Tag: South East Asia

Vietnam – Mekong River Expedition

There’s nothing like a trip to South East Asia during the cooler months in North America.  I started this trip by spending a couple of days in the city of Ho Chi Minh, allowing me a chance to adjust to the time change while exploring.  While I was in the city, I took a cooking class and learned how to prepare some delicious local dishes.  I also visited some war memorials and museums from the Vietnam War era, which is known in Vietnam as the American War.

After a few days in Ho Chi Minh city, it was time to board a riverboat and begin my journey up the Mekong River, en route to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Sunset on the Mekong this evening was spectacular.  As you can see in the photo below, the Mekong is heavily used for industrial transportation.

Along with many fascinating stops along the way, I stopped at this little town, known for hand-crafted boats, and got a demonstration on the art of building wooden boats.

Man traveling up river to cash in on his bounty of recycled bottles.

Life along the Mekong takes many forms, ranging from very modern to primitive, but, in general, the people in this region of the world are among  the happiest I have ever seen.

After several stops at local villages, I proceeded north to cross the border into Cambodia at Chau Doc.  See my post on Cambodia for more on this river expedition in Cambodia.


David Loughlin – Exploring Singapore

I have visited Singapore three times in 2017 already, mostly two day stays on my way to some more tropical, exotic local like Bali, Sorong and Raja Ampat.  All told, I spent about a week in this country and I must give it credit.  I love the fine dining, elegant hotels, tropical weather and shopping.  I purchased three custom tailored suites for less than $1K, about 65% less than back home in the states and to my surprise, they were delivered to my hotel the same day by 8:00 pm.  Nothing like the pool and bar at the Sands although I am not much for heights, but the view is beautiful.   The social scene at the hotel pools in Singapore is amazing.

Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

David Loughlin – Exploring Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

I love islands and the feeling of sand on my feet. Exploring new islands is one of the best feelings ever.  The Indonesian archipelago has more than ten thousand islands, only a few places on earth that create a blank canvas for explorers.  Nusa Lembongan lies just off the coast of Bali, located about 11 kilometers southeast of the main island. It is a small island with the length of 4.6 kilometers at its longest point and width of 1.5 kilometers at its widest.  Only a 30 minute ride by speed boat and your in paradise.

D R E A M   B E A C H
This statue gazing out to sea says it all and gave me inspiration to return to Singapore again, before heading to North and East Africa weeks later.  Singapore, now there is an interesting country.  I have visited Singapore three times this year already,  vastly expanding my wardrobe from all of the great deals and and new Asian designs.  Between Africa and South East Asia, my wardrobe has increased in size by about 45%.  Acquiring stuff along the way.
David Loughlin

David Loughlin

Looking out to see from Dream beach with the Devils Tears behind me and Dream Beach to the left.  Exploring this beautiful island.  The roads on these tropical islands are serene.

D E V I L S   T E A R S
David Loughlin

Tourist parking.

The view of Jungatbatu Village from the hilltop above.

On approach to the island…the bay is lined with resorts perched atop the lush green hilltop.  Take some time and resort hop and see what each resort offers, grab lunch at your favorite place.

Boat bobbing in the sea.  My view from a cliff side cafe as I mingle with a group of German ladies on holiday.

David Loughlin

Seashells are like memories
I have combed some of the most remote island beaches over the past 4 months.  Many of the beaches have loads of seashells for the taking.  Just be sure to get up early and beat the locals as they clean the beaches of these beauties before 6:00 am.   Many are the largest and most colorful shells I have ever seen and so abundant I gathered about 15 pounds of them, extra luggage was required.

Picked this Indonesian bridal necklace up in Sorong, a chartered coastal city in the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua.  Hand made of shells and red coral, this piece of art weighs pounds and is almost 3 feet long.  Returning home with this in perfect condition was not easy.  Not sure what to do with it.

Diving Nusa Lembongan
Nothing like a day of diving with Capt. Morgan, not his real name of course, but much easier to pronounce.  What a great human being.

Another beautiful day in Indonesia. Magnanimous, grateful and blessed to be here at this point in time.

Finns Beach Club – Canggu, Bali

Finns Beach Club Canggu in Bali Dining and Lounging on Berawa Beach in Canggu 16 Finns Beach Club is a chic hangout now located at Berawa Beach in Canggu, where you can relive the fun dining and lounging vibe from the heydays of its former ‘hidden’ location near Uluwatu. With a magnificent all-bamboo structure that is spacious and airy, and an adjacent blue-tiled free form infinity pool, you can stay either in our out of the sun, or simply soak in the pool while taking in wide ocean views.

