Anyone know of any good travel sites on Indonesia?
There's obviously bits of travel info all over the Web, but as I'm heading to Sumatra (and Aceh in particular) next month I was wondering if there are any more comprehensive sites on the country, especially containing accommodation tips/reviews and maps etc. such as there are on Travelfish.
For the past few years I've been spending a couple of months in Indonesia every year and I never found any. There's a real need for something similar to this site (hint hint) but I'm guessing that not enough tourists go there to make it commercially worthwhile. Indonesia is a huge country, the world's largest archipelago (and no one seems to know what the ferry schedules are) so logistics make it a lot harder to research than Thailand I imagine.
Well, something Indo-related is sort of on our horizon (we live in Indonesia so it sort of makes sense), but nothing will be happening in the immediate future.
It's a big place -- I've been to almost all the islands in Thailand, but there's over 17,000 here!
LOL, guess where I've been mainly this last trip! ;-) Thanks for putting this section on the forum. If anyone needs info on Sulawesi I spent about three months there recently so might be able to help a bit. Also checked out the Philippines briefly and did a bit of Thailand of course.
I left BKK on Friday evening so I just missed the weekend chaos...the gridlocked traffic chaos on Thursday evening was bad enough! Seems things are returning to normal today though...the protesters have been cleared off the streets apparently.
I have found some travel info on this site: http://www.talesofasia.com/indonesia.htm
It was written in 2005 so it's a bit outdated, but there's some good info all the same, in particular on Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Sumbawa and Java (Jakarta and Yogyakarta)
Yea busylizzy, you've mentioned the most laid back, yesteryear island in Indo...
Sumbawa is Sooooooo good.
It's like going back 50 years in time, to a time when commercialism didn't exist outside the mainstream west...
Sumbawa is Sooooooo good.
Hi Bruce - your link doesn't appear to work. Any chance of double-checking - I would love to have a look.
I have been to Bali (several times), Java and Sulawesi - but the last trip was in 1994! I am now (finally!) planning a trip later this year to see some more of Indonesia, and the Nusa Tenggara islands have always been at the top of the list.
Any other info you can point in my direction would be greatly appreciated!
Labuan Bajo on Flores is actually gets a surprising number of tourists nowadays...mainly coming from Bali on the Perama boats. Most foreigners stay at the Gardena Hotel but there are other options. The Gardena restaurant does good hot plates but as a hotel I didn't find them very service minded... rather a "couldn't give a shit" attitude. As there are always tourists to fill their rooms (which are expensive for what you get) they don't need to make a lot of effort. There are other cheaper options in Labuan Bajo.
The Gardena also has a resort on a nearby island called Seraya. Their huts on Seraya are very basic (water supply to mandi only available for an hour or two a day)and a bit more expensive that at their hotel in Labuan Bajo but it's a pleasant place to chill out for a few days.
People tend to either fly back to Bali or take the express overnight tourist buses so they don't really see Sumbawa at all.
Me being me, I did Flores-Bali the hard way last year using local buses and ferries. Local transport lets you travel during the daytime so you can see the scenery....it's quite interesting seeing how the landscape gradually changes from the dry desert scrub of Flores to the lush jungles of Western Lombok. The poverty on Sumabawa is also quite striking compared to Bali and Lombok.
They seem to systematically apply a tax on accommodation and food on Sumbawa that they don't elsewhere....not sure what that's all about. Very few tourists there.
Public buses are not that comfortable on Sumabawa...in fact I thought I'd probably never walk again after zero legroom for 10 hours on one bus! Literally couldn't move my legs an inch as they'd jammed boxes between the seats too.
The buses on Flores aren't at all comfortable either BTW ...many people prefer to share a chartered taxi rather than enduring the public transport when they head north from Labuan Bajo.
Sorry, busylizzy, it works for me..
Then click on 'photo galleries' and when 'up' select anything you like. If you select Sumbawa (about half way down), you'll get to:
Hope this helps.
Hi Bruce - just spotted your reply! The photo website is working fine for me now, so am not sure what the problem was before. Anyhow - what a great collection of photos!
SBE - thank you for your comments and info - all very useful!
I am now researching and planning a rough itinerary - I'll start shooting through some more specific questions in the next week or so as I consolidate my plans. My biggest problem is figuring out how to see the islands of Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi in 2 months (assuming I get a 60-day visa). There's just so much to see, and I don't want to rush through it all.
I just found an amateur site written by a French guy who used to work in SE Asia and thought I'd share. It's about ten years out of date and looks like an embryo version of TF that never really took off the ground but people might find it interesting as background reading.
Includes recipes and advice how not to get attacked by a snake if you find yourself eye to eye with one!
Yeah, Indonesia has some great places to travel. I ve done a bicycle tour on the island of Sulawesi, the south Sulawesi. They called it Sulsel. Travel more than 1000 kilomters.
Bira beach is has nice local villages where your may rent a house for long term. It has some good resorts too at Bira. But we prefer to rent the kampong house, sort of homestay. Meals were prepared by the neighbor, and clothes washed too at very nominal price.
However, food isnt as good as places like thailand and Malaysia. And lack of good hotel too,.. except Makassar, which is the capital city of South Sulawesi.
