The blue fire slaves

Ijen is an active volcano in East Java and home to a controversial mining industry. Three major eruptions, some 3500 years ago, created a caldera of 20 kilometres. Standing at a height of...

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Sasak fishermen of Lombok

Kuta beach is transformed by a big fishing festival each February, when hundreds of people rush to Lombok to catch a glimpse of the first nyale. Bau Nyale, which means “to catch the sea...

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Domesticating the Jigokudani snow monkeys

Jigokudani is famous for its large population of Japanese macaques, more commonly referred to as snow monkeys, that arrive in the valley during the winter. During the warmer months of the...

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How I travel the world for $5 per day

People are often of the belief that travelling is unsafe and only possible if you have a decent sum of money in your pocket. A belief that creates a barrier for any potential traveller....

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Everything will be Oki

The Oki Islands are volcanic in origin, and are the exposed eroded summits of two massive stratovolcanoes dating approximately 500 million years ago to the Tertiary and Quaternary periods....

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Nara

The decline and eventual extinction of the wolf species continues to impact Japan’s landscape, as the authorities attempt to maintain the equilibrium of the forest animals, which is...

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In search of hidden Kyoto

From the north, east and west sides, Kyoto is surrounded by hills, leaving the city’s buildings to spill out in a southerly direction. One evening, a few hours before the arrival of the...

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Boxy cars of Japan

“Have a nice trip” – called out the bowing leaflet lady as I left the station. The cityscape, with its intimidatingly tall buildings, crazy people and car traffic, opened up before me....

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Lanyu — Island of the people

There are two famous islands in the south eastern part of Taiwan – Lu Tao which literally means Green Island, and Lan Yu, which translates as Orchid Island. The first is easily accessible,...

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Why most Asians wear face masks?

The ironic thing in China, where people smoke in metro, push in crowds, spit and pee on the street, burp and fart in restaurants, is that from time to time you come across people with cloth...

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How I got my free pass to the rooftops of Hong Kong

There’s a residential block in Kowloon City in Hong Kong called Chungking Mansions. It’s known for having the cheapest lodgings in the city. The ground floor is full of immigrant workers...

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