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In Mt. Kelimutu National Park on Flores Island, Indonesia, you’ll come across three of the coolest lakes you’ll ever see – and then again, and again. Each of the three lakes are different colors…and they are constantly changing hues. Kelimutu in English means ‘the boiling lakes.’ The three bodies of water have their own local names, and the island residents believe they are the resting places of departed souls. Read more
In Bali, hot hotel openings are booming, with the sexy Starwood Hotels brand in particular playing a heavy hand here – three Starwood-branded hotels alone have scheduled openings in just a one-year span.
Yes, Bali’s a long way to come for the American traveler, but I can tell you, having landed in this Indonesian slice of paradise just last week, that this “Island of the Gods” is a journey that us mere mortals really ought to take, with enough top-rated beaches and snorkeling/dive sites, lush vegetation and volcanoes, and hospitable locals and cultural curiosities to satiate the demands of even the most jaded traveler – all at budget prices, to boot.
While here, I’m bedding down at the brand-new Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, which opened its doors on December 1 on the storied shores of Bali’s Kuta Beach, a surfers’ and sunset seekers’ mecca. The Starwood-branded resort’s trump card comes in the form of its sweeping ocean views, best enjoyed with frothy cocktail in hand from the panoramic picture-window lounge (or during the venue’s weekly wine-tasting event); while savoring tasty Italian fare at its Bene restaurant; while splashing about in the outdoor rooftop pool; or while just kicking back and relaxing in your guestroom. Read more
In another alarming incident of reptile (and other creepy crawler) smuggling aboard planes, a notorious Malaysian animal trafficker, Anson Wong, was arrested when authorities found 95 boa constrictors writhing in his luggage in the Kuala Lumpur airport late last month. Wong was taking the snakes to Jakarta, Indonesia, when his bag burst on an airport conveyor belt. Read more
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