Stephanie Brookes Travel Writer

Life in Bali revolves around ceremonies, and one of the major highlights is Nyepi, the Day of Silence. The three to five day period leading up to Nyepi Day is one of the most exciting, colourful and festive times on the island. However, from the stroke of midnight on Nyepi Day everyone stays indoors. No one is allowed out on the streets, except in special circumstances such as medical emergencies. Pecalang or community police patrol the deserted streets and will escort anyone found outside back home – or to jail. Even the Bali dogs don’t bark and somehow disappear.

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Ogoh Ogoh on the Loose in Bali

Life in Bali revolves around ceremonies, and one of the major highlights is Nyepi, the Day of Silence. The three to five day period leading up to Nyepi Day is one of the most exciting, colourful and festive times on the island. However, from the stroke of midnight on Nyepi Day everyone stays indoors. No one is allowed out on the streets, except in special circumstances such as medical emergencies. Pecalang or community police patrol the deserted streets and will escort anyone found outside back home – or to jail. Even the Bali dogs don’t bark and somehow disappear.

read more

Into the Wild - Sabangau National Park

I started my trek in the Sabangau National Park, Central Kalimantan under a veil of darkness.  The earthy smell of the peat bog forest rose sharply to greet me as I held my torch steady so as not to trip and fall into the organic black water swamp that lay on either side.  I was following the clouded leopard monitoring party. “No talking please and mind your step,” the ranger said, “This boardwalk can weaken at any time, and one of these planks could break, but don’t worry I am here to help”.

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Where the wild things roam

Tangkahan is a remote village in Northern Sumatra where you have the opportunity to sleep in the jungle with the ‘big five’ of Indonesia – the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Sumatran orangutan, and the clouded leopard.

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Vibrant And Historic Jakarta

Jakarta is a modern fast paced city offering the visitor a host of attractions. It’s a huge modern city with a towering skyline and a patchwork of small back lanes where life continues as it has done for hundreds of years.
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Suku Sawang Belitung Island

Belitung Island emerges gracefully out of the Java Sea inviting curiosity and exploration. It does not disappoint. It is unquestionably a place of extraordinary and untouched beauty.

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Cockfighting Showdown

I witnessed my first cockfight in Bali, in a small village just outside Ubud. I stumbled upon it by chance when I was running, with a local sports club, on a Saturday afternoon. Our route took us through a temple complex in the middle of the jungle, where we came across a cockfight. Only men are allowed to watch this sport, so it was an unusual opportunity to see one first-hand.

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Reflecting on Indonesia's Hidden Heritage

Each month, travelling duo Stephanie Brookes and David Metcalf, explore some of the lesser-known enclaves of Indonesia and bring back tales of hidden heritage and cultural journeys of discovery. Here are a few highlights from 2016.

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Travel Bhutan - Happy Daze

Moving slowly around…, around the giant prayer wheel at the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu, I was aware I was spinning and releasing more than one million prayers written on tiny scrolls inside. This sacred place is….

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Sheila in the Rice Fields – Ubud Yoga House

Sheila first came to Bali in 1985 and had a strong connection with Ubud which she maintained through the years.  After a career working in International schools around the world, she felt ready to settle down, but where?…

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Large tropical resort in Bali

French elegance and Balinese tradition blend seamlessly together throughout Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort on the island’s southern peninsula, but no place more than in the lobby….

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Bali Green Utopia

The ultimate palms and paradise destination? There are many, and Bali is definitely on the shortlist. But there’s more to the Indonesian island besides white-sand beaches and clear blue water. We hop on our bikes to experience the authentic life and ways of Bali.

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People of the forest

I watched with fascination as the Wana elder, a woman of about 80, deftly rolled tree bark into an intricate traditional pipe. I sat on a hand-woven  leaf floor mat and listened  to her husband, a jovial, talkative  character, explain about life in the forest

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Ternate Tales Of Natural Selection

The Spice Islands are wrapped in an aromatic history of cloves, mace and nutmeg, Kings and Sultans, spice wars, and the rise and fall of invading armies.

