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3 weeks in Indonesia - lots of questions!

Posted by nogslah on 24/6/2014 at 16:12

Hi there! My girlfriend and I are travelling from UK as follows at the end of July for three weeks. Our itinerary, based on flights already booked, is as follows:

3 nights Bali
4 nights Flores (to travel to Komodo National Park)
5 nights Bali
6 nights Java

We're basically after any advice and suggestions we can get for things to do and places to stay. We arrive on the Friday before Eid and have planned to fly straight on to Bali for the weekend so as not to get caught in the Eid rush on Java. Can we expect any problems at Jakarta airports with a 2.5 hour transfer time from landing to getting our flight to Bali? Other questions:

What is the best way to do tours, book in advance or just go with the flow and book when there? (we really want to do Komodo and then if possible Krakatoa on the way back).
What else is there to do/see in Flores apart from Komodo? We're planning on staying in Labuan Bajo.
Any suggestions for striking a balance between partying and exotic escape in Bali? We want to have fun but we're not as young as we once were!
Itineraries for our final week on Java - we are thinking of flying from Bali either to Surabaya or Yogyakarta and then working our way overland back to Jakarta to fly home, what are the options for doing this? What should we definitely see, as we are spoiled for choice!? Is there a cheap way to hire a car in the East and drop it back off in Jakarta? Are there any hidden gems on Java we should consider?

We're travelling on a bit of a budget so cheaper options and tips for saving money would be much appreciated.


Paul and Claire

#1 nogslah has been a member since 24/6/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by Sugaluhlang on 25/6/2014 at 23:17

Hi Paul and Claire!
When you have overland back from Yogyakarta is beyond to the western of Java island which have a high level land. The cities are rich of mountains, rivers and beach is wonderful to go. But the Krakatoa is near from your landing is only 4-5 hours west drive, it doesn't matter if doing this at first trip or put on last trip. Somehow everyone of foreign traveller usually do first at western Java continue to middle then east direction and finally end at Bali. Go to Flores from Bali is possible. But all this its doesn't matter if doing of back side. I have stay in half position of distance beetween Yogyakarta-Bandung. If you need anything information about this you can ask me is pleasure.
SUGALUHLANG Traveller Guide
"The Western of Java"

#2 Sugaluhlang has been a member since 29/1/2014. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 2
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Posted by mooball on 30/6/2014 at 08:17 TF writer

Lots of questions! I'll answer the ones I'm able and leave the others to people who know more.

I don't know if the 2.5 hour transfer is a problem in Jakarta -- it doesn't immediately sound like it would be, but the airport is unpredictable. Whatever the case, great idea getting out of Java before everyone goes home. Most people get stuck around this time.

Don't book tours in advance. Negotiate locally for any trips such as the ones you mention. There's always a guy wanting a few bucks to take you somewhere. In Labuanbajo you will have plenty of drivers wanting to take you across the island and there is plenty to see. I'd do a trip to Komodo which includes snorkelling. I'd then do a trip for a couple days east. You should be able to see a couple of towns such as Bajawa and Ruteng which have some decent things to see such as traditional villages, hotsprings and absolutely wonderful scenery. The drive itself is worth the trip.

Exotic escape and party is hard to find in Bali, but if you research the right sort of establishments to party at and a good hotel, Seminyak may well be your place. It can be trashy as well, but that comes partying quite often. Otherwise stick to Ubud where you're probably not going to be doing any partying, but it is more exotic and more like an escape.

Given you only have 6 days in Java, I would probably hire a car and driver. I've tried hiring cheap cars in Java and it doesn't work... Maybe in Yogya you could get a car with a one way drop off... and that would be really cool... But I'd just pay a guy to take me if I was you. Should cost about 500,000 to 600,000 per day all in (driver's meals and accom, petrol). Perhaps slightly more. Maybe even 700,000. Whatever the case, you will have to move quick as 6 days will fly by. Fly into Yogya and spend one full day doing everything you can.... which basically will be Borobodur, Prambanan and a little of the city centre. Then head to Dieng -- I always suggest it to people, but it's not very popular. It's high in the hills, cold and extremely volcanic. Get there at midday, cruise around the temples and geothermal things... Next day head to Pangandaran to eat some seafood, hit the beach the next morning and then prepare for a drive to Bandung . Next morning, head up to Tangkuban Parahu a local volcano.... while you have the car, you could even make it to Kawah Putih, a light blue milky lake before making your way to Bogor. Next morning, tour around the national botanical gardens before heading off to Jakarta. That's 6 days give or take. Travel times are usually longer than you;d expect. For example, travelling from Pangandaran to Bandung will usually take 7 hours and it's not that far.

Anyway, ask away... plenty of people here with Indo knowledge.

#3 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 439
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