Bring on Borneo!

After our little detour to the Anambas and Natuna Islands, we finished crossing the South China Sea and arrived in Borneo. For me, Borneo has always been synonymous with travel and adventure, and steamy jungles full of fascinating animals and poison-dart-wielding headhunters! I think this stemmed from my dad working on the oil rigs when…

MCM: Trapezia crabs

Trapezia are a genus of guard crabs that live in a symbiotic relationship with corals. They defend the corals from predators, like crown of thorns starfish, and in return get fed! I’ve spotted these guys all over the place, tucked into little clumps of coral. There are 23 different species, and I’ve found at least three: Trapezia…

MCM: Electroma Zebra

It’s marine critter Monday!! I spotted this week’s subject critter, the Electroma zebra (AKA delicate winged oyster), while snorkelling at Pulau Panjung in the Natuna Islands in Indonesia. They were tiny little blobs attached to some feather hydroids: They were approximately 1 cm in size, and the hydroids were flopping around in the current, so it took…

Selamat Hari Raya!

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” Anita Desai On the small and remote island of Pulau Seresan, we were invited into the homes of the local Indonesian people to celebrate Hari Raya Eidilfitri (the end of Ramadan) with them. We went ashore to explore as normal (not realising it was Hari Raya),…

Kampung life

We are back in Indonesia! We have detoured to the remote Indonesian islands of Anambas and Natuna on our way across to Borneo. It rained cats and dogs for a lot of our time in the Anambas islands, but the little town of Tarempa welcomed us in traditional Indonesian style, and we spent a few…

Don’t mess with Melaka!

Here’s a photo diary of our one-day flying visit to the cool and historic town of Melaka (Malacca): Once a Sultanate, Melaka was first colonised by the Portuguese in the early 1500s; was lost to the Dutch in 1641; and it was ceded to the British in 1824. Now, tourists visiting Melaka troop around the…

Everyone needs to put Myanmar on their travel bucket list!

After three fabulous months in Thailand, we had a few spare weeks before we commenced our rally back to the east, so we tossed up a few options to fill the gap. We considered sailing to the Andaman Islands, but the bureaucracy got the better of us, so we decided to fly to Myanmar instead!…

Dancing goats and dragonboats in Penang

Amanda: Hey guys, wanna meet at the Penang Botanic Gardens? Wayne (SV Irie): We are dancing with goats at the moment. See you there at 12 o’clock. Amanda: And then you can tell us about the dancing goats…! It turns out The Dancing Goat is a coffee shop in Penang. A really average one actually:…

The dizzying heights of KL

What’s the best way to see a city? On top of a 34-storey building, cocktail in hand, with a 360 degree panorama of the city skyline! KL has heaps of great sky-bars but the coolest one I’ve found so far is the Heli Lounge Bar . It’s bloody genius really: by day it’s a rooftop helipad,…

Safe as houses in the Malacca Strait

“A century ago, and for more than half a century before that, piracy was rife in the Malayan seas. … The Archipelago was split up into countless petty kingdoms and each rajah was the commander-in-chief of a pirate fleet. … A thousand rivers gave them hiding-places whence the swift warboats could dash out … and…

Strait sailing with the big boys!

“A typical Malaccamax* tanker has a maximum length of 333 m, beam of 60 m, draught of 20.5 m, and a tonnage of 300,000 DWT.”  That’s roughly 30 times bigger than us, and 37,000 times heavier than us!! But in order to transit from Indonesia to Malaysia, we needed to cross the Singapore Strait and…