my man and I are planning to travel to Indonesia in August for around 30 days -- first time.
We're on a rather tight budget, but we'd like to include lots of temples, cafes to hang out, and a week or so of off-beach snorkeling. A visit to a Spa would be great too.
We'd like to avoid flying within Indonesia (in all likelihood we'll arrive in Jakarta), but rather go by train or bus. We're also rather on the taking-it-easy side, we don't mind long and complicated traveling, but we prefer to stay at one place for more than just one day rather than covering twenty places in a month or so.
Given our interests, what would you suggest as an itinerary? (very loosely, of course)
Thanks so much in advance!
#1 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
The only bit that gives me pause in suggesting Bali is your tight budget bit. That aside, arrive Jakarta, train to Yogyakarta to see Borobudur then onwards either by bus via Bromo or to ferry for Bali. Off beach snorkeling hit the north coast for Permuteran and be sure to take a boat trip to pulau menjangan. From there you could head inland to Munduk and onto Ubud (get your temple and spa fix here) after that a lot more beaches to choose from.
Note some of the above eg permuteran to Munduk you'll most likely have to hire a car with driver as it's not a straightforward public transport link, but shouldnt be too pricey.
After Bali you could either fly back to Jakarta of overland it again via a different route.
Lots of different options, this just one!
Yogyakarta is definitely worth spending some time in to get your cafe fix. Trendy music pubs and a sweet indie-art culture thrives as the city has the highest concentration of universities in Indonesia. I haven't traveled much around Indo but the best food I had was in Yogyakarta. Hands down.
#3 laurenladky has been a member since 27/1/2011. Posts: 32
thanks guys, I should mention that our daily budget (two people) is 50 USD -- that should include accomodation, food and traveling. We put aside approx. 120 USD for emergency and extras such as spa, entrance fees etc.
#4 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
If you and your man are traveling a month, get travel insurance if you haven't already. Hospitals can be quite pricey for foreigners. Not a bad idea if you don't mind being adventurous when you travel . Have a blast
#5 laurenladky has been a member since 27/1/2011. Posts: 32
50$ is kind of tight, but doable. I spent about a month there this past summer and spent about 60$ish a day total for the two of us (30$ a person). The biggest expense really is drinking, so if you plan to drink often, I would suggest to plan on spending more $$. This is the itinerary we took:
Flew into Jakarta. Spent 2 nights (1 full day really) here. It is an okay city, but not really much to do/see and with so much other stuff in Indo, why waste your time?!
Train to Yogakarta. Note: this train is early! so when we arrived late at night the first night, there was just no way to make the next morning train unless you get up early and get to the train station, plan on staying another night in Jakarta. We stayed in the backpacker area (its small, but there...) and that was super close to the train station. You can take a shuttle bus from the airport to the train station, then taxi for a few bucks to the hostel area...
In Yoga there is lots to see and do. It is touristy, but touristy as in filled with Indonesians more than foreigners...Its a great place to check out Indonesia art and of course as mentioned above: Borobudur. There are tons of tours for this, but we decided to find it on our own (on moto). That was an interesting choice. Issues we had: we got lost....a lot! There are not a lot of signs. Other issue: we left to late in the morning...arriving an hour before it closed. This was a bummer as we just didn't have a lot of time at the temple. Also, in the summer it rains a lot...and yes, it rained for at least 1/2 of our trip! haha sounds horrible, but it was defiantly fun at times and part of the adventure. Also, a $5 scooter is much cheaper than a tour...something to think about if you feel up to it! P.S. BRING A STUDENT ID!!!! If you have one (even if its a bit old) its WAY cheaper to get into Borobudur...like at least 1/2 price....which is a lot when Boro is $15 a person
