Indonesia destinations?

Jun 17th, 2010, 12:06 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Indonesia destinations?

Hi,

I'll be backpacking with my girlfriend through Indonesia from the end of September until the end of October, for about 5 weeks.

I'm wondering whether the following itinerary is a good choice? Is it too much? Are there much better destinations?
If you can spare advice on what to avoid or change, I'd be most grateful.

Thanks,
Kris

------------------
SUMATRA
- Bohorok
- Berastagi
- Samosir (Lake Toba)
- Sipiroh
- Bukittinggi
- Padang

JAVA
- Yohyakarta
- Solo
- Malang
- Bromo / Cemoro Lawang)
- Kalibaru

BALI
- Pemuteran
- Lovina
- Ubud
- Seminyak
- Sanur
- Nusa Lembongan
- Candidasa

FLORES
- Labuhan Bajo
- Rinca
- Ruteng
- Bajawa
- Detusko
- Maumere
kvdv is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 04:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,489
I can only speak for Bali. Have you considered your transportation around the Island. Down in the south there are buses and bemos to help get you around. There is some limited buses to the North (Lovina,Pumteran), but I am pretty sure they go there from Ubud, or Denespar. I don't think there is a bus route that circum navigates the Island. I am also assuming if you are back packing that you won't want to hire a car and driver. Candidasa, Nusa Lembongan and the north shore would be neat areas to take in. Amed is another spot you might consider. Have fun
kmkrnn is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 06:11 AM
  #3  
 
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I think you are trying to fit too much into five weeks. You might be best off omitting either Flores or Sumatra; I've been to the latter but my trip was long ago so I do not feel qualified to give advice. However, I have never had much desire to return so perhaps that is telling.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 07:13 PM
  #4  
 
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Posts: 282
You have omitted Sulawesi, which is one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia. In Makassar, there is the Bugis culture, and in Rantepao there is the Torajan culture with their fabulous houses and funerary traditions.

However, you are trying to see quite a lot already in just five weeks, depending on whether you are planning on just passing through or stopping and learning about the culture. You might omit some of the Sumatra part, like Padang. (although you will go through that to get to Bukittingi) Are you planning on getting a 60-day tourist visa in advance? Your question is fairly general so it's somewhat difficult to give you more advice unless you can give us more details about your interests and plans.
kuluk is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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In a month's time I would choose three islands maximum. I'd include Bali because it's the most developed and therefore the easiest to navigate. Whatever the other two are will be challenging enough and you'll need to reward yourselves.

Each of the islands has distinctive culture and customs, so it's hard to eliminate, but if I had to choose three I'd go Bali (Ubud and beach),Java (Central/Yogya/Borobudur and East/Bromo), and Sulawesi (Central/Toraja and North/Manado). This would give you a good balance of cultures, natural attractions, historical and religious sites, adventure travel.

It's not so easy getting around Indonesia. The first thing you need to do is to make your intra-island plane reservations. Don't even think about taking ferries (except from East Java to North Bali). After that you can fill in the details.

Ground transport on each island is also extremely limited, and unreliable (and sometimes downright dangerous) so spend time finding out about your options before you choose you destinations.

The 60 day tourist visa is one of those mysteries of the Orient. It IS available but no one seems to know how to get it. I'm not aware that it's available at Indonesian Embassy/Consulates abroad, but that may have changed.

I believe what they advise is that you come in to Indonesia under a 30 day visa on arrival then once you're here, you can extend another 30 days. If anyone has experience on the logistics of doing this I'd like to know too.
marmot is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 08:45 PM
  #6  
 
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Do not count on getting your 30-day tourist visa renewed in country. You may find it being offered "under the table" but could be iffy and may not be worth the risk. Many people just go out to Singapore or even Timor Leste for an hour and come back and get a new official tourist visa.
kuluk is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 11:38 PM
  #7  
 
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kuluk, although I haven't had personal experience with the process, my understanding is that the 30 day visa CAN be extended in Indonesia, at immigration. This is a recent policy revision and obviously there's a lack of clarity.

I have a stay visa but I'm looking into the 30 + 30 option for my son who is in Indonesia for the summer.

What I'm not sure of is if you can actually get a 60 day tourist visa if you apply to an Embassy or Consulate outside of Indonesia.

You are right flying out and back again is another, but costly, way to get around the 30 day maximum.
marmot is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 12:59 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for all the replies, I learned a lot.

I haven't been investigating on how to move around on the islands (or among the different islands). But hiring a car+driver is an option I keep open. This could be interesting in the situation (like I'm in) where you don't spent months travelling around the different islands.

Yes it's probably too much for 5 weeks I agree. Java and Bali are a must-see, that's a no-brainer I think.
I want to choose one third island though: Sumatra, Flores or Sulawesi, but I can't decide between them...

Also, if it's advised to do the intra-island plane reservations in advance, that's a bit of bad news. This would mean I'm stuck to a calendar and that I can't stay as short or as longs as I want to on the islands. Is this really necessary?

And thanks for the 60-day VISA tip!!
kvdv is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:41 AM
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Last time I went through immigration 2 weeks ago I did ask one of the officers if its possible to get the tourist visa extended with just a stamp(I have a different kind of visa). He said you could go to the immigration office in Denpasar and get it extended, but I take everything immigration says with a grain of salt, sadly. So Marmot, you are right, this is the current line, but things can change in the blink of an eye, which is why I didn't tell the OP to count on the extension. (just in case, I always keep my options open)
kuluk is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:43 AM
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I haven't been to Sumatra or Flores so I can't give you a comparison, but I have been to Sulawesi several times and I think it's fabulous.

You can make the island to island reservations when you arrive in Indonesia as long as you're flexible on timing. The flights don't operate every day and they are often delayed or cancelled.

Getting from Java to Bali is quite simple, either by airplane or ferry.

The major airports in Sulawesi are Ujung Padang / Makassar in the South and Manado in the North. They are accessible from various places in Indonesia.
marmot is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:47 AM
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Kuluk, Agree, the procedure for the 30 day extension is a bit hazy right now. Please let me know if you hear of anyone who actually gets one.
marmot is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:52 AM
  #12  
 
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You don't have to make the plane reservations in advance. Many times flights are available that day, however, the prices will probably be very expensive, and could very well be sold out. However, most airlines will let you change the dates if necessary without a penalty at all or with a small charge. (check when you make reservations)

My choice for a third island would be Sulawesi. Pretty good tourist infrastructure, amazing culture and scenery, and good beaches too. Sumatra is good too but in my mind somewhat more chaotic. Flores is amazing scenery too, if you can squeeze it in do it!
kuluk is offline  
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