The Charm of A Local Tourist Industry – Lake Toba Style

In my recent blog about Bali, I expressed my sadness about how the uniqueness of Bali was being paved over by homogenous global resort brands. However, there is something very charming about indigenous tourism that grows up in out of the way places such as on Samosir Island in Lake Toba.

View of Lake Toba from the restaurant at Samosir Cottages in Tuk Tuk Village, Northern Sumatra.
[SOURCE] © 2013 Greg Chase, according to Creative Commons License, use with attribution.

This is a view from my hotel on Samosir Island in Lake Toba, Northern Sumatra. Lake Toba is just hard enough to get to that the relentless steamroller of “Progress” has yet to find it’s way to Samosir. [Read more…]

The Amazing Cottage Economy of Indonesia

During my recent visit to Medan Indonesia, one impression that struck me was the amazingly rich number of cottage businesses, especially along the main roads. Within a couple of blocks, you can literally find nearly any kind of consumer retail business, grocery or food stand, and even some manufacturing.


Common residential / retail home in suburban Medan. Newer buildings have newer construction techniques, but basic architecture remains the same.
[SOURCE: © 2013 Greg Chase – According to Creative Commons License, use with attribution.]

[Read more…]

Bali and the Double-Edged Sword of Globalization

I recently returned from a month-long trip in South East Asia that included a week in Bali. The whole trip was an amazing experience that will be fodder for a couple of more blogs. However, some of my biggest impressions were made in Bali:

  1. How well Bali still retains its unique culture and background
  2. How rapidly certain parts are being homogenized and paved over by the usual global resort and shopping brands.

Barong fights Rangda in a Balinese traditional dance performed by professional dance company.
[SOURCE:] © 2013 Greg Chase, under Creative Commons License, use with attribution.

Barong and Rangda costumes being delivered via parade between local Balinese temples as part of festival.
[SOURCE:] © 2013 Greg Chase, under Creative Commons License, use with attribution

[Read more…]