The Berawa Beach location also offers regulars of the former Finns Beach Club to a new hot spot that is now within easier reach from the main resort areas of Kuta and Seminyak. Being on an absolute beachfront that faces the main Berawa surf break, the beach club welcomes surfers, who can paddle in for a cold beer and a bite after each session on the waves. For sunset lovers, it is one of the best lounging spots in Canggu for just that, with signature cocktails at hand.

When you’re not chilling out on their single or double parasol-shaded daybeds, hit the 30m infinity edge pool, order up your drink from a swim up bar, and enjoy cool tunes fed through underwater speakers. There’s daybeds and beanbags on the sand. These are available for a minimum spending of IDR 250,000 (USD 18.75) per person and includes a towel. Groups of up to six can opt for double daybeds at only twice the price.

Finns Beach Club
Opening Hours: 09:00-24:00
Location: Semara Beach House, Jalan Pantai Berawa, Canggu
Tel: +62 (0)361 844 6327

Cocoon Beach Club – Seminyak, Bali

Cocoon Beach Club is a striking venue with an inviting blue centerpiece pool surrounded by white sun loungers, on the corner of Jalan Double Six, the legendary beach street famous for its hangouts and nightlife in southern Seminyak. Cocoon Beach Club has taken over the scene, attracting crowds to its bar, restaurant and beach club. A cool pool retreat with sea views and embroidered traditional Balinese parasols by day, Cocoon serves Asian fusion and Mediterranean cuisine and offers a great chill out scene with innovative cocktails to match the sunsets.
Head down to the pool if you fancy hanging out with friends and family, be it with a cool dip or simply lounging away on the soft white daybeds, or inside one of the VIP cabanas. Evenings have Cocoon Beach Club’s International DJs pumping out lively beats. You can graze on a selection of Mediterranean tapas with a classic mojito, or Cocoon’s own signature B Svenaz – a bright orange concoction of tequila, orange liqueur, and orange juice and rhubarb sorbet, served in a chilled margarita glass. Special highlights at Cocoon Beach Club include regular weekly lunch specials presenting a two-course menu with a glass of wine. Mondays the focus is on Japanese inspired dishes, while Wednesdays offers Indonesian cuisine such as a gado-gado vegetable salad mix and a delicious lamb rendang stew, served with red rice and typical Indonesian savory crackers. Weekends feature Cocoon’s long lunch, which runs from 12:00 to 16:00, where you can munch on four shared platters of items from the grazing and dessert menus and make the most of the optional free-flow beverage packages. On any other day, head down to this exciting corner in Seminyak for their daily sunset hours, from 16:00 to 19:00, with special two-for-one cocktails and beer specials.
Location: Jalan Double Six No.66, Blue Ocean Boulevard, Seminyak
Tel: +62 (0)361 731 266
Website: http://www.facebook.com/CocoonBeachClub

Sundays Beach Club – Ungasan, Bali

A hidden gem below the Ungasan Clifftop Resort, Sundays Beach Club’s only access is via a tram, a two-minute descent between two hillsides that you embark a few steps from the luxury resort’s main pool and lobby.

As you step into the cabin, the beach club’s thatched roofs look like tiny bungalows below the valley’s lush greenery from this vantage point. Upon entering the round bar, a team of hosts welcomed us while offering a table at the main dining area adjacent to its semi-open kitchen. The rule here is ‘first-come, first-served’, which also applies for the parasols and sun loungers. Thus, it is best to come earlier to guarantee one of the coveted spots at the front. Further to the east is Sunday Beach Club’s mini-lawn platform where you will find the best combination of shade and open views.

Above the plush dining area you will find several hidden massage bungalows with talented staff ready to take your body to another level of relaxation in this serene setting.

At the end are Sundays’ Bale, two raised seaside huts that offer elevated views and the ultimate private space for a full-day retreat. The lapping waves hardly reach the base of the platform, and low tides reveal rock pools and a clear lagoon that leaves interesting collections of tropical marine life to explore. The 165m stretch of sand is walled between rock faces on each side, and is well supervised.


Some self love, my 29th massage in Indonesia, this one on the beach next to a temple celebrating life.  Feeling free and centered to explore more of this planet.

Paradise found…
David Loughlin

David Loughlin

Sundays Beach Club
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00
Location: Jl Pantai Selatan Gau, Banjar Wijaya Kusuma, Ungasan Tel: +62 (0)361 8482 111
Website: www.sundaysbeachclub.com