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INDONESIA with SINGAPORE....3 weeks May or early June? Where??

INDONESIA with SINGAPORE....3 weeks May or early June? Where??

Old Oct 17th, 2023, 10:00 AM
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INDONESIA with SINGAPORE....3 weeks May or early June? Where??

My cousin and his family have been living in Jakarta and will depart summer next year.
They've long invited me to visit and, now that they have little time left and I have time this spring, I'm considering a trip.

Background: I traveled widely in Java, Bali and Sumatra on several long trips about 40 years ago. I/we have a generous budget and would like to sample the "best" hotels in each destination. Pools suitable for lap swimming, and hopefully not chilled to icy temps, would play a role in hotel decisions. (I Jakarta I will likely stay with my cousin)
I have some knowledge of Bahasa but almost all of what I once knew has vanished since I've never spoken it since I last visited the country in the 80s. I am very interested in food and have no fear of eating on the street.


So with this very scant info, I'm looking for some help in planning a visit. This might be solo (I am female) or with regular partner who has never been to the tropical lands of SE Asia.

Looking for any and all help here. My initial thought would be to fly into Singapore from JFK--hopefully on a direct flight. Are there any nowadays? Any other airlines I should look at for the "middle class" of seats??

Singapore was my first introduction to Asia, back in the late 70s when I stayed with my former geography professor from the US who had relocated to a university there to teach. He had been very active in the push to conserve the architectural treasures of Chinatown; will be keen to discover if he and his team had any impact. I know that modern Singapore is a very different entity than it was 40+ years ago!!!

Food would be the main interest here, along with architecture and some of the new green developments.....looks like Changi deserves a day on its own!!!!

After recover from jet lag, fly from Singapore to Jakarta(???). Spend 5-6 days with my relative and family.

Luxury hotels in Jakarta: do they tend to "chill" the pools? I've found this to be the case in many upscale SE Asian hotels and I hate it.....many pools become too icy to swim (looking at you, Peninsula in Bangkok and even Savoy in Burma, along with a long list off others...I am a determined swimmer and one of the joys off SE Asia for me is to one able to swim in a nice long pool.....any tips on that topic will be most welcomed.

So:

1. Singapore...How long? Shopping not a big interest here. Five nights? Six?
Any recs for fantastic hotels yes, with pool!?!

2. Jakarta..Will iron this out with relative...5-6 nights??? any day trip to take from that city?

3. From here on, just a vague idea......things have changed so much since I toted that black Moon Indonesia guide and held onto it as if it were my life savings. Not to mention Tony and Maureen Wheeler's yellow "Bible." If you are not of a certain age you will have little idea of what I am writing....remember, there was no internet when I traveled through Indonesia by train and bus.....might be hard for younger folks to even imagine that this was possible and, in many ways, better than the situation today. How can I forget when the train from Yogya to the Mt. Bromo stop broke down and, along with the train, the toilets, resulting in the waste flowing freely down the aisles! Not to mention that Cindy and I waited about 10 hours for the train to arrive in our departure station (Cindy=my sister)


3a....So from Jakarta: Yogya city, or skip city and stay in resort near Borobudur? Should I include stay in Yogya city? Even back then it was chaotic and confusing, but we had very little money so...... (I think this was a 6-week trip and as I recall, we both took $700 in travelers checks with us to spend on hotels, local transport, food; and I bought a LOT of old batik sarongs and ikat fabrics!). In fact on this or another of the several trips I took in that era, I bought enough batik so that my parents covered the walls of their bedroom with t his glorious blood-red and burnt orange old batik cotton...very unusual stuff in our suburban NY area town!!)

I still have those fabrics and the sarongs made from them......

4. From Java to one island???? I did fall in love with Ubud back then but worry that it has been what I might consider overdeveloped. Should I skip Bali in favor of another island??? Would love to swim in a warm sea and eat local foods...in hotel, again generous budget today but no huge resorts with little local character.

Does Lombok have an advantage over Bali? What would be the main differences other than religion, as I imagine Lombok is Muslim but maybe not...I obviously need to do intensive reading!!

Can I have a good week maybe in Ubud and not encounter loud clueless tourists or cruise day trippers?
Or, has Ubud been "ruined" for those like me who knew it back then?

We used to like Legian (Bali) for beach stays but again, must have been enveloped by Kuta by now.....Seminyak??

