Tag: Hiking

Road Trip Through Bali, Indonesia (Video)

One of the best things to do in Bali is get a bike and get the hell outta Kuta / Ubud. The more remote, less crowded areas of the island are truly amazing. Check out my Balinese road trip:

Highlights featured in the video: Babi Guling in Muduk, Denpasar, mountains near Munduk, Bunut Bolong (a tunnel through a tree), fresh coffee at Ngiring Ngewedang, the Hindu Temple Tanah Lot and sunset at Pantai Berawa.

Transport
There are tons of busses and ferries to get around Bali and between the neighboring islands. Of course Merpati, Sky Aviation and Lion Air are good choices for flights within Indonesia. I hear Batavia Air has plane crashes on the reg so watch out for them!

Lodging
If you want to stay in the south, look for places in Seminyak to be close to the clubs or do a homestay in Canggu for a quieter, local experience.

The cheapest place to stay near Ubud is in Bona, at Ketut and Geks House. Their homestay was some of the friendliest hospitality I ever had to pay for and their village life so close to Ubud is really interesting. For 150,000 Rp. you get your own house with a bathroom, kitchen, living room and porch. With three sleeping surfaces, your stay could be quite cheap if you split it.


Ketut and Gek are really friendly hosts, a real pleasure to stay with.

My other recommendation in Bali is close to Negara. Hotel CSB is the “mellow surfers retreat” in the town of Pekutatan. One room with two beds costs 75,000 Rp. The hosts are nice and you can rent a surfboard for 50,000 Rp. a day (better than Kuta’s 50,000 Rp. per hour).


The view from the room: about 100 meters away is an empty beach with nice breakers.

Eats & Drinks
There’s a huge variety of foods in Bali. Areas in and around Kuta have just about anything you can think of, but the prices tend to be pretty high, in the 50,000 Rp.+ range. But the warungs throughout the island offer all kinds of good Indonesia food for about 10,000 Rp.


Babi Guling, a Balinese traditional slow pig roast can’t be missed.

The undisputed king of Babi Guling is Selingsing Cepaka, found in Buduk, just north of Canggu on the way to Tabanan. It’s down some backroads and really hard to describe where it is so you might have to find someone who already knows to reach this place. They open at 4am and close at 6am so get there early before the pig’s devoured.

Myanmar Travel: Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake

One of the highlights of my trip to Myanmar was taking the 3 day trek between the city of Kalaw and Inle Lake.


You’ll spend 3 days mostly passing through gorgeous scenery like this.


Is this the south of France or Myanmar!


Food and accommodation are all included in the total price of 40,000 kyat. Staying in a local village house one night and a Buddhist monastery the next provide plenty of opportunity to mingle with the village children.


The final leg of the journey is a motor boat trip down the river and across Inle Lake, a nice end to a great trip!

To get to Kalaw from Yangon, take a taxi to the bus terminal (about 7,000 kyat). You can buy a ticket on an overnight bus for around 10 to 11,000 kyat. The bus arrives in Kalaw anytime between 2:30 and 4:30 am, but of course there are people waiting outside the bus to sell a bed to you.


We chose to stay in the Golden Lily Guest House.

You should be able to negotiate the first night’s stay for free if you stay a second night. We chose to stay one night, and paid $3 US for each bed. The next day we talked to the guides who work with the guest house from the company Jungle King. As mentioned everything is included in one price, and if you want you can arrange for your big bag to be carried to the final destination at Inle Lake for 4,000 kyat.

Hike the Great Wall at Jinshanling (中国北京金山岭长城)

Most people hoping to see the Great Wall go to Badaling. Those who go there have to stand in lines shoulder to shoulder just to get a chance to see an overcrowded section of the wall that was actually built in 1985. A much better option is to hike the Wall from Jinshanling to Simatai, a distance of about 10km. Jinshanling has restored sections at the beginning of the hike, but towards the end deteriorates to some of its original condition. Seeing this section of the old wall was one of my absolute favorite things of my trip through China.


Especially after 5pm you’re very unlikely to see other people at Jinshanling.

