6.5 days in Java and Bali

Old Feb 7th, 2015, 06:14 PM
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6.5 days in Java and Bali

Me, my son and daughter-in-law are travelling first time to Indonesia. Instead of spending all available 6.5 days in Denpasar, we thought we will also see Mount Bromo on the way. So booked flight from Singapore to Surabaya arriving 1.00 pm on 13th March. We have to return to Singapore on 19th by flight from Denpasar to Singapore.
Please suggest how can we make best of this trip and in budget. Will appreciate suggestions on hotels near Mt.Bromo area. Which peak is best for viewing sunrise? How should we plan our journey - Surabaya - Mt.Bromo - Denpasar? We want to cover most popular tourist places along this ways and not so keen on luxury.
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Old Feb 7th, 2015, 06:23 PM
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So is Bromo the only thing you want to see on Java? If so, fly to Surabaya. There is a place to stay at at Bromo called Java Banana which gets good reviews, and is moderately priced. From Surabaya you can fly to Denpasar which gives you access to all of Bali. You don't really want to spend any time in Denpasar. I always recommend that people spend a few days at the beach and the rest of their Bali time inland near Ubud. You have so little time, it will be hard for you to see the basics in that time. 6.5.days is short just for Bali, never mind trying to get to Bromo as well. Note that the logistics of all this are a bit complicated - all transport takes longer than you expect in Indonesia.

(And you haven't even mentioned the amazing things in central Java - Borobudur and Prambanam for instance.)
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Old Feb 7th, 2015, 08:18 PM
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Thanks Kathie. I would have loved to visit Borobudur and Prambanam, but since flight to Surabaya is already booked and the time does not permit, i will have to keep it to next trip. Or do you think it is still doable? Or should I drop Bali to include these sites? Our tentative plan is
arrive 1 pm at Surayaba
then travel to hotel near mt.bromo,
see sunrise, get down and travel by bus to Denpasar while watching the landside of east Java. Then fly return from Denpasar to Singapore. If not much of effect on cost, we are still open to rush our trip to include those amazing things you recommend. Please suggest options.
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Old Feb 7th, 2015, 08:35 PM
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Frankly, I'd recommend you choose one island, Bali or Java. I don't think you have time for both.

For instance, your description of "travel to hotel near mt.bromo,
see sunrise, get down and travel by bus to Denpasar while watching the landside of east Java." Logistically, is this possible? Have you checked info on the ferry?

If you don't know about central Java, take a look at these photos: www.marlandc.com/Java-2012
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Old Feb 8th, 2015, 02:43 AM
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i concur that with only 6.5 days you'd be better off choosing Bali or Java.

Many people who "do" Bromo stay in Surabaya. The tours leave Surabaya around 2:00 a.m., get to the top of Bromo in time to see the sun come up, spend some time looking at the caldera, then head back to Surabaya. To me, this is a totally unsatisfactory experience, but there are plenty of tours with this kind of back and forth schedule. Your Surabaya hotel will make arrangements for you.

If you wish to spend some time in the Bromo area Java Banana is a good option. If you contact them, then will help you arrange transport from Surabaya airport and will handle the logistics of getting around.

I'd suggest that you fly from Surabaya to Bali, instead of travelling overland and ferry.

You can fly Air Asia from Surabaya to Denpasar airport. Note that although Bali's airport location is referred to as "Denpasar," it's not actually in the town of Denpasar, which is the capital of Bali and not much of a tourist destination.

The airport is in Jimbaran which is also one of the southern beach areas.

In Bali you can either stay at one of the beaches (like Sanur, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Seminyak) or inland in the Ubud area. If you do Bromo + Bali you'd be better off choosing one location in Bali. If you skip Java and do Bali alone, you could stay a few nights at the beach and a few nights in Ubud.

There are many, many budget and moderate accommodations all over Bali. Once you finalize your destinations, you'll have no problem finding hotels/resorts and guides to take you to see the attractions. I'd suggest you get a guidebook or do some on-line research about things to do and see in Bali, as there are a lot of options and your choices will depend on what you're interested in.
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Old Feb 8th, 2015, 05:22 AM
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If you absolutely have to go to Mt Bromo, do it as a package. No point staying overnight in Surabaya, you will spend unnecessary money on a room and spend most of the night going up to the mountain for the sunrise. Traffic is a killer up to the volcano, it takes hours, best to sleep on the way up rather than pay for a night.

However, with 6.5 days only, why not just chill out on the beach somewhere? Bali is lovely, but best to stay at one of the beaches, as it's horrendous for traffic around Kuta/Legian/Seminyak/Jimbaran/Uluwatu in late afternoon for the sunset drink hours.

Canggu/Eco Beach is a bit quieter, laid back, less expensive than the others I mentioned.

Re Java, it's a big island, a month at least just to scratch the surface.

Our son is marrying his long-time Indonesian fiancee in May, and even though we have travelled there lots over the years from Australia, our recent visits have been instructive about just how diverse it is when you get down to local family customs and traditions.
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Old Feb 8th, 2015, 10:05 PM
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I found a tour on the internet : Surabaya-Mr.Bromo-Ijen-Bali by Bromotours.com. (Request feedbad/experience with this tour operator). So 3 days in Java and 3.5 days in Bali on the beach.
How about it?
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Old Feb 9th, 2015, 02:44 AM
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Not bad, angel1. Mt Bromo is a scenic place to visit for the sunrise, and the drive up is most interesting, but it takes so long.

In fact, everything in Indonesia requires patience and time to spare, and I am speaking as a person who loves the place and the people. Smiling and waiting patiently with good manners are required.

Also, in Surabaya, the local government has tidied it up nicely. Get yourself out and about, down to the port area if you are interested in such places (and if you can find someone in the navy or in the know to get access), or otherwise go out to the villages on the fishing coast for a different look at East Java, and over the bridge to Madura for a look at a less tidy view of Indonesian life. You can do a lot in 2 days in this part of Java.

As for Bali, where are you staying? I have family and friends there who can give local advice.
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Old Feb 9th, 2015, 04:23 AM
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The Bromotours itinerary looks like a lot of driving and not much doing. To me, way to much time on the road.

I think they've underestimated the time from Ijen to Bali's southern beaches -- that trip will take about 8 to 10 hours by road and ferry not including stops along the way.

My advice would be to see Bromo (and maybe Ijen) then fly from Surabaya to Bali. Air Asia flights are quite cheap.
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Old Feb 9th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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That tour sounds just ghastly to me. I'd highly recommend you choose one island.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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Kathie, we travel by motorbike or boat, train or plane in Indo, as bus and car travel are excruciating.

angel1 has a good plan for the time available.

And the best thing about anywhere in Asia, even if you are stuck in traffic, is that there is always something going on.

I have been travelling around the place since I was 12 and lived for quite a while with my eldest brother and his wife in Penang. The spouse did 2 tours in Vietnam during the war. Our son is more or less married into an Indonesian military family (wedding in May to seal the deal).

I suppose we will never wean ourselves off Asia, as it has gotten into the DNA and there are way too many family and friend connections, including the Top End, PNG and Bali, to stay away.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 10:25 AM
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I know how you travel, maree, and I assume what you do is right for you.

Angel is taking a first trip to Indonesia and says she has 6.5 days in Indonesia. She wants to cover parts of Java and Bali in that time. Getting from Java to Bali will be a whole day "on the road" so the most time angel might have for seeing all the places she wants to see would be 5.5 days. It seems wisest to me to choose one island, so she actually has some time in either Java or Bali to experience some of the fascinating Indonesian culture.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 10:51 AM
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Kathie, getting from Java/Surabaya to Denpasar Bali takes about 45mins by plane. It takes 2hrs to get through the airports. We are not talking about 23 hours from Sydney to London.

There is a reason everyone who needs to get around quickly in Asia does it by 95cc or 125cc motorbike, and that's because of cost and the fact that time is money and people don't have time or money to waste.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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But the tour she has chosen has her going overland and via ferry, not flying from Surabaya to Denpasar.
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Old Feb 11th, 2015, 11:27 AM
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Exactly. Highly suggest actually reading the OP's posting. She's not flying.

I'm with Kathie (and almost everyone else on this) -- whilst I appreciate the spirit of trying to see as much as possible, I fear you've got an itinerary that will feel more like the (Un)Amazing Race. You won't be able to appreciate anything when you're moving that fast.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2015, 12:45 AM
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Dear All
Thank you for your suggestions. Accordingly I have revised the plan and now flying from Surabaya to Bali after visiting Mt.Bromo. In Bali I will be staying in Kuta and will do some road trips in Bali. Please suggest 'Must See' in Bali. I have 4 days before I fly to Singapore.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2015, 05:42 AM
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Stay in Sanur. It's got a lovely beach, a 5 mile boardwalk, lots of beachfront restaurants and stalls, it's less in-your-face, and has much less traffic than Kuta.

It's also v.easy to exit Sanur to head inland to Ubud. Takes 45 minutes to an hour maximum.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2015, 08:37 AM
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I recommend you not stay in Kuta. It is a beach for partying and will not give you a sense of Bali. I also like Sanur.

"Must see"? Get a guidebook and decide what your must-see places are. Try to strike a balance between driving around Bali and staying put wherever you decide to stay. Your hotel can help you hire a car and driver. Yu will need to specify if you want/don't want shopping stops, otherwise you may get a tour of "workshops."
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Old Apr 5th, 2015, 02:56 AM
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I am back from the trip. After our stay in Singapore, we flew to Surabaya. Unfortunately our hotel (Family Guest House) was quite far from the airport. But the staff was friendly. The room was clean and price affordable. The owner arranged for our trip to Mt.Bromo and back. We started at 12.30 in the night and were at sunrise point at 4.30 am. We could get good place to watch sunrise, though the sky was little cloudy. My son and daughter-in-law rode the horse and went up the Bromo, while I spent time in the Temple at the Sea of Sands. The whole experience was quite different than our other ventures. We flew to Bali and stayed at Kuta. Enjoyed stay Kuta beach and observed the temple processions at the beach before Nyepi. We hired a vehicle for 3 days and travelled to all the Mengwi temples, Kintamani, and all the places on the way. Also visited Uluwatu temple and other temples. On the third day was for water sports. My son enjoyed learning scuba diving. The Kuta beach had an Indian restaurant so there was no problem getting vegetarian food. In 5 days, it rained for a day otherwise the weather was good. We returned to Singapore, stayed for 4 days and then returned to India.
Overall a relaxing trip. Thank you for your help.
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