My first thought is that if you have only a short time and want to explore Java you must go to Yogyakarta . It is roughly 8 hour train ride from Jakarta and hosts not only good food and a musical, festive atmosphere but also offers two of the most impressive historical sites on Java. You could easily spend 3 nights there . . . as you seem to like food, perhaps you would want to stop off in Bandung (a half way point between Java and Yogyakarta - I personally haven't been there, but it is a large city which will offer a variety of eats. Otherwise, if you want a nice natural site - arranging transport to Mt. Bromo to check out the volcano peak at sunrise. You won't be alone up there, and the food isn't great at the top, but it certainly a beautiful view. You can arrange return car trips in Yogyakarta if you like - but otherwise can do it independently.
Thanks a ton for the reply! Any wild life sanctuaries you know of??
#3 Abhisek has been a member since 29/2/2012. Posts: 22
Tanjung Puting is a cool National Park on Kalimantan, where you can see Orangutans in their natural habitat. Awesome! Many people are flying from Jakarta these days to Balikpapan and then to Berau to access the gorgeous islands off the east coast of Balikpapan. Maratua is the newest island to be developed in this region and the diving and snorkeling is magical. You can swim with manta rays off of Sangalaki Island and with stingless jellyfish on Kakaban Island. Also, there are tons of turtles swimming in the waters around Maratua. In my opinion, this is the hottest place to visit in Indo right now. I'm so glad that I discovered it before the crowds.
#5 mauigirl has been a member since 28/6/2013. Posts: 6
Aw crap! Too late! Am already back but next time for sure ! Thanks a ton!
#6 Abhisek has been a member since 29/2/2012. Posts: 22
Hi 99thin, If you're planning on heading to the area, I'd be happy to help with recommendations. I was just there in December 2012 and I'm going back in a few weeks. Best!
#7 mauigirl has been a member since 28/6/2013. Posts: 6
Mauigirl (and anyone else who can help),
I would love some help. I'm currently in Vietnam and I'm planning on flying to KL and connecting through to Sandakan in the month of September. I'd like to go to do the following:
1) Kinabatangan Wildlife sanctuary - probably with Uncle Tan, but I'm open to suggestions
2) Danum Valley Conservation Area - if I can get permission to stay at the research station (again - I'm open to other suggestions with a budget/moderate price tag)
3) go to Derawan and/or Maratua
1) Is this a reasonable itinerary for 14 days?
2) Will I be able to see turtles nesting in mid-late September or have I missed the season?
3) What order should I do these?
4) What is the most logical way to get to the islands from Kinabatangan? Or should I go there first?
#8 marymoss has been a member since 14/7/2013. Posts: 1
I think doing Kinabatangan, Danum and the islands is 14 bit much for 14 days. Traveling in Kalimantan can be very slow and when you add the islands to the mix, there is more unpredictability. I would make a choice between Danum and Kinabatangan. You could stay in either place 3 solid days and then maybe have 8-9 solid days on the islands.
I just left Maratua today and it was fabulous. I gave m a miss this time around, as I didn't want to deal with the 24 hour karaoke noise. I have a baby that needs to nap and sleep at night : ) I enjoyed some simple snorkeling from the shore with my 9 year old. We saw 5 turtles, a manta ray, 5 bright blue starfish and a good number of fish. We were only out about 100 meters from the shore.
I would go to the islands first, as you never know if the seas will be good for travel or not. It's much easier to make your international flight if you're already on Borneo. You won't lose precious days being safe, sitting around waiting for your flight. If you do go to Kinabatangan, MAS Wings flies to Kalimantan.
Sorry I don't know details about Kinabatangan or Danum. I need to go to both places on my next visit to Borneo : ) Have a great trip!!
#9 mauigirl has been a member since 28/6/2013. Posts: 6