I'm getting a little stressed trying to plan a trip and would welcome some help! We are hoping to get a 60 day tourist visa from the Indonesian embassy in London, even still I'm having trouble planning. I would like to extend this in country but realise you need an outward flight to get the visa, so thats slightly annoying. We are also travelling from May- August so hitting peak times.
We fly into Singapore and are going to get a one way ticket to Bali. Then I want to go to Lombok and Rinca and to Flores. The only other thing I really want to do is go to Tanjun Puting to see Orangs but I dont know how to get there from the islands and how we will fit it all in and cheaply!
If I had the time, I would do the islands, get the ferry to Sulawesi then across to Borneo but Im not sure we can do it in the time...?
So questions are:
1) If I book a flight out of Indonesia that's more than 60 days from the start of the visa, will they accept that at the embassy? I know probably not...
2) will they accept a coach trip out of Indo rather than flight?
3) Is there a way to get from the Islands to Borneo? Direct flight / ferry would be awesome.
4) should we just travel the islands, go to Sulawesi then try to get a visa extension on Borneo?
5) Is it horrifically busy in the park during July and August?
Thanks so much for any help you can give.
#1 firefly2280 has been a member since 11/2/2014. Posts: 2
I guess there's a few points here... firstly, the 60 day tourist visa is non extendable. We've had arguments on the forum before about this due to one simple reason - what is law isn't always what is practised. So you might be able to extend your 60 day visa, but according to the law it's non-extandable.
1) They might, but they can also be pedantic. Best to just book the cheapest air asia flight you can find from any airport in indo out. Usually you can pick one up for about 200,000 when looking at flights from Medan.
2) Don't know about this. Where are you thinking of catch a coach from?
3) I don't know of any flights from Flores to Borneo and I doubt there are any. The main hubs are Bali and Jakarta with Surabaya also serving destinations to the east. You'll probably have to transit if you fly. There are ferries, but finding an accurate schedule can sometimes be a pain. If you want to try a ferry, you will probably need check it out in country. It's unlikely that leg will be a 24 hour job, especially if it's not direct which it often isn't. Could be a few days.
4) What do you mean by just travel the islands? Do you mean the islands east of Bali? Whatever the case, you could do those islands, nick across to Sulawesi and then fly to KL for your new visa. I wouldn't rely on getting a visa extension. My advice would be to try it, but if it doesn't work, be prepared to get a flight out of the country at short notice.
5) What park? Tanjung Puting? I haven't been there, but it may well be easier to see the orangutans in Sumatra. Sumatra has plenty to offer the independent traveller too.
I also wouldn't ignore Java. It's the most important and most populous island in Indonesia and has a very interesting history. Lots of stuff to do and easily connects you between Bali and Sumatra. You could make your way east across to Flores from Bali and then fly back from Flores to Bali for overland trip west through Java and Sumatra. Of course that would skip Sulawesi, but you really don't have heaps of time anyway for all that.
mooball, you're a star! thank you so much for the information.
We have booked a super cheap flight out and were hoping to try to get the visa extended in Makassar but I think for my peace of mind, I will just plan for us having 60 days in Indonesia, then heading to Malaysia and seeing what happens.
Yes, sorry, I meant the islands east of Bali, I think I might try to charter a boat if its not too expensive to get to Flores and then go and see Rinca from there as I read that the trips are safer than doing it from Bali.
I think we are going to 'risk' getting a ferry to Makassar if we can get to Flores in good time! I know it's not everyone's choice but I feel like it will be an adventure!
I heard that places like Medan were affected by the volcanic issues, so we decided against Sumatra as I wanted a route to plan but thanks for the tip, I'll add it back to the list of places!
Hopefully we wont need to plan too much as we will be in Inodnesia in May and June, a little before the peak seasons,
Thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it
#3 firefly2280 has been a member since 11/2/2014. Posts: 2
When you're in the area of Rinca, make sure you allow time to explore, relax, snorkel, dive. That whole area around Komodo and Rince is one of the most highly underrated places in Indonesia. Many people go to see the dragons and leave. But for me the dragons are lower down the list of highlights there. Pick an island to stay on and relax such as Seraya. Snorkel until you get bored. Go on a dive trip. Swim with manta rays. Hike across Komodo island.
Lots of stuff to do and one of my fave spots in Indo.
Seraya is one island to stay on around Flores (just off of Labuanbajo) - but I'd suggest Kanawa Island. Reading the reviews on TF, it sounds like Seraya is the 'poorer' cousin but perhaps better value if you're on a tight budget. I haven't stayed on Seraya, but stayed on Kanawa in 2009 and Nov last year).
I can highly recommend Kanawa for it's awesome snorkelling off the beach, and they organise daily snorkle trips and visits to Komodo and Rinca. As pointed out in the TF review, service leaves a bit desired sometimes in the restaurant but they're working on it. But the staff are an ever-friendly bunch, and the wholeplacejust has a nice vibe. I'd recommend the Bales (bamboo platforms on the beach) over the Bungalows (having stayed in both). They're cheaper and have shared bathrooms, but there is nothing like rolling up your bamboo sides to let the sea breeze waft in and sleep only 2 meters from the beach!
There is a good chance I'm heading back there in a couple of weeks for a 3rd visit if the weather plays nicely ... (That's a shout out to my Kanawa buddy, if you're out there somewhere! You know who you are... :-) )