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Itinirary for December. Any suggestions?

  • cybervlad

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    Hello,

    I am tailoring my trip to Indonesia scheduled for December. Here is an itinirary:
    1. December, 2. 08:40 arrive to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
    2. December, 2. 12:45 fly AirAsia (AK 1316) to Makassar, arrive to Makassar 15:50
    3. December, 2. 17:55 fly Sriwijaya Air(SJ 590) to Gorontalo, arrive to Gorontalo 19:20
    4. From December, 3 to December, 7 - scuba diving in "Gorontalo hidden paradise" :)
    5. December, 8 - "the day-off". Visit hot springs, Portuguese forts and other attractions.
    6. December, 9. 11:05 fly LionAir (JT 793) to Jakarta (arr. 14:45) then connecting flight JT 554 at 17:00 Jogjakarta (arr. 18:00)
    7. December, 10. Visit Borobudur in the morning & afternoon relax.
    8. December, 11. Visit Plateau Dieng.
    9. December, 12. Visit Solo + Sukuh.
    10. December, 13. Visit Prambanan & afternoon relax.
    11. December, 14. 08:55 fly AirAsia (AK 1325) from Jogjakarta to Kuala Lumpur (arr. 12:15)
    12. December, 14. 22:35 depart from Kuala Lumpur to home.

    Any suggestions/corrections welcome :)
    May be better stay for 1 night at Kuala Lumpur at 1st day? Because I am gong to arrive to Kuala Lumpur International airport at 8:40 and depart to Makassar from LCCT at 12:45, so I have only 4 hours for passport control, waiting baggage, getting from KLIA to LCCT and check in...

    #1 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 12:57

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  • SBE

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    Those are superbly timed flight logistics cybervlad ... providing Air Asia doesn't cancel the route, change the schedule at the last minute or arrive very late in Makassar!

    I bought a very cheap KL- Manado flight in an Air Asia sale a couple of years ago (ie about 9 months in advance) and 2 weeks before I was due to fly I got an email from them saying they had totally cancelled the route, very sorry for the inconvenience and they would try and reimburse me within 45 working days. That REALLY messed up my plans! I think you'll be OK though because they told me they usually know where they are flying to 6 months in advance. (But not more than 6 months in advance)

    Staying overnight at KL is not a good idea because there is no flight to Makassar the following day.. Air Asia only flies there 4 times a week.

    Four hours should be enough time to connect. I haven't done the connection but there are shuttle buses every 20 minutes I think and the journey takes 20-25 minutes. If you're in a real hurry you could always get a taxi to the LCCT..

    The only thing that strikes me about your itinerary is that you are going to be absolutely exhausted by the time you reach Gorontalo. Maybe take the first day off there to get over the fatigue and jetlag rather than going diving straight away the next day, but up to you.

    The airport in Gorontalo is quite a long way from town BTW, takes about an hour in a taxi which you'll probably be sharing with one or two other passengers. You may have to bargain the price a little. I've never seen anything resembling a bus service to or from the airport. Maybe Miguel's can arrange a pickup?

    Have fun. I'll be really interested to hear what you make of the diving there. :-)

    #2 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 16:10

  • MADMAC

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    2 December is going to totally suck. Assuming you are flying to KL from Russia, by the time you land you're already going to be shot. Now you have to spend all day running around airports, taking flights...

    The other thing is I find the itinerary very fixed (perhaps you feel compelled to do this because you are flying). What if you get to Gorontalo and it really does turn out to be a hidden paradise and you want to stay a few extra days? What if you meet someone you really hit it off with, and want to stay? If it were me (which it isn't) I would not lock myself into such a tight schedule.

    #3 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 16:44

  • cybervlad

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    SBE, MADMAC - thanks for comments!
    Yes, I understand that so many connecting flights with different companies bring out higher risk. I flew with AirAsia more than 10 times and can remember only 2 cases of schedule alteration after booking/payment (departure was 1-2 hours later). In this case I can miss my plane from Makassar to Gorontalo, if AirAsia delay flight KUL-Makassar.
    I also have already though about not to dive Dec, 3 because I am not a robot and definitely would be not in best phisical form after 36 hours of connecting flights :)
    Airport transfer in Gorontalo is not problem because I already contacted MiguelDiving, they can provide airport pick-up.
    So the biggest issue is the connection in KUL. I visited Malaysia few yers ago so I know about transportation between KLIA and LCCT.
    MADMAC, my schedule is so tight because I have only 2 week for this trip. Of course I can not to book flight from Gorontalo to Yogiakarta in advance, so I could stay extra days there. But in this case I must also avoid to book flight Yogiakarta-KUL and have "plan B" how to get from Gorontalo to KUL till Dec, 14. It's not a problem with longer trips when I can freely alternate my itinirary and decide to go somewhere overland/ferry instead of flight. In other words, I usually "secure" all the international flights.
    In this very short trip I must decide in advance from where I am going to fly KUL - from Gorontalo/Sulawesi or from Yogiakarta/Java. If I decide do it from Sulawesi, I'll be locked there and have no chance to visit Borobudur this time.
    So if I want to see both Sulawesi and Java I must follow tight schedule with minimum alterations...
    Anyway, you have provided me so many usefull info to think about, thaks again! :)

