All posts by manoune

Laos in 5 days

Before leaving Singapore, I spend 5 days in Laos by myself. It is a pretty save country to travel alone.

I took a flight from Singapore to Luang Prabang down to Vang Vieng and then to Vientiane. Such a nice country ! If you like beautiful landscapes and easy going life you will love it for sure.

Day 1 – Luang Prabang

I spend 2 days in Luang Prabang. Once i arrived i got direclty to my hostel (Chill Riverside Hostel & Cafe) and then sarted to visit. I walked around all the famous temples and museum of the city.

Wat Xieng Thong – Luang Prabang’s best-known monastery is centred on a 1560 .

  • Open hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
  • Location: Khem Khong
  • Cost: 20,000kip

I visited then the Royal Palace just next to it with some nice collection and explanation of the culture and history of Luang Prabang.

From the beautiful Wat Sene to the archaic Wat Visoun, there is a wide selection of gorgeous temples for you to immerse yourself in the culture of Laos.

Another temple worth a visit is Wat Xieng Thong. Built in the 16th century, it is the oldest and most important Buddhist monastery in Laos, and remains a symbol of Laotian national identity. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Laos, situated on the bank where the two rivers meet.

Just walk around in the streets to enjoy some nice temples.

After this nice exploration of the town, i headed to the bamboo bridge near by the river, which stretches across the Nam Khan River to the Garden of Eden. The bridge may look precarious in pictures but is truly sturdy and absolutely capable of holding your weight.

I ended the day at the Mekong Sunset View Restaurant to enjoy the sunset.

Day 2 – Living Land Farm & Kuang Si Falls

Starting the day with the Living Land Farm to get the experience of rice culture. The tour picked me up at my hostel and we drove around 15/20 min to the site. It is a bit expensive but the experience is unique. You are spending the morning learning how to grow rice. I didnt get the lunch.

For the afternoon direction the Kuang Si Falls, i got a tour from the hostel. We drove around an hour. Kuang Si Falls is a tiered waterfall famous for its breathtaking scenery and beautiful emerald waters. And you can swim ! Small fishes are present in the water and try to touch you but nothing to worry about. Those falls are just stunning.

Day 3 – Mount Phousi & Phosi market & Road to Vang Vieng

I started the day early to see the sunrise on mount Phousi. The panoramic views from the top of the hill make this place one of the best lookouts in the country. It is a good 300 steps from the bottom. It wasnt crowded at all in the morning however it is a different story if you do it for the sunset. I didnt have to pay any entrance fee early in a morning, i think you do any other time.

Once the sunset was completed, i headed over the Phosi market, the biggest market in Luang Prabang. This is a good way to check out the local ways of life and also do some last-minute souvenir shopping! From local spices and fresh vegetables to colourful fabrics and adorable handicrafts, the market sells almost everything.

I had then my bus at 1pm to go to Vang Vieng.

Day 4 – Vang Vieng

We arrived in Vang Vieng around 9pm, I headed to my guesthouse : Magic Monkey Garden. Nice and clean hotel, with either dormitory or single room. The hotel also got a swimming pool with view on the mountains.

In a morning I rented a bike from the hotel for the day, and started the journey by going to the Tham Phu Kham Cave, it was a good 10km ride one way. The cave was big and hold a boudda statue inside. Next to the cave there is also the Blue Lagoon were you can swim which was greatly appreciated after cycling under 35 degrees.

Then i took my bike and ride half way back to the start of a hike to go to Pha Ngern Viewpoint. But you have to work for that reward; the trail is incredibly steep, meaning the hike is challenging and made even harder by the heat in the middle of the day. Entry: 10,000 kip

I used this link to get to the start point :

Very well explained and detailed.

Beautiful view from the point and worth the hike. I was the only one at the top with a lady selling drinks.

Then back to the hotel with a well deserved Lao beer and stunning view over the mountains.

Day 5 – Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Get up early for the bus pick-up to Vientiane. We drove around 4h before we reaching our destination the bus station. Then i took a small bus/taxi to go in the city center where my hotel room was.

I started right away to the Sisaket Temple, 19th-century Siamese-style temple with a museum & cloister wall housing thousands of small Buddhas. I then walked back to the hotel by the river side where you can enjoy a nice Night Market.

