Singapore River Cruise [Video]

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Watch my video taken on Singapore River Cruise. It’s a view of Singapore we don’t usually see in our daily lives. See the Merlion, Singapore’s national symbol and many other sights. The sound quality is poor, but I’ve chosen not to overlay background music and to keep the original sound because you can hear the tour guide voice in the background describing the places we are passing.

 

Java Bali Tour: Visit Indonesia

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If you’re inspired by reading about the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali but haven’t visited these amazing islands, this Java Bali tour could be just right for you.

Lynda Bransbury is offering very reasonably priced places on her Java Bali Heritage Tour in December 2012-January 2013. I met Lynda while I was studying Javanese gamelan music and she was studying puppetry in Solo, Central Java. You can read more about her tours in this interview or head straight to her own website.

MountainsHere are the juicy details:

JUST TWO PLACES LEFT ON OUR XMAS TOUR

27 December – 12 January 2012

17 nights in Java & Bali £770 single room; £612 if 2 people share

13 nights in Java £481 single room; £373 if 2 people share

7 night tour of Central Java £270;

Come and experience the wonders and beauty of Java and Bali for 17 nights. Vibrant tropical vegetation, lush rice fields, impressive volcanoes, sacred and ancient sites, dating back to Hindu Buddhist times.

BorobudurEach country has its own rich, cultural heritage. Traditional performing arts and rituals remain a vibrant and valued part of daily life. The 17 night study tour (13 nights in Java and 4 nights in Bali) combines visits to the major historical sites from the Hindu Buddhist past, including the World Heritage Site of Borobudur Temple, with opportunities to see traditional dance, ritual and performance. You can also take part in workshops led by internationally recognized Javanese artists in sound, movement, meditation, traditional dance or shadow puppets.

We visit Javanese mountain villages where the traditional way of life has hardly changed in generations, and stay overnight in village houses. You get to see traditions, performance and farming practices that tourists rarely see.

CONTACT

Lynda Bransbury at [email protected] or telephone (+44) 873 812 664 for more information or to book a place. See www.javabaliheritage.co.uk

Balinese dance

Labuan Bajo: The Main Tourist Town of Flores

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Labuan Bajo is by far the most touristic place on the island of Flores, with its main street lined with companies selling diving and tours to visitors. If a tourist boom comes to Flores, Labuan Bajo will be just another of those South East Asian tourist places, like parts of the Bali, Lombok and the Gilis, and many of the Thai tourist islands.

Labuan Bajo main streetFor now, however, it’s not that manic and you can walk down the main road without having tours and transport sold “at” you every few metres. There is a range of eateries, from small, cheap place serving local food to restaurants stocking a range of Western dishes. You can arrange a tour to nearby Rinca and Komodo islands, famous for the Komodo dragon lizard. You can also head to some of the other islands that line up on the horizon, including Seraya Island.

If you’re in Labuan Bajo for a night or two, it’s worth heading to the seashore to watch the picturesque sunset, where you can see ships of all shapes and sizes in the harbour against a background of lump-shaped islands, all swathed in shades of golden brown.

Sunset from Labuan BajoLabuan Bajo is most visitors’ first or last stop on Flores, with an airport serving Bali and destinations in Nusa Tenggara. You can take buses, minibuses and public taxis to other parts of Flores and arrange car hire here.