    #4 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 17:44

  • SBE

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    Be aware that Air Asia has a "winter schedule" for flights to and from Makassar. A couple of years ago someone I know got caught out with this. He booked at return KL- Makassar flight. The flight to Makassar was summer schedule but when he went to catch his return flight back to KL the plane had already left.... two hours hour before the time it said on his ticket.

    Reason: Air Asia had changed to winter schedule while he was there. So instead of spending one night in KL in a comfortable hotel before his flight back to Europe he spent 24 hours waiting around in airports getting an alternative Lion Air flight to Jakarta and then waiting about 12 hours for an Air Asia flight to KL from there. Air Asia actually paid for the Lion Air flight and he did make his flight back home but it wasn't exactly the relaxing end to his vacation that he'd planned.

    Anyway, I checked the departure times for flights in August and December and they are at different times so I think they've taken the winter schedule change into account now on the Air Asia site. You should be OK!

    How long did the KLIA -LCCT connection take last time you did it? Presumably you know where the shuttle buses leave from so that should save you a few minutes. I think you have to be at check in one hour before the flight when it's an international flight on Air Asia (as opposed to 45minutes for a domestic flight). That still gives you three hours....one and a half hours to get through immigration, collect luggage etc, one hour to get the shuttle and 30 minutes to play with. Getting a taxi to LCCT would give you at least another 30 minutes if need be.

    Don't see how else you could get to Makassar without wasting precious days of your vacation.

    I just had another thought. You will be getting a visa on arrival at Makassar. Last time I did that it took quite a long time. You have to queue for the visa and then queue again to get through immigration. Maybe the Srijiwaya flight timing (just two hours) is a bit tight. Is there a later flight to Gorontalo you could get?

    #5 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 19:21

  • SBE

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    Actually my brain is a bit wine addled and galloping altzheimers. Now I come to think of it, the lengthy immigration process could well have been at Jakarta airport.

    Makassar might not have be too bad because fewer foreigners go there ....there's a little booth/room on the left of the immigration queue at that airport if I remember right. I've always had a two month visa already in my passport when arriving in Makassar so I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think there's too much queuing for VOA there.

    #6 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 19:37

  • MADMAC

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    Again, this is me, not you, and your preferences might well be different. I would spend two days in Kuala Lampur and then proceed to paradise, spend the rest of my time there digging and chillin' and then go home. You don't have a lot of time, as you pointed out, you can't dive on the 3rd anyway, you'll be shot... my two cents, for what it's worth.

    #7 Posted: 4/8/2011 - 23:20

  • busylizzy

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    The problem is MM, is that cybervlad only has 12 days for his vacation by the looks of it. When you have limited time, most of us are prepared for the long haul effort to get to maximise the time in the places where we want to be. Personally, I couldn't imagine anything worse than wasting 2 days in KL when he has far more interesting places that he wants to get to.

    Case in point: I just spent 1 week in half in US, flying from NZ. It's a @&#$ series of flights to get to where I needed to go on east coast (after having worked all day in NZ before I left) , and had to persevere with a 12 hour layover in LA on the way. I could have dallied in LA for an extra day or two to catch up on sleep - but I would have missed out on precious time with family.

    So.... I pushed on with the long red-eye flights getting what little sleep I could, and went for a 3-hr bikeride on the beach in LA before my next flight. Got to my final destination early in the morning, made it through to 3pm when I had a 2-hour nana-nap, and was good to go from that point onward. It's all about attitude - if you want something bad enough, you'll put up with the crap to get there and make it all happen.

    #8 Posted: 5/8/2011 - 03:08

  • MADMAC

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    Well, I like big cities, and KL is a big city. I could find a way to relax and enjoy the place. It wouldn't be wasted time for me. Of course there might be somewhere else I would prefer to be, but at least for me, the juice ain't worth the squeeze. Obviously, for you it would appear to be. But I wouldn't do that. Before I had to do that, I'd say bag it and not go and do something else in those days. I don't like incorporating stress into my vacation time - and that's major league stress there, sweating if you are going to make each leg, exhausted the entire time... for me not worth it. Maybe it is for him.

