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Out Sri Lanka, In Indonesia

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Hi Fodorites,

Hope you're all doing well and happily planning your next adventures. It feels like almost everyone on the Asia forum's going to Japan this fall - I cannot be more happy for you all. Japan is definitely one of my all-time favorite destinations, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

As some of you know, I'm scheduled to go to Asia, namely Singapore and Sri Lanka, in two weeks time. Unfortunately, I came down with an infection that's sidelining me for a few weeks, meaning I had to cancel my trip. On the bright side, I am recovering each day and will be able to travel in a month or so; hence, this post.

Even before I was planning my trip to Sri Lanka, I had plans for a return visit to Australia in the fall of this year (I visited in 2006 for my first and only time, and fell in love). With some idle time at home, I started doing research and am beginning to piece together the makings of a trip.

I plan on flying into Singapore, staying for 4 nights, before continuing on to Australia - that is until Kathie's recent trip report and some additional reading piqued my interest in Indonesia. Looking into flights, I found that it is relatively easy to travel from Singapore to Australia via Indonesia, and cannot resist the opportunity.

Here's where my friends here come in. Right now, my thought is to allocate 4 nights to Yogyakarta and 5 nights for Bali. I am interested in history, culture, hiking, and especially temples. While I understand that I won't be able to see "everything" in 9 nights, my goal is to get a good introduction to Central Java and Bali and see some of the key sights including Borobudur, Prambanan, and some of the Balinese Hindu temples. With limited time on Bali, I'm not looking for a beach fix, which I'll get in Australia.

My questions: Are 4 nights in Yogyakarta and 5 nights in Bali enough for a good introduction, knowing I'll return? What are some must-see sights, including temples? Would you recommend doing the sights on your own or using the services of a guide, and if so, anyone you would suggest? I'm thinking about staying at the Phoenix in Yogyakarta and am looking for a good boutique hotel in the Ubud area at around US$150-175 a night.

In total I have about 30 days beginning sometime in November. A very rough first attempt at an itinerary follows:

Singapore - 4 nights
Yogyakarta - 4 nights
Bali (Ubud) - 5 nights
Darwin - 3 or 4 nights
Uluru - 3 or 4 nights
Sydney - 7 nights

Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions.

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