My wife and I are fairly experienced travellers having backpacked through Africa from our home in South Africa. We now have some time in August and sept (12/08 to the end sept) and wanted to see SEA. We chose Indo based on time of year and the potential remote areas where we can experience interesting culture, good diving, some great beaches and volcanos.
Our current itinerary is:
Arrive in Jakarta
Fly to Ambon (Maluku)
Fly to Banda islands (up to 2 weeks)
Back to Ambon
Get from Ambon to labuanbajo somehow
See komodo dragons
Make our way to Lombok (7days in Lombok)
Make our way to Bali (7-10 days in Bali)
Make our way back to Jakarta (6 days max - not too bothered by java...)
This is out thinking...
Are there assumptions I am making that will make this impossible or are there places where we should maybe stay longer or shorter? Any journeys which we could do that would make this easier?
I've already got some great advice from SBE on a previous post on flying from Ambon to Banda islands.
Thanks in advance!
#1 oconnorra has been a member since 9/4/2012. Posts: 2
Hi there ... and thanks for the nice compliment.
Well, if you've done Africa from south to north then I reckon Indonesia will seem like no bother at all. Indonesia is delightfully free of guys in military uniforms with guns trying to extract bribes from you every five minutes!
Your itinerary looks very sensible to me. You're doing the most logistically uncertain bit first and have left plenty of time to change plans if necessary. Just double check that there are actually flights to Bandaneira when you want to go and maybe check Pelni schedules too nearer the date so you have a backup plan in case the flights don't pan out for some reason.
Last time I was in the Bandas there were no flights operating from Ambon and the Ciremai had been cancelled that month too so there weren't many tourists about. I used an alternative Pelni route from Sorong (Nggapulu ferry) to get there because I'd just been in Raja Ampat. It takes a little over 24 hours to get from Sorong to Banda on the Nggapulu and I was the only foreigner on board as far as I could tell. Going via Sorong would be a rather lengthy and convoluted way of getting there but it is another option that doesn't get mentioned much.
As for how long you should stay in each place... assuming that there's a transport option available you can figure that out when you get there. I think two weeks is about right in the Bandas, gives you enough time to go and stay on Pulau Ai and/or Hatta for a bit as well as staying on Bandaneira, but it might feel too long or too short for some people.
Do try and learn a little Indonesian before you go though. It'll make things a whole lot easier and it's relatively easy to learn the basics... it's not tonal language and uses roman script like English. Greetings, numbers and useful basic questions will come in very handy! A poster called Busylizzy has posted the link to this free site several times and it's quite good!