    #9 Posted: 5/8/2011 - 11:11

  • cybervlad

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    Hi all,

    I was quite busy at work, sorry for delay :)
    Of course I'd prefer more relaxed trip, but I limited in time and want to see everything.
    I already visited Kuala Lumpur once and without any doubt can spend good time there, but... See above :)
    busylizzy, I have similar experiance: overnight flight after working day, then full day rushing around Bangkok, then night bus to Chumporn, then ferry to Koh Tao. 2 hours late I wasn't sleeping, but doing scuba diving :). It was exhausting, but still funny.
    Back to discussed itinirary, I'll try to re-schedule it. For example, fly from KUL to Java (Yogiakarta), visit Borobudur, then fly to Gorontalo. In other words, try to do it in reverse order.

    #10 Posted: 5/8/2011 - 18:32

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  • SBE

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    I was really impressed with the logistics in your first schedule cybervlad ...it's unusually time efficient for Indonesia and looks pretty doable to me. Personally I'd risk it, but I'm never on such a tight schedule as this and there's always a chance one link in the chain might go wrong and mess up all the subsequent connections.

    If you can do it the other way you'd have more flexibility and you'd be fresher for the diving in Gorontalo....I've heard it's not really a place for beginners, quite deep sites and strong currents possible, so probably best to do the diving part when you're not tired and jetlagged.

    December is the beginning of the rainy season too and it'll probably get wetter as the month progresses. It wouldn't be a bad idea to do the hiking part as early as possible before the weather deteriorates too much on Java.

    #11 Posted: 5/8/2011 - 19:19

  • MADMAC

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    Well good luck. I hope it works out well for you and you enjoy the trip.

    #12 Posted: 5/8/2011 - 21:52

  • cybervlad

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    Here is "plan B" :) I decided to shift trip for 1 week in order to avoid rainy season in Java (I know, this is a silly try, but...).
    1. November, 25. 08:40 arrive to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Stay in KUL, overnight.
    2. November, 26. Fly AirAsia (AK1324) to Yogiakarta, 07:00-08:30. Find accommodation, sort out transportation, getting around Yogia.
    3. November, 27. Visit Borobudur in the morning & afternoon relax.
    4. November, 28. Visit Plateau Dieng.
    5. November, 29. Visit Prambanan. Transfer to Solo.
    6. November, 30. Solo + Sukuh.
    7. December, 1. Fly Sriwijaya Air (SJ 213) to Jakarta (11:35-12:40), connecting flight (1h 20 minutes) Sriwijaya Air (SJ 590) to Gorontalo via Makassar (14:00-19:20).
    8. December, 2 to December, 5 - scuba diving in "Gorontalo hidden paradise", 12 dives :)
    9. December, 6 - "the day-off diving". Visit hot springs, Portuguese forts and other attractions.
    10. December, 7. Fly Sriwijaya Air (SJ 591) to Jakarta (06:40-10:00). Wait 4 hours for AirAsia flight (QZ7602) to Kuala Lumpur (14:00-17:00). Wait 5 hours 35 minutes and fly home at 22:35.

    #13 Posted: 6/8/2011 - 23:35

  • MADMAC

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    I personally think that's a much better plan.

    #14 Posted: 7/8/2011 - 02:18

  • SBE

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    Looks good, I hope the weather's OK for you! I don't know anything about Java as I've only been to Jakarta but I assume you've done your research for that as you seem very good at organizing things.

    Re the overnight stay in KL the first night.

    I was going to suggest you got a connecting flight straight to Yogyakarta because your Air Asia flight next day leaves at 7am.

    Reason: In the past you'd have had to use an expensive taxi to get to the airport in time for a 7am flight. The first airport bus left Sentral at 6am which would be far too late for you. The only other option would have been to stay at the Tune Hotel at the airport.

    However, I just checked and I see there's now a fast train+shuttle bus from the city to the LCCT that will get you there at 05.25 in time for your Air Asia flight. There are also early morning buses now too. Maybe you already knew that but I didn't! I remember standing outside Sentral in the dark waiting for it to open so I could catch the first 6am airport bus only a few years ago.

    Here's the express train schedule from Sentral in case you don't know it.

    http://www.kliaekspres.com/erlsb/LCCT/LCCTSchedule/tabid/214/Default.aspx

    The airport buses are a lot cheaper than the train, but slower of course. They cost 8 or 9RM depending on the bus company last time I looked.