After Yoga we went to Bromo. For Bromo we paid for a ticket all the way through. What we did not realize was that part of the expensive ticket price was a VERY overprices hotel room for the nice. The room was nothing special but something crazy like $45 a night. Also, this is a long trip (takes 10-12 hours). So, we arrived late at night, and they wanted us to get up at 4:00 Am to see the sunrise, then get on a bus at 9:00 am on to Bali. Gross! So, we decided to stay an extra day and simply found our own accommodations- look for home-stays if you are trying for cheap! For some reason Bromo was simply a very expensive place to stay (plan on a mediocre room at best-shared bathroom for 10$) . Not sure why?! Anyways, the first day we woke up when we felt like it, and found a new place to stay once we found out the price to stay an extra day. Then we walked to the volcano crater. There is stairs leading to the top. From the top we hiked all the way around the crater- this was awesome! Bring snacks/water. This is a lot longer hike than it looks. After that we just bummed around the town, ate etc. Went to bed early and got up about an hour-hour and 1/2 before the sunrise (ask around to find out what time it is....i cant remember). We found other people interested in hiking to a lookout for the sunrise. This was MUCH better than taking the jeep tours offered. I guess the jeep tours (a friend of mine did this...) bring you to a different lookout, but you will be sharing your view with TONS of other people. I shared mine with the woods and 5 friends The hiking lookout is well-known. Just ask around and someone will give you directions. After the hike, we ate breakfast and caught the next bus on to Bali. Really there is not much more to do here. Just tell the people you are staying another night, they really don't care what day you take the bus on to Bali, just make sure you know the time and pickup place! P.S. Bromo is FREEZING! I mean really cold...especially in the summer..surprising i know! So just be prepared for at least a few long sleeves and a sweatshirt or a light jacket and pants, shoes, socks etc. Oh, and don't plan on having a hot shower unless you want to pay $$ for it. What i suggest is to shower before you leave and plan on simply not showering for the 2 days you are there.
On to Bali. We didn't spend a lot of time here, and actually went straight through to Lombok, returning at the end of our trip as this is where we were flying out from. I do however regret not spending more time here. On Bali we did Ubud and actually chose to stay in Padang Bai for a few nights as well (this is where the fast ferry takes you to the Gili islands. Padang Bai is actaully a pleasant area, but I probably wouldn't have spent this much time there if it wasn't the end of our trip and we simply didn't feel like moving! What we did instead was take day trips from there to other places (rented moto- $5).
The Gilis (T and Air) are pretty awesome, especially if you want to snorkel right off the beach. There is TONS of beautiful Coral that surround these islands. As for the feel of them: Gili T is more Ausie's on spring break feeling. Lots more going on here than on Air, but depends on what you are going for. I spent 2 nights on T, and almost a week on Air (got a little carried away). Air has a more laid back feel to it...defiantly sees a lot less traffic. T has a million horses to shuttle people around. Air probably has 3. Air also like I said has amazing snorkeling...maybe even better than T (I can't really remember T's snorkeling in comparison to Air). I never went to Meno, but that is even more secluded and less going on. They call it the honeymoon island so it really depends on what you are looking for. There is a public boat in the morning (find out the time, get there early so you get a spot!) that goes between the Gilis for cheap. This boat can also take you to Lombok for the same cheap price. And this is what we did after the Gilis. Once again, I wish we could have spent more time on Lombok! But we simply got stuck on Air because we liked it so much. As for things to do/see in Lombok, well what we did was stayed a night in Sengiggi. This was a fine place to stay when in transit, and a great place to rent a moto. What we did (and i highly suggest doing!!) is rented a bike for a few days. We asked the place we stayed to hold our bags and they did so happily. You can also try to ask the bike people, just be aware of who you are leaving it with what makes most sense to you! We then packed our day backpacks with what we needed and headed towards Kuta . FYI- Kuta Lombok is amazing, not to be confused with Kuta Bali...totally different. In Kuta Lombok you will find miles and miles of beautiful beaches...with little to no one there! it was really awesome. Great vibe-just an awesome place. Another FYI- there are NO atms here, and people don't take card often, so I suggest you make sure you have enough $$. We had to leave a day early because the $$ ran dry! The closest ATM is about 45 min drive away. After Kuta we actually headed back to Sengiggi because of time constraints, but our friends who did this before us told us this was the roadtrip they did and loved it:
"Sengiggi to Kuta to Tetebatu to Senaru, back toSengiggi. amazing. non-touristy off the beaten track for sure. we made insurance deals with the guys first. like the max we could have to payfor the bike was $200 or something. Sengiggi is a good place to rent the bikes."
