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Indonesia forum

Advice on 1 month in Indonesia December- January

Posted by somra958 on 9/8/2015 at 22:45

Hi everyone,

I'm planning to head to Indonesia for a month from the 19th- ish of Dec - 15th ish of January with a friend and finding it overwhelming to plan where to include in my trip. We're happy to go with the flow but given we only have a month it would be good to have a rough itinerary sketched and any key bookings made ( e.g. will it be hard to find accommodation in Bali at NYE?) I would really appreciate any advice anyone has! [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

My initial thoughts are heading to Java first and see some cultural stuff and do some hiking, then head to Bali for new years and do some Yoga/surfing then head to Lombok and Gilis.
Demographics:

2 x 25 year old female Kiwis
Both traveled through SEA before ( But not Indo before)
On a budget
Flying in and out of Densipar
-Happy to fly and take land transport during trip
Keen for a mix of tourist and off the beaten track.

Interested in:

- Doing a reasonable amount of hiking ( would be keen on doing Mt Bromo and Mt Rinjani and maybe some rain forest/ see some kimodo dragons etc )
- Doing some cultural stuff (temples etc)
- Beach time for some R&R
- Trying out some surfing and yoga
- Potentially a rowdy new years

Thanks a mil! [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

#1 somra958 has been a member since 9/8/2015. Posts: 3


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Posted by mooball on 10/8/2015 at 10:04 TF writer

That's a good amount of time. Given you'll have 2 weeks before getting back to Bali for NYE, that could mean 2 weeks in Java which is a good amount of time.

Best thing to do would be to fly from Bali to Bandung . I'd probably skip doing anything in Bandung (unless you're super keen on volcanoes and are happy to pay $30 to see one) and head straight for Garut. There you can climb Mount Papandayan, see some cool bubbling lakes and other geothermal stuff, perhaps climb another local volcano if you're keen...

From Garut, catch a bus south towards Tasikmalaya/Banjar... On the way, ask the driver to drop you off at Kampung Naga, a traditional village that uses car batteries for electricity. It's weird, but pretty cool. After an hour there, jump back on the bus to Banjar/Tasik... There, you'll need to change bus and head to Pangandaran, a local beach resort town. It's a nice beach, cheap accommodation, lots of good fish to eat and a nice peaceful vibe. Lots of locals and hardly any foreigners.

After Pangandaran, head to Yogya, preferably by train. Spend three days in Yogya seeing the sites. Hire a motorbike and do an overnight trip up to the Dieng Plateau (one of my fave spots in Java). Back in Yogya, start making your way to Bromo. Either take one of those packages they sell in Yogya or make your own way. (It's easier to take the package).

After Bromo, head to Kawah Ijen, another cool volcano with super acidic lake, blue fire and great views! Again, as part of a package or on your own.

From Bromo, head to Bali... it's not far. And that's your first 2 weeks done.

After that, 1 week Bali, 1 week Komodo/ Flores ... and then go home. Fly to Flores for Komodo. Perhaps even fly into Maumere and bus back across the island. Or better still hire a car and driver for $60 per day.

Anyway, that's a rough idea of what you'll be able to achieve.

#2 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 439
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Posted by somra958 on 10/8/2015 at 15:15

Thanks mooball for your comprehensive advice! Really appreciate it, all your suggestions sound right up our alley!

#3 somra958 has been a member since 9/8/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by gecktrek on 10/8/2015 at 17:35

Hey mooball, i'm currently in flores and it would appear that 90% of the backpackers here use car & driver when its just as easy to use public transport, when did that become the norm in flores but nowhere else in indonesia?

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Posted by mooball on 10/8/2015 at 19:14 TF writer

Not sure when that started, but I think the main reason is that it's quicker and you get to see more things. Seeing the spiderweb ricefields, the hot springs and the traditional villages are much more difficult on public transport. In fact, you'll probably have to rent a motorbike anyway. So I guess people just think it's worth the extra money to just have a car and driver the whole. Way. I think it's worth it if you don't have heaps of time.

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Posted by exacto on 10/8/2015 at 23:04

I have to admit that we did the same thing last year on Bali and Lombok, and while visiting Yogyakarta. Public transport was sometimes but not always available. Plus, there were four of us, and between cost and a massive PITA factor, hiring car and driver was the better choice. Getting around on Bali via public transport just isn't as easy or fun as in other places.

