Borobudur

Old Jan 19th, 2023, 10:51 PM
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Borobudur

Working on a May trip to Java and Bali. Have just read that Borobudur Temple is only open to walk around the exterior on the ground level. Several posts says it's too expensive for what you get. Seeing this temple has always been at the top of my travel list. Are we making a mistake to head to Yogyahakarta and go to see Borobudur with so much closed?
stuartdavis6622 is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2023, 01:09 AM
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So much closed? I loved Borobadur but I also loved the town & countryside. If all you're going for is Borobadur then I suppose you're out of luck. But the people & town were the best part as far as I'm concerned.

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Old Jan 20th, 2023, 03:26 AM
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There is more to Yogyakarta than Borobudur, though it is undoubtedly a highlight and the main reason many people visit.

I wasn't aware that it was still closed post pandemic so it may be worth double checking with the tourism authorities there. Without a doubt the views from the top tiers are wonderful, from the lower levels, not so much, As for expensive, one thing that really annoyed me throughout Indonesia was that foreign tourists were charge 10 or 20 times the rate for locals for entry to most places. Normally, I would accept that but their the guides and officials were taking the money for international tickets, issuing domestic tickets and pocketing the difference. I had a number of interesting conversations when this happened!

Worth it? Well I probably wouldn't bother unless it was en route to other places you want to go. Dieng/Bromo/Ijen etc. Still not too late for Sulawesi?

crellston is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2023, 03:48 PM
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Crellston, Still looking at Sulawesi. Concerned about travel to and while there. Read your report about distances and amount of time to drive but Tanha Torja certainly appeals. How many days for Makassar, how many days in Tanha Toraja area? Can you recommend a driver/guide? Accommodations in Makassar and Tanha Toraja area and any sites that shouldn’t be missed? I appreciate your help and ideas. Thanks
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Old Jan 21st, 2023, 01:14 AM
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Stuart - We had a few false starts finding a guide and driver for Tanah Toraja and were let down by a couple before finding "Dodo the Penman" the original Mr Fixit. We corresponded by email, agreed a tour and he met us at our hotel in Makkasar, introduced us to our driver and off we went. Our driver had very limited English and I only speak a few words of Bahasa but he was frequently in contact with our driver and would speak with us every day and was always available by phone if we needed him, which we didn't. In Rantepao we met Ritha our guide for the few days we were there and she spoke perfect English and was excellent. I am pretty sure I still have both their contact details and will try and find them and post here.

In the interests of full disclosure, another Fodors member used Dodo and Ritha but, as I recall, had a few issues with their driver. Dodo clearly outsources guides and driver so I guess that is always possibility. That said the service we got was exemplary and much, much better than anything else we experienced in Indonesia.

We had around 4 days in Makkassar, probably too many but we do travel slowly. Fort Rotterdam is the main attraction there and is definitely worth a morning. There are sights close to the city worth exploring but we just didn't get around to them. Instead we explored the markets and street food etc. You could probably get away with a night on arrival and one before departure.

Accommodation in Makassar we used Ibis Styles an Accor brand we use a lot. In Rantepao the accommodation is a bit weird. I had chosen a place to stay where all the guides hang out. It turned out to be a bit of a dump. I cant recall the name but you probably don't want it anyway! The other two places we stayed on the way back at Rammang Rammang and Lake Tempe were fine. Rammang Rammang was actually very pleasant and we met up with Dodo there who took us on a boat trip and hike.

Many people will continue on to the north of the island but we headed back to Makassar and onwards in our journey.

Sulawesi is very rewarding but it is not necessarily easy travelling . By contrast, Malaysian Borneo is a lot easier.
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