    Here's one of the bus companies schedules from Sentral

    http://www.skybus.com.my/schedule.html

    #15 Posted: 7/8/2011 - 02:46

  • cybervlad

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    SBE, unfortunately there are only one direct fly to Yogyakarta from Kuala Lumpur , at 7 a.m.
    May be you mean transit/connecting flight Kuala Lumpur - Jakarta - Yogyakarta?
    Just have checked AA site, it's impossible.
    I arrive to KUL at 08:40, so I can take only AirAsia AK 1384 13:40-14:45 to Jakarta. But last flight to Yogyakarta already left by this time: QZ 7344 14:15.
    Alternative is overnight train Jakarta-Yogyakarta.

    Regarding trasportation in the early morning in KUL. I stayed in KUL twice while transit, both times at Concorde INN KLIA hotel. They offer free transportation between KLIA and hotel and also not so expensive transfer to LCCT.
    Here is another (budget) variant:
    http://www.lcct.com.my/hotels/new-wave-hotel/about-new-wave-budget-hotel
    or
    http://www.tunehotels.com/

    #16 Posted: 8/8/2011 - 12:59

  • SBE

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    I've stayed at the Tune Hotel a few times but didn't know there was another budget option near the LCCT. The wall colours at New Wave look rather overpowering (not very relaxing after a long flight) but they do have earlier an earlier check in times and later check out times than Tune Hotel. Thanks for the info.

    Problem with the Tune Hotel (apart from the very small rooms) is that you can't check in before 2pm. For someone like you arriving at 8.40am that means hanging around for hours waiting to get into your room after a long flight.

    Are you planning to stay at the airport the first day? I thought maybe you wanted to go into town. That's why I mentioned that there's transport back to the airport in time for your flight.

    May be you mean transit/connecting flight Kuala Lumpur - Jakarta - Yogyakarta ?
    Just have checked AA site, it's impossible.
    I arrive to KUL at 08:40, so I can take only AirAsia AK 1384 13:40-14:45 to Jakarta. But last flight to Yogyakarta already left by this time: QZ 7344 14:15.

    Why do you have to use an Air Asia flight to get from Jakarta to Yogyakarta? I just checked skyscanner and there are two Lion Air flights you could get.

    One leaves Jakarta at 15.50 and there's another one at 17.00. Both flights cost about 40 euros.

    It would be less complicated and probably less expensive to do a direct KL -Yogyakarta flight on Air Asia next day though!

    #17 Posted: 9/8/2011 - 05:00

  • cybervlad

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    Thanks, SBE!
    I completely forgot that AirAsia is not the only option. :)
    Just checked LionAir site, there are connecting flights:
    Kuala Lumpur - Jakarta (13:00-14:00) JT-283
    Jakarta - Jogyakarta (18:00-19:00) JT-564
    Total: 269 MYR

    #18 Posted: 9/8/2011 - 10:46

  • SBE

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    You're welcome! It's a pity you can't take the 15.50 flight if you're arriving in Jakarta at 14.00 though. It should be enough time to connect and because they are both Lion Air they'd probably put you on the next flight if you missed the connection because of flight delay.

    Is the 15.50 flight a lot more expensive than the 18.00 one?

    #19 Posted: 9/8/2011 - 13:27

  • SBE

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    Oops. I forgot you had to get a visa on arrival in Jakarta. Yes the 18.00 would be better then. Sorry, ignore my last post!

    You might make the 17.00 flight though ... I think it took about an hour to get through immigration in Jakarta last February when I had to queue for the VOA. I don't know if that's the standard length of queuing time or not though.

    #20 Posted: 9/8/2011 - 13:47

  • cybervlad

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    > Is the 15.50 flight a lot more expensive than the 18.00 one?
    According request "Nov, 25, Jakarta-Jogiakarta" 15:50 flight little bit more expensive that 18:00 one. But this is not issue.
    I have just requested "Kuala Lumpur - Jogiakarta" at LionAir booking site, and it shows me only few option:
    1) Kuala - Jakarta only JT-283 flight (13:00)
    2) Connecting flight Jakarta-Jogiakarta either JT554 (17:00), JT564 (18:00), JT568 (19:00)

    I'm not familiar with airport because I have never been in Jakarta, so I decided to apply my usual rule: time between flight at least 3 hours :)

    #21 Posted: 9/8/2011 - 16:09

  • SBE

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    You have to allow time to get to the domestic terminal in Jakarta too but it doesn't take as long as at KL. There's a free shuttle bus between terminals that goes by every ten minutes or so.

    http://flights.indonesiamatters.com/jakarta-airport-terminals/

    My AA flight from Thailand arrived too late at night to be able to get a shuttle bus but it took less than 10 minutes to get to the domestic terminal in a taxi. A nice Indonesian couple going into town kindly offered to let me share their taxi and did a short detour for me. :-)

    #22 Posted: 9/8/2011 - 16:34

  • cybervlad

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    SBE, thanks for link!

    #23 Posted: 10/8/2011 - 16:19

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