By Dian Hasan | September 29, 2009
As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is home to over 17,508 islands (the actual count varies between low and high tides!), that stretches an eighth of world’s mid-section, the diversity of her landscape is simply staggering.
Lush tropical rainforest teeming with wildlife, many of which are among the world’s most critically endangered species, volcanic peaks that are never quite dormant, and a choice of tropical isles surrounded by sandy beaches and waters of all imaginable hues. Sailing is therefore a natural attraction, and most activities take those with a zest for adventure eastward towards Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Land of the Komodo Dragons! Komodo Island forms part of Indonesia’s protected Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only known habitat of the Komodo giant monitor lizards.
Here’s a brief look at look at the beauty of this far corner of the world from aboard the indomitable traditional double-masted Phinisi Schooner, which to this day is still handcrafted by the Bugis people of South Sulawesi (Celebes) . Another day in Paradise, no doubt!
When you talk about images that don’t seem to fit a certain location, very few places on the planet will top this sight. A castle modeled after the classic European ones, even the setting’s the same, perched on a hilltop overlooking. From where the royals can oversee all their subjects. But one main difference, the castle overlooks… tropical canopies of the Caribbean. The castle ruin dates from early 1800s, in the most random country… Haiti! One of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. Welcome to a truly unique castle ruin, The Palace of Sans-Souci, not the famous one outside Potsdam in Germany, but the Haiti-version.
By Dian Hasan | July 27, 2009
If there’s any similarity between Hollywood movie-making and hotel creation, it’s this: they take years to plan, scout and develop, and require so many logistical challenges along the way that simply to finish one, to say nothing of a whole trilogy, is possibly enough achievement for a lifetime. The trilogy here comes from Francis Ford Coppola whose movie-making accolades now include the new roles of vintner and hotelier. And a very specific hotelier at that, creating exquisite eco resorts. Coppola is now on his third and last of trilogy of eco resorts in Central America, with La Lancha, on Lake Peten Itzá, near Tikal, in Guatemala.