Day 6 – Vientiane + Departure

I had just few hours before i had to head to the airport, so i just walked by the river and enjoyed a coffee at the Sinouk Coffee. Very nice and cosy place by the river.

3 days through Ijen & Bromo

We started our long weekend by taking the plane from Singapore to Surabay airport on Friday morning. To do the whole tour we used : tommy, recommended on Singafrog and also by us now ! It was well organized and the driver was really nice.

Day 1 Surabaya – Banyuwangi

The driver picked us up at Juanda international airport, Surabaya. We drove to water falls near by Bromo area. From the outside we through it was small water falls with no interest, but then you walk inside the water fall and look backward and then it is just beautiful ! Get ready you will be totally wet !

Back to the car and we drove to Banyuwangi and stay the night in an hotel there. Hotel : Hotel Palm

Total distance by car : 275 km, approximately 7h of drive

Day 2 Ijen blue fire tour – Cemorolawang

Early morning wake up : midnight !! We took a jeep tour to Paltuding village, in the slope of Kawah Ijen. We walked to the summit and crater of Kawah Ijen for about 1.5h.
Total distance on foot : 6 km Total elevation gain : 900m

As we reach the crater, we saw the blue flame, a burned sulphric gas that make beautiful contrast at night. It is quite impressiv however i through they were not that big !

By the sunrise, we climbed back up to the summit to see the beautiful panorama of Kawah Ijen and its beautiful sulphuric acid lake (which is one of world’s biggest). Beautiful ! Really no word to explain how nice the scenary was.

We get back to the hotel to take breakfast and shower, then we drove to Cemorolawang and stay in a hotel .

Total distance by car : 40 km, app 3 hours + 230 km, approximately 6h.

Accommodation : Lava View Hotel

Day 3 Bromo sunrise tour – transfer to the airport

We started at 03.30am from the hotel by jeep to see the sunrise in Penanjakan (it takes approximately 1 hour drive). The waiting time (around 1h30) was definitely worth it !! Bring some warm cloth and gloves.

After seeing sunrise we climbed Mt. Bromo, a volcano inside an ancient volcano. The walk is super easy (maybe only 25 min walk). The hard part is the breathing, because of all the dust and the horses walking next by you, it is quite difficult to breath. Bring mask !! That will prevent you to be asphyxiated.

Back to our hotel, we had breakfast and clean up. We left the hotel at 10 am/11 am in the morning to Juanda airport. It took approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on the traffic.

Climbing in Lopburi, Thailand 

There are over 60 routes, single and some multi pitch climbing, just 2-hours away from Bangkok. You can do this trip over the weekend from Singapore.

Khao Jeen Lair is a limestone peak located 14km east north east of Lopburi town, 160km north of Bangkok. There are five areas called “Temple Area – Left Side”, “Temple Area – Right Side”, “Secret Garden Area – Left Side”, “Secret Garden Area – Right Side”, and Easter Island areas.

How to get there ?

Khao Jeen Lair is accessed via a temple but not that easy to reach. We got lost the first time. I recommand you to get a phone with a GPS !

Then once at the temple you have to hope it is open ! Therefore watch out the days your going there if it is not a public holiday in Thailand.

To the cliff you actually have to walk through the temple and up to the main face. The monks have been extremely nice to us climbers. The only request they have made is that you have to sign a registration form and give a little something for the entrance fees.

A PDF climbing guide can be viewed and downloaded from the following link: HERE

Climbing there

We did the multi-pitch on our sides. 3 groups of 2, doing Waltz for a lovely life and Corcovado. We started around 9 am.

Waltz for a lovely life is a really nice multi pitch of 6 pitchs, 5c/6a all along well maintain and nice area to belay. The first anchor for the relay is not very easy to find you have to do a travers and then you can set up the relay. For the other pitchs no issue finding the anchors.

Corcavado, I didnt do it, but our friend said it was also a very nice route, more engage but still very feasible.

The whole repelling is done on Corcavado. Some cactus and trees on the way done might create difficulties with the rope !

