27 days in Indonesia - itinerary help!

Mar 24th, 2015, 12:12 PM
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27 days in Indonesia - itinerary help!

Hi Everyone;

I have had such great help on these forums planning previous trips so I am hoping to get all your input again.

My boyfriend and I are planning to be in Indonesia from April 27-May 24. We fly into Jakarta and out of Denpasar. I have done some research and planning, but we are both grad students and getting busy with the end of the year so I don't see myself having too much time to plan this trip. We are looking for a well rounded holiday with a good mix of sightseeing and beach relaxing. We aren't interested in partying and getting wild. We would like to stay in budget hotels (maybe 1 or 2 nicer ones for a few days), but not backpacker hostels.

Here are the places I have considered so far:

Jakarta (we are considering skipping this all together or spending 2 days in Jakarta as we fly in here, so my thoughts are might as well see the city. Others have mentioned that Jakarta isn't worth staying and we should catch a flight out directly after arriving. Thoughts?)

Yogyakarta - 4 days - is this enough to see Borobudur and Prambanan, and the rest of the sights?

Bali - 10 days (too much?) Seminyak, Nusa Lembongan, Ubud, Munduk

Lombok - 5 days - will hike mount rinjani. what area to stay here?

Gili T - 4 days

That puts us at 23 days, provided we spend that amount of time in each place and skip Jakarta. Does anyone have any ideas for the other 4 days? Alternatively we could shorten the time in bali/lombok and add another island somewhere in there. Would anyone have any suggestions on this?

Thanks for all your help always!
tlayton is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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I've spent time in Jakarta in the past - I don't really recommend it, and if it were me (and it is not) I'd fly out as soon as I got there. Central Java is a good idea. You can probably cover the basics in 4 days - you will need a full day to Borobudur and up to the Dieng Platueau, a full day for Prambanam plus Solo, and an evening performance of the Ramayana ballet there. You might also want to take a side trip to Candi Sukkah, which will take up most of a day. So if you keep moving you can see all of that if you spend four nights in the area. But you can also add a few days and find other places to see in the area.

Consider whether you might want some time in eastern Java for the volcanos, or to visit Malang and the temples in that area. I have a trip report on my Java trip in 2012: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...n-to-jogja.cfm
photos are at www.marlandc.com

Ten days is not too much for Bali, but I would choose just two areas to stay in. It's a small island and so many places will be easily accessible from where you are staying, a beach area and inland near Ubud.

My favorite place to stay on Lombok is Qunci Villas. Very nice, great food and good value for money.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions Kathie. Your beautiful photos are actually what drew me to central java in the first place. Do you think Malang is worth the trek (and night train!)? It doesn't seem to be all that popular (as in - I haven't seen it on any Must Do lists for Indonesia while web browsing).

What would you think about visiting Sumatra for the Orangutans in Bukit Lawang?

Quinci villas seem to be about $275/night for our dates which is a bit over our budget. Is this price normal for this property or should I look elsewhere?
Thanks for all the help!
tlayton is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 01:34 PM
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One other option to see organgutans would be visiting Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of Borneo. I'm planning a trip for 2016, and have done a lot of research into this, and it sounds like a lot of fun, if you're up for a rustic-style adventure (I'm hoping to do this next year). The main activity is spending generally 2 nights on a klotok, a riverboat that travels on a river that goes through the forest, making several stops at orangutan feeding grounds and at Camp Leakey, a research center. You can sleep at Camp Leakey as well, though again, it is rustic. I'm posting a thread that has a lot of the information about this trip:

The other area that I'd consider that Kathie mentions is east Java and seeing Mount Bromo and the Ijen crater -- this is very different than the area around Yogyakarta, and can easily take up your extra days.
progol is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for the tip Paule. I have taken a look at the thread and it looks really interesting. I note you are planning on doing Java/Bali as well. Have you worked out the traveling logistics from Java to Kalimantan to Bali? or what order are you doing this in? I'm now looking at what is the best way to fly in/out in combination with my other destinations.

tlayton is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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Yipes! The price for Qunci has really gone up. Note that there are the free-standing villas, which are expensive and also the hotel rooms, but those are still almost $200 a night... I paid US$70 (ahem) a number of years ago. Keep an eye open and look at some of the discount booking sites.

One of the things that is so delightful about eastern Java is that not many people visit. I consider that an advantage, not a disadvantage. I thought it was well with the journey. Look for posts by marmot who is an ex-pat living in Indonesia. She thinks the journey is well worth it for the volcanos, though we went for the temples.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 02:54 PM
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Hi, tlayton,
Yes, I've been researching this (a tad obsessively!) and have thought about the logistics. It's not the smoothest transfer from place to place, but here is my rough itinerary, and the connections for Kalimantan:
Arrive in Jakarta, fly out to
-Yogyakarta. 4-5 days
Drive to Semarang. Flight to Pangkalun Bun (Kalimantan).
-3 nights Tanjung Puting National Park (2 nights klotok and 1 night at Camp Leakey)
Fly to Bali -- there are no direct flights from Pangkalun Bun:
Flight #1 - Pangkalun Bun to Surabaya
Flight #2 - Surabaya to Denpasar.

An alternative might be to fly directly from Jakarta to Pangkalun Bun; then fly to Semarang, if you are planning to go to Yogyakarta; and then fly to Bali. That would eliminate the double flight from Kalimantan.

It's a bit of a hassle, but somehow, the experience seems worth it.
progol is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 06:42 PM
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I lived in Jakarta for a long time and have a perverse affection for the place -- the chaotic traffic, the frenetic pop culture, the extreme juxtaposition of wealth and poverty, the helter-skelter energy with the mosques reverberating in the background. But if your time is limited, you probably have better choices.

There's really no effective public transportation on Java and Bali, so you have include getting from place to place in your budget. Don't over plan. Everything takes longer than you'd expect. Allow some time to recuperate from jetlag. It's hot, humid and at times bewildering.

I'd expand your time in Central Java. Spend some time in the town of Yogya and some time in the country side around Borobudur. Stay at the Manohara. Mt. Merapi is an interesting climb if the volcano cooperates.

I'm lukewarm on Malang as a destination, but it's a good jumping off point. I'd highly recommend the Bromo area. Stay on in the mountains instead of "commuting" from Surabaya or Malang. Java Banana is good. You could then make your way to Ijen, then continue to Bali by ferry. If you do this you could spend some time in North Bali, in the Pemuteran area before heading down to Ubud. Otherwise, you can fly to Bali from Surabaya.

I'd recommend Alam Sari outside of Ubud, both the regular resort and their village stay program. The area around Munduk is very scenic, but not significantly different from the countryside around Ubud. I'd also suggest Amed.

Though Bali's Southern beaches are anything but pristine, they're a lot of fun. I'd concentrate on the north end of Seminyak -- Petitenget and Batu Belig. There are many budget places in the area. Look at Taman Ayu and the Brown Feather. I'd avoid the chain budget hotels like Fave, Neo and anything on Sunset Road. They are very cheap but soul crushing. For a splurge, look at The Colony in Petitenget.

Except for some fairly nice beaches, I'm less enthusiastic about Lombok and the Gilis. I haven't been to Nusa Lembongan, but the area is developing fast.

Some other add-on suggestions would be Tanah Toraja in Sulawesi and the islands of West Nusa Tenggara -- Flores, Komodo, Sumbawa. Either would involve at least 4-5 days.

This is a terrific site for information on mountain climbing and trekking all over Indonesia, including Rinjani. There are good climbs in Bali and Java as well, in case you don't make it to Lombok this trip.

Essential reading: Indonesia Etc. by Elizabeth Pisani!
marmot is offline  
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