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TRAVELLING WITH THE FUJI X SERIES TO INDONESIA

TRAVELLING WITH THE FUJI X SERIES TO INDONESIA

I've just returned from 25 days in Indonesia, my first trip with Fuji cameras and my first trip without a large dSLR.  We traveled the entire length of Java and Bali overland so it was important to me to have a camera that wouldn't feel heavy and cumbersome to carry around, but also one I could completely rely on to produce excellent image quality.

The experience of traveling with Fuji cameras has been a revelation! Not only in how much lighter, smaller and easier to carry around it all is, but how I've not once missed my old Nikon in terms of image quality or autofocus in any of the many situations I've encountered, from fast moving street scenes to dynamically lit landscapes.  They've been brilliant, reliable and a consistent pleasure to use.

INDONESIA PART 3: BROMO

INDONESIA PART 3: BROMO

We were up at 4am the next day again, but this time it was to get us to the early train in to Surabaya from Yogyakarta. Where the journey to Borobudur had taken almost 2 hours with the holiday traffic, the journey back to the station only took 45 minutes and we were there in plenty of time to get some breakfast and find our seats.

The journey took 5 hours and despite dozing a little on the train, I saw lots of the countryside through the window. Lush rice fields with people wearing conical hats, it was a typical rural south East Asian scene that made me wish, as ever, that we'd had more time to explore the area. At Surabaya station we met the driver we'd arranged with the Bromo hotel a few weeks previously. After about 2 hours we turned off the main road and started to head up into the mountains, the air got cooler and our ears started to pop.

INDONESIA PART 2: BOROBUDOR

INDONESIA PART 2: BOROBUDOR

Leaving behind Yogyakarta we headed towards nearby Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument on the world.  It's the kind of place like Angkor Wat or Bagan, when you first see photos of it, it seems like it's the set for some movie about a lost world. It's a vast stone mandala-like structure built around the hill in a jungle over a thousand years ago. 

By now though it's firmly established on the tourist trail and thousands of Indonesians travel from all over the country to visit it. I wanted to photograph it at sunrise, which I knew would mean a very early morning and difficulties in getting a clean shot as I expected the place to be very busy for first light in the way that Shwedagon Pagoda in Bagan was. Indeed both of these things were firmly on my mind as we arrived at Borobudur as I knew that it marked the beginning of four mornings where we would get up at 4am or earlier in both Borobudur and then Mount Bromo, and that both places would be incredibly busy with tourists making photography with a tripod sometimes a little challenging.  When we'd planned the trip I'd tried to ensure that we visited Bromo away from the weekend hoping that would mean slightly smaller crowds, but also because we also wanted our time in Ubud, Bali, to coincide with a full moon festival.  However, we hadn't realised that this would mean this part of the trip taking place in a week that began with a bank holiday to celebrate Indonesia's independence. The traffic as we left Yogyakarta to get to the temple was incredible and I started to realize how busy Borobudur was actually going to be.

INDONESIA PART 1: JAKARTA & YOGYAKARTA

INDONESIA PART 1: JAKARTA & YOGYAKARTA

Java, Bali, Indonesia, Jakarta are all magical names that conjure images of far away exotic lands to me.   After loving our trip to Burma we really wanted to return to Asia and spent a while looking at different possibilities.  Indonesia was the place we kept coming back to and about a year ago we decided that that's where we'd go.

Planning the trip proved a nightmare as it's a vast country spread out over thousands of islands with so much to see. At first we had quite an adventurous plan to see about 4 islands, but with this trip we thought it would be nice to have a smaller focus and spend more time in different places. For me, the huge Buddhist temple of Borobudur and the amazing volcano at Bromo, both on Java, were the big draws.  For Teresa it was the cultural city of Yogyakarta, also on Java, as well as Bali that she really wanted to see.  So after poring through guide books, GoogleEarth and various sites on the web, we decided to focus on Java and Bali and limit the locations we stayed in so weren't constantly on the move.

HEADING TO INDONESIA

HEADING TO INDONESIA

After months of research and planning, Teresa and I are finally heading off to Indonesia for a around a month on Monday.  It's a trip we've wanted to make for a long time and we'll be taking in a really wide range of places and locations, so it should provide lots of opportunities for photography.

We'll fly to Jakarta, before heading by train to Yogyakarta, the cultural centre, for a couple of days.  Then we'll spend a couple of days at the huge Buddhist temple of Borobudur, before heading by train again to Surabaya and then on to Mount Bromo, the iconic volcano in the Tengger Semeru National Park.  After that we head over to Bali for a few days diving and snorkelling in Permuteran on the north coast, then up to the mountains and rice fields in Munduk, before relaxing at the end of the trip in Ubud.