In most people’s minds, Japan invokes images of crowded supermetropolises bustling with jam-packed subways, neon-drenched electronic districts and futuristic travel systems. Indeed, Japan has a highly urbanized population and some of the world’s largest cities. To visit Japan during the August high season, when the whole country grinds to a halt for the annual Obon vacation, is to suffer the stifling heat of this country’s hottest month in the suffocating pressure of the summer crowds. Or so goes popular wisdom.
But as large as Japan’s 128 million strong population may be, most of it is concentrated in a small portion of the country, leaving vast mountainous areas wild and untouched by urbanism. A prime example is Yakushima.
Yakushima: Read on
Hello, Wow wild week in the Reber family adventure...we are now in Thailand, Bangkok to be exact! We are not city people we are are country mice! We have been challenged to grow from experience, first thing in the city our important carry on bag with all the good stuff, ie ipod, underwater camera, phone, tooth brush, etc was taken. Ouch.
Click here to read more about the fun in Thailand
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Planet of the Apes
“Would you not like to see orangutans? There's a place in Sumatra where you can see them up close...” my wife said, and it did not take much to convince me. We were in Kuala Lumpur and were just a thirty minute flight away from Medan, in northern Sumatra. Up until then, Sumatra was for me just an exotic place in some distant country. I did not know that it was Indonesia's largest island, and indeed the sixth largest island in the world, whose amazing fauna includes the Sumatran Orangutan, the rarer of the two species that inhabit Indonesia (the other one being the Borneo Orangutan).
Equipped with abundant mosquito repellent, we decided to make our way to Bukit Lawang, a tiny village on the banks of the Bohorok river, situated in the middle of the jungle, and right at the doorstep of the Gunung Leuser National Park, home to the oranguntans we were after. It took our taxi about three hours to cover the less than 90km from Medan airport to the Jungle Inn, were we would stay. Once settled, we hired a guide who would take us trekking through the jungle for a whole day, in the hope of finding the great apes. Dressed in khaki colors and carrying abundant mineral water and our camera, we were picked up at 8 am by Wang Wang, our knowledgeable guide for the day. The vegetation, not to mention the size of the insects and bugs (!), was truly impressive. It was however the sight of our first orangutan that left me breathless.
Read more about Orangutans and Sumatra