Arrived in Singapore via train from Malaysia.  Both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore were overwhelming (and exciting) compared to where I had been over the previous 9 months.  However this feeling eventually gave way to a sort of sadness over the rapid changes that are happening all over Asia as people race towards the Capitalist Dream.
Singapore Escalator
Although this was my second time to Singapore (I was here briefly about 10 years ago), one thing that really stood out was all of the signs warning people of various threats. "Enter at your own risk"???  Its just a patch of grass!
Singapore Sign
"Suspect it? Report it.  Our security is everybody’s responsibility."  A sign in the M.R.T. station.
"Value Life.  Act responsibly." In English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.  This was to encourage people not to jump in the train tracks.
Value Life
Girl with a mobile...
Couldn't help but be overwhelmed by a feeling of emptiness and isolation here in Singapore.  It was probably just the state of mind I was in... but that makes it no less real (for me : ).
M R T Couple
07_Degung_Bali-Nasi_Jinggo.mp3 - A little Balinese music.  Hybrid "Degung Sunda" and Gamelan styles. (Title "Nasi Jinggo" is mixed spicy stuff on rice wrapped in a banana leaf to go).
Degung Bali Nasi Jinggo mp 3
Armed with a new camera and a 60 day visa, I took a "Value Jet" flight to Bali Indonesia.  First stop was Kuta, just south of the Denpasar airport.
Kuta Bali
Australian surfers everywhere!  Tourism of the whole region has slumped since the second bombing here in October, 2005.  This had brought the economies of the whole region down. Still, I was told things are getting better.
Surfer Kuta
Just a free performance I saw.  Beautifully precise movements and my first taste of Balinese Gamelon music!
Balinese Dance
Stone carving outside a home in Denpasar (the capital of Bali).  Many of the traditional homes look like palaces!
Sculpture home
Detail of one of the countless small temples in Denpasar.
A wedding parade... kids getting really excited and levitating.
Pasar Kumbusari in Denpasar, Bali.
Denpasar Market
Pasar Kumbusari in Denpasar, Bali.  Beautiful flowers!
Denpasar Market
Pasar Kumbusari in Denpasar, Bali.
Denpasar Market
A crusty statue in the garden of the Bali Museum in Denpasar.
Blind Buddha
Chloe arrived and after a day of chillin in Kuta, we went down to the Ula Watu temple on the south-west coast.
Ula Watu
He really wishes he could eat that piece of wood.
The south-west coast.
South West Coast
Chloe and JC.
Chloe Jonathan
From Ula Watu, we went north to Bali's cultural capital - Ubud.  Wandering around, we saw this kid.
Ubud boy
Took a walk through the rice fields just a few minutes from the center of town.  Chloe kept exclaiming "People here are just so nice!".
Ubud Fields
Went to the Antonio Blank Museum in Ubud.  Hadn't ever heard of him... it was a really gaudy place full of paintings (many were fake prints), some of which might be described as kitschy pseudo-pedophilic porn-art.
Antonio Blanco
Sculptures on ol' Blanko's house... he was a very humble man.
Blanko's exotic bird collection.
Anothr of Blanko's birds.
Balinese paintings at the Neka art museum in Ubud.
More traditional Balinese paintings, Neka art museum.
Demon's making human soup, Neka art museum.
Women with baby Yeti, Neka art museum.
We heard that there was dancing at the Ubud football field.  To my surprise, it was 99% locals engaging in a really exciting (and real) performance / test of wills.  Colorful female dancers enticed embarrassed men from the audience and everyone sat mesmerized as the two (without touching) spontaneously used humor, sexual energy and subtle dance movements, to attract and repel each other.  All the while a Gamelan orchestra adjusted the tempo to match the mood.
Woman selling juice in Ubud.
I was really excited to find an authentic "California Salad"... this is my definition of exotic these days.
California Salad
The ferry between Padang Bai, Bali and Lembar, Lombok.  It was my first taste of Indonesian ferry travel (which I will soon know well :)
Lombok Ship P
The "window" in the ships bathroom.
Ship hole
After a bus ride, 7 hour ferry,3 mini busses and a fishing boat - we reached Gili Air. (Water Island in Bahasa Indonesia)
Gili Air
Bungalows where we stayed at Abdi Fantastik.
Abdi Fantastik
Across the water in Lombok.
There is something confusing about this picture...
Cat Chicken
The three Gili Islands have no cars!  Cidomo is the way to get around.
Picture for Chloe's mom  :)
Chloe Sunset
Far away, across the water in Bali, Gunung Agung was visible from Gili Air.
Gunung Agung
One of the most impressive sunsets I have ever seen.  West coast Gili Air.
Looks like a bad painting eh?
We went back to "mainland" - Lombok (well technically just a larger island than the one we were on).  Spent a night in Mataram, the capital then had some Bemo adventures all the way to Tetebatu.
Tetebatu Chicken back
Big spider in Tetebatu.
Took a 1.5 hour hike to Tejun Jukat waterfall with few Belgians we met.  Turned out to be 4 beautiful hours of walking through rice fields and small villages.  This kid (and others) came running full speed, didn't even have time to drop the prayer mat before challenging me to a Kung-Fu fight!
Boy Mat
Finally reached the falls - which were beautiful, empty and cold.  Notice our guide showing off by jumping into the shallow pool (without dying).
Air Tejun Jukat
Tobacco farming is big in the area, apparently most of it goes to Lucky Strike.
Largest mountain in Lombok - Gunung Rinjani.
Gunung Rinjani
Some small island we passes on the ferry back to Bali from Lombok.
Ferry Island
In the port town of Padang Bai, we went to the "Blue Lagoon".  This baby was having a good time there.
Went snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon here (not quite a real lagoon, but close enough).  Lots of colorful fish, but waves/shallow water and coral made it a little difficult.
Blue Lagoon
To be honest, Chloe an I spent most of the 2 weeks sitting in the parking lot of Circle "K", being pissed off and smoking clove cigarettes.
Circle K
Way back a month ago, I was in Malaysia (with no camera).  I went to Tioman Island (off the east coast) and ended up learning Batik on the beach from a master craftsman (Rikki Power).  This is a piece we made together:  my idea, collaborated on the drawing, he did the wax and we both painted the color.
Sounds weird, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have avocado juice!  Its made with milk and sugar and tastes like a super fatty / creamy milkshake -- meaning a good milkshake!.
Avocado Juice
Extra_Pics - If that wasn't enough pictures for you, here are some additional pics of Bali and Lombok.
Extra Pics