Aaron’s Blog

Found in Indonesia: Racist Potato Sticks

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After their inexplicably low sales in Mexico, I guess the maker decided to try out the Indonesian market.

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Top 5 Reasons Indonesia is Amazing

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This is part 2 of our good and bad coverage of Indonesia.  For a look at the dark side, please check out the Top 5 Resaons Indonesia Sucks.  For now, let’s look at why this massive archepelgo is pretty fantastic.

5. The Sights

Sunset near Kuta_1280_for_Web

Indonesia is endowed with some pretty fantastic eye candy.  What’s more is that there is such a variety of things to see.  Whereas many tropical destinations mainly have great beaches to offer, Indonesia has so much more.  There are the lush tropical forests, magestic mountain ranges, and some of the largest hindu and buddhist temples in the world.  These trace back to an amazing hisory hundreds of years ago that still lingers to this day.  They are the type of places that boggle the mind when you see them as you try to figure out how a culture could have built such things so long ago. Read more

Top 5 Reasons that Indonesia Sucks

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What follows is an unfair and biased assessment of Indonesia based on certain personal experiences.  For the other side of this coin, please also read the article on Top 5 Reasons that Indonesia is Amazing.

5. The Bait and Switch

Indonesia could teach classes to up-and-coming con men on how to pull off a proper bait and switch.  They basically have their whole tourism industry setup to invite you to see a paradise that no longer exists.  It may be that there was once a place of pristine beauty and tropical wonderfulness that is described in the brochures, but the reality is that this place has long gone away, with little effort made to restore it.  Take for example, Kuta Beach.  This stretch of sand near Kuta, the main tourist area of Bali, would actually be an incredibly pleasant place to spend an afternoon…if it didn’t also double as a garbage heap.  This is the vision of Kuta beach – a beautiful, sandy paradise overlooking pristine waters.

Chairs welcoming you to Kuta Beach_1280_for_Web

However, if you walk along the beach or decide to plunge in the water, what you get is something more like the garbage chamber in Star Wars.

This is only a problem if you do not like to feel like you are swimming inside a crazy old woman’s hoarding closet.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite work for me as not knowing if I’m stepping on a Dorito’s bag or a used needle tends to put a damper on my enjoyment.  Read more

Photo of the Week: Woodcraft in Ubud, Bali

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Polishing_1280_for_Web

Bali is known for exceptional handicrafts and Ubud is the home of a number of woodcraft studios.  We took a tour of one of the studios, which is where we met this woman, who was working at the polishing station.  An average piece is polished for almost two days before it is ready to be laquered.  It’s amazing to think of how much time and effort goes into each piece, all of which are handmade.  This is something to remember every time you ask for a lower price.  It may be a few dollars to you, but it’s days of effort for them.  Find a price that you’re comfortable with, even if it might not be the rock bottom price, and know that you’re helping to keep this piece of culture alive.

Photo of the Week: Holy Spring Temple, Ubud, Bali

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Hot springs_1280_for_Web

Known as Tampak Siring, this temple is an active place of worship for the Balinese and it is visited in droves by both foreigners and locals alike.  In the photo above is the natural springs that are on the temple grounds.  The other attraction is a pool into which water from the spring runs and people wait to wash and purify themselves.  When we visited, it was absolutely packed with visitors lined up waiting to wash away the bad luck.  This brings us to our bonus picture for the week:

Purification at the water temple_1280_for_Web

The temple is a common stop on day tours from Ubud, which can easily be arranged through either hotels or one of the million touts on the streets.

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