They traveled SE Asia for 6 months, and this is one, if not their favorite thing they did! Really you can't go wrong! From Lombok you can take a fast ferry (much more $$) or a slow ferry (cheaper-takes longer...) back to Bali. I would highly suggest flying out of Bali and not backtracking to Jakarta. If you just have to do it this way, I would then suggest looking into airlines. I am not sure if Air asia does this trip, but there are tons of little airlines in Indo as travel is long and difficult.
Well I hope this helps, and if you have anymore Q's just ask!
#6 ecbaker has been a member since 17/3/2011. Posts: 18
I agree that $50 per day for 2 in Bali is tight. I spent a few months there late last year and averaged about $50 for just me alone, but I didn't go as cheap as I could have and that did include a few expensive purchases of clothing and a car for most of the time. I also ate one more expensive meal per day rather than just a 5,000 rupiah nasi jinggo. But if you go super cheap in Bali, you could get away with $10 on accommodation, $5-10 on meals and $3 or $4 on transport. But then you'd be living a pretty local existence without any money to do anything else. I found increasing the amount you pay for accommodation is usually well-worth it. And it's also nice to eat some western food every now and then or even eat some more expensive local food. It's also nice to do activities like snorkelling, temples, etc. This can easily start upping costs.
It all depends how rough you want to go. $50 is tight for 2 in Bali if you want to do activities and par-take in some of the wonderful food and drinks around the island.
Travelinchen - you mentioned you would like to avoid flying, but I'd advise to rethink this condition as flying in Indonesia can really help make you travel cheaper - specially if your itinerary includes distant places, like Flores or Sulawesi (far from the touristy Java island). Just check the prices on Tiket2 http://www.tiket2.com and you will see that travelling overland (or by the sea) will consume much more of your budget and will leave not much time to enjoy the places.
#8 aguirre has been a member since 13/3/2011. Posts: 2
thanks so much for your replies. Wow. I haven't seen them before, so sorry for not replying earlier
we're thinking hard about going to Indonesia in June now, becuse of unforeseen events, the preliminary idea is to fly in and out of Jakarta, travel through east Java with a few classical stops and head over to Bali and, maybe, Gili Islands. And then, well, back -- all overland. We only have a bit more than 3 weeks in total, so I'm aware flying would be a better option, bt we'd really like to avoid that (I'm a super nervous flyer).
Is it possible to take overnight trains at least all the way through Java?
Also, our budget once we're there is rather tight, 60 USD for both of us and we're both strict vegetarians (so I'm not sure how regularily we can eat at food stalls if at all) Will that work out?
We're really looking for a nice, relatively secluded and peaceful beach with white sand and clear water where we can do some snorkeling. We thought Gili islands (Air?) sounds good, but if someone has a better suggestions, we're really open for that too!
Thanks in advance!
#9 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Also, what's the weather and tourist industry like in June compared to August???
#10 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Here's one thing I wory about a little bit now: I read several times that tourists get harrassed by locals in Java and Bali. I'm not really sure what is meat by that or how bad it is, but I worry that this will be too stressful for us, since we're quite stressed out at the moment.
Is it bad? Are there ways to avoid?
#11 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
1) Not sure a train right across java is practical... I'm not experienced with the trains, but buses definitely do the journey. It just takes a long time. Factor in 24hours and you'll be fine, but it's not easy travel in Indo. Patience and stamina (and sometimes a strong bladder)
2) $60 per day will be plenty.
3) Being a vegetarian could be problematic. It would add huge complications when ordering food and limit what you could get from stalls. In the tourist centers you'll be fine, but tourist meals are more expensive than local stuff. I think it could be hard to communicate your requirement to a stall holder. Maybe just stick with masakan Padang - Padang cooking where you generally enter a restaurant and pick the dishes you want. Just load up on the veg and tofu and hope no shrimp paste has been used. I'm sure plenty of vegetarians have gone before you and done just fine. Good luck!
4) white sand beaches aren't really that common in Bali. I think you might be right with going to the Gilis as a first choice.
5) weather is hot in June and august and there shouldnt be too much of a difference. Nothing that will matter too much.
6) high season is from mid June to mid august and corresponds with the European summer holidays. Places are regularly packed out over this period and you just need to be prepared to pay a little extra and have a few different accommodation alternatives when arriving in a new town. For example, Amed in Bali is full in those times and empty for most of the rest of the year. Other places are packed all the time. Some places are always dead. You probably won't find out until you reach a town.
