Hi Everyone -
My sister and I have 2 weeks to spend in Indonesia and we have decided to split up the two weeks between Bali and South Sulawesi (Tana Toraja and maybe a couple of days in Bira for diving). First, does anyone have any general suggestions about this itinerary ?
And here are some more specific questions I've been trying to answer...
1. What would be your ideal itiniary for 1 week in Bali if you wanted a mix of beach, culture, biking, treking, non-beach scenary? As soon as we land in Denpasar , we want to drive to our first location.
2. Does anyone have any advice about Bira?
4. Does anyone know of a good driver in Bali or in Sulawesi (based in Makassar or Tana Toraja) that could drive us and also kind of act as a tour guide?
5. Where are the prettiest beaches in Bali?
6. If anyone has ever flow from Denpasar to Makassar - do you know how far in advance you need to book this flight?
I appreciate any answers to these questions - thanks to all!
I've not been to Sulawesi (yet) but will point you to a couple of stories writers have penned for us:
A funeral in Toraja
Village trekking in Tana Toraja
For Bali in general, don't forget to take a look at the Indonesia blog as it currently very Bali heavy!
To your questions:
1) With a week you could do something like:
Day 1) Arrive, transit to Ubud (heavily touristed, but still beautiful in parts)
Day 2) Ubud
Day 3) Transit to Sidemen (very lowkey, stunning scenery, great for ricefield walks and so on). Very few tourists (compared to Ubud)
Day 4) Sidemen
Day 5) Transit to Amed (multiple black sand beaches, snorkelling and diving, boat trips and potential for inland cycle tours and village visits etc)
Day 6) Amed
Day 7) Transit back to airport for departure
This is a more exhaustive treatment of possibilities for a week in Bali.
2) Can't help sorry
3) The first Sulawesi story referenced above has a note at end for the guide Matt used. Bali has no shortage of drivers -- I'd suggest getting a cab from the airport to your first port of call, (say Ubud in the above example) and suss it out there.
4) The best beaches on Bali are in the far south on the Bukit peninsula -- unfortunately a long way from everything else I've recommended! I've written quite a bit about the beaches on the Bali blog (I'm a reformed beach bum) here are some links to get you started:
Bali's eastern Bukit beaches
Best Bukit beaches
5) LionAir & Garuda both fly that route (I think) along with a few other airlines -- note they refer to Makassar under it's old name (Ujung Pandang - UPG) just in case you were wondering. If you're set with your dates I'd book the tickets sooner than later, just to give yourself a better chance at a discounted fare.
Hope that helps.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,652
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Can only help you on Bali.
1 - beach: one of the Bukit peninsula beaches (see below). This area is fairly close south of the airport and so would be a good one to head for on landing.
culture, biking, trekking, scenery - Ubud will do all these - the culture scene not only takes in traditional rice fields areas but all that arty stuff the Balinese are so good at. Ubud is way closer the volcanoes for some alternative spectacular scenery.
I agree with somtam that Sideman is great for rice fields culture, trekking, scenery. I didn't find any bicycling places there but plenty of moto hire opportunities and quiet roads ideal for exploring. Arty stuff is down on Ubud but the area is known for its regional ikat fabrics.
4 - go to balitravelforum.com - there are always up to date threads on good drivers and you can ask specific stuff yourself of course.
5 - I reckon the nicest beach on Bali is Balangan which is about 10km south of the airport on the Bukit peninsula. Neighbouring Dreamland aka New Kuta Beach is arguably better if you like to check the in-scene: all the cool dudes daytripping from Kuta. You can walk from Balangan to Dream Beach in less than 15 minutes - another 15 minutes north gets you to Bingin, the surfers' hang-out. The beach is not so hot here but sitting in one of the cliffside warungs (the whole place is built on a cliffside) sipping a Bintang while checking the scene is not a bad way to spend time.
One week in Sulawesi is short - you need 8-10 hrs land road from Makasar to Toraja - and 4 hours to reach Bira from Makasar. Bira is known for strong current and bigfish. Other diving destination around Makasar is Samalona, kapoposang and spearmonde islands.
For south sulawesi, you can contact Dodo the penman, to arrange the transporation and guide if you need. Just google his name. He's nice guy. I used his service when traveling from Ampana - Toraja - Makasar.
Balangan!!! I love that beach. It might not be the most beautiful beach in Bali but the ambiance is so lovely. They people are laid back, surfers surfing, and not too many people there. Love it!
A week in south Sulawesi would enough especially since you're traveling to Bira. The Bantimurung butterfly park looks interesting but not sure if it's well maintained.
As for diving in Bira, one word: currents! It's known to have heavy currents but a great place to spot sharks
#5 mumun_indohoy has been a member since 27/12/2012. Posts: 5