in August/September my girlfriend and I will be going to Indonesia, and we need a little help with our itinerary. What we want: lots of Nature (some Jungle, see a Vulcano...), Culture, and a couple of days chillin' on a beach (snorkeling / diving).
Budget: around 1000Euro (about 1300$) per person (flight not included) is the maximum. We dont need high-end-accomodation, but a clean private bathroom is highly appreciated. We don't go to fancy restaurants, so simple streetfood / lower budget is allright as long as we manage to get something vegetarian^^
From our research on the web so far, I think seeing 2 Islands is the maximum in 3 weeks. First question: which ones? Java in 3 or 4 stops and then relax on Bali? Or discover Sumatra? Or rather Gili Islands than Bali? We've already been to Borney (travelled Malaysia some years ago).
We're not the hardcore-backpacking-type, so we'll not be able to sleep in a bus or train every second night... after all, it's still a vacation.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance
Also, we'll need to book the flight pretty soon (crazy expensive...), and are still figuring out which airport would be the most practical...
#1 nochnbier has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 26
For culture, hitting up Yogyakarta on Java is a good idea - two of the most important temple complexes in the area and the city itself is a haven of art and local music. Probably do Java then and end on Bali to relax on the beach. I took about 2 weeks on Java and ended up on Gili Air for another week myself as I had to promise to save a trip to Bali for another time. Java you could save some time by going directly from Jakarta to Yogyakarta via train. Then hit up Mt. Bromo on the way overland to Bali to see the volcano . . . if you like that you can also hit up Ijen crater outside of Banyuwangi at the eastern tip of Java.
Book a round trip international ticket out of Jakarta and you can just take a cheap puddle jumper back from Bali to Jakarta at the end of your trip. I find return tickets a lot cheaper than going in and out of different cities.
Thanks for the reply! Could you describe your 2 week Java-route a little in detail? Something like Jakarta - Bandung -- Yogyakarta, from here check out Borobudur and Dieng Plateau -- Surabaya, from here check out Bromo and Ijen, then fly to Lombok, chill out a week, then fly to jakarta and back home?
After a little research these places seem interesting: Borobudur, Dieng Plateau, Ijen, Bromo...?
#3 nochnbier has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 26
I had planned to visit Dieng Plateau, but got trapped in Yogyakarta for nearly a week and didn't make it. You could easily hang out in Jakarta for a couple nights (I'd recommend checking out Six Degrees Hostel). I skipped Bandung and then spent that nearly a week exploring the area around Yogyakarta and hanging out in town . . . you can probably just spend 3 nights there to give you a relaxed time of seeing Prambanan and Borobudur each for a day and exploring the area around the palace in the afternoons. I then took an early train to Surabaya and was able to catch a bus to Probolinggo (you don't base out of Surabaya really) and a minbus up Mt. Bromo by nightfall. Some people simply book Mt. Bromo to Ijen tours, but I was traveling alone and wasn't keen on looking for people to share it all with. Even in Bromo you can book tours that will do Bromo and Ijen as well.
I actually checked out Ijen the next morning and took a bus down to Probolinggo the same afternoon as I didn't feel like sticking around. From Probolinggo I caught the train (it was close timing) to Banyuwangi and stayed two nights there - you can arrange day trips to Ijen from there as well.
I'm not sure the airport around Banywangi is the best option to catch a flight to Lombok . . . I took a morning ferry across on a bus that connected to Denpasar. We got there really really late because of a massive traffic accident on the south coast road. Ended up splitting a taxi with people to get to Padangbai by 3am or something and the next morning took the fast boat over to Gili Air. I'd planned to spend the night in Padangbai anyway, but had hoped to have an afternoon to explore . . . nope. Lombok proper gives you the opportunity to hike Mt. Rinjani, something I'd not mind doing if I return - but for relaxing beaches I'd recommend the Gilis and skip Lombok proper unless you like surfing on the south coast (Kuta, Lombok).
I'm not sure if you visited Kalimantan when you went to Borneo on your Malaysian trip, but Tanjung Puting is quite an experience. I don't know of more intense jungle experiences than the ones in Kalimantan. I'm trying to visit this area in depth before it's all cut down : (
As for diving and snorkeling, I think the number one spot in the world now is Maratua Island, although no one knows about it. Sipadan in Sabah, Malaysia is rated #1, probably because of it's facilities. However, Maratua is just south of Sipadan and the Celebes Sea is deep and clean. I was blown away just snorkeling off the islands in this area. There are 2 resorts on Maratua, but a new traveler's guesthouse, Maratua Guesthouse is opening in August, 2013.
If you really want to dive or snorkel, it might be worth a flight. The island is accessible from Balikpapan, by flying to Berau, taking a taxi to the jetty at Tanjung Batu and then a 1 1/2 hour speed boat to Maratua. Good luck with putting together an awesome itinerary!
#5 mauigirl has been a member since 28/6/2013. Posts: 6