And while you are at Sulawesi, do visit the highlands of Toraja and experience the fascinating culture of torajan people.
Here is a link to the cycling adventures I did. RegrettThe text is in Bahasa Malaysia, but the pictures may help. You may even try google translate.
My husband and I are travelling to SE Asia next March. Originally we were going to explore the Thai Islands but after reading about how most of them are quite touristy and overcrowded we are thinking about opting for Sabang/Weh Island which is just off Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
We have heard this is much less developed and has deserted beaches, and more like how the thai islands were 20 years ago. Sounds much more what we had in mind. However we can't find any up to date info on it.
Has anyone been recently and is this the case?
#17 katbone has been a member since 19/10/2010. Posts: 5
Don't be put off by the statements of overcrowding in Thailand - there ARE islands which are quiet and laid back (eg Koh Kradan and Ngai are two very quiet ones that I stayed on).
However, back to Indonesia. I stayed at Kanawa Island for 4 days which is just off of Labuanbajo (Flores). Accom is very basic but comfortable. No hot water, and in fact, they only turn the cold water on at certain times (or on request in our case as we were the only ones staying on the island!). Power was only turned on for a limited time in the evenings.
The toilets are squat ones, and it's a mandi style bath (ie scoops of water over the head). Service at the place was non-existent, which is fine if you just want to be left alone and don't have any expectations. The food was a bit disappointing but primarily because in our case, we were the only visitors on the island so they were only running with the basics (ie fried rice). It's an interesting little island, with some fairly good snorkelling off the beach.
You can organise a trip to Komodo or Rinca island from Labuanbajo and they will pick you up from Kanawa. We did some awesome snorkelling along the way, and there is supposed to be some awesome diving there.
If you are looking for undeveloped, this is it. Bring plenty of books, cards and games to keep yourselves amused.
Here is some more info and pics if you are interested. If you are after quiet, rustic and basic, then this is it.
Thanks so much for this info, the deserted island and your pictures look great! Exactly what we are looking for. Only problem is we only have about a week to spend just chilling out on an island and are really stuck about which one to pick. We don't want to miss out on seeing the more spectacular "paradise" islands of Thailand just because we are trying to get away from all the tourists! I suppose they are that busy and popular for a reason.
Will definietly look into Koh Kradan and Ngai, did you go to these recently?
Thanks so much for your help
#19 katbone has been a member since 19/10/2010. Posts: 5
I actually went to 3 islands around the Trang area (south of Krabi) in Feb this year: Kradan, Muk and Ngai. All 3 islands were quite different, I think.
I loved Kradan, but again it was very basic in terms of facilities. THere are are couple of different places to stay ranging in price (I recommend Lost Paradise Bungalows for nice budget style, run by Wally, an American guy. They also do the best food). Excellent swimming and good snorkelling if you go right around the corner rather than off the main stretch of beach. During the day boatloads of Thai tourists arrive with their blaring Karaoke machines that you have to put up with for an hour or two on the main beach, but you can just walk around the corner a bit to get away from them.
Koh Muk was also really nice, bigger than Kradan and more places and villages to explore, but also a bit busier (but not overcrowded).
Koh Ngai was OK - again extremely basic and nothing to do but read. I believe I may have stayed at an isolated end, and think there may be a bit more activitity (including restaurants, etc) at the other end of the island. I didn't research it enough, and didn't stay long as I was tired of the isolation by then. But I think in a different frame of mind, it would also be really nice.
There is a bit more info and a few pics on the blog that I linked to above. Make your way to the early Feb postings....
Out of the 3, I would pick:
Koh Kradan - for isolation on a gorgeous beach, good snorkelling, and good accommodation/food at Lost Paradise
Koh Muk - for a bit more in the way of 'activity' and things to see/do as well as good swimming.
Don't expect Pulau Weh to be a deserted paradise. I heard many travellers who loved it (majority) but some were very disappointed (mainly because of expecting a deserted paradise).
I regret that I did not visit it this summer when I was in Sumatra... but I agree to busylizzy that Thailands islands are very diverse... and no, the most touristy are not always the most beautiful... maybe there WERE, but development and mass tourismen destroys any paradise.
This summer I went with a friend through Sumatra and Java towards Lombok (Gilis) and back to Bali.
Reports can be viewed here: http://martinumdiewelt.blogspot.com/search/label/Indonesia
Attention! Reports are based on my very own opinion and may tend to be very pragmatic or even sarcastic.
you have to visit Sabang (weh island) its beautiful..
#22 molleydean has been a member since 19/1/2011. Posts: 3
7 3 11
Can anyone out there give me the names of any guesthouses etc in Solo.
#23 topogene88 has been a member since 30/12/2008. Posts: 11
I've just joined this website, with no intention to spam, but I feel that all travellers to Indonesia can take advantage of being able to quickly compare all prices for all local airlines at our website: http://www.tiket2.com. In real time. Let us know about your opinions and suggestions. Enjoy Indonesia!
try www.indonesia-tourism.com and www.eastjava.com if you want to go to east java province
#25 dewaemperor has been a member since 8/6/2011. Posts: 3