Unfortunately Simatai has been closed since June 2010, but rumor has it that it will reopen sometime soon. In light of this, you can still hike to the west end of Jinshanling and return the same way.

To get here, we took a bus from the Beijing Long Distance Bus Station to Miyun for 15 kuai. Watch out for the guys who come on the bus and snag confused foreigners to try and sell expensive rides to the Wall. In Miyun you can find another small bus station, where Bus 26 will take you to Gubeikou, from where you’ll need to hire one more short taxi to Jinshanling. We were lucky enough to meet a couple of other travelers in Miyun and we all decided to hire a van all the way to Jinshanling for 150 kuai.

Shapotou National Park, Ningxia Province, China (中国宁夏沙坡头)

The Desert Research Centre was built near Zhongwei to protect the trans-Asia railroad from the constantly-shifting desert and to stabilize the area’s agricultural development. Shapotou National Park was built nearby for some fun in the desert.


The desert’s scenery is without a doubt amazing.


This is a major desert with massive dunes.

Once inside the park there’s various things to do. Some are fun like driving a dune buggy or an ATV. Others aren’t so cool like riding a chairlift up the dunes or a crappy little raft down the Yellow River. After the 150 kuai entrance fee is paid, each of these other activities are really expensive as well. If you wanna do the activities inside be sure to bring several hundred kuai extra. If you want to hike around the dunes, that’s free of charge, and most likely nobody will stop you from doing so.

To get there, we took an overnight hard sleeper from Lanzhou to Zhongwei for 100 kuai. It wasn’t the best option since we got there around 4 in the morning, but we saved some money on lodging for that night. From the train station, a taxi to Shapotou is around 40 kuai. It’s possible to camp in or near the park, which I would recommend because we couldn’t find any hostels and the hotels were quite expensive.

Hiking the Meili Snow Mountains, Deqin, China (中国云南省梅里雪山)

As I hacked up the last pieces of phlegm from living in a major Chinese metropolitan city for the last 10 months, I was astonished by how blue the sky was. You probably laugh at me for this, but Chinese cities consist of one color primarily: gray. The ground, buildings and even the sky embody the same lifeless reflection. Coming out of the world’s most polluted cities and back into the natural world I love is an indescribable joy.

At around 9,000 feet above sea level and 28 and half degrees above the equator, the Mingyong glacier is simultaneously China’s lowest and most southerly glacier. This makes for a wonderfully biodiverse hike.


The lower stretches move through temperate forest.


Found a nice spot to frame the clashing ecosystems.


Feeling the mountain gods inside the basin and seeing a massive glacier up close (as well as snow for the first time in over a year) was well worth the 20km hike in.

Transport
The Meili Snow Mountains are an impressive range of three 6,000m (20,000+ feet) peaks in Northwestern Yunnan Province. If you want to go, Kunming is the usual jumping off point. I chose to stop in Lijiang (although it isn’t worth more than the sight of its copy-paste stores in a phony imitation of old Chinese architecture), Shangri-La, and Deqin. From Deqin it’s easy to catch a small bus (30 kuai) to Xidang, with the option of going on to the Yubeng Hot Springs.

Lodging
We chose to make this our base for 30 kuai a night, and 10 kuai a night to leave the big bags. From here we hiked into the Yubeng River Valley and back into an expanding Tibetan town to stay another night (25 kuai). There’s also supposed to be be an amazing hike to a massive waterfall back here, so it’s probably worth staying in the village for two nights.

Eats & Drinks
If you stay at the local guesthouse in Yubeng Hot Springs, they can fire up any type of food you negotiate at okay prices. For the hike, you’ll have to stock yourself up. You can always resupply at the tea houses along the trail. If you have room though, you’ll do best to stock supplies beforehand because the guesthouse and teahouses sell at slightly marked up prices.

Living in America (Photos)


These are the good times, people and places I miss while living abroad

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Meet DaveUnfulfilled by consumer lifestyles, I left on a really slow trip around the world. As a 3rd eye traveler on the New American Dream, my aim is to inspire and cultivate conscious living along the way....Read More...

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