7) not sure what harassment you've read about, but there are touts wherever there are tourists. It's the same almost everywhere in south east Asia. Don't be concerned about the touts. Not sure what other harassment there is... If you're well-travelled, there won't be anything to worry about. If it's your first time in Asia, it's going to be an awesome first taste.
He there, thanks so much for your reply. It's not my first time to SEA, I've been to Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Cambodia before and I never encountered anyone who got physical and that's why I read about Bali (and maybe Java too?) somewhere.
I'd really like to avoid buses as far as possile, precisely because I lack the strong bladder *haha*. That's why trains should be fine, no?
I'm just really scared of flying in general and, ok, I can get myself to do Air Asia, I guess, but they don't go from, say, Yogya to Bali
If the high season starts mid june, mybe it's better to start with the Gilis and move towards Bali and Java? Or is there no real difference where we start?
#13 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Also I'm coming around to getting a flight one way either from Jakarta to Denpasar to vice versa with Air Asia Indonesia. It's really a bit stupid and I don't know what to do, we only have 3 weeks, but I REALLY want to go to Yogya and my partner REALLY wants to go to a white sand peaceful beach. So what to do? Flying Air Asia would be ok for me, but they don't fly between Yogya and Denpasar or even Lombok.
One option, I just saw, is to fly from Yogya to Denpasar with a stop over in Jakarta with Airasia (almost 3 hours stop over) -- it's cheap (50 USD), but is it worth it?
Is getting from Yogya to Denpasar so stressful and what exactly would be the least stressful way? If it's not too expensive we would also pay a bit more to go with a company or so. I'm really terrified of the buses, I think the rest I can manage, if there's a toilet there and I can move around
And then from Bali to the Gilis? Difficult and Stressful? Or ok?
It's my first time in Indonesia and probably not the best time to go as my stress-level is already quite high and I need some relaxation, but I'd really, really, really like to go^
#14 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Did I mention that we only get 22 days in Indonesia ?
#15 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
You can go land from Yoga to bali easily...tons of tours do it! Just pay all the way through...plus then you get to see Bromo (the stop-over on the way). You will leave Yoga early, get to Bromo late, wake up early to see the most amazing sunrise you have ever seen, then on to Bali. I understand you don't have a lot of time, but you can do it!!
Also, I highly recommend doing a one-way flight back to Jakarta if that is where you are flying out from. Don't worry about flying in-between all these places as you will be seeing things on the way (i.e from jakarta to bali you will stop in yoga and bromo) its just on the way back out when you are leaving you dont want to do this land trip all over again if you don't plan on stopping at the same places again!
As for harassment...after spending a few months in Vietnam/cambodia/thailand, we felt indo was a breath of fresh air! Now I know bali is probably the worst as it is the most touristy...but the rest of the places were just fine! In Yoga they might try to get you to come see their art studio to buy over-priced stuff...but we just said we were busy or were meeting people and couldn't follow them. Easy enough!
Hope you have a great trip! Don't stress, you are going to LOVE it!
p.s. remember: plans always change...so don't worry about having the "perfect" itinerary... you will decide when you get there where to go and what to see! Plus you always meet people with stories of amazing adventures that you just might decide to take
#16 ecbaker has been a member since 17/3/2011. Posts: 18
Thanks ecbaker, think we'll book the ticket to Jakarta today
I agree, I'd like to keep plans open, only issue is probably flying back from Bali to Jakarta, only cheap if we basically book now, or do you think we can wait until, say, one week before?
#17 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Booking that last flight when its cheap (like now) is probably a good idea! You would hate it if you ran out of $$ and couldn't book it there! haha!
#18 ecbaker has been a member since 17/3/2011. Posts: 18
Or what about Pulau Menjangan? I'm thinking it might be more accessable from Java and save us time? Just because it's closer, has anyone been there`? Waht dod you think about it??
#19 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
You need to remember that you were very specific about what you were after - that is, white sand beaches. Menjangan/pemuteran doesn't have that. It does however have the best snorkeling I've ever done and some great forest trekking. It's a top place and only 45 minutes from where the ferry stops when traveling from Java. But no white sand beach. Maybe you want to refine your criteria??
