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Indonesia forum

Packing list for Java, Bali and Gili -- what do you think?

Posted by travelinchen on 20/7/2011 at 17:56

Hey guys,
so, I decided to start a new thread here, since the topic is more specific than the one of my last post.
I made a list of the stuff we're thinking of taking to Indonesia so far.
Just a quick reminder, we'll be in Indonesia for pretty much a month, starting in Yogya, Mt Bromo, Ijen crater, overland to Bali, Ubud, then to Gili islands -- so pretty beaten track. It'll be our first time to I., so we'd be really thankful for any advice concering the packing list (what to add, what to leave).
(btw. we're probably not taking anti-malaria, not even standby (or should we?), so mosquito protection is quite important to us. Also, we prefer to have pretty much everything we need there for the first three days or so before we leave for the trip)

Antifungal cream
Sting relief
Cut (desinfecting) cream
sunburn cream
nasal spray
mosquito stay
mosquito Net
Diarrhea tablets
vomiting tablets
copies of passports, reservations
contact lenses
disinfecting wipes
general wet wipes
swimming gear
toothbrush + paste
credit cards
a few euros
flip flops
travel guide
camera + charger
mobile phone
waterproof plastic bags
shower gel
2 Fisherman pants each
1 long sleeved cotton woven top each
1 pair warm socks
2 pairs running socks (each)

What do you think? (obviously, tshirts and underwear will be packed too ;-))

#1 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by SBE on 21/7/2011 at 04:05

Blimey...your list is mostly toiletries and medical supplies! These are heavy to carry around so get small sizes except for high factor sunscreen maybe as it's quite expensive in SE Asia. You can buy all this stuff in supermarkets and pharmacies once you get there too and it'll probably be cheaper as well, though maybe not your favorite brand name.

Shower gel but no shampoo? You could use the shampoo as a shower gel but probably not vice versa unless it's 2 in one stuff. BTW I've met travellers who swear by "solid shampoo" which looks like a bar of soap. It would weigh less and maybe you could use it for all washing purposes (including clothes). Haven't tried it myself, just cogitating about ways to reduce your backpack weight load!

I presume you'll need some kind of cleansing solution for the contact lenses... do you really need to take the contact lenses?

Don't forget the Ipod charger and the mobile phone charger.

Anti histamine cream AND sting relief cream? (or did you mean anti-histamine tablets?)

Not sure about the fisherman's pants and flipflops for climbing Mt Bromo...

What are the "few euros" for?

Limit the number of books because they are heavy too. Depends on how avid readers you are but I'd take one each (that you both want to read) and hope you'll be able to exchange them for different books in guest houses or part exchange shops.

I do not see a torch in that list. Won't you be climbing Mount Bromo in the dark to see sunrise? A torch is always handy anyway...even Kuta has power cuts.

Paracetamol is better than aspirin, especially if you catch dengue fever.

I hesitate to add anything else but if you have a small nailbrush bung that in too... to clean shoes and flipflops more than your nails. (Again you can always buy one but if you have one already you might as well bring it).

And clothes line (or some kind of string that would serve as one) and a few clothes pegs....these are multi-purpose things. Might come in handy for attaching the mosquito net for example.

Busylizzy mentioned a silk sleeping bag in a recent "packing" thread. Must say I love mine too. You often don't get a top sheet in budget accommodation and the sleeping bag is very compact and light, dries in a flash so you always have clean sheets (even if the GH doesn't). It provides another barrier between you and mosquitoes too.

Ah and maybe a couple of SMALL towels in case a GH doesn't provide them. You can buy gorgeous sarongs when you get to Bali which can be used as beach mats so don't bring big beach towels.

