Break From the Law travel blog

I saw this Terracotta warrior holding the Malaysian flag while I was...

Vikki & I having a beer at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal...

We are sitting in a sports bar in the departures wing of the Low Cost Carrier Terminal of the international airport in KL waiting for our AirAsia flight to Manado. Manado is the capital of the Indonesian state of North Sulawesi and one of only 2 major international airports located on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. I’m having what may be my last Tiger Beer for a while, as I assume we’ll be drinking more of the local brews while we are in Indonesia.

If I didn't know better, if I were looking at the flight map of the route we are currently taking, beginning yesterday in Brunei, I would think we were crazy for getting to Sulawesi as we are. The island of Sulawesi is actually right next to Borneo, but the lack of flight connections (there is an overland option as well) between Sulawesi and Brunei or Malaysian Borneo requires travelers to head first all the way back to Peninsular Malaysia and then back in the same direction, only this time to Sulawesi. As a result, what would normally be a flight time of around 1½ hours on a direct flight is going to take us a total (including our flight from Brunei to KL yesterday) of around 6½ hours in the air, excluding transfers. I think it is roughly the equivalent of needing to fly from New York to Chicago and instead flying from New York to Salt Lake City and then from Salt Lake City to Chicago. Insanity!

Although I hate these convoluted flight patterns, our return to KL for a connecting flight had a silver lining. Early this morning, I went from our hotel near the airport back to the airport, caught a shuttle bus to KL’s city center and from there went to the regional repair center for Olympus cameras in another part of town. This resulted in about a 3 hour round trip, but we got the LCD screen on Vikki’s camera replaced after waiting for only 45 minutes at the center. So our camera woes are over, at least for now.

I am really looking forward to seeing Indonesia. As the world’s 4th largest country in terms of population (behind China, India and the U.S.) and the world’s largest predominantly Muslim country, Indonesia is home to a panoply of cultures, beautiful islands and many other attractions, so this leg of our trip promises to be in the least an interesting adventure.

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