Mooball, yes, the white sand beaches are a must. It looked from the pictures as if Pemuteran has them, so that's why I asked.
In any case, I'm going slightly mad, because our plans had to be changed again, so it's back to the month of R., though at least I get my four weeks and we'll be able to leave end of July and get out of Indonesia around the 25th of August.
But that means that we're seriously thinking of NOT going to the GIlis but instead looking for some other white sand and snorkeling beach we can stay at for a week. I think I'll be ok to fly Garuda or AirAsia and we have a little more time so can go a little further.
The Gilis appear to be so crowded in August that I don't think I'll enjoy it and rather would like to go to some less crowded beach in indonesia.
Can anyone suggest some that are not too difficult to reach from Java or Bali?
#21 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Look into Lombok. You can take a cheap public ferry (10-15$) from Bali. From Senggigi (where you arrive) you can stay a few days, then what we did was rent a moto for $5 a day and went down to Kuta Lombok NOT Kuta Bali. The guesthouse we stayed at was really nice and let us keep our big bags there, only taking smaller daypacks with enough stuff for a few days (take all the important/expensive things you have as well....). In Kuta you will find miles of the most perfect beaches and you will be one of the only people on them. There are tons of beaches! The only thing to note about Kuta is that there is no atm. For this reason, we had to head back a day early so make sure you have enough $$ with you!
#22 ecbaker has been a member since 17/3/2011. Posts: 18
But I read about Kuta Lombok that it's more of a place to surf. And is there good snorkeling? And not so many people? I thought Lombok in general is pretty overrun, especially in high season
(we don't have a driver's licence, so scooters or anything are off limits
#23 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
I reckon your best bet is to choose a few locations mentioned by people here and then just go for it. They're all good, but you won't know if they're perfect for you until you get there. Whatever the case, you're bound to have a good time anyway.
I know, mooball, I know... but since I'm living in a beach city what's really important for me is that the waters at the beach I'm staying at are really calm. Because that's just what I don't have where I live. So I want to make sure I'm only going for places where that's the case.
#25 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
I'm from Indonesia, If you have 22 days is more than enough to do cross Java and end up in Bali/Lombok.
From Jakarta - Bandung : using Travel (like Daytrans --> http://www.daytrans.co.id/ or Train (from Gambir Station). Bandung spends 2 days (visit Kawah Putih, Culinary and Shopping at Factory Outlet)
From Bandung - Yogyakarta : using Train (check schedule at http://www.kereta-api.co.id/). Usually take 5 hours from Bandung to Yogyakarta. In Yogyakarta spends for 1 week, and visit Temple (Candi) like Borobudur, Prambanan, Plaosan etc, Parangkusumo for its Sand Dune, Yogya Palace (Keraton), Hiking Merapi/Merbabu (pls check for safety first). You could pick up hostel in Sosrowijayan or Prawirotaman area.
From Yogya - Malang : Using train and from Malang you could arrange light hiking trip to Bromo and Semeru (only at Pane/Kumbolo Lake) which is only takes 3 days.
From Malang - Banyuwangi : Using Bus or Travel or you could arrange from Malang to light hikking to Ijen Mountain (you could see traditional sulfur mining straight from ijen crater) then visit Taman Nasional Baluran (its a Little Affrica ). it takes 3 days.
From Banyuwangi - Bali : Using Bus, in Bali.. Then spend the rest of your 7 days in Bali. You could visit Kuta, Ubud, Amed etc. And you could take a International flight home from Ngurah Rai Airport.
#26 nurwidiyantoro has been a member since 26/5/2011. Posts: 2
Let me help you to breakdown living cost in Indonesia.A low quality all veggies food will cost you around $2-$3 but the hygiene of the food will be questionable,for standard quality will probably cost you around $5-$8 at most.A can of soda is 50cents-$1,a bottle of small water are also the same,beer will be around $1-$2,liquor are expensive Smirnoff Red Label will cost around $20-30 a bottle,and a mocktail or cocktail probably $5-$10/glass.Transportation if in Jakarta it's best to get taxis (The cheapest taxi will be "Express" white sedan),in Yogyakarta it's best to hire a driver due to places your going are probably far (Borobudur,Prambanan) and lack of signs,in Bali you can just rent a bike,faster and cheaper but make sure rent the bike monthly even though you might be staying there for 2 weeks or even less (daily rent will cost you $5-$10,but if you go for a month they will drop the price to $50/mnth).If you stay in a region or area for more then 3 days it's better for you to rent a studio or apartment ("kosan" in Indonesia language) since it will cost you only for $90-$200 a month (Ac,private bathroom,tv or freg might be included also).
