Indonesia

Mumbai-Bali Direct Flight with Garuda Airlines

The time had arrived. I was flying the Garuda Airlines. I had flown it before but on a different sector as a part of my full route. This was the first time I was flying a direct flight from Mumbai to Bali, my destination!
Yes, you heard right. A DIRECT flight to Bali. To say I was excited, would be an understatement. Because well, who doesn’t want a non-stop flight to one’s destination?

mumbai bali direct flight garuda interiors

Top 12 things to do in West Sumatra

There is more to Indonesia than just Jakarta, Bali and Komodo! There are islands and islands and there are diverse cultures but united by a country, Indonesia. West Sumatra, third largest of the ten provinces of Sumatra, the largest Island of Indonesia is also known as the land of Minangkabau.

west sumatra clock tower bukit-tinggi

In ancient times Sumatra (Sumatera) was called Swarna Dwipa, Sanskrit for Island of Gold and sometimes Swarna Bhumi (Land of Gold), owing to the fact that there were a lot of gold deposits in this region. Later it was called Samudra Pasai, a kingdom in North of the Island. Again, a Sanskrit word where Samudra means Sea.

Adventures in Merapi

With a name that means ‘mountain of fire,’ it is a no brainer that Mt Merapi is Indonesia’s most active volcano. It has erupted several times, telling us Merapi has quite a few legends to speak about its spirit and past eruptions. At one point it was so serious that it was well observed and followed by many volcanologists.

img_0862-2

Its difficult peaks and

A peek into Minangkabau culture

Where the men rule but women call the shots!
There can’t be a more contradictory sentence than the one above but it strikes true everytime in West Sumatra.

It was late afternoon but still bright when I stepped out of Padang Airport in West Sumatra (Sumatra Barat). A designated guide received me and we started walking toward the parking lot. By force of habit I always look back to see how things looked like. I did so this time too and I stopped!

Padang, Minangkabau culture

Padang Airport based on Minangkabau architecture

In front was the beautiful

VW Safari tour from Bali to Ubud

VolksWagen.
Safari.
Bali.

These words didn’t make any sense to me. Separately they did, but not together in one sentence. I was waiting in the lobby of Mercure hotel at Kuta Beach for my day’s expedition. I was told, we were to go on a VW Safari tour in Bali! Safari in a city overloaded with temples, dances and art & culture? How does that sound? To be honest, I couldn’t really digest it.

vw safari tour bali ubud

After sometime I was