While waiting for my guidebook to arrive I would like to jump start my planning for 3-4 weeks vacation to Indonesia and would like to ask you for your advice.
What destination would you recommend for 2 active adults who love snorkeling, hiking, swimming, some kayaking, nature and prefer not crowded area?
Not all the requirements need to be filled but snorkeling is the priority.
K, this is totally random but I just noticed your post (here on on TA) and noted your user name.....are you the same boleslav that went to Thailand a few months ago? We exchanged a few emails and I gave you tips on Chiang Mai.....Funny thing is, I am also going to Indonesia...in May :) What a coiincidence! I think you're Canadian too, right?
Anyway, I can't really help with your post too much bc I myself am planning a first trip to Indonesia. Though if you do a search you will get loads of info. Do you know which islands you want to visit? Maybe for a first trip concentrate on Java, Bali, and/or Lombok?
#2 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
Sulawesi would be a very good choice as long as you avoid monsoon season. Excellent snorkelling and also good hiking options around Tana Toraja.
When are you planning on going?
we plan to go in May. I have read mixed reviews of Sulawesi, some rave about them others say the coral is dead, it's hard to decide. Have you been there? what part of the island would be your suggestion?
can we rent a kayak there?
Yes I've been there several times and was there last autumn. I had planned to spend a month in Northern Sulawesi in March too, but in February Air Asia suddenly stopped flying to Manado so I had to scrap that plan.
There's very good snorkelling around Manado. Both Bunaken and Siladen have spectacular drop offs very near the beach... often very strong currents too.
The Togian islands are a lot more scenic than Bunaken and Manado but they are hard to get to and a lot of the coral there has been destroyed by dynamite fishing. There are still some good spots though and the resorts on Kadidiri do free snorkelling trips. On the other islands in the Togians you have to pay to charter a boat but you can still snorkel off the beach.
If you want to go hiking around Tana Toraja then maybe Bira beach would be the best option for you. It's relatively easy to get to from Makassar (about 5 hours by bus) and there's some OK snorkelling off the beach too. With 3-4 weeks you'd also have time to check out nearby Selayar island if you want.
Not sure about kayaks, can't recall seeing any. Fadhilla cottages (Togians) used to have a traditional dug out canoe though!
I usually spend at least a month there.
If you limit yourself to either north or south Sulawesi and fly rather than travelling overland then you'd probably have time to go elsewhere too eg you could probably get to Pulau Weh off the tip of northern Sumatra too.
If you want to include the Togians then you'll probably need a whole month because of logistics of getting there and away.
As for accommodation... what's your budget? Where exactly are you going?
Describing all the places I've stayed at on Sulawesi would take ages and you may require a different level of comfort anyway so could you be a bit more specific?
Sorry, only flickr. I haven't finished uploading pictures from my latest trip yet but there are pictures of Sulawesi and Pulau Weh in the Indonesia set if you want some inspiration...