All posts by Adam Walker

Welcome to New Zealand!

New Zealand is a dream country. From the crystal clear waters of Abel Tasman, along the majestic expanse of Ninety-Mile Beach, the mountains overlooking Queenstown, all are the breathtaking scenery. Travelers can enjoy them by hiking or tramping (as said by New Zealanders), lazing on the beach, or enjoying the views of a vineyard while holding a glass of Pinot Noir in their hand. The trip to New Zealand requires a good plan to avoid the wasting of your time and money.

There are only 4.8 million New Zealanders spread over 268,021 km2, larger than the United Kingdom with a fourteenth of the population. Forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and sublime fjords. Here are the favorite destinations in New Zealand.

Welcome to New Zealand!

Explore Abel Tasman National Park

Stepping up to Abel Tasman seems like you’re getting to the beach in Thailand. A beautiful beach and its azure water are more tropical than New Zealand. The hike is superb with its giant ferns, tall trees and in the temperate climate. There are many hiking trails from one to three days and you can kayak to enjoy the park and its surroundings. This way you explore the coves and beaches that make Abel Tasman very special.

The glacier hike to Fox and Franz Josef

The steep and dramatic Fox and Franz Josef Glacier is accessible by hiking, ice climbing, helicopter flight which is landing on snow field above. It’s so hyped because the glaciers have receded and melted very fast. Today, the ice cave and its hike are closed so there is only one helicopter flight. It’s a little expensive but still worth the money.

The Tongariro passage walk

Welcome to New Zealand!

Considered the best day hike in New Zealand, tracks lead you to Mordor in a film The Lord of the Rings. The total of the track is 19.4 kilometers with different difficulty level but considered easy even for a beginner. The hike in this environment of volcanoes and sulfur, supernatural and red in color, was the highlight of your stay in New Zealand.

Relax in Christchurch

Heavily damaged by earthquakes in recent years, today Christchurch is a brand new city. Although there is still a lot of open space of demolished buildings, you will also find a large number of new constructions, a sense of hope and dynamism, funky bars, more markets, new restaurants, shops and exhibitions. The locals are really using this chance to improve Christchurch. If you’re there for a few days, be sure to visit the Canterbury and Quake City Museum, and be sure to take the gondola too!

Surfing in Raglan

One of the best and longest left breaks in the world, a reliable swell and a relaxed atmosphere make this surf destination in New Zealand a destination of choice.

Why Komodo National Park Diving Should Be in Your List

Apart from the gigantic, ancient dragon lizards that roam the lands, the Komodo National Park offers over thousands of fish species, all kinds of corals, and impressive big fishes like the Manta Rays, dolphins, and sharks. The Komodo lies in the heart of world’s coral triangle, receiving steady streams of rich-nutrients currents which contributes to the healthy bloom of the marine life. Moreover, the government’s strict protection to the national park allow the underwater world to flourish undisturbedly. Diving in Komodo National Park is anything less than impressive and this is why this remote destination should be in your dive list.

Why Diving in Komodo National Park Should Be in Your List

The World-Sized Aquarium You’d Find on Komodo National Park Diving

You might have thought that people are exaggerating Komodo’s waters for the sake of tourism before seeing it by yourself. Pristine reef system, crystal-clear waters, and sheer amount of marine biota feature almost every site in Komodo. It’s like jumping in a world-size living aquarium. From every hard coral you have seen documentaries to soft and almost transparent coral in bright colour. The teeming fishes from reef fishes to bigger one like humphead wrasses and barracuda. The appearance of bigger creature like hawksbill turtles and occasionally patrolling sharks. And the small critters like nudies and shrimps that gets busy unnoticed in the ocean floor. This is the general illustration of diving sites in Komodo National Park. Every site is varied, of course, but are just as rich as the others.

