Category Archives: Indonesia

TELUNAS TOP TWELVE – best shots

Despite all the interesting learning experiences on offer at Telunas, the kids invariably have one highlight - jumping off the deck.

Despite all the interesting learning experiences on offer at Telunas, the kids invariably have one highlight – jumping off the deck. It often makes the best shot too.

While the writers’ camp at Telunas Beach is supposed to be all about words, for me it’s about pictures too.

I’d bought a new camera lens and this was its first outing. It’s an ‘all-in-one’ Tamron 18-270mm, so naturally there are compromises of image quality at both ends of the range, though on the whole I found it did the job. The advantage of the big zoom is that I could get close to people without making them too aware they were in shot, thus getting a little more spontaneity.

And in Indonesia’s lovely Riau Islands, there is always something worth pointing the camera at. Continue reading

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Filed under Indonesia, travel photography

TERIMA KASIH (Thanks!) JAGA ISLAND!

We don't speak Bahasa, they don't speak English, but we can all learn handgames. handgames.

We don’t speak Bahasa, you don’t speak English, but we can all learn handgames.

Not many people visit Pulau Jaga, Indonesia. It isn’t easy to find. Google Maps doesn’t even name it. ‘Did you mean “Java, Indonesia”?’ says the Google search engine, trying as ever to be helpful.

No, I did mean Jaga, an island in the Riau Archipelago, two and a half hours by boat south of Singapore. Jaga is some 2.5km long and 500m across, home to perhaps 90 families, most of them supported by fishing. There are no hotels, no restaurants, no roads and no cars. There is a school, however, and we were invited to visit it. It was a privilege and a pleasure. Continue reading

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Welcome to Jang Island, Telunas writers!

The visitors.

There’s a lot of interest in the visitors. They don’t have many on Jang Island.


We are expected.

On the rough jetty between rickety stilt houses, a guard of honour is forming. Kids from the Jang Island school beat out a deafening rhythm on hand drums as our open pancung boat pulls up and we file ashore.

Twenty students, two teachers and a visiting Australian author have come to do a writers’ camp at Telunas Beach Resort, in Indonesia’s lovely Riau Islands, a couple of hours across the water from Singapore. Each morning we set off on a different adventure. Each afternoon we gather back at Telunas to discuss and write about our experience.

There is never a shortage of material. Continue reading

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Filed under Indonesia, Singapore

BEYOND BATAM – Indonesia’s Riau Island villages



The archipelago of 3000 islands south of Singapore has become one of my favourite places on the planet. I’ve visited them at least once a year for the past seven years.
Continue reading

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BRAVO, TELUNAS BEACH!

Watching the sun go down at Telunas Beach.


I was really pleased to read this week that Telunas Beach Resort has been chosen in TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice 2012 awards as the Number 3 in Asia and Number 17 in the world for the ‘All-inclusive Resort’ category.

This is extraordinary when you consider how many resorts there are. Heaps of them. It’s an amazing achievement for a place which started with absolutely nothing but a beach in 2004. I’ve watched it grow since I first went there in 2005, and I am in awe of the work the team have done. Continue reading

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OUT OF OFFICE AUTOREPLY – back soon

Telunas Beach - not a bad office to go to work in.



I’ll be working from my other office for a couple of weeks, and may be out of cybercontact some of the time.

Yes, I really will be working, running writing camps for high school and elementary school students from Singapore. Continue reading

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Filed under Indonesia, Singapore