Climbing in Krabi, Thailand

Climbing in Krabi is always a perfect choice. This place is one of the best climbing area in the world. The views are breathtaking, the routes are beautiful and the beach is amazing.

However it is not easy climb there, the average level of the routes are 6b. Most of the climbing area are well maintained, but always double check the condition. Some routes would need new slangs.

How to get there ?

Plane to Krabi airport (direct from Singapore with Air asia and scoot). Then bus toward the pier and long tail boat to Railay or Tonsai. Most of the time your hotel in Tonsai or Railay can arrange the transfer.

Where to stay ?

Railay or Tonsai. Railay will be more touristic and high standing compare to Tonsai which is the backpacking site. Both are nice (I have done both).

In Tonsai : Tonsaibay Resort
In Railay : Sand Sea ResortRailay west beach

Either way you will go to the other side to climb. Tonsai and Railay offers equivalent numbers of routes ! You can easily transfer from one area to the other via a small path (count around 30 min from extreme right of tonsai to extrem left of Railay.

Where to climb ? 

So many area in Krabi ! You would need to stay a whole week maybe more to do all the routes ! However, some area are pretty nice if you have only 1 weekend to spend.

  • 123 wall –> for beginners and warm up.
  • PHRA NANG BEACH –> some easy routes but most of them are difficult, go during sunset the view is stunning !
  • Thaiwand wall –> one of the most beautiful routes over there, the view is just wonderful
  • HUMANALITY WALL –> mutli pitch of 6a / 6b . a must to do !
  • MELTING WALL –> access with a canoe or boat because you might be blocked due to the tight. Routes are pretty nice and the view too.

3 days get away at Bukit Lawang

3 days get away at Bukit Lawang.

Trip duration: 3 days
Cost: 240$ (flight tickets) + 193$ (trek, meals, guesthouse)

Bukit Lawang is near Medan in Sumatra Island. It is very easy to get there, direct flight from Singapour.

For the organisation of our trip we used : Bukit Lawang Tour and Trekking GuideLINK , +62 813-6410-8007 (on what’s app).

Perfect organisation, always looking at us and really good food ! 👍👍

Day 1

We took our flight on Friday morning, arrived at Medan around 10am. We were welcomed by our driver and drove for 3h30 to reach Bukit Lawang. There we met our guide for the first part of the trip. we  started our trekking around 1.30/2pm. around 3pm we stopped for a lunch (nasi goreng and fruits), then we continued to walk for around 1h30. On the way we had the chance to see some orang-outans 😀. Very close !

We reached the camp (near to the river) around 5pm. We had tea and coffee with some biscuits very nice ! Then resting, shower in the river and chatting.

Diner by the first, chicken curry, noodles, rice. Very good ! Sleeping in the tent with a small yoga mat. A bit hard I must say !

Day 2

Waking up with the nature and the long tail monkeys ! 🐒 Breakfast and then packing for the trek. We walked around 2h30/in a morning, we also had the chance to see some orang-outans on the way.

Lunch by a nice river and waterfall.

Back to the trekking, for around 2h30, we reach a summit and enjoyed a nice view over the jungle !

Around 4pm we reach the second camp site.

Rafting to go back to Bukit Lawang ! Nice and smooth after the effort comes confort ! 🚣‍♀️

Arrived around 5pm at the guesthouse. Relax time. However the guesthouse we had wasnt great, bed broken which ended rolling at each other ….

Wisma Batu Mandi: poor service, bed broken, no toilet paper and far from the bar/restaurant of the ecolodge. 🙁

Day 3

Woke up a 8h30, breakfast and getting ready for the travel back to the airport. Left Medan at 4pm.

Maldives Live on Board

Maldives are very critized because of their politic and its government. However, it is one of the best spot to go diving with an incredible marin life. We decided with 12 other friends to go diving their for 1 week on a boat. 

When ? February 2018 during chinese new year

Where ? Maldives central atoll 

How much ? 1,600 Euros / person except flights. We found some flight from Singapour for 400 SGD. 

After many research, we found one affordable liveboard : Dune Maldives check out their website :

The dive center is really nice and people there too, nothing to say, nice crew definitely nice food and great boat with clean rooms. Totally recommend ! 👍👍

We spent our week on the boat going from atoll to atoll in the central maldives, with 3 dives a day and 1 time 4 dives with one night dive. 