-Spend a day or two in Jakarta,main palces you should visit will be;Monas The National Museum of Indonesia,Gajah Museum,TMII,Kota Tua Jakarta,and maybe SeaWorld(they have program where they let guest encounter w/ their sharks and or diving in the main aquarium)
-Go to Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu),they have many secluded islands and beaches also great place to dive or snorkel.
-Go to Yogyakarta,visit the famous Borobudur Temple,Prambanan temple the largest temple in Indonesia (also they have amazing show call "Ramayana Show" every night started at 7.30),learn how to play Gamelan or learn how to Batik,and visit the old Keraton Palace that was built back in the 17th century holds lots of Javanese culture and mystical mystery!
-Then Bali,if you're looking for nightlife,great cafe,and bars Seminyak and Kuta area has it all,for relaxing,quite,and less tourist area go to Nusa Dua,but if you're looking for nature,forest,mountains,lakes go to Ubud or Kintamani area.
-And maybe a few days in Gilis.
#27 Danny2012 has been a member since 12/5/2011. Posts: 7
our trip comes closer and I thought I should really get back on sorting out things.
We pretty much know what we'd like to see -- Yogya (ans surroundings), Mt. Bromo, Karimunjawa and Ubud on Bali are the must.
BUT, we fly into Yoyga and out from Denpasar. And we're really like to go to Karimunjawa basically at the end of our Java trip -- for relaxation.
The problem is this: We're traveling overland to Bali from Java, so the most natural thing to do appears to be to stop at Bromo on the way to Bali.
But we'd really prefer to go to Yogya, then Bromo and THEN Karimunjawa, then from there to Bali overland.
Is that crazy? Or doable somehow?
Does anyone have any good idea (excluding flights)?
Would be so great to hear from you, can't wait to make concrete plans and get superexited
#28 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
I don't know anything about Karimunjawa, but it looks very nice! I might go there myself later this month. What I would say, and only in general terms, is that travel in Indonesia can be painful and retracing your steps is usually not ideal. Especially if you don't have a lot of time. I think going to Karimunjawa AFTER Bromo will cost you 2 days in travel that you wouldn't have to do if you went to Karimunjawa first.
But if you REALLY desperately wanted to do this, I guess you could go Yogya, Bromo, Karimunjawa and just travel for about 24hours from Karimunjawa through to Denpasar. In that case it would probably cost you an extra day. I wouldn't do it though.
Thanks doe your reply. Well, the advantage might be that we may be able to take the fast boat which only takes three hours to Karimunjawa instead of the slow boat that takes 6 hours.
I genuinely don't know. Still in the running then of course may be the Gili Islands, since we can go them at the very end of our trip. On the other hand it's soo crowded there and so much more expensive.. oh I don't know..
#30 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
so, you're thinking both karimunjawa AND gilis?
I should add that I do panic a bit, because it will be the second time my boyfriend goes on a trip with me and the last time (his first) was amazing and now he keeps telling me how he hopes this one will be just as good... aaaaah, expectations..
Maybe Gili instead of K would be the less stressful option, but I seriously worry about accomodation. So far, all the budget places I contacted are booked out!
#32 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
Yeah, I don't know what you're going to do about accommodation if you're in Gilis in high season. If it were me, I would probably just roll up and accept whatever options are available. Worst case scenarios usually involve you sleeping on the floor at some family's house.
Karimunjawa and Gilis is definitely possible. Especially if Ubud is your main stop in Bali... Let's face it, you won't be spending a whole lot of time in Yogya or Bromo... and then the length of stay in Karimunjawa and Ubud are going to be based on how much time you have for your trip. If you got bored of Ubud early, you'd nick up to the Gilis.