#2 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,020
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Posted by screamin on 21/7/2011 at 07:37

I would cut this list down to this , most stuff can be bought over there if needed and much cheaper than home

sunburn cream - sunblock expensive in Indonesia
toothbrush + paste
credit cards
travel guide
camera + charger
Ipod + charger
mobile phone + charger
pants each
flip flops

SBE make some great points

#3 screamin has been a member since 5/1/2011. Location: Australia. Posts: 10
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Posted by savorygal on 21/7/2011 at 10:18

I also find a flat universal sink plug is very handy along with small clothesline.
ditto on the torch/headlamp. it's a must
Toiletries are widely available. if i had to do it over again I wouldn't bring any & just buy locally upon arrival. I tried the solid shampoo & ugh, what a mess. It never completely dried in between packing & so it turned into this mess of congealed sudsy goo. cannot recommend.
ziploc bags are invaluable.
I also bring along a few bandanas, they can be used for a multitude of things.
thermometer? really?
i would change the antifungal cream to powder. you will essentially get a fungal infection in areas that are too moist and adding more moisture in the form of cream doesn't make sense. you will want those areas to stay dry as dry as possible.

there's my 2 cents.

#4 savorygal has been a member since 16/7/2010. Posts: 165

Posted by goonistik on 21/7/2011 at 12:07

I would omit everything before tweezers. (no nail clipper?)
I don't really care about disinfecting wipes (I question their effectiveness and necessity. Wet wipes do the job for me.
I take along small tube of facial wash, it works as soap in case some bathrooms don't have soap.
I find it strange that sunblock/sunburn cream are so expensive in other parts of the Asia (it is cheaper in the Philippines) but I don't think it is worth the trouble to bring some along. Unless you are checking in your bag.
Shower gel, body lotion and other toiletries can be bought after arrival. Unless you must absolutely use some brand that is not easily available in Asia.

#5 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
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Posted by travelinchen on 21/7/2011 at 15:35

this is all super helpful, thanks so much guys. I'll work over the list later, one question concerning Mt Bromo, if Fisherman Pants are not suitable, what would be better suited?

As for the towels, I forgot to write: we've got these strongly soaking towels that are just perfect! (material is micro-something..)

Also, do we really need clibing boots or shoes for Mt Bromo and Ijen? We've both got more solid cotton shoes, will this do?

I better get more sunblocker then, as we're both very sensitive to the sun.

Yeah, and I forgot the SHampoo, true, and indeed, I'm thinking of taking shampoo instead of showergel, facewash, wash for clothes etc, etc.

Silk sleeping bag! Yes, I had one of these in the past, would be ideal, sadly, time is running up and we won't get "exotic" things such as these in time anymore. I read that we can get a Sarong in Yogya too.

#6 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by SBE on 21/7/2011 at 17:25

Fisherman's pants aren't that warm and temperatures at the top will be near freezing! Jogging pants or something might be more appropriate.
Here read this. ;-)

Also fisherman's pants while very comfortable, don't have lots of useful pockets like some baggy type trousers do. Particularly hidden pockets on the INSIDE of the trousers. Useful for stashing cash/credit cards/passports etc when you're on long bus/train journeys and not necessarily wide awake all the time or anywhere with lots of people jostling you, including the odd pickpocket.

And I forgot to mention padlocks. These come in handy for closing luggage, some kinds of safe boxes and doors to beach huts etc.

#7 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,020
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Posted by travelinchen on 21/7/2011 at 17:37

got two padlocks, I think we also got one of these under-clothing-belts for cash etc.
Ok, we've got joggingpants, so they'll come with us, as for the rest, will a fleece sweater do? SHould we take a jacket? Something wind proof?

#8 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by SBE on 21/7/2011 at 20:00

I'm not the best person to ask but in that link I posted it says you can rent warm clothes like hats and jackets there. Depends how much spare room you have in your rucksack. Not a lot by the sound of it ;-) and you need to leave space for stuff you'll probably want to sarongs.

#9 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,020
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Posted by travelinchen on 21/7/2011 at 20:08

would it make sense to bring a rain poncho or something?

#10 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by travelinchen on 21/7/2011 at 20:45

well, we'll probably have two rucksacks, 70 l each, so there's quite a bit of space, isn't it? But then again, we should try and pack it up and see ;-)

#11 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by SBE on 21/7/2011 at 21:38

Nah, wouldn't bother with a poncho myself. I think you're going soon? It's not rainy season in theory at the moment.

