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Itinerary Singapore-Semarang-Yogya-Bali-Singapore: suggestions?

Itinerary Singapore-Semarang-Yogya-Bali-Singapore: suggestions?

Old Mar 15th, 2019, 03:16 AM
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Itinerary Singapore-Semarang-Yogya-Bali-Singapore: suggestions?

Dear travellers, let me introduce myself at a glance first. Born in Semarang, left with parents when I was five yo (to The Netherlands). Now 53 and visiting Indonesia with the family (wife and kids, 22 and 18 yo). For our children it's a first time, they have expressed their intrest in 'their' roots.

Our itinerary is as mentioned in the title. Almost three weeks (including flights). Arrival in Sin (one night stay) and proceed to Semarang. From there Borobudur and Bromo and onwards to Bali. Semarang is a must due to place of birth, two or three nights. Maybe replace Bromo for Ijen? Not sure, I've read a report about Ijen here. Time on Bali approx nine days. Filled with snorkelling, beach, Ubud, rice terraces (and local life?).

My questions (apart from the already mentioned above):
  • Singapore appears to be a modern metropole. Our intrest for this holidays is 'roots' and nature. That's why the one night in Sin. Any thoughts why we should stay longer? (Also bearing in mind that accommodation is quite expensive in comparison with rest of stays.)
  • From the centre of Java (Semarang-Yogjakarta) we travel to Bromo-Bali by land. Maybe an 'extra' stop in the mountains/hills of Tawangmangu and/or Malang?
  • Tips and tops are very much welcomed.
Kind regards,
Zebby is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2019, 06:20 AM
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Hi Zebby,

Lots of ways you could go with this. Here is a link to our blog which covers a similar trip we made a few years ago. https://accidentalnomads.com/category/indonesia/ We did both Bromo and Ijen as part of that trip. Not sure which I preferred, both were pretty spectacular although the accomodation around Ijen was absolutely awful!

We went from Yogya - Malang - Bromo - Ijen and then got the ferry across to north Bali. We got the tour from Malang which is a good bet if you want to do Bromo and Ijen. NB the drive from Ijen to the ferry was very long and very tedious!

Previously we had spent some time diving from Permuteran around Menjangan Island. Good diving and snorkelling but the beaches are not great. You could stop there before heading south to Ubud as it is again, a long old drive.
crellston is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2019, 02:27 PM
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Having been to some, not all, of the places you mention, usually for longer than the average visitor because I like to stay put in places I like, I'll let others who know them all comment on the trip as a whole. But I will speak to your reluctance to have any meaningful time in Singapore. I understand it's expensive and I travel on a pretty tight budget. But there are some places in the world that because of their political or geographic situations are one-of-a-kind and while that fact alone doesn't necessarily make them interesting, Singapore is.

When I'm in that part of the world I generally alternate between spending a few days in either Hong Kong or Singapore because they're such dynamic & entertaining cities and also, I think, beautiful. I don't gravitate, as you seem not to, to big cities in general but if you can manage it, I'd urge you to take some time to explore Singapore, maybe before your flight home, at least 3 nights in a row giving you 2 full days there. I'm as sure as I can be, not knowing you, that you won't be sorry.
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Old Mar 15th, 2019, 05:42 PM
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I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time no matter what