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Indonesia forum

Indonesia in 4 weeks?

Posted by Roux on 13/9/2011 at 01:28

Hi there guys,
Been lurking awhile and absorbing some great information. Thanks for all the help you have given me already, albeit indirectly.
My GF and I will be travelling in SE Asia for a few months starting in OCT. this year. We are flying into Bangkok. But we have been to Thailand before and while its an amazing place, we are excited to see some new areas ( to us ) in SEA. Indonesia is high on my list. We are not big partiers, mostly like to relax and enjoy local food and have some fun activities like Mountain Biking, Wildlife Viewing, Markets, Touring on motorbikes etc.
My basic plan would be after relaxing a few days in BKK, flying to Bali for some beach time. We fall more into the budget traveller category, will Bali be worth it for us? Is there GH or hostel style acommadation in Bali? From Bali to Yogya and Borobudur, then on to Borneo where I would like to spend as much time as possible. From there its on to Malaysia and north to Thailand, Cambodia ETC.
So essentially my question is this: With this basic route plan, is Bali good for a budget minded traveller, and if not, is there another beach type destination that would not require us to backtrack too much from our intended route? We are hoping for a relaxed snorkel type beach where we can soak up some rays and not have a million tourists everywhere, altough other backpacker type travellers is ok as long as its not like a huge party scene i.e. full moon party. Trying to keep it as efficient as possible. Hoping an onld Indonesia hand can help out. Thanks in advance!!!

#1 Roux has been a member since 1/9/2011. Posts: 4

Posted by mooball on 19/9/2011 at 19:20 TF writer

I'm feeling that Amed is the go for you. Top spot in Bali when it's not high season which OCT is not. Basically, beaches, seafood, snorkelling, relaxed. You'll want your own transport...could hire a bike/car in kuta and drive up to amed and stop along the way at some cool spots like tirta gangga, pura lempuyang. How long have you got in mind in Bali?

#2 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 429
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Posted by busylizzy on 20/9/2011 at 03:29

I would suggest Lembongan, but I don't really want everyone knowing about it as it's already increasing in popularity just in the last two years since I was there.

So yep, I agree with mooball - head to Amed, also a great area to visit. Go snorkelling over the Liberty, a sunken boat just off the beach. Very easy to get to.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by Roux on 20/9/2011 at 06:56

Did some poking on the subject and Amed looks amazing!!! There is mountain bike tours and great snorkeling it looks like so right up our alley. Thanks so much guys!!

#4 Roux has been a member since 1/9/2011. Posts: 4

Posted by tyler on 20/9/2011 at 10:23

I was in Bali this year for a couple months (February and March). I was only in the Kuta /Seminyak area for about ten minutes. Was BUSY! I'm not really into the crazy party scene either so I headed to Ubud . I used Ubud as a base to discover the rest of the island as you can get anywhere in a few hours. There are homestays everywhere. I stayed at the Dewi Antara Homestay for about 6 weeks (I was taking Bahasa classes at the library). It is one block off of Jalan Hanoman and double bed, fan, shower and breakfast for about $8US. The family is incredible. Try Kedai Cafe.
I found many of the beaches to be ok - so if you want pristine white sand and less people you might want to consider the Gili Islands.
And please know that the farther you get from Kuta the less crowded you will feel...I found that one great thing to do is to rent your own scooter and just drive...You can do this without an international driver's license - but if /when you get pulled over without one - you will be paying huge!

Have a great time.

#5 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by Roux on 20/9/2011 at 11:29

Thamks for the info tyler!!

The only problem I'm running into is that Indonesia is so big and there is so much I want to see!!

I love history so Borobudur is a must, and I am a nature lover so Orang-utangs on Borneo are a must, and I am a beach bum at heart so I def. want to spend some time on the sand.

I will look into Gili Islands, pristine white sand sounds pretty nice, I just dont want to cram too much into the 4 weeks or so that I have there. I learned my lesson last year trying to do 4 countries in 8 weeks and feeling really rushed. So I will just have to pick a couple destinations and try to get as much quality time in each as I can.

Thanks again guys!!

#6 Roux has been a member since 1/9/2011. Posts: 4

Posted by mooball on 20/9/2011 at 11:49 TF writer

I haven't been to Borneo, but if you want to see orangutans, a great place to go is Bukit Lawang in North Sumatra. You could fly into Bali, do your thing there, head across to Yogya by bus or plane and then fly from Yogya to Medan which is 3 hours bus ride to Bukit Lawang.

You're right that Indo is huge. Indo is a bit like all of the rest of SE Asia combined times two. You can't possibly visit everything in one trip and it's best just to see a few things and save the rest for another time. Bali, Yogya and North Sumatra is a great start.

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Posted by tyler on 20/9/2011 at 21:39

Hey Roux,
Mooball is giving you good advice. 4 weeks is a limited amount of time to do more than 1 country - I would also suggest relaxing your itinery a little. Like you said you're already feeling some stress about it...And it sounds as if everything you want to do you can do it in Indonesia.
If you have your heart set on Borneo and orangutans - you can consider the Kinibatangan river in Sabah. It is easy to get to and you will see them in the wild. You can try the www.sabahtourism.org website for a list of homestays throughout Borneo. I was at the Misowalei homestay for the Kinibatangan. Was great.
Enjoy.

#8 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by vandriand on 5/10/2011 at 14:00

Hi all, I'm Indonesian. Just go head to Ubud, to se art village, if u need to have privillage it's better to cross from bali to lombok (take ferry to go there) and try to go to Gili Trawangan or Gili Air (small island near Lombok).
Other place i suggest beside bali is Thousand Island, u can go there from Jakarta (Ancol, Marina Bay) just choose one of island, better choose farest one. There are Diving and Snorkeling activity u can choose.
But beware on choose island, there are some private island owned by private.

#9 vandriand has been a member since 5/10/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by SBE on 6/10/2011 at 00:44

Indonesia is indeed huge but you can see quite a bit in a month and October is a great time to go there.

If you want to do Borodur for a few days then I'd suggest sticking to just one other "general area" rather than trying to visit too many different places. Below are 3 suggestions you might like to think about. All have an Air Asia connection to your next destination (Malaysia) which would save you back tracking too much.


1. Bali, then Lombok and or Gilis. Possibly a snorkeling boat trip to Labuan Bajo from Bali or Lombok via Komodo. Air Asia flies to KL from Bali.

2. Northern Sumatra has orang outangs as mentioned, Lake Toba, and there's also some pretty good diving/snorkeling off Pulau Weh. Flights from Medan or from Banda Aceh (for Pulau Weh) on Air Asia.

3. Central and southern Sulawesi: Mountain scenery and trekking in Tana Toraga plus some interesting culture and then the Togean islands for your relaxed beach and snorkeling fix. Togeans are a little difficult to get to and there aren't daily ferries going there but they are rather pretty islands with nice beaches and snorkeling. Air Asia flies from Makassar (AKA Ujung Padang) to KL.

You could get to any of these places from Java on a domestic flight bought once you've arrived in Indonesia. It's usually possible to get a flight next day unless there's some big holiday or something. Indonesian airlines don't have very state of the art online booking systems yet and often refuse foreign credit cards but if you google Lion Air, Srijiwaya, Batavia and Mandala you'll get an idea of routes and prices. The national carrier Garuda is usually (but not always) quite a bit more expensive but it's worth checking their site too. Merpati have a poor safety record and also tendency to cancel flights at the last minute... personally I try and avoid them when there are other options available! There are loads of smaller airlines too but those are the main ones.

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