But I think the main problem is that you can't possibly plan it too much because there are too many variables such as boat and bus times, accommodation availabilty, flat tyres, weather, whether you get sick or not. I'm afraid you just need to roll up in Yogya and wing it!
Aaahrg, how bad does it really get in Gili Air or Meno in August in terms of people?
#34 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67
I love Ubud, but I wouldn't say it is better. It certainly is much more of a tourist town than Yogya. As I keep saying, you can't know if you are going to like a place until you get there. You'll just need to get there and decide whether you like it or not. If so, stay on. If not, move on.
Jakarta is a pretty good place that you might want to consider to explore on the heritage culture of Indonesia. There are many shopping attractions that are unique on its own. You might want to visit the Jalan Surabaya located at Jalan Surabaya , Menteng, Central Jakarta.
This place has surprised me with great bargains especially if you are a vintage lover who might be interested in old records.
Nevertheless have fun during your 1 month trip and perhaps share with us on your adventure!
#37 dolbyL has been a member since 11/5/2011. Posts: 1
Hi! We're heading to Bali in August and wanting to jump over to Lombok (Kuta Lombok) and Gili Air. We're looking for quiet, snorkeling, book-reading time.
Is there a direct boat to get to Gili Air from Bali (likely Pedang Bai)? Is that an expensive option? I have read from an above post of catching a public ferry for 3,500 Rp to get to Air but I'm not sure where that leaves from.
Also, in getting to Kuta, Lombok, bus? Or is it worth trying to rent a car?
Thanks for the help and suggestions!
PS....in August would you recommend making advanced reservations on Gili Air?
We'r hoping to leave our time a bit flexible so trying to avoid too many reservations...
#38 heddenswest has been a member since 7/1/2011. Posts: 32
OK, for transport to Gilis, it's like this. You travel cheap, you must travel slow. You can catch the public ferry from Padang Bai to Lembar on Lombok for 31,000 and it takes 4hrs if the weather is good. You then have to get from Lembar to the Gilis which is no mean feat. A fast boat goes from Padang Bai direct to the Gilis for about 350,000 return. There is an intermediate option with Perama for 125,000 one way that goes via Senggigi and takes 6 hours. Unless you are really tight with money, just get the fast boat. It saves a lot of hassle and saves you many hours.
I wouldn't book my accommodation on the Gilis in August, but rooms will be difficult to find. That is, you won't get your first choice. You might get your 5th choice.
Fast boat is your best option....but be sure to haggle or shop around for prices...we had someone try to charge us 60$ and we ended up getting it for 30 including hotel pickup from Kuta Bali to Padang Bai then on to The Gillis. As for getting to Kuta Lombok, you can take the local boat ($5) to lombok and it only takes 10-15 minutes. Just note, the boat only leaves once a day in the morning so check the time...if you miss it you can always rent out a boat for $20. Once you get to Lombok, you can take a shared taxi to Senggigi. I know you can take a bus from Senggigi to Kuta Lombok. Although not our favorite place, Senggigi was not a bad place for a night or two if you can't get on a bus to Kuta right away. In Kuta you can walk everywhere in town. What we did though, was stay in Senggig for a night, then left our stuff at the hotel (they were very nice about keeping our stuff locked up for free) then rented scooters and took some clothes in a smaller backpack for a few days to Kuta! It was pretty fun and then we could go to all the farther away beaches. You can also rent scooters there of course! Oh and don't forget (because we did....) that there is NO ATM or place to get $$ in Kuta. The closest place is FAR! Not like the next town over...more like 30 minutes away.
Hope you have a good trip we LOVED it!!
#40 ecbaker has been a member since 17/3/2011. Posts: 18
ecbaker + busylizzy, thanks!
Good info! I am looking at getting to Gili Air from Lombok, rather than from Padan Bai and that's where I thought I saw prices for the local public ferry leaving from a port on Lombok. We're definitely looking for the cheaper option but Perma looks OK. Anyone else have any experience with the public ferry from somewhere on Lombok over to Air?
About the motor bikes, do we need any special licensing or were you able to get the bikes easily? And you just rented them for a few days and returned them after Kuta? Sounds great!
Thanks again all
#42 heddenswest has been a member since 7/1/2011. Posts: 32