About Me & Contact

About Me & Contact


I was born in Budapest in 1972.
I happened to be of those lucky folks who have travel-happy parents who took me all over Europe when I was a kid, infesting me with the travel bug and leaving me to explore more exotic parts of the World once I've grown up.
I've tried to do the latter sort of systematically, covering the globe starting with those regions closest to Europe, then proceeding further.
So far I've been to 113 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania - with America being the continent left for last simply because it stands at a distance from all the others.
My overall favourite continent is Asia, with its tremendous diversity of landscapes, cultures and ancient history.

I first visited Indonesia in 1996 as part of a wider tour of Southeast Asia.
As I have never been fond of whirlwind tours restricted to ticking off touristy highlights only, it was obvious that this was no country I could see on a single trip. I kept returning, visiting the East Indonesian regions of Maluku and Papua for the first time in 1999. With my main interest being nature, wildlife and ethnic cultures, I found this one of the most fascinating parts of the World as a whole, and have been making repeat visits ever since. In fact, I've managed to spend time in Maluku every year since 1999, and most years visited Papua as well. During the same period I have also managed to tour the rest of Indonesia extensively, spending some 10 years in total travelling, studying and working in the country, attended university in East Java, authored Lonely Planet's Indonesian Phrasebook, and lead some special interest tours and expeditions in remote parts of Papua and Maluku as well.

Nowadays I'm still trying hard to split my time between Indonesia, especially my favourite eastern regions of it, exploring the rest of the World, and of course spending some time with my family back in Budapest. Not an easy task - we have only one life and our planet is too big! ;-)

                                                       Need some personal advice?


If you have any specific questions regarding travelling in the country, feel free to email me, but please do a bit of reserach such as reading through my site or preferably even a guidebook before doing so, as truly generic questions like "What is to see in Bali?" are unlikely to get a detailed reply from me anyway! ;-) Don't ask me weather-related questions either - I can't see into the future to tell you what the weather will be like during your holiday, and whatever I can tell about general seasonal patterns is already on my three "Climate & Planning" pages for Indonesia, Maluku and Papua!
Also, bear in mind that I am often staying or travelling in remote places with no internet access so may take weeks to get back to you.

You may also find it a good idea to post your questions on the Indonesia branch of Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree travel forum, where you can get good advice from many experienced travellers, and I myself may well reply when I am online.

If you are also from Hungary, please ask travel-related questions in public on the Index forum rather than by email, so that other Hungarians can learn from your questions, too. I check that regularly and will reply there!

      Thinking of taking a tour or expedition?

As already hinted at above and also mentioned in the 2010 edition of the Lonely Planet Indonesia travel guide, I do sometimes lead special interest tours and expeditions in Maluku and Papua. if you are thinking  of a longer tour of East Indonesia that is beyond the ordinary  beach holiday, be it exploring the far-flung Aru Islands of Maluku or looking for wildlife or remote peoples in Papua, and feel you need some personal assistance/guiding to do so, you are welcome to contact me! The people I have taken on such trips so far  included not only tourists looking for an unusual holiday, but also entomologysts in search of new species in both Maluku and Papua (we found lots), a photographer working for a European edition on National Geographic and also a filming crew shooting documentaries. I don't believe in prefabricated tour packages - I really think everyone is different and should take a route that suits them best. If you are still short of ideas, start with looking at my Itineraries pages for either Maluku or Papua - these have been put together in such a way as to be doable by, and interesting to, anyone. And then contact me to discuss your ideas as far in advance as possible, please - as outlined above, I am often out of reach remote places or busy travelling!



If you want to email me, please make it obvious in the title that your mail is not a piece of spam by not using titles like "Hi! :-)" and send it to my Gmail address:

laszlowagner(at)gmail.com


Happy Travels!

Laszlo