Me and my girlfriend are planning roughly an 8-month jaunt round Asia. We're taking in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Southwest China, Malaysia, hoping to spend a month in each (maybe about 40 days in Thailand and China) and are hoping to stick on a trip to Indonesia at the end.
Basically, I was interested in visiting Java, Lombok, Flores and Sumba, and one of Sumatra or Sulawesi, and what I want to know is whether a month and a half (40-45 days, I guess) would be sufficient to visit these places? My second question, and I realise it's always going to be a personal choice, is what would be better out of Sulawesi and Sumatra?
Thanks in advance guys!
#1 kraver_alex has been a member since 31/5/2009. Posts: 8
What are you're interests and, more specifically, how important is diving as a part of your travels, as I think that would be an important factor in deciding between Sulawesi and Sumatra.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,738
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I'm not really interested in diving, I'm more interested in culture, history and nature, if that gives you a better idea?
P.S. In my original post I forgot to mention how much I love Travelfish! Absolutely vital and indescribably useful website for anyone planning a big trip like mine.
#3 kraver_alex has been a member since 31/5/2009. Posts: 8
You could always start in Indo, flit across to peninsula Malaysia and work your way up to China.
To me, the 'hassle' with Indo is travel between islands. That said, if you plan your links, timing isn't necessarily an issue.
I know the Malaysians won't like me for saying this, but compared to Indo, Malaysia often seems like a westernised example of mainstream Indo. That said, there are some great places in Malaysia. So, you might choose to spend less time in Malaysia.
You've probably already worked out that there is 1 main religion, with 3 or 4 significant others. That in itself makes for interesting cultural 'enjoyments'.
It may be too late but ...
Both Sumatra and Sulawesi would be OK but you are going to be pressed for time I think. Maybe Sulawesi ... Makassar is a big transport hub and it only takes 8 hours or so to get from there to Rantepao on a (very comfy) bus. Spectacular mountain scenery and trekking options too. If you can get hold of a local map and can speak a few words of Bahasa (to ask for directions) you don't really need any of those expensive guides who will no doubt try and get you to use their services for treks... I didn't anyway.
You can see very similar architecture in Northern Sumatra though (Lake Toba)and there's also Bukkit Lawang for the orang outans there. The transport to these two places isn't as comfortable or safe as the buses that go to Rantepao though and the bus journeys there aren't as scenic.
Maybe just opt for the one that's best logistically for you.