Lake Maninjau
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Western Shore, Lake Maninjau, Sumatra, Indonesia.
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape. Lake Maninjau ticked off every box on my list time and again. We went on quite the harrowing bike ride around the lake (it was supposed to take half a day, but lasted roughly ten hours), but we had plenty of time to pick rice with locals, sample fresh cinnamon bark, and try our hand at fishing from a canoe. I found out that I am a terrible canoe fisherman, but my new friend didn't really mind. He thought it was funny that I could hardly balance myself on the felled timber, never mind his tiny skiff. If you visit Maninjau, I highly recommend that you rent a bike or a scooter and get lost on the western shore. It was a fantastic experience, and one I'll cherish forever. Maninjau is one of the largest crater lakes in the world, and exists as a place that time forgot. Bikes can be rented from most hotels in town for less than $5 a day. Ditto for scooters. Hotels range from $6 a night (no joke), to more than $75.
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