Komodo National Park

Trip duration: 7 days
Cost: around 2,000 SGD per person (this includes the diving, excursions, food and hotels).

Komodo National Park is a national park in Indonesia located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones.

Day 1 – Arrival, setting up dive equipment

We landed on Flores Island, in Labuhanbajo city. From the airport we took a taxi to reach the city center. We normally should have spend the night in Eco Tree Hotel but unfortunately it was full and we have been upgraded to the Laprima Hotel.

Eco Tree Hotel ❤ : Soekarno Hatta 22, Kampung Tengah, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia
Laprima Hotel: Jl. Pantai Pede, Labuan Bajo, Goron Talo, Komodo, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Tim. 86554, Indonésie

Both hotel are really nice and clean. The Eco Tree hotel has a magnificient view of the bay and a great pub/restaurant (hipy type). The laprima hotel is more sophisticated with a nice swimming pool.

Day 2, 3, 4 – Live on Board

We book our live on board with  it was prefect, the boat was nice, the crew members too. 👌👌

Day 1: leave Labuhanbajo at 9 am. We did 3 dives on this day.  Very impressive dives with lots of current but surely one of the best dives I’ve ever done (amazing corals, great visibility, huge numbers of mantas). We stayed the overnight on the boat. 

Day 2: explore komodo area for diving. We did 4 dives on this day. Overnight on board.

Day 3: 2 dives in the morning and followed by komodo dragon tour in Rinca island. And then back to Labuan Bajo.

Day 5 – Padar Island & Palu Siaba Besar

We started our day waking up early to take a boat direction Padar Island. After 3-4 hours boat we finally arrived at the island. The walk is around 1h maximum but once in the top it is just majestic !!! 😍😍

After this walk, back in our boat toward the Siaba Besar. Beautiful small island where you can relax and chill on the beach.

Day 6, 7 – Day trip diving 

During those two days we did day trips diving with the Uber Scuba dive center :

Good center, however I add some issue with my dive gears, didnt get the right shoe for my fine during the both days…

Day 8 – Padar Island, Komodo Island and Pink Beach

On this day because we were taking our flight the next day we couldnt dive so we went back to Padar and we did Komodo Island. Komodo Island is similar to Rinca not much difference, the trail is a bit longer but still very touristic.

We stopped on our way back to Pink Beach as well. Pink beach is not worth it, not really pink…

Day 9 – Back Home

After a nice and sportiv week we took our plane in the early afternoon back to singapore with mantas in our eyes !

Diving in Komodo Dangerous ?  🤔

Dives in Komodo are amazing but not easy. There might have very stong current and you need to be able to balance yourself well otherwise it can get very complicated for you and your buddies. But despite of this they are one of the best dives in the world ! In our group there were some open water and they came back alive 🙂

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

4 days around yogja

Total budget per person : 600$ flight included

Day 1

We started our trip from Singapore with Air Asia (cheap airline) at 11am. After an hour delay and 2hours flight we landed in Yogja around 1pm. We choose to rent a car for this travel. It might be supprising and risky but it was worth it even if the drive is a bit intense (cars and motocycle are coming from everywhere) it’s manageable.

After having checked the car condition with the renter (Avis), here we go ! Direction Prambanan Temple.  It is a 9th-century Hindu temple. It is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer.

/!\ Tips: buy the binded ticket with Borobudur Temple, 40 USD.

Nice temple, and very big. There are several “towers” where if you go inside can see status of gods.

After our visit, we stopped at the temple restaurant outside of the temple and facing the temple. Beautiful view of the temple. Then, long drive started to go to Borobudur Temple. Around 50km of small and narrow streets with a lot of traffic. After 2h drive we made it to our hotel.

Lotus 2 Homestay: Jalan Balaputradewa No.54, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553, Indonesia
Very nice and welcoming people, 5 min walk to Borobudur temple, clean rooms.

Day 2

Waking up early 5.45am to reach Borobudur temple when it opens at 6am. We knew that we were going to miss the sunrise but we didnt wanted to pay the additional cost for it. Despite this we could enjoy the early morning lights with no body at the temple.

