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2 weeks in Java

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I finally have a tentative plan for my upcoming time in Java and would welcome comments, suggestions, and tweaks. Many thanks to all who have responded to my earlier threads (linked below), and thanks in advance for once again offering your insights.

As some of you know, I am a solo female traveler who is not looking for relaxation (although I'm sure I'll have some wonderfully relaxing moments) -- instead I am hoping to take full advantage of every moment I have in this enticing part of the world. In what follows, I've outlined my current priorities, along with a few wish-list items and a few specific questions; please feel free to offer your comments on ANYthing. :-)

Day 1: Arrive in Yogyakarta and leave immediately for Borobudur (the Manohara Resort), arriving early evening – 1st of 3 nights there

Days 2 and 3 -- Borobudur:
- Borobudur, Candi Pawon, and Candi Menhut;
- the Dieng Plateau (including Candi Biwa, Telaga Warna, Arjuna Complex, and maybe Kawik Sikidang Krator);
- and, if time permits, perpaps Gedong Songo or Karang or Nglipoh.

Days 4 to 6 -- Jogja:
- Move on to Yogyakarta as early in the morning as I can manage, staying at the Hotel Phoenix for 2 nights
- Visit Jogja’s kraton, museums, temples, markets, and various traditional performances
- Prambanan (and surrounding temples) and the Ramayana ballet (already reserved)
- Kota Gede
- Move on to Surakarta by early evening, staying at the Royal Surakarta Heritage Hotel for 3 evenings

Days 7 to 8 -- Solo:
- Solo’s kraton, museums, temples, markets, and a wayang orang performance
- The Sangiran archeological site and Candi Sukuh

Days 9 to 10 -- Blitar:
- take an early train to Blitar for the 1st of 2 nights there at the Hotel Tugu Blitar
- Perhaps Kampung Coklat after my early afternoon arrival?
- Panataran, Candi Sawentar and, if time permits Telaga Pacuh.

Days 11 to 12 Malang:
- Blitar’s markets, etc.
- take early afternoon train to Malang for the 1st of 2 nights there at the Hotel Tugu Malang
- Balai Kuta, Jalan Besar Ijen, and the hotel itself
- Candi Singosari, Candi Sumberawan, and Candi Jago, and if possible, Belakambang

Day 13 -- Bromo:
- Malang’s markets, etc.
- early afternoon car & driver to the Lava View Hotel overlooking Bromo

Day 14 - Depart for Bali:
- Views from my hotel and Penanjakan
- late morning car & driver to Surabaya’s airport for a flight to Bali.

I have a few questions beyond those about the itinerary:

(1) While in Java, I hope to take advantage of the opportunity to sample local cuisine. Any recommendations for restaurants or dishes are welcome!

(2) I also hope to take advantage of a spa or two, as it is my understanding that Java is known for its unique massages and other treatments. Again, any specific recommendations for spas or treatments are welcome.

(3) With thanks to marmot's advice about the costs of a car and driver in Bali, I remain a bit confused about likely costs in Java. Any insights that any of you can offer will be welcome!

(4) Given this itinerary, is it reasonable to assume that I will find ATMs along the way from which I can withdraw sufficient funds to pay for cars/drivers, etc.?

(5) I haven't yet booked my trains from Solo to Blitar or from Blitar to Malang -- any reason for delaying? Also, if I've correctly understood the information from the man-in-seat-61, I should opt for the least expensive of the executive class tickets -- does that make sense?

(6) I don't seem to be able to book a flight from Surabaya to Denpasar on Geruda in advance -- but I think that's normal? And I should be able to do so once in Indonesia?

(7) Do any of you have information on the Malang Kimball? I can't seem to find the dates, though it seems they should be around the time I'll be there....

(8) In a prior posting, Crellston recommending routing from Malang to Bromo "via the Savannah rather than Probolingo" -- if any of you can provide additional details so that I can ask for that when I arrange my transport, I'd appreciate it!

(9) Do any of you have any experience with Gedong Songo? The views sound awesome, but is the hike up as long or arduous as some suggest? More to the point, how long, and how arduous, is walking to the highest temple? Is renting a “small horse” a good option?

(10) Any comments about Telaga Pacuh? I must admit that I can't figure out if it's a special place or one that has simply been advertised...

BTW, I readily admit that I'm in full panic mode -- which is normal for me as a trip approaches. I also admit that my normal response to anxiety is to seek information. So quite sincerely, any answers you can offer will be much appreciated! I'll be posting separately on plans for Singapore and Bali, once I make a bit more progress with them.

MANY thanks in advance for your replies. :-)

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