12 Chinese curiosities I learned after being abandoned in Beijing

Chinese toddler with split pants

Finding yourself unexpectedly alone in an alien land is a sharp reminder that cultural experiences are more intense without company. There’s no western filter where the strangeness of things is discussed and diffused in conversation with a mate. It’s just you and the natives. How I came to be abandoned in Beijing is simple, he [...]

The unmissable Kagata surf retreat of the Solomon Islands

We didn't get too many good surf shots, but unlike other surf trips, the surf ended up peripheral

Thanks to our avid aid worker, surfer, traveller and friend, Eddie Burton, for providing this insightful and inspiring feature on the Solomon Islands. Towards the end of Eddie’s tale are his reflections, which will pull at the chords of every seasoned Island traveller. As I sat out the back alone, the last person in the [...]

Tim Baker’s ‘Surfari’ around Australia

BLOGNEWS_Graphics_Surfari

  Tim Baker is so stoked that he can’t put his wetsuit on fast enough. Somehow, in the middle of his life, the prolific surf scribe has slipped one past mediocrity to live the adventure he wished for as a teenager. Balancing life on the road for the best part of a year as a [...]

Slating Kelly

Kelly Slater, suiting the red shirt in Arica, Chile 2007 (Andy Irons won that one)

I wince while watching a video replay of Kelly Slater jumping switch-foot between 6-foot barrels at Padang Padang. He’s so awesome and yet I’m so over it. This twenty-year long adulation has become a little schizophrenic of late, a little up and down; I think I have Slater Fatigue Syndrome (SFS). Not to be confused with [...]

Kuta Bali hit list: we say YES!

Saul at Bingin, Bali

For fear of being mistaken as an Elizabeth Gilbert wannabe, author of Eat Prey Love (Groan, Sigh, Moan), we’ve opted to avoid the trendy jungle town of Ubud in Bali, where we’ve been told naval gazing woman armed with laptops and a vision to write crowd the free Wi-Fi cafes. We cast our eyes away [...]

Mexican Pipeline Dreams

Mexican pipeline bikini girl

It’s flat. So I sit, drink a Balinese coffee and listen to the flirtatious conversation between two middle aged Californians at breakfast. The southern Cali twang is unmistakable and unusual next to the more common Aussie accent. Bali is to Australians what Mexico is to North Americans…good waves, a cheap holiday, contrasting culture, and white-skin [...]

Unravelling Indonesia’s culture

Some things we do the same all over the world, Christina, having a good scrub

Indonesia is the austral surf mecca. People flock to its wave infested coastline, often in annual pilgrimages. It’s affordable, tropical and the surf is sensational – why wouldn’t you? But surfing and a cheap holiday aside, what do you know about Indonesia? As much as people are products of their experiences and their environment, a [...]

Sucking the surf from Indonesia to the Pacific

Mario, part owner and operator at the Surfing Village, at his home break straight out the front of his bungalow, somewhere in Sumatra...wow

Teahupo has nicked Sumatra’s thunder this week. It’s sucked the swell (and the surfing world’s attention) from Indo to the South Pacific. Watching the latest hot heavy weight surfer in the belly of the Tahitian monster, or Slater surf a 5”11 has been almost worth it, almost. No worries though because in Indo, with a [...]

Surfing and talking sh!t in Sumatra

taken by surprise on the sumatran throne

I feel like Al Bundy (Married with Children) as I sit on the loo at the Surfing Village resort. On an island off west Sumatra (Indonesia) this toilet is a throne. It is a statement in and of itself: ‘sit here and relax your majesty’ it seems to say. It is a magnificent toilet and [...]

Captain Coconut Surf Tour

mawi lombok sunset

THE PLAN: Book myself on a seven day surf boat trip, score some waves, have some fun. THE ITINERARY: Nusa Lembongan, Lombok, Sumbawa – Indonesia THE PRICE: Under US $70 a day; amazing food, drinks included (although we topped up the beer allocation a couple of times). THE BOAT: Traditional Indonesian boat with bamboo outriggers, [...]

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