In search of places that have not been polluted by modernisation and still had traditional culture that could be explored by occasional travellers I headed to Papua (previously known as Irian Jaya), right at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. Accessible by flight only, the Baliem Valley is a relatively small fertile area surrounded, for now, by impenetrable jungle and extremely high mountains.  The Dani tribe are its inhabitants... see more

Kawah Ijen, a fuming volcano in eastern Java, Indonesia, is a place where poor people head in search of fortune. You have to be amazingly fit and fearless to get down into the crater of the volcano every day and drain the yellow gold from the heart of it. That is the way to execute sulphur mining. Then, once that is done, hopefully without choking on extremely dangerous sulphuric fumes, there are still some kilometres up the steep slope and down again to bring the hardened sulphur to the collection point... see more

I consider myself more of a traveller than a visitor in search of beautiful beaches or food, so I had to have a second look at Bali in order to become convinced it was worth spending time on the island. After the initial fight through the hordes of tourists and taxi touts, I was lucky to be introduced to the Balinese people and that forced me into a rethink... see more

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