The Gentle Giants of the Ocean, Manta Rays

A rare chance to swim with Manta Ray is one of the main reasons why divers and snorkelers alike flock to Komodo. It’s not every day you could meet with these gentle giants yet in Komodo they are plenty! They even frequently ‘fly’ in squadron! You probably has never seen once in during your dive career and yet you’ll probably see as much as five mantas on just a single dive! The Komodo has this spot that serves as Manta Rays’ favourite cleaning station—the Manta Point near Taka Makassar. Sighting is not granted, but the Mantas almost always graced the sites daily.

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The Amazing Macro Critters to Be Found on Komodo National Park Diving

Why Diving in Komodo National Park Should Be in Your List

One dive to Komodo and macro lovers will get high for weeks. Seriously, diving in Komodo National Park rewards you with all kind of macro critters imaginable. From the usual nudibranchs, shrimps, and tiger crabs to the endemics of Komodo like sea apples and fire urchins. Some sites even have rarer creatures like “Pokemon” nudis, “Shaun the Sheep” nudis, and pygmy pink seahorses.

Packing A Carry-On Bag For Travel

Packing is one of the most tricky part of travel preparations. However, it is necessary just so you can travel smoothly and have everything you need. Picking items that will fit into your suitcase wont’ take much time if you make a list beforehand. As for a carry-on bag, you need to be wise in packing. You must try to balance the things in the airline requirements and airport security. You also have to make sure that you bring all essentials you are going to need during the trip and make them accessible. 

Common carry-on mistakes when packing for travel

Packing unnecessary things inside your carry-on bag can cost you lots of money. You may also get uncomfortable throughout the flight due to the weight. Not to mention that it’s possible to get held back at the airport security by packing things against their rules or requirements. Here are some mistakes you can actually avoid.

Packing A Carry-On Bag For Travel

Packing prohibited items 

Packing prohibited items by the country you are going to visit. Most common reasons for travelers to do this mistake is because they don’t know the rules. However, it is basic for you to not carry any firearms, baseball bats, explosives, or any other sporting equipment that can be considered or used as weapon in your carry-on bag. You cannot also pack sharp objects even if they are just safety razors. You can pack a scissors as long as they are not longer than 4 inches. You can pack disposable razors or nail clippers in your carry-on. 

Putting liquid or gasses at the bottom of the bag

For easy access, don’t put any plastic bags of liquid or gels at the bottom of your bag. It will make the process longer. Thus, place them at the top of your carry-on or at accessible pockets. This way, you don’t have to waste time digging around in security check. 

Packing too many things inside carry on bags

Packing A Carry-On Bag For Travel

Pack too many things inside carry-on bag is a common mistake by travelers. It will only cause your bag to weigh more. Some airlines weigh even carry-on not only the suitcase. Some airlines have a 15-pound limit for carry-on bags. So if you pack too much, it may exceed the limit and you have to pay extra. Not to mention that packing too many items can hurt your shoulders since you have to carry it around whenever you go. 

Unnecessary Items  

Stocking carry-on bag with unnecessary items is a mistake you can really avoid. Put everything you will need for comfortable flight. You can bring hand sanitizer, some reading materials, eye mask, headphones or ear buds,some medicines, documents, toiletries, etc. 

Are you willing to pay extra luggage?

If you cannot avoid packing so many items because they are going to be needed for your travel to be more comfortable, make sure you know how much you are going to pay for extra weight. It is possible for you to pay the cost lower if you pay it online in advance instead of when you arrive the the airport. This way, you don’t have to deal with the issue at the airport. 

Komodo Luxury Liveaboard Tips for Big Family Vacation

Taking your family for a vacation is a refreshing way to relieve stress after exhausting daily activities. Once in a while, you might also want to invite your cousins, uncle, aunt or grandparents for a huge family vacation. An ideal destination is visiting nature, where you don’t need to worry about room space. For example, booking a Komodo luxury liveaboard to tour around Indonesia’s most amazing tourist attractions.

Komodo Luxury Liveaboard Tips for Big Family Vacation

Komodo Luxury Liveaboard for Family

Why liveaboard? Because it is the best method to bring everyone without worrying about somebody going to left out. There are other methods to explore Komodo, but unless you already know your way around Komodo you can be easily scammed by the locals. Taking a Komodo luxury liveaboard trip from a trusted boat charter is way more convenient and simple.

