A Stone Chair Village, Lake Toba, Sumatra

A Stone Chair Village, Lake Toba, Sumatra

On Samosir Island, Lake Toba lies the little village of Ambarita. Tales abound there of rough justice, and possibly even cannibalism. While these are from long ago, more benign old ways live on, for example in the village’s traditional architecture, and an ancient...
Setulang – Deep in the forest, North Kalimantan

Setulang – Deep in the forest, North Kalimantan

When I arrived at Setulang Village, I noticed there were no supermarkets to be seen anywhere. The village is located in North Kalimantan, miles from any major town. It is nestled along the edge of a forest which dates back 130 million years. I was greeted by my lovely...
Paradiso Ubud Celebrates Indigenous Voices through Film

Paradiso Ubud Celebrates Indigenous Voices through Film

Paradiso, in Ubud, Bali hosts Indigenous Movie Nights every month in a lead up to the second annual Indigenous Film Festival – Bali, May 10-12, 2019. Paradiso movie theatre in Ubud was packed out with a full house for its Papua-themed Indigenous Movie Night on...
The Magic Eels Of Ambon

The Magic Eels Of Ambon

On a sailing voyage through the Maluku Islands, I found myself in Ambon. The Portuguese sailed into these waters in the 16th century with their tall ships, on a quest to conquer the islands. They built forts and attempted to monopolise the spice trade, which was...
Ancient Threads Woven in  Karangasem

Ancient Threads Woven in Karangasem

The long trek to the village of Jungutan, East Bali, the site of the Karangasem World Cultural Village Festival was well worth it. I met Miliwanga Wurrben, an Australian aboriginal elder and healer, in a most unlikely place. We came across each other in the remote...
Jasri Bay Hideaway, Candi Dasa, Bali

Jasri Bay Hideaway, Candi Dasa, Bali

I spotted a small unassuming wooden sign and on the spur of the moment decided to take the tiny dirt track to Jasri Bay Hidden Hideaway. The sign was on the main road, just past the busy little seaside town of Candi Dasa. The track passed a river, wound through a...
REFLECTIONS 2018

REFLECTIONS 2018

Each month, NOW! Jakarta brings you tales of hidden heritage from our intrepid traveling duo Stephanie Brookes, writer, and David Metcalf, photographer. During 2018 they have brought stories back from Lombok, Sumba, Lembata, Belitung, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Bali....
EAT PRAY LOVE – Falling in Love with Bali

EAT PRAY LOVE – Falling in Love with Bali

—There’s more to Bali than beach clubs and Bintang. Stephanie Brookes gets an intimate glimpse into the elaborate preparations for Galungan, a festival that reminds you of the spiritual charms of the island— Galungan is a wonderful time for the Balinese, Ibu Wayan, an...
Lazy Cats And Savannah Lands – Baluran National Park, East Java

Lazy Cats And Savannah Lands – Baluran National Park, East Java

Leaning over the sturdy railing at the waterhole, I made sure to look up to check no lazy cats were lounging in the nearby trees. This was macan tutul country – home of the Javan leopard in Baluran National Park, East Java. I asked the ranger, Pak Teguh if he had...