It’s from 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple, it’s the the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome.

Amazing view, beautiful temple, I think from many temple we have done over asia, this one is one of my favorite one.

Back to our hotel for the breakfast and then heading to Yogja downtown.  40km drive and 1h30 later we arrived in the busy city. The drive became a bit more tense and after several u-turns we found a parking at the railway station (50,000 Roupies for 24 hours).

We started our viste with the Kraton and Waterfall temple (Taman Sari). It’s a nice area to walk from narrow streets to very large and noisy streets. The temple itself is not very beautiful, but the atmosphere and the whole district around it make it interesting. The entrance for both is 13,000 per pers.


We stopped for lunch at a very nice place (Italian and Spanish) but very good food : Sixsenses Restaurant  (Jalan DI. Panjaitan No. 39, Mantrijeron, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55141, Indonesia).

To end our day we went for some batik art (painting on silk).

We spend the night at Andrea Hotel, Sosrowijayan Wetan GT I/140, Gang 2, Sosromenduran, Gedong Tengen, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55271, Indonesia. Located in a beautiful narrow street, nice and clean rooms.

Day 3

Starting our day around 9am, we took back the car and drove toward the coast of Yogja. Beautiful road, less traffic, and amazing landscapes.

First stop : Laut Bekah. The access is a bit tricky and will require good driving skills. The road is more like a path and very very narrow, sometimes very steep, but the view is worht it ! Coordinates : S8°4’16” E110°22’30”.

Second stop : Parangkusumo Desert. We were really impressed by the diversity of landscape Java island has ! Indeed, we went to see and walk on the parangkusumo desert, small yes but quite interesting to see sand dunes appearing after the forest. Coordinates: 8°00’59.5″S 110°19’03.9″E.

Finally, we reached our amazing hotel.

Queen Of The South Beach Resort, Girijati, Purwosari, Gunung Kidul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55872, Indonesia. Amazing pool with view on the sea, nice and clean bedroom. Good breakfast and barbecue.

Day 4

Day 4 started with a fail, we wanted to do the Langse Cave and the dardevil treck, but it ended up by turning back at the start of the trail. The ladders were not in a good shape and it was too risky with 100 m hollow on the right side.

We changed our plans and drove toward an organic farm and a nice view on the countryside. Wisata Alam Seribu Batu. Beautiful view.

Then after chatting with the owner of the farm, we drove to Pinus Asri Where we found a nice forest of pine tree.

Back to yogja, where we slept one more night, close to the airport in a nice homestay.

Griya Cemara homestay, Jl. Pisang, Maguwoharjo, Kec. Depok, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.

Climbing in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

13 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur, this area is very convenient for short weekend climbing. You can take a flight from Singapore on friday night and climb saturday and sunday morning and come back in the evening to singapore.

How to get there from Kuala Lumpur ? The best way is to rent a car at the airport and drive there. The traffic is not that bad.

Where to sleep ? we rented air B&B near to the Batu Cave but still in KL so short drive but also close to the restaurants and bar for the after climbing.

What is the climbing level ? I would say you have a bit of everything for everyone ! Batu caves have many walls (5 in total) and each of them have around 20 routes and more. It starts from 5c till 7++

Multi pitch ? Yes but it is definitely not the area to go if you want to do multi pitch. There is one good and safe in the main wall. After you have some other in the other walls but they are not that well maitain and they are difficult to find.

Additionnal points ? yes there are sanitaries where you can have a shower (cold water but convenient) and only 1$ ! Useful if you are taking a flight right after.


Climbing in El Diablo Canyon, New Mexico, USA

We drove 8 hours to get to New Mexico from Dallas, near Santa Fe. There is a nice huge canyon where you can climb. Single pitch, muli-pitch everything is there. From 5c to 7c+, you will find something.

We rented an Air BnB close to Santa Fe for the weekend. The rock is Basalt so it’s not sharp and quite nice to climb on.

No particular season is best, but it can be very cold during winter. We went there in March and it was freezing cold once the sun disappeared. Take a warm jacket.

 Also, do not forget to bring and wear an helmet because rocks are falling !

Topo : mountain project Diablo Canyon