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Posted by mooball on 11/8/2015 at 01:18 TF writer

You can't really get around to all the temples and beaches in Bali on public transport anyway. I know many people try, but it's just impractical. Even getting from the airport to Ubud requires about 4 or 5 buses. While it's not so bad on Flores because of the main road which goes right along the centre, you do also have problems at each of the towns when you want to visit the local attractions. You basically need to start hiring motorbikes. Which is OK. But if you don't have much time, you have no choice but to get a car and driver. It's the best way to do things in many parts of Indonesia anyway...

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Posted by gecktrek on 11/8/2015 at 18:36

hey, i do understand the convenience factors of renting a vehicle and driver, and have been renting motors (bikes) in most towns myself, it's just a shock to see how the masses are now using this as their major form of travel, and the developing 'transport/hotel cartels' being created as a result...

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Posted by mooball on 11/8/2015 at 20:06 TF writer

Fair point. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of true backpackers throughout Indonesia. You can go weeks without seeing another one. Which has a lot to do with the silly 30 day visa. Can't get far on public buses in Indonesia in 30 days.

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Posted by Alfan on 13/8/2015 at 21:26

1month for java-bali-flores, i think is enough and better by overland.
- maybe you can skip jakarta, too crowded. Move to Bogor , visit Botanical garden. Jakarta to Bogor using commuter.
- Move to Bandung from Bogor by train, stay at Bandung about 3D2N. Visit heritage building-Tangkuban Perahu volcano-Ciater.
- Move to Pangandaran beach from Bandung, by public transport or taxi. 2D or 3D or you decide it.
- From Pangandaran go to Banjar by taxi or public transport and get train to Yogyakarta . Maybe you need 3D-4D at yogyakarta, visit temples-learn about culture-try some local food. If you interest you can go to Dieng crater.
- From Yogyakarta go to Solo by train or bus. I think 2D1N is enough. Let's you explore Solo by visit some heritage places-some temples-find out about Batik Solo.
- From Solo go to Malang by train, and stay at Malang about 2-3days. Visit apple plantation-tea plantation- Jatim park 2 (Malang zoo)-if you interest you can try paragliding. At last day in Malang you check out and go to Bromo at 1am. In here, i suggest you to hire a private car for this trip, start from Malang to Bromo.
- Finish at Bromo you move to Ijen by a car that you hire, and stay overnight at Ijen or Banyuwangi. My suggest better at Ijen.
- From Ijen you can continue to Baluran National Park and try to stay about 2D. If not interest at Baluran national park, you can skip and continue to cross to Bali and spend a fews days before go to Flores for see Komodo.


Happy travelling.

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Posted by savorygal on 14/8/2015 at 19:24

December & January are smack in the middle of monsoon season. Not to say you should be deterred or that you wont have some lovely sunny days, but you should be prepared to be wet. very wet.

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Posted by somra958 on 17/8/2015 at 15:01

Thanks everyone for your advice.

We're not really into resort/touristy stuff that it sounds like you find on Bali. What would peoples thoughts be on spending almost no time on bali but instead on Lombok?

Cheers

#12 somra958 has been a member since 9/8/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by mooball on 17/8/2015 at 21:22 TF writer

Bali is one of my favourite parts of Indonesia. But if you want to avoid touristy places, you're going to need to hire your own transport to get around. There are plenty of absolutely wonderful places in Bali and the culture of Balinese people is unique in the world and worth getting to know. Just rent a cheap car and zoom around to some lesser visited places, especially away from the southern peninsula.

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Posted by stiepel on 24/8/2015 at 08:51

Hello, I plan to travel to Indonesia the same time, so I read this topic very interested.
As the rain time was mentioned:
What would be the best parts of Indonesia to visit regarding this "problem".
My first interests are the nature and landscape and I would like to avoid the big tourist spots.
Thanks for answers.

#14 stiepel has been a member since 24/8/2015. Posts: 1

Posted by mooball on 26/8/2015 at 09:29 TF writer

Stiepel, the weather situation across Indonesia is so variable depending on which island you go to that it's difficult to recommend a single place. It's best to decide where you want to go first and then plan your trip around that rather than planning your trip around the weather at a particular time of year. For example, parts of Sumatra have more than one wet season per year and these months are variable whereas Java and Bali are generally more wet in January, dry in July.

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