I'm up for going almost anywhere that I can reach easily by air....
If there any snorkeling I could try?
Did the Mt. Bromo climb twice, both long ago, and it was among my most memorable travel experiences. But can no longer hike uphill for so long...
Merapi???
Mainly I want to see my family, eat good food*********** and soak up all that Indonesia offered me long ago*****......

Do not think Sumatra is in the cards and have little interest in Komodo. or the reptiles.

What am I failng to consider?????

I remember Kathie and other posters who were so knowledgeable about these area...are they still around and well?

I'd be so happy to get some help here....

1. 5 or 6 days Sing..?? Hotels with great pool???

2. 5 to 7 days Jakarta with family..more...day trips???

3. Yogya area?

4. An island with either great warm sea swimming or resort with pool swimming...great food......is there a place that former Ubud lovers now tend to flock???

5. is Singapore Airlines my best bet for USA to Sing flights? Does this airline still stand in the highest rank of carriers? Or am I better off with another carrier...through Middle East, for example? We can go business class.

A million thanks for your help!!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Oct 17th, 2023 at 10:06 AM.
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Old Oct 17th, 2023, 11:01 AM
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I lived on Sumatra for four years and visited Singapore on a regular basis, yet the only question of yours that I can really answer is yes, Singapore Air is still fantastic and would personally be my first choice.

And yes, Changi is the best airport I have ever had the pleasure of flying through, staying in, wandering in, eating in, you name it.

Last edited by Melnq8; Oct 17th, 2023 at 11:04 AM.
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Old Oct 17th, 2023, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8
I lived on Sumatra for four years and visited Singapore on a regular basis, yet the only question of yours that I can really answer is yes, Singapore Air is still fantastic and would personally be my first choice.

And yes, Changi is the best airport I have ever had the pleasure of flying through, staying in, wandering in, eating in, you name it.

All I can say is that I an wowed that you lived on Sumatra for those years!!!! I believe I only went to Bukatinggi and for some reason lost in the clonds, had to remain in Medan for a week due to some kind of flight troubles!



Well, at least I can now say that I've tried anging satay, in Medan! (Did not know what the meat was until after I demolished one of the skewers...won't go into it more here for fear of offense...but I do remember that the vendor was pretty matter of fact when he disclosed the itentity of what I imagined was some kind of beef or goat..)



Never even made it to Lake Toba, which was :the" place on that island for the backpacking types..(I was kind of a vague backpacker, the silly one who carted a big suitcase!!
Oh to be young again and have a world when we could DRIVe from Europe to India and beyond!!

Thanks, M....lovely to hear from you and may return to ask more if I get this trip in motion.....

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Oct 17th, 2023 at 12:36 PM.
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Old Oct 17th, 2023, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8
I lived on Sumatra for four years and visited Singapore on a regular basis, yet the only question of yours that I can really answer is yes, Singapore Air is still fantastic and would personally be my first choice.

And yes, Changi is the best airport I have ever had the pleasure of flying through, staying in, wandering in, eating in, you name it.
Per readers poll of the latest issue of CN Traveler rated Singapore Air #1 while Travel and Leisure rates Changi the # 1 airport in the world.

Skytrax has consistently rated both very high with Singapore Air and Changi airport being both #1 for 2023
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Old Oct 17th, 2023, 10:11 PM
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Well, at least I can now say that I've tried anging satay, in Medan! (Did not know what the meat was until after I demolished one of the skewers...won't go into it more here for fear of offense.

Let me guess...black dog?
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Old Oct 17th, 2023, 10:36 PM
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Hi eks,

It seems we may have followed in your footsteps through Java, albeit some 30 years later than you! We flew into Jakarta and travelled mostly by train through Java before getting the ferry across to northern Bali.

Highlights for us were Borobodur where we stayed at both Yogyakarata and Magelang. Preferred the latter as it was closer and less manic and easy to get out into the countryside (regret not going to Dieng plateau from there.)

When we got to Malang we organised a driver & guide to takes us to Bromo and Ijen and then on to the ferry across to Bali. Bromo was by jeep, Ijen was quite a long hike up the mountain. More detail and photos on our blog of many of the places we visited https://accidentalnomads.com/category/indonesia/ (there is even a post about the food that Carolyn wrote.)

