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first draft -- java and bali, plus

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Warning: LONG thread ahead!!!

With the help of many previous posters, I am (I think, and hope!) moving closer to a plan for my time in and around Java and Bali. With this thread, I hope to place my trip in context, suggest a rough preliminary itinerary, and ask some questions. Thanks to all, in advance, for your help!

Previous threads: I’ve already obtained some excellent advice in response to questions I posed; here are the links:
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia/preliminary-planning-java-and-bali-and-maybe-singapore-and-hakone.cfm and
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia/ramayana-ballet.cfm

General plan: I’m likely to spend up to, but no more than, 30 days (counting travel days) starting in May and extending, as necessary (depending on exact time) into the beginning of June. My primary destinations are central and eastern Java and Bali. My secondary destinations are Singapore, which I think would be an interesting place to recover from jet lag on my way to Java, and Narita, which I think would be a reasonable place to break my flight back to the U.S.

Likes, dislikes, and context: I’m a woman with reasonably extensive experience as a solo, independent traveler. Wherever I go, I seek to maximize the diversity of my experiences -- cities and towns, different styles of art and architecture, varied natural scenery, etc…. I typically enjoy art, architecture, museums, religious sanctuaries, parks and gardens, natural scenery, markets (for their atmosphere, not for shopping), picturesque villages, folk traditions and performing arts, the chance to see and experience other parts of the world, and delicious foods. I am not a beach person (but will want at least one sunset walk on a beach in Bali), am not interested in clubbing or nightlife, and am not looking to relax (I’m sure I’ll find time for that over meals; instead, I want to take full advantage of every available moment to see and do things I can’t do anywhere else). I am unlike many Fodorites in that I strongly prefer one-night stays that allow me to move forward rather than backtracking to a base city:

Decisions reached to date:

• I will try to avoid the May 5-8 weekend in Java
• I will avoid Waisak at Borobudur
• I will forego Ijen ☹
• I will forego Hakone

First cut at an itinerary:

(Day 1: Depart)
• Night 1: Flight -- Day 2: Flight to Singapore
• Night 2: Arrive in Singapore just before midnight. Days 3 to 6: Singapore
• Night 3-6: Singapore; Day 7: Fly fro Singapore to Semarang, bus to Wonosobo
• Night 7: Wonosobo; Day 8: Dieng Plateau, taxi/driver to Borobudur
• Night 8: Borobudur; Day 9: Borobudur
• Night 9: Borobudur; Day 10: Taxi and then bus to Yogyacarta (Jogja)
• Night 10: Jogja; Day 11: Jogja
• Night 11: Jogja; Day 12: Bus or taxi to Prambanan
• Night 12: Prambanan; Day 13: Prambanan, late in the day, take a taxi to Surakarta (Solo)
• Night 13: Solo; Day 14: Solo
• Night 14: Solo; Day 15: Train from Solo to Blitar
• Night 15: Blitar; Day 16: Blitar (and the temples of Panataran)
• Night 16: Blitar; Day 17: Train from Blitar to Malang
• Night 17: Malang; Day 18: Day trip to Mt. Bromo
• Night 18: Blitar; Day 19: Taxi to Surabaya, flight to Denpasar, maybe a taxi to Pura Tanah Lot before taking a taxi (or…) to a quiet beach-front hotel
• Night 19: Beach side hotel; Day 20: Taxi to Ubud
• Night 21: Ubud; Days 21 to 25: Ubud. (Hire a taxi for 1 day to visit Tampaksiring and Pura Besakih; Hire a taxi for 1 day to visit the Jatiluwih Road and Pura Luhur Batukaru)
• Night 25: Ubud; day 26: Taxi or driver to Semarapura and on, later in the day, to Jemeluk Beach (Amed)
• Night 26: Jemeluk (or); Day 27: Taxi (or) from Jemeluk, perhaps through Taman Tirta Gangga) to Denpasar
• Night 27: Denpasar; Day 28: Denpasar
• Night 28: Denpasar; Day 29: Depart For Narita
• Night 29: Narita (just one night and part of a day in Narita)
• Day 30: Narita to home

Key questions:
1. First and foremost – what problems do you see with my plan? Given that I don't have enough time for everything, where am I giving too little time, or too much. What am skipping that I should include, or including that I should skip. Where are my time estimates unrealistic?

2. Tranpsortation– I’ve been using various sources to identify my opitons, and am finding Rome2Rio useful – is that a reasonalby accurate source to get an idea of my options?

3. Life style. Unfortuantely, I am NOT a morning person, don’t deal well with heat, and no longer have the stamina or strength for some of the hikes I’m sure I would once have enjoyed. Any suggestions for optimizing my time in the area despite these limitations are welcome!


I know I’ll have many more questions as I proceed – please be patient and know that I appreciate your input. Many thanks!

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