Singapore River Cruise [Video]

Watch my video taken on Singapore River Cruise. It’s a view of Singapore we don’t usually see in our daily lives. See the Merlion, Singapore’s national symbol and many other sights. The sound quality is poor, but I’ve chosen not to overlay background music and to keep the original sound because you can hear the tour guide voice in the background describing the places we are passing.



Java Bali Tour: Visit Indonesia

If you’re inspired by reading about the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali but haven’t visited these amazing islands, this Java Bali tour could be just right for you.

Lynda Bransbury is offering very reasonably priced places on her Java Bali Heritage Tour in December 2012-January 2013. I met Lynda while I was studying Javanese gamelan music and she was studying puppetry in Solo, Central Java. You can read more about her tours in this interview or head straight to her own website.

MountainsHere are the juicy details:


27 December – 12 January 2012

17 nights in Java & Bali £770 single room; £612 if 2 people share

13 nights in Java £481 single room; £373 if 2 people share

7 night tour of Central Java £270;

Come and experience the wonders and beauty of Java and Bali for 17 nights. Vibrant tropical vegetation, lush rice fields, impressive volcanoes, sacred and ancient sites, dating back to Hindu Buddhist times.

BorobudurEach country has its own rich, cultural heritage. Traditional performing arts and rituals remain a vibrant and valued part of daily life. The 17 night study tour (13 nights in Java and 4 nights in Bali) combines visits to the major historical sites from the Hindu Buddhist past, including the World Heritage Site of Borobudur Temple, with opportunities to see traditional dance, ritual and performance. You can also take part in workshops led by internationally recognized Javanese artists in sound, movement, meditation, traditional dance or shadow puppets.

We visit Javanese mountain villages where the traditional way of life has hardly changed in generations, and stay overnight in village houses. You get to see traditions, performance and farming practices that tourists rarely see.


Lynda Bransbury at or telephone (+44) 873 812 664 for more information or to book a place. See

Balinese dance

Labuan Bajo: The Main Tourist Town of Flores

Labuan Bajo is by far the most touristic place on the island of Flores, with its main street lined with companies selling diving and tours to visitors. If a tourist boom comes to Flores, Labuan Bajo will be just another of those South East Asian tourist places, like parts of the Bali, Lombok and the Gilis, and many of the Thai tourist islands.

Labuan Bajo main streetFor now, however, it’s not that manic and you can walk down the main road without having tours and transport sold “at” you every few metres. There is a range of eateries, from small, cheap place serving local food to restaurants stocking a range of Western dishes. You can arrange a tour to nearby Rinca and Komodo islands, famous for the Komodo dragon lizard. You can also head to some of the other islands that line up on the horizon, including Seraya Island.

If you’re in Labuan Bajo for a night or two, it’s worth heading to the seashore to watch the picturesque sunset, where you can see ships of all shapes and sizes in the harbour against a background of lump-shaped islands, all swathed in shades of golden brown.

Sunset from Labuan BajoLabuan Bajo is most visitors’ first or last stop on Flores, with an airport serving Bali and destinations in Nusa Tenggara. You can take buses, minibuses and public taxis to other parts of Flores and arrange car hire here.

5 Reasons to Visit South East Asia

There are millions of reasons to visit South East Asia, but to celebrate the launch of the fab new AnySomewhere Facebook page as well as the new page on Google+, here are five main reasons to be going on with. It’s Cheap

Despite this being the twenty-first century, it is still possible to travel very cheaply in South East Asia. The US$10 per day that sufficed ten years ago may no longer be possible, but US$15-20 a day is certainly doable if you’re not expecting fancy accommodation or luxury transport. Working in a wealthier region of the world, you can save up and travel for a long time here. I have met people who have travelled for years at a time by sticking to cheap areas and people who do seasonal work for several months each year (Wimbledon tennis and the UK Christmas markets are two examples I’ve come across), saving enough money to travel for the rest of the time.

2) People are Friendly

Perhaps it’s a cliché, and there are certainly unfriendly people around, but for the most part, South East Asians welcome guests. You may be treated with curiosity or yelled at in the street, but you’re unlikely to be looked upon with suspicion or mistrust in this region.

Batak couple, North Sumatra, Indonesia3) A Warm Tropical Climate

The warm humid climate of tropical South East Asia may be just what your body needs to ease your joints and loosen your muscles. There are only two seasons in South East Asia—rainy and dry—and unless you’re up a mountain, it stays warm throughout the year.

4) Something for Everyone

Perhaps you want to rough it, travel off the beaten track to remote areas, meeting the natives and avoiding the tourist trail. Or would you prefer to stay at the cheapest scruffiest backpacker haunts, meeting travellers from around the world before you party the night away on the beach? Or maybe you’re on a quest for total relaxation at a five-star beach resort with a 24-hour bar in the swimming pool and a restaurant serving up raw food dinners. You can find all those options and anything in between here in South East Asia.

Beach5) Good Infrastructure

Ok, so it’s cheap and friendly, but poor right? Developing countries must surely mean bad infrastructure, which means no internet access, no public transport and just dirt tracks, right? Wrong. Although many people of South East Asia are undeniably poor, the infrastructure is on the whole perfectly adequate for the average visitor. There is internet access, public transport and the roads aren’t so bad. In fact, you can expect most if not all of your home conveniences to be available in South East Asia, though possibly not throughout the entire region.

So, there you are. Five great reasons to buy that plane ticket and come to this wonderful part of the world! I’ll be waiting…

And in the meantime, “like” me on Facebook at and add me to your circles here on Google+.