here the religion is mixed with local animistic beliefs and rituals and thus has been formed a specific, local form of Hinduism. For example people are not vegetarians and they even eat veal. People don’t put the typical red dot on their foreheads (sindur) except when they visit the temple and stick rice beans between their brows. Only one god, who represents the infinity, is acknowledged (Achintya) and the other: Vishnu, Shiva and the rest are just his manifestations.

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Sabah – pirates and unprecedented good deeds in a distant part of Borneo

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07.05.

We are back at our favorite Malaysian State Sarawak, but this time for a short period. We stop to eat at the last town of the state – Lawas. The atmosphere is more Muslim than the other towns we passed through. The people from the off-road team treat us to lunch at a very nice restaurant in otherwise not so interesting small town Lawas.

The Malaysian part of Borneo consists of two states – the huge Sarawak and the so called North Borneo, Sabah State.

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Borneo – surviving into the jungle, meeting the long-nosed monkeys and running away from high tides

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Long-nosed monkey

04.04

We have two options: to take the ferry back to Sumatra, Indonesia or to first visit the Malaysian part of Borneo. The things is that there are no ships sailing to Borneo, the yachts going in this direction are just a few, so the only option left is to find a cheap flight. On this journey we travel only by land or on water, but we decide that Borneo is worth it so we will make an exception. In addition the flight with Air Asia costs just 25 Euro per person (luggage and all included). So we will visit the oldest tropical forest in the world, a dream come true for every nature lover and explorer and we will also see the sultan of Brunei :)… or at least the sultanate.
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The romantic Malacca, the night saviour in the rain and a million meetings in the capital Kuala Lumpur

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24.03

In the  morning the boy from the poor Muslim house brings us coffee. His grandmother, who sent him, waves us merrily from inside the house. There is so much goodness “lurking” behind every corner!
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The attack of the macaques, the long canoe trip at open sea and passing the border with Malaysia

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* Unfortunately there are no photos in this post because our loyal camera was broken in this period

07.02

We are like drunk because of the lack of sleep but we want to escape the terrible Phuket as soon as possible. We sit to eat at a Muslim restaurant and then we head to the exit of the city. We come across a mountain with a steep slope, which we can’t climb in the noon heat so we start hitchhiking in the middle of the city. Continue reading

Hello Myanmar! Mandalay – the pagodas’ heaven and how we became captives of goodness

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Burmese with a cart

25.11

We enter Burma – now officially Myanmar: a country we don’t know almost anything about. What we know is that it is a Buddhist country and after many years of military dictatorship and a few days ago the elections were won by a democratic leader: Aung San Suu Kyi who had spent many years as a political prisoner and won Nobel Peace Prize. All the travelers we met who had been there were very impressed by the country and said it’s very special and the people are extremely hospitable and nice. This is all the information we have for now. Continue reading

Luxury experiences in a rich man’s house, magical living root bridges, Meghalaya – the shockingly different India

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Living root bridge

06.11

A Guwahati MAPWe arrive at 4:20 a.m. at Guwahati’s railway station. The sun hasn’t risen yet and the weather is cool. We leave behind us the broken roads of West Bengal, the egg and beet rolls and the men wearing blue striped skirts. Assam State welcomes us with humid tea plantations and people with Asian features. Sadly we won’t have time to see much because traveling next to the border promises to be slow and extreme and our visas will expire soon.

Assam is famous for its black tea, which is exported all over the world and with its extremist groups, communists and strange tribes. The situation in the north states is pretty insecure, but Guwahati is safe. Continue reading