The coolest guys at Pulau Jang school!
I almost feel guilty about sharing this. There is a part of Indonesia that is unspoilt, with beautiful beaches, patches of dense forest, skies in which you can see the stars and friendly local people with a relaxed attitude to the very few tourists that come here.
Would we want it to become the next Bali or Phuket? Despite my raving about it, I don’t think a blog post is likely to make that happen. Continue reading
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
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.
Watching the sun go down at Telunas Beach.
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
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
Fishermen make an early start at Telunas Beach, Indonesia
I’m going to try a little experiment to see if it improves my photography. I’ll undertake to post a new photo each Saturday and hope I can come up with something acceptable on a weekly basis. If anyone knows more about photography than I do (and nearly everyone with a camera does), feel free to suggest ways I could do it better. Otherwise click on ‘SHARE’, pass it on to everyone you know, and/or send me unconditional praise, encouragement and pats on the head.
Okay, the pressure is on, the bullet has been bitten and the nettle grasped, so here’s offering number one.
For the record, this was shot with a Canon 500D, with 17-85mm lens. You probably don’t need to know that, but it sounds more professional if I tell you.
We don’t speak much Indonesian, but we hope we’ll get by with ‘good morning’ (‘selamat pagi’), and ‘thank you’ (‘terima kasi’). It’s always a good start.
One of the highlights of a Telunas Writers’ Camp in the Riau Islands is the day we go with our students to visit one of the local fishing villages. Telunas staff have established relations with local people and contribute to their neighbours through community development projects, helping to build schools and sport facilities, digging wells or drains, even building a mosque in one village.
Just as important is the cultural exchange. These villages have no tourist industry and see few Westerners, so our arrival always causes great curiosity, some wariness and finally much excitement.
This hike is only 50km from Singapore, but it is remote.
My Garmin Edge 500 GPS made the little red line across the map okay, but it’s not following any known road or marked river and even the island itself doesn’t rate a name on Google Maps. The local people call it Sugi, and I was taken there with students from the Swiss School of Singapore, on a trip organised from Telunas Beach Resort. I’ve included the downloadable map below, and to keep you happy till you scroll down to it…here’s the trip in pictures:
As the Riau Island fishermen set out for the morning...
...we zipped past them in rather faster boats.
We turned up the wide river where the locals hunt for crabs...