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Festival of Colour

I arrived late in the evening to catch the Prince and Princess Tourism Competition. Suddenly chairs were parted and bodies shifted to make room for me in the front row. I was ordered to sit here, by one of the Dayak ladies, so I quickly took my place…

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Travel Stories

From encounters of camels in Rajasthan to battling dragons in Komodo, follow these travel tales spanning from Asia to America. Over 80 travel stories published. Click to read more

Bookstore

Stephanie Brookes is the Author of “Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage – Cultural Journeys of Discovery“. This book is a stunning introduction to anyone who is interested to see and learn more Indonesia. Click to read more

Travel Assignments

Stephanie is available for travel writing assignments, tourism commissions, representation at trade fairs and creative ways to promote your region or hotel. Just get in touch. Click to read more

English Tutoring

Would you like to improve your English, creative writing or essay writing skills? Stephanie offers online tutoring by Skype. She also specialises in early learners based on phonics. Click to read more

Latest published stories

Where the wild things roam

Tangkahan is a remote village in Northern Sumatra where you have the opportunity to sleep in the jungle with the ‘big five’ of Indonesia – the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Sumatran orangutan, and the clouded leopard.

Ogoh Ogoh on the Loose in Bali

Life in Bali revolves around ceremonies, and one of the major highlights is Nyepi, the Day of Silence. The three to five day period leading up to Nyepi Day is one of the most exciting, colourful and festive times on the island. However, from the stroke of midnight on Nyepi Day everyone stays indoors. No one is allowed out on the streets, except in special circumstances such as medical emergencies. Pecalang or community police patrol the deserted streets and will escort anyone found outside back home – or to jail. Even the Bali dogs don’t bark and somehow disappear.

Into the Wilds - Sabangau National Park

I started my trek in the Sabangau National Park, Central Kalimantan under a veil of darkness.  The earthy smell of the peat bog forest rose sharply to greet me as I held my torch steady so as not to trip and fall into the organic black water swamp that lay on either side.  I was following the clouded leopard monitoring party. “No talking please and mind your step,” the ranger said, “This boardwalk can weaken at any time, and one of these planks could break, but don’t worry I am here to help”.

Recommended Story: "A Javanese feast for the senses" by David Metcalf

For fifteen years in a row, an extraordinary cultural festival has been taking place in the Menoreh highlands of Central Java, home to five volcanoes. Paying homage to the volcanoes as their source of living and protector, local villagers present their best to nature through offerings, performances and more.

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“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neal Donald Walsch

Author and travel writer Stephanie Brookes is an adventurous soul. Her travels have taken her from Montana to Moscow and extensively through Asia. Stephanie lives in Bali and covers stories from Asia’s hotspots, lesser known hidden-hideaways and explores islands of beauty and serenity. Her travels have taken her from Aceh to Nagaland and from Montana to Moscow. A travel writer for over ten years now, Stephanie searches out some of the more remote destinations across the globe. Whether it’s swimming in a hanging lake with jellyfish or hiking to the top of a steaming volcano, nothing stops this travel writer from discovering wild places and writing about them.

Published in NowJakarta, Jetstar In-flight magazine, Garuda Colours, KLM Holland Herald, Air Asia 3Sixty,Turkish Airlines Skylife, Silverkris, The JakartaPost,  Indonesia Expat, Forbes Travel Guide Bali, Nine MSN-Channel 9 Australia and several leading travel & lifestyle magazines.

travelled continents

years of experience

published stories

Indonesia's Hidden Heritage

Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage is a stunning introduction to anybody who is interested to see and learn more about Indonesia.

Buy now

Private Villa Stay in Bali

Your private villa stay in the rice fields – 3 bedroom with cook, private driver and complimentary village tour.
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Photographic Workshops Bali

Discover Bali’s magic off the tourist trail. Cultural adventure photographic workshop with masterclass photographer David Metcalf.
Book now
canggu club bali

Family Fun at the Canggu Club

If you want to bounce your day away and keep the kids entertained then head on out to the Canggu Club, located 15 minutes from Seminyak.

Body Temple Spa Bali

The Body Temple Spa

Spas have a personality. Escape to “The Body Temple Spa”, Canggu. From the delicate scented air of the lobby to the presentation of fresh ginger tea in a delicate pot to the flow of the gracious staff – all of this hints at a spa’s unique personality.

A Centre Of Strength For Divorced Women In Bali

Ni Komang Sariadi is the founder of Pusat Kegiatan Perempuan Women’s Centre (PKP) located just outside Ubud, Bali. PKP is a community where Balinese women can go for support if they have left a marriage. It is a nurturing and safe place for divorcees who seek comfort and support.

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Contact Stephanie

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