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Southeast Asia

What to do in Ubud

What Ubud lacks in stunning beaches and deep-water delights--the breezy, sunny Bali vacation common in Kuta or Seminyak--it makes up in lush green surroundings and no shortage of things to do. The town has a decidedly hippie vibe, cluttered...
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Postcard from the back of a motorbike

The best way to see Bali is by motorbike: the lush greenery rushing past, the thrill of speeding around incessant traffic, the chaotic and ceaseless beeping of horns. Once you escape the crowded center of Ubud, Bali seems to open up into one long...
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Learning how to cook Indonesian food

While I love eating Asian food, I barely know how to boil rice myself. Seriously. I buy my rice in those frozen packets from Trader Joe’s or gingerly poke at a pot of Minute Rice, with about 50/50 success rate. So thank goodness the Warung...
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Cycling through the Bali rice paddies

When I was zipping around Seminyak on my hot pink motorbike and saw people cycling through the cluttered streets, my first thought was: ARE YOU CRAZY? Smog, potholes, crazy drivers, the need to create your own lane and create your own throughway in a...
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Postcard from a Gili Trawangan sunset

My first night in Gili Trawangan, I watched an absolutely phenomenal sunset from a beachside restaurant and alternated between cursing myself for leaving my camera at home and simply enjoying the view without a viewfinder. I spent the next few nights...
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Stretch into a sun salutation in Indonesia

I committed to at least one yoga sesh or run each week in my 2012 resolutions; I fully believe that yoga helps make me a better traveler (and person). The humidity, smog and uneven surface areas quickly ruled out any running in Bali, but thankfully...
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The spell of Gili Trawangan: sincere or a sham?

As soon as I said I was going to Bali, it seemed like everyone told me to go to Gili Trawangan. More fun, more beautiful, more laid-back: the island was everything that Bali used to be. There is a slightly faded charm to biggest of the group...
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Postcard from Ubud Market

If food is the heart of a culture, then markets are its oxygen. Markets are the life source of a community: a place not only to buy and sell sustenance, but to exchange stories, recipes and smiles.   Ubud Market was no exception: it...
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First impressions of Bali

Bali was my way of baby steps into Asia. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I wasn’t sure what sort of Westerner I’d be. Would I fall in love with the culture and the scenery and the people and the fact that everything is cheap as chips? Or would I be...
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