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April 5, 2004

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Royal Brunei Airlines offers a special fare of $50 US to Bali, Indonesia. Not only is the flight cheap, it's great quality, food and service equivalent to business class on any American airline.
During liftoff the plane flew by Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan's magnificent palace. The massive proportions impressed us - many square city blocks in area, the largest residential palace in use today.
By midafternoon we approached Indonesia, a country that spans over 17,000 islands (6000 inhabited). Forests, swamps, volcanic mountains cover 66% of the land mass, human habitation takes the rest although farms only occupy 10%. The islands float around the equator in uniformly hot weather. The wet season comes to an end this month and as the monsoon winds blow towards Thailand, Indonesia drys out until the next rains arrive in September.