I've only needed a cheap throw away poncho twice in 10 years... last March in Thailand when we had a veritable deluge for 10 solid days and it was very unseasonably chilly as well. Also once when out trekking in the mountains near Rantepao a few years ago when the heavens opened like you wouldn't believe and the track we were on turned into a raging torrent in a matter of minutes. That's what the ziplock bags come in very handy for .... keeping cameras, passports, money, ipods etc dry if things get a bit damp, either in the rain or on boats.

Waterproof ponchos are generally far too hot and sweaty to wear in the tropics. Umbrella is generally a better option than a poncho if you're expecting to have rain... a very small and compact umbrella. Most often it'll be used to keep the sun off when on open boats without sunroofs or when walking along scorching beaches in blinding sun.

Not sure if you'll need one though as you've got hats for the sun. Remember that we are trying to minimize your rucksack bulk and weight'll understand why later.

70 LITRES?? ARE YOU CRAZY? For a month? Oh noooooooo! Get into weight training right now then ...suggest you fill up your bags with books and shampoo and bricks and stuff and then go for a long walk in the midday sun, preferably up a few steep hills just to get in shape because it's no doubt much hotter in Asia than where you live.

Also bear in mind that local transport is not always designed to cope with huge rucksacks..especially minibuses (check out minibus design) so you might have to sit with it on your knees for 8 hours or jammed in between your legs or possibly strapped to the roof though quite often the roof is occupied by passengers too so there's no room up there (Don't know if that's the case in Java but it certainly is in Sumatra).

BTW Did you know that Air Asia charge more if you have over 15kg of baggage.

#12 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,020
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Posted by travelinchen on 21/7/2011 at 22:07

hehe, you're totally right, and anyway, I have no idea how many kgs go in 70 litres bags. We traveled to Thailand in March with just one bag, but my partner mainly carried it, so, uuuhm, maybe I should rather let him judge the bags ;-)
Btw, I know waht you mean about Thailand this march, for 10 days of our trip we had nothing but rain, rain, rain.. never seen anything like this before

#13 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by SBE on 22/7/2011 at 06:34

Aha, that's where you got the fisherman's pants! Indonesia is a bit different in vibe from Thailand, a little more conservative in dress, though the Gilis will feel quite similar to the Thai islands. That doesn't mean you can sunbathe topless though ...the population is mainly Muslim there too. Indonesian cuisine isn't as good as Thai food in general, much less varied, less spicy though freshly made sambal helps perk things up a bit. Indonesians don't have the Thai flair when it comes to subtle melanges of herbs as a rule but you'll find some very good little restaurants in Ubud I expect.

#14 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,020
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Posted by travelinchen on 22/7/2011 at 16:18

There's no way I sunbathe topless anywere on earth! Quite to the contrary, I'm gonna wear long cotton pants and long cotton tops and I'm gonna feel super comfortable with it! I know it might not be mandatory, but I wish I could wear this at home..

I totally adore tempeh and I hope to be able to eat it a lot, so I'm quite looking forward to the Indonesian cuisine.

#15 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by MADMAC on 23/7/2011 at 11:37

Am I the only one here who thinks fishermans pants are ridiculous as routine attire? What is the attraction? I know precisely ONE Thai guy who wears them. They are loose fitting, but they are terrible for carrying anything in the pockets and they look ridiculous.

#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by travelinchen on 23/7/2011 at 15:15

Agreed with the negative points. BUT, when they're pure cotton they are really good in humid areas, and they are wide and don't stick to the skin which is really important to me and they are cheap. I'm open for alternative suggestions though!

#17 travelinchen has been a member since 23/1/2011. Posts: 67

Posted by MADMAC on 23/7/2011 at 22:26

I like linen pants the most - BUT they aren't cheap. I typically where baggy, military style pants because I like Cargo pockets. I also wear jeans, like many of the "locals" here do, but the heat doesn't bother me like it does a lot of people from western Europe and the States.

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

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