But what can you do to make sure that every single one of your family members can have fun? Well, here are some of them:

Take a Private Tour

Usually, there are 2 kinds of trips offered in the liveaboard, an open or private trip. The open trip combines several guests until it reaches the quota per ship. This is suitable for solo or a few travelers who like to meet other people. Meanwhile, if you are one a big family trip it would be best to book a private trip instead.

Meeting new people is fun, but gathering with your family in a private ship can be an unforgettable experience.

Do Group Activities from the Luxury Liveaboard Komodo

Komodo Luxury Liveaboard Tips for Big Family Vacation

Aside from enjoying nature, you are given a chance to do so many water sport activities from the Komodo luxury liveaboard. These exciting activities can bring the whole family to bond and have fun together. Swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking are just a few examples that you can try with your beloved family.

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Arrange a Picnic on the Forest or Beach

When you take a vacation to enjoy nature, it’s obvious that you should bring a picnic set to prepare in the wilderness. Bring your family members to set a camp in one of the islands on Komodo National Park. You can either go to the forest and admire the rich nature on the island, or go to the beach and feel the ocean breeze as you relax.    

Sing Together on the Boat

Bring a guitar and gather your family on the ship at night to sing together. Just like on a campfire, songs can always make a group of people be in a good mood and enjoying the moment. Something about the melody makes people eager to sing along and share the joy that each is having. On top of that, the sound of ocean waves can also make the situation more relaxing.

Travel Hassles To Avoid While You’re On The Road

Travelling is not always perfect and experiencing some hassles is not uncommon even if you have been so thorough with the plan and preparation. There are unpredictable situations sometimes and it is okay to just go with it. The most important thing is to enjoy your trip and make the most of it. However, there are also some mistakes that tend to be more avoidable you can beware of. Those can be prevented from happening if you know what they are and how to avoid them. 

Avoid travel hassles and mistakes

There are common mistakes done by travelers while they are on the road. However, it doesn’t mean it makes the travel any less fun or exciting. Sometimes, mistakes can cause you another type of happiness. However, it is also necessary to know avoidable mistakes so your trip will be less hassled. Here are some of them.

Travel Hassles To Avoid While You’re On The Road

Exchanging money at the airport

This is not something you should not do but it is highly suggested to avoid. The exchange rates are unfair more often than not. The rate is quite far from what interbank exchange can give you. If you want to get the best rate from money exchange during your trip to foreign country, it is recommended to use credit card or ATM. 

Bring travelers’ checks for your travel financial support

In the past, traveler’s check was very useful since there had not been a credit card acceptance or ATM. However, bringing traveler’s check these days is not necessary. In fact, it can cause you problem later when you lose it. Only few banks willing to accept them anyway. Thus, it is better to bring cash or credit card. 

Eat near major tourist attractions spot

Travel Hassles To Avoid While You’re On The Road

It doesn’t mean you cannot choose a place to eat. However, the price of foods sold near major tourist sites is usually doubled up. Some restaurants sometimes don’t really pay attention to the quality of the foods either because they know that the place will always be visited by tourists. It is highly recommended to eat at the local restaurants flocked by the locals. It often indicates that the foods are delicious or cheap. 

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Handling the Unexpected During Your Trip

Underestimate travel insurance

This is essential especially when you are frequently travel o different places. It may cause you to pay for another expense but it is worth it especially when you face the unexpected during your trip. It protects you when you travel in foreign countries from medical and non-medical emergencies. Travelling put you at high risk to injury. Thus, buying yourself travel insurance is a needed protection. 

Avoid taking taxi to get around the place

There is nothing wrong if you take taxis for getting around the tourists attractions in foreign countries. However, they often charge you with ridiculous price. If it is not emergency like you need to go late at night, it is best to avoid taxi. Public transportation is not a bad idea and more fun anyway.

Komodo Liveaboard take you to the Famous Rinca Island

Komodo National Park acknowledged by UNESCO really bring a positive impact to the place. Ever since then, millions of tourists from all over the world are curious to set the beauty of Komodo themselves. Whether it’s by Komodo liveaboard or go backpacking by themselves.

Komodo Liveaboard take you to the Famous Rinca Island

But in 2018, there are controversies regarding the overgrowth of hotels and resorts in the Komodo National Park. Not only that, there’s a rumor that the government even decided to close the Komodo National Park altogether. Although it has since been denied, there was a huge complain back then from various people across Indonesia. The questionable area in which many investors wanted to build more accommodation is on Rinca Island.

Rinca is one of the 3 main islands in Komodo National Park which gain more popularity recently among travelers. It is the biggest among the three and has the tallest mountain.

Rinca Island, Komodo Liveaboard Popular Destination

Komodo Liveaboard take you to the Famous Rinca Island

Despite Komodo island literally have the same name as the animals, Rinca is actually the one with the most Komodo roaming around freely with around 2000 in total. Consists of mostly a savannah plain, the island also inhabited by other animals such as water buffaloes and wild boars. Some of the tourists loves to have the two islands on their Komodo liveaboard trip!

Komodo island, on the other hand, is covered with forests. Even though it has a less Komodo population the size of each animal is relatively bigger than in Rinca due to the environment providing better foods. But in terms of aggressiveness, Komodos in Rinca is the clear winner based on many accidents that happened in the past.

So for the safety of the tourist, each group has to be accompanied by a ranger in order to avoid any attacks on the wilderness. Traversing Rinca Island can be dangerous, but the magnificent view is what people would risk their lives for.

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The Natives

Yes, the island with thousands of Komodo roaming around actually has a human population as well and not in a small number either. There are 2 main villages in Rinca where travelers frequent visit to buy food or just socializing with the locals, Kampung Rinca and Kampung Karora.

Most of the villagers work as a fisherman, others sell food in the village or become tour guides to making ends meet. Recently some villagers are also rent their houses as a homestay.

How to Get There?

To reach Rinca Island, you have to fly to Lombok or Labuan Bajo airport and take a boat to cross the strait which is going to take about 2 hours from Labuan Bajo. From there you will see Loh Buaya gate, the entrance to Rinca Island. Note that there’s a fee for entering the island, combined with boat service and ranger support it will cost you around IDR 120.000.

Or, to avoid the hassle you can join one of the Komodo liveaboard . Not only are they already take care of every accommodation, but you can also get access to Komodo and Padar island as well at a reasonable price. 

Most Recommended Foods To Try When Travelling In Malaysia

Malaysian foods might not be as well-recognized as Chinese or Thai foods. However, Malaysia has various delicious foods deserve a taste. Malaysian cuisines are mostly influenced by Chinese, Indian, and Malay culture. Malaysian foods are somewhat similar to Indonesian foods. However, there are still some differences in various elements. If you are travelling in Malaysia without tasting the local foods, you are the one who lost. One of many things you can do to get to know more Malaysia is through their foods. Therefore, food hunting is one of the most recommended activities during your trip in Malaysia.

Best foods to try in Malaysia

It is very hard to choose which Malaysian foods are the best. There might be hundreds of them. Your limited time might not allow you to try them all. Therefore, here are the most recommended Malaysian foods you should try.

Nasi Kerabu

Most Recommended Foods To Try When Travelling In Malaysia

Nasi Kerabu is a very unique dish especially when you look at the blue color. The blue rice will be the first thing that spark your curiosity. This is a Kelantanese dish every local are ready to die for. The blue color of the rice comes from the telang flowers. They are crushed and mixed into flour. The rice is then topped with fried coconut and bean sprouts. Then, they are all drenched in a spicy fermented fish sauce called budu.

Mee Goreng Mamak

Mee Goreng Mamak is Malaysian noodle dish made from yellow noodles. This is actually Indian Muslim dish that has been popular in Malaysia. The yellow noodles are served with beef or chicken, shrimp, veggies, eggs, and mixed with soy sauces. To spice thing up, chops of chilies are tossed on top of the dish. This noodle dish is easy to spot since there are various street vendors and stalls selling it. 

Nasi Lemak

Most Recommended Foods To Try When Travelling In Malaysia

Nasi Lemak is a very iconic dish in Malaysia. It is even said as Malaysia’s unofficial national dish. Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk. It results in rich flavor and served with various side dishes. There are various side dishes you can choose. Every region in Malaysia usually have their set of side dishes to accompany Nasi Lemak. They include hard-boiled eggs, vegetables, beef curry or chicken or lamb, seafood, peanuts, and sambal. 

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Laksa

Laksa is also a popular dish in Malaysia that you won’t find any difficulty spotting it. Laksa is noodle dish with unique flavor coming from the herbs and spices used in the process of seasoning. It is kind of similar to curry but tastes spicier. The noodles are drowned in curry-like broth along with fish or prawns. One of the most favorite types of Laksa in Malaysia is Penang’s asam Laksa with more spicy-sour taste. 

Lemang

Lemang is glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and cooked in bamboo. The process is time-consuming but it’s worth it. The bamboo containing raw Lemang is left over fire for hours. When the rice is cooked, it has wet, sticky texture. You can eat Lemang on its own or eat it with vegetable or meat dish. 

Requirements You Need to Fulfil Before Going with Komodo Diving Liveaboard

You love scuba diving and you just simply cannot live a year without having at least one escapade to one of the bluest water on earth. And you heard that that liveaboard diving vacation in Komodo as one of the best dive destination in the world. It’s been constantly raved by bloggers, divers,  and travelers alike. The Komodo of Flores, Indonesia, is just happen to be totally remote and blessed with incredibly rich marine life as well as breathtaking Jurassic-esque landscape on the surface. Coincidentally, liveaboard trip is very popular here—even for the non divers! You start to wonder whether you can put the diving liveaboard trip in your bucket list. But before that, you need to know the requirements you’ll need to embark on any Komodo diving liveaboard there. 

Requirements You Need to Fulfil Before Going with Komodo Diving Liveaboard

Open Water Certification for Diving from Komodo Liveaboard

First thing first, you need to proof your diving competence. The only way to show it is by having dive certificate. You need at least Open Water certificate to be able to dive in maximum 18 meters. However, most rewarding dive sites in Komodo often located deep below 20 meters, so you might be need an advanced open water certification. If you are currently just graduated from basic Open Water certification, that’s okay! The Komodo diving liveaboard team will pick the right sites for you.

Getting Certification On Board

Haven’t completed your diving certification but you just cannot wait to meet awesome underwater creatures? Don’t worry. Some diving liveaboard in Komodo have try diving course which allow you  to discover scuba diving experience in Komodo for just one day. It’s a relieving alternatives for the non-certified (yet) scuba divers out there. Some diving liveaboard even provide PADI courses and certification you can complete onboard.

Open Water Certification for Diving from Komodo Liveaboard

Minimum Logged Dives 

This is something you need to check with the dive liveaboard operators. Some accept divers with minimum dive logs, but they might restrict you only to beginner friendly dive sites. The more serious diving liveaboard operator usually requires minimum 50 logged dives for any diver. Komodo, while being utterly beautiful, is quite rough and most sites are dominated by strong currents. You should not dive with operators who underplay dive sites for the advanced!

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High Tolerance with Other Passengers in Komodo Diving Liveaboard

You gonna sail, dive, and share the space with at least 7 other strangers on board. That needs high tolerance to maintain the peace and friendly atmosphere during the trip. Worry not, though. Most of the people you meet on the Komodo diving liveaboard are like-minded and generally open for new friends and new adventures. Just be the most relaxed version of yourself, don’t push anyone’s limit, be nice to everyone, and everything will be okay. 

Curious to visit tourist destinations as in the fairy tale?

Visiting the park with the theme is totally beautiful! Imagine that you can visit a travel destination to sample authentic local dishes. You can also visit a place to learn more about art. Thematic trips are no less exciting than luxury travel. This time you can also choose a travel destination that reminds you of a fairy tale. Places that remind you of fairy tales usually include castles, colorful villages, majestic landscapes, magnificent mountains and many more. The places seem generally magical and out of the world. Traveling in places with a magical atmosphere can make you feel like you are entering another world, giving you a new experience.

Curious to visit tourist destinations as in the fairy tale?

There are many places in the world with magical vibrations. If you are tired of the same type of trip, you may want to consider a fairy tale trip. This can give you the impression of being dragged into another dimension. It’s also a great experience to really enjoy the trip with a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. So, here are several recommended places that can remind you of fairy tales.

Cappadocia in Turkey

This is where you can see fantastic fairy chimneys and special rock formations. Unique reliefs are what attracts the most tourists. When you land on this place, you will feel like you are entering a different dimension, because the landscape and the overall atmosphere are extraordinary. Not to mention that you can also go on a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia to experience something more. Enjoy the landscape from above will amaze you. It’s like flying through the clouds.

Bhutan is for you!

Curious to visit tourist destinations as in the fairy tale?

Bhutan is also highly recommended if you want to visit a whimsical place with a magical atmosphere. There are many things that can remind you of fairy tales such as small quiet villages, majestic mountains and, of course, breathtaking views of the landscapes. One of the best places to visit is the Eagle Nest, as it is the land of the dragon thunder.

Isle of Skye is located in Scotland. This can be your ultimate fairy tale travel destination that should be included in your bucket list. If you are a fairy fan, this country will really remind you of it because of its magical atmosphere.

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A wonderful park in China

Zhangjiajie is located in China. This is where you can see one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. You can see pinnacles of sandstone rocks that stretch for miles. This place is magical and reminds you of landscapes in a fairy tale. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is an excellent destination, especially when you want to have a healing moment by getting closer to the majestic nature. This place will also remind you of the animated movie Avatar.

What makes the Best Komodo Liveaboard?

Liveaboard cruise or boat is a soaring business among the tourist in some vacation islands. In Indonesia itself, for Komodo islands in particular, there’s plenty of said business facilitating the area. Although it cost quite a fortune, it doesn’t stop people from lining up to book the cruise in advance. But the question is what exactly makes the best Komodo liveaboard to choose from among many others?

What makes the Best Komodo Liveaboard?

Make your business the best Komodo Liveaboard to spoil the guests!!

Sailing through the seas with a luxurious cruise is indeed enjoyable, but is the appearance of the ship is the only one matter when judging which liveaboard is the best? It certainly helps, but what if they have a poor service? The crew and staff attitude can make a huge difference regarding your experience inside the ship.

Customer service is appreciated more the higher guest have to pay. So if your charter offers a steep cost for their vessel, you better have to take responsibility for the behavior of the crews and staff on board. Even simple gestures like smiling and small greetings can affect the guest’s perception of the service.

You can’t have a “live”aboard without lively crews

What makes the Best Komodo Liveaboard?

Aside from the service quality, it’s important as well to check the itinerary of the journey. Usually, one liveaboard trip to Komodo islands will take 1 to 4 days, but there are some who offers up to a week or two that covers the Coral Triangles in general. A good liveaboard should be able to provide the details of the journey. From the schedule, things for the guest to bring, and the benefit that they will get aboard ship must be explained thoroughly before reaching a deal.

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People clearly don’t want to go on a journey blindly, especially when they have already paid a great sum of money and their lives are technically at the hands of the ship crew. Listing every piece of information on a website and provide easy access to book the trip can convince people to trust your service. Bonus point for providing professional diving gears up to standard, people usually don’t just bring it themselves when go sailing.

Convince the World you’re the best Komodo Liveaboard!

Last things to add, check the condition of the ship regularly. Especially taking a week trip can be quite a problem if the ship just having engine problems along the way, prepare for an emergency kit as well to expect the worst. Being one of the best Komodo liveaboard people will choose can be hard, but with effort and dedication, any hurdle can surely be handled. Cheers.