I have to say I was quite disappointed with Bail compared with our visits in years gone by and , in hindsight, wished we had skipped it. Not sure if Lombok or the Gili islands would be better? If I were to stay in Bali, with the proviso of needing a pool, I think I would opt for a private vill near Ubud which can be very good value.

I can't say I am a fan of either Singapore or Jakarta (for very different reasons) and the time you suggest would be too much for me. I was watching a rerun of "Race Across the World" a few weeks ago ad they ended at the Marina Sands Hotel which allegedly has the highest and largest pool in Asia - certainly looked v impressive, though there seemed more instagrammers than hard core swimmers!

From Bali we few to Makkasar in Sulawesi to take a trip up to Tanah Toraja which was excellent and I would choose that over Bali (again covered in detail in our blog). It is a long way but so worth the effort, a unique place.

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Old Oct 18th, 2023, 09:10 AM
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Crellston, so good to hear from you, and Jacketwatch as well.

Tell me more about how Bali disappointed recently. I was afraid I'd get similar comments...partner has never been to SE Asia but I have no real interest in Bali..some places better left in one's memory...

I am going to read up and concentrate on Java and if I can get a halfway decent price in SingaporeAir, will go through there. I remember back in the. very early 80-s, my sister and I were advised to visit Singapore first to get an "intrroduction" to SE Asia, "Light!!"


Nowadays those countries are firmly on the tourist and Instagram trail, so maybe not spend much time in S'pore...but the contrived hawker areas do hold some interest, and we would have jet lag after coming from NYC.....

Jakarta!?!?! Cannot even imagine how it is nowadays but I have my relative to impart info, and I know there is good food there....all those years ago I was horrified by the traffic! Imagine now. Hey, it's part of travel so if I have the chance, why not??

I did read that May would be a good month....

Sulawesi.....need to read up....maybe dust off that old Moon guide and see what they wrote back then..hope it is still on my bookshelf!!

Magelang.....never even heard of its but it looks perfect for us.
Also Ijen but how can I get the partner up that steep hike? Maybe leave him behind? (Oh, terrible me!!). Will look into all of this and cousin will have good info, I imagine.

Those lakes on Flores look so beautiful but again, I know almost nothing about the archipelago these days.....


Last edited by ekscrunchy; Oct 18th, 2023 at 09:15 AM.
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Old Oct 18th, 2023, 11:46 PM
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We had visited Bali several times over the years from spending a week or two there when we were still working to this last trip which was part of and extended year long trip to see our Aussie family in Sydney. The island has changed a lot in that time. We have stayed all over the place for diving around Permuteran /Menjangan Island to the various beach resort in the south to Ubud and the surrounding villages. I have never subscribed to the view "never go back" as we have done that many many time to all sorts of locations. My feeling with Bali is that it has surrendered to mass tourism. We found it very crowded and busy and more developed even in Ubud which previously we found a very relaxed place. we reflected as we were leaving that we wish we had gone straight to Sulawesi which we loved and spent more time there.



Just my subjective opinions of course , I am sure some love Bali and I am also sure there are lots of places there that are unspoilt that we just didn't find.

As far as weather is concerned , I think Java is firmly in the dry season in May so a good time . Sulawesi and eastern Indonesia is heading towards the end of their dry season so still ok but likely better at the beginning of the month. Though weather this being an El NiŮo year will have an effect is anyones guess!

Ijen is magnificent but it is a tough , hot old hike up there (and down into the crater if you choose). I would also warn the accommodation we stayed in the night before was possibly the worst ever in Asia (and there have been a few rough old places!) . I dont think there are many alternatives around there.

It would be great to go back to those hawker areas and see how they have changed. I remember going out to the new hawker centre on Gurney Drive on Penang and deciding that it wasn't a patch on Georgetown - I guess I am just old fashioned when it comes to street food!
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Old Oct 19th, 2023, 07:57 AM
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OMG>>Georgetown! How could I have not mentioned what was among my favorite places in Asia!?!?!?! Again, do wonder what is is like now.. Back then my fave place to stay was the Swiss Hotel....one of those places were the dividers between rooms did not reach the ceiling but all shiny tiles and those baths with the bucket and cup....I am blanking on the name..mandi??

Ubud was where I would have gone on Bali but after reading your comments, and others, I might cut Bali in favor of Sulawesi. Only thing I know of that island is the burials, Tana Torajah??? I love to swim in warm seas.....but not with sea snakes....Sulawesi for any beach hotels?

Snorkeling would be great but not diving. Partner is in 70s and not in tip top shape but he is fine being left behind if I came to that, for a day or so....as long as the place heh is left ice comfy!?!
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Old Oct 21st, 2023, 11:49 PM
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Sulawesi is great and I would return in a heartbeat though I would point out that travelling there is often not as straightforward as in some other parts of Indonesia. We found a great fixer , Dodo the Penman who organised everything for us, transport guides etc. With his help it was seamless. Without it it would have been possible but VERY time consuming and we would have missed stuff that’s e just hadn’t heard of. Another Fodors person ( may have been California Lady also used him but here experience was not as great) . The female guide we used in Tanah Toraja was excellent. She is a facebook friend so I could source those details to you if you need them.

I covered our time in Sulawesi is detail in our blog linked above but yes, it is about funerals but funerals like none other! I don’t know about beach resorts in the south but I know the north of the island is supposed to be renowned for beaches , diving, snorkelling etc. perhaps check out travelfish.org.

Just an outside the box suggestion , but have you thought about ending your trip with beach time in Malaysia? Shouldn’t be too difficult to get there. Take a look at The Datai in Langkawi. We got married there years ago and have been back a few times since. Still one of teh most amazing hotels in which we have stayed. The reason I mention it is that it has one of the best and biggest pools I have ever swam in . Given the layout of the hotel, the pool is set in the rainforest canopy. Carolyn is a keen swimmer and spent a LOT of time in that pool. The rainforest villas there are amongst the best places we have ever stayed.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2023, 08:43 AM
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Crellston you are killing me here..so many places to go..so little time!

Coincidence that my cousin who lives in Jakarta is now on North Sulawesi on a dive trip.

But you mentioned The Datai and that hotel looks fantastic!!!!

But THAT made me remember how much I had loved Penang, and now I am thinking of going here! Sulawesi might be too "rustic" for my partner.....not sure. Neither of us dives, although I've done its in the past.

So maybe I ought to shift my compass a bit and include Jakarta, Singapore and Penang. It's nice to be able to be in a luxe hotel with pool but able to walk or taxi to normal restaurants or stalls....that's what I like about the idea of Penang.....

And the train from Singapore to Penang was wonderful and surely still is...but am seeing only trains with changes in Kl or someplace else...is there no longer a direct train to Butterworth from Singapore...the old Bangkok-Sing train??? I have to look into that, cause that could be a great trip...Singapore, Langkawi, Penang, and then to Jakarta for family time. No Bali.

Langkawi..at the Datai can you walk to eat anyplace from the resort?

Thanks SO much!!! You are giving me the impetus I need to get this going!!

Have to look into ways to fly from NYC to Sing/Jakarta..cousin says he takes United but I was still dreaming of Singapore Airlines.....back in the long-lost-in-the-mists-past, I used to fly them first class when working!!! Cannot even imagine what that would cost nowadays, and there ARE other airlines, I know!!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2023, 09:44 PM
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I havenít posted on Fodorís for some time, but check in now and then. Iíve lived in Indonesia for going on 30 years, half in Jakarata, half in Bali. I donít have time to respond in full just now but a few comments
ēSingapore Airlines flies non-stop from Newark and JFK to Singapore. Itís still the most painless route
ēJakarta is divine chaos. You need a welldeveloped sense of the absurd.
ēYogya has probably changed more than any other city in Indonesia, and not in a good way.
ēAccess to the upper levels of Borobudur is restricted. I believe itís still possible to get to the top, but it requires special reservations
ēOf course Bali has changed over the years (what hasnít?) but itís still home to all things Balinese. The culture is unique. Donít write it off!
ēIn Sulawesi, both Tanah Toraja (central) and the Manado area (north) are fantastic destinations
ēSome great pools for serious swimming:
Singapore Shangri-La
Jakarta Dharma Wangsa
South Bali The Legian (the one in Seminyak/Petitenget, not in Legian)
Ubud Alila
Iíll write more in a day or two.
When will you be traveling?

Last edited by marmot; Oct 23rd, 2023 at 09:51 PM.
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Old Oct 24th, 2023, 04:45 PM
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SINGAPORE
For me, 2 or 3 days in Singapore would be enough. The food courts, night zoo and bird park are my favorites, but after a while it feels a bit plastic-y. As mentioned the Shanghai-La has a good pool and lovely grounds, but there are plenty of other choices.

JAKARTA
Iím sure your relatives will take good care of you. From my time there I would say itís a great place to live but not to visit, as there arenít a lot of attractions. Itís an urban planning nightmare! Traffic beyond imagination! Many good restaurants and terrific shopping for Indonesian arts & crafts and textiles at the department stores. Your relatives likely belong to the American Club, which has a big sparkling 25M pool. The Dharmawangsa is a wonderful hotel. Even if you donít stay there you can visit the spa, have a meal and probably a swim

CENTRAL JAVA
Except for textile shopping Iím not a fan of Yogyakarta. The countryside around Borobudur is lovely with many archaeological sites. The Amanjiwo hotel is SPECTACULAR! Theyíll take care of everything for you and nice pool too. Very pricey though.

BALI
Like all of SE Asia Bali has seen massive development in the past 40 years, but itís still Bali full of magical mystical moments: processions, temple ceremonies, dances, gamelon, art, food, rain forests, beaches, mountains The culture is resilient! If you go, Iíd suggest a couple of days at the beach and a couple in the Ubud area.
Iíd rate The Legian Hotel (in Petitenget) as one of the best in Asia. Itís on a big wave sunset beach which can sometimes be rough for swimming, but the Legian pool is also one of the best anywhere.

In Ubud there are plenty of choices. I prefer staying outside Ubud town. (Thatís where you get the crowds) I like the Alila for their beautiful pool, beautiful restaurant, and beautiful views across the River valley. The Ubud Food Festival will take place sometime in late May/ early June. Itís a terrific food lovers experience, with chefs, restauranteurs and food writers from all over Asia.

Plenty of green architecture in Ubud. Look at the Green School and John Hardy.

LOMBOK
Some very nice beaches (better than Bali actually) but not much in the way of culture. I like the Oberoi.

SULAWESI
If you decide on Sulawesi, Iíd suggest a few days in Tanah Toraja and a few days in the Manado area. Toraja is about 5 hours drive from Makassar. Tour companies will arrange transport and visits to the sacred sites and ceremonies. Itís not particularly physically demanding. A chance to experience a unique and fascinating culture. Be aware that animal sacrifice is a key element of the ceremonies.

To get to Manado you have to go back to Makassar and fly. I havenít been there for several years, but the Kungkungan Bay Resort was delightful. Itís basically dive destination but they welcome snorkelers on the dive boats. You can also snorkel a few steps from the resort. Some of the best marine life on the planet. A day trip to Tangkoko Nature Reserve is also worthwhile.

MALAYSIA
I also took the Singapore-Butterworth train in the early 80ís. Itís gone and so are the miles and miles of rainforest, rubber plantations and tiny teak houses on stilts. Iím sure the Datai is still lovely, but I think youíd find the rest of Penang and the west coast of Western Malaysia in general modernized beyond recognition.

PS
Iíve never heard of a pool in Indonesia being cooled, though you should definitely check with the hotels. Pools at higher altitudes like Ubud tend to be cooler but not icy.

There are wonderful rental villas all over Bali & Lombok, though quality varies. Villa pools tend to be compact, but some are 15-20M.

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Old Oct 31st, 2023, 02:58 PM
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Marmot...Very, very helpful!!! I rremember you so well from the yers when Ii went too Asia more often (not beenn since Japan, pre-Covidd anad even then, only about 3 weeks to limited destinations). Tarimah kasi (just showing off here...know spelling is all wrong!!

Have to get plan for Spain for March. in order and then will return to this trip plan (few weeks from now)..you've been so very helpful, and Crellston as well..

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Old Oct 31st, 2023, 08:18 PM
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One update: Just learned that the Kungkungan Bay resort in North Sulawesi has closed. Unfortunately a lot of small, locally owned properties throughout Indonesia didnít survive Covid.
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Old Nov 4th, 2023, 07:04 AM
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Marmot.....depressing! That train to Butterworth no longer exists? Horrific, for me anyway.

And even Georgetown? I suppose I could fly to Sing, or Kl (I never liked Kl but a new poster just wrote a nice report that made me curious....mostly the food. No interest in the high-rise tower or stuff like that, nor the Batu caves.

then from Kl to Penang (how?)

Then get to Jakarta? I did not like that city at all I the early 80s but at least I got to see the Bugis (?) schooners in the harbor and shop for tons of batik (most still in my closet!). I remember I was once comped at the Mandarin but was sick the whole week!

But Jakarta (which is the correct spelling, with the J or with the D??) must be horrific now but true, my cousin will help me out. But he works and now has kids so not sure how much time he will even hAVE. I missed his last two postings...Melbourne and Vientiane, and did not want to miss yet another chance to visit but now I'm not sure..

Partner (old!) will hate the heat and cannot do lots of climbing, and since he's only been to Japan in Asia, this will all be a big shock for him, so places like Sulawesi, given the pain to get there, should probably be off the table.

I was thinking Lagkawi for a relax but I'd be that it's pretty built up as well....but maybe Bali despite the changes....at least by now I have a generous budget for all this...although no trip could ever top those early ones back when Samui had no airport and we had to take a looong boat ride, we had that train from Singn to Bangkok, Penang was glorious..I still remember my favorite Swiss Hotel which probably cost $3 a night, there were about a dozen tourists for sunrise on Bromo....., and then the train from Jakarta where the toilets overflowed into the aisles and there was no air con.... I think we took the train to Jogya and then on to Bromo and then a train to the crossing to Bali....

Well thanks for letting me natter on...... Please return with any other thoughts..

What would YOU (and Crellston) do if you had about 3 weeks in that area and had not been in so long?

Just bought the LP Malaysia guidebook but I trust you ore than the book and what you wrote is kind of dimming my interest!


Last edited by ekscrunchy; Nov 4th, 2023 at 07:06 AM.
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Old Nov 4th, 2023, 06:18 PM
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3 weeks in SEAsia might be a long time for someone who doesnít do well in heat and humidity. My advice would be to choose activities that are available in the early early morning or late afternoon. During midday, have long lunches or relax by the pool (in the shade!) then take an air conditioned nap.

SINGAPORE
Singapore is a good place to acclimate to the climate and time difference. Itís clean, efficient and effortless I like the Botanic gardens at dawn ó just before sunrise ó and the night zoo after dark. The food courts are for the most part quite good.

You can still get from Singapore to Penang by a combination of public transportation.

Itís not so much the train thatís changed as that the countryside has been transformed. I canít blame Malaysians for wanting to emulate Singaporeís standard of living but the upshot is that places like Melaka and Penang have lost a lot of personality

JAKARTA
(Djakarta and Jogya went out with the Dutch but for some reason the colonial spellings are having a nostalgic reemergence.)

Let your relatives show you their Jakarta. Most Official Americans develop a fondness for the Big Durian, despite its considerable drawbacks. Itís a wacky place with a lot of local spirit. Just accept that thereís not much to do and donít force the sightseeing issue, especially anything that involves a lot of car time. You will just be disappointed and annoyed.

If your relatives live in South Jakarta (EG Kemang, Cipete, Pondok Indah) then the Dharmawangsa is a wonderful oasis ó the pool, the spa, the restaurants, the ambience.



Also in South Jakarta are the American Club which has a fine lap pool and Pasaraya department store for acres of textiles and arts & crafts.

The hotel you mention in your other thread is in the Monas area which I would avoid unless your relatives happen to live nearby.

YOGAKARTA
Internally in Indonesia I would favor air travel which is cheap and generally efficient. Garuda would be my first choice. The Amanjiwo is a mega splurge but to me worth it for a couple of nights.


If you must stay in Yogya, then Iíd recommend the Phoenix. The dance performances at the Kraton (Palace) used to be excellent but I havenít been there for some time. Yogya is also textile central if youíd like some new additions to your closet stash.

From Yogya I would fly to Bali. Personally I really like the Bromo area but accommodations near the volcanoes are rugged and commuting from Malang or Surabaya is a lot of aggravation for a sunrise.

LOMBOK
If youíre craving a beach, then I would suggest you fly from Yogya to Lombok. I like the Oberoi on the west (sunset)coast but there are plenty of other choices. Then Iíd take the ferry to Bali Padang Bai and continue on to the Ubud area

BALI
Well, I guess you know Iím a Bali-booster so I wonít go into all that. Yes, Bali has modernized since the 80s (or the 30s for that matter) but the Balinese culture endures, and to me, thatís the point. If you decide to go thereís enough to keep you busy in the Ubud area and parts to the north for a week to 10 days. More on that after your plans are firmer.

Iím not a fan of Ubud town, aside from some good restaurants and shops like Hujan Local and Threads of Life. I like the Alila outside of Ubud. And Iíd also take a look at the Munduk Moding Resort.




Then Iíd spend a few days at the beach before leaving Indonesia. For my money you canít beat The Legian (which is in Petitenget not Legian).


ANOTHER IDEA
Have you been to Angor? That would be a spectacular grand finale! Flights from Bali to Singapore to Siem Reap are fairly painless. And from Siem Reap you could go home through Singapore, Thailand or Hong Kong.

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Old Nov 5th, 2023, 07:20 AM
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Marmot you are terrific!

Ok, will return later but cousin says he lives in central Jakarta, near Mandarin, Kempinski, and Grand Hyatt. That is probably NOT the area you favor (??)

I've been to Siem Reap and Angkor. Honestly I don't care so much about "sights' at this point, just wandering, eating, talking to people and relaxing. And I think you are right, for me, I could stay in that area for months with no issue but partner is very different.

So now I'm thinking Singapore (depending on the flights we take), Jakarta and Bali. When I was there Seminyak was in the wilderness so now you can see how old I am!!! And Ubud......paradise! We stayed in an Australian woman's house/inn on Jalan Monkey Forest surrounded by rice paddies......guess that's not the case any longer.

About flights...maybe I could go via Taipei where I've not been, or city other than Singapore. Goodness I was not thrilled with Singapore all those years ago (it was my first step into Asia, to stay with my college professor who was teaching there) so probably would no be enthralled now.

So maybe will take a look at flights and find a gateway city that might not be so hot, like Taipei (not Seoul). Or just bite the bullet and go in Sing Air if I can pay their prices..I cannot travel that far in coach..call me spoiled, I can take it!@

You've been a marvelous help here.

Oh, cousin says to stay near Nusa Due, but I have doubts...you like Seminyak so should I just look there and maybe do overnight in Ubud.....?? Must have pool for laps, as you know..



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Old Nov 5th, 2023, 03:42 PM
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There are many fine luxury hotels in the area you mention. The Dharmawangsa is in the same general direction, about 15 minutes south. Because of its decor and overall Javanese ambience and setting in in a leafy walkable neighborhood, I would put the Dharmawangsa in a class if its own. I like the Grand Hyatt too, but it has a flashier ďinternational 5 starĒ flavor.


I would suggest you reconsider Central Java. If you stay in Magelang ó the area around Borobuduró you can experience a Javanese village surrounding, serene and magical. The Amanjiwo is a very special place, but there are other choices in the area. Along with Boroburdur and Prambanan the area offers several archeological sites, notably the Dieng Plateau. Itís really the heart of Java.

Itís difficult to choose a good swimming beach in Bali (which is the main appeal of Lombok). Many travelers with families like Nusa Dua for its gentle sea and many people our age 🙂prefer Sanur for its sleepy pace. Nusa Dua was conceived and built as a tourist community, deliberately isolated from the rest of Bali. It has big luxurious hotels and a long sandy beach. In my opinion Sanur has seen better days.

Currently all the action in South Bali is in an area referred to as Canggu, which is a conglomeration of communities south of Seminyak. The main drag, Batu Bolong, is thronged with surfers and yogis plus many of Baliís trendiest restaurants and loudest beach clubs. The traffic is horrific.

Iím not especially fond of Seminyak/Petitenget but The Legian still gets my vote for best sunset beach, best pool, and best overall environment. Several good restaurants nearby. Make sure youíre looking at the Legian thatís part of the LHM group.

If I might say, I think youíre focusing too much about how much Ubud might have changed rather than how special it still is. Just keep your time in Ubud town itself to a minimum and concentrate on the surrounding countryside. The small villages, the warungs, the markets, the temples, the dances, the river gorges, the rain forests, the volcanoes are still there!

The Alila has a beautiful pool for serious swimming (with monkeys on the lounge chairs!) plus lovely views across the river valleys. I havenít been to Munduk Moding but my son gives it highest marks.

So my ideal 3 weeks would be something like this
Singapore 2 nights
Jakarta 3
Central Java 3
Lombok beach 3
Bali Ubud area 7
Bali Petitenget 3
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Old Nov 5th, 2023, 04:37 PM
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Deleting duplicate

Last edited by marmot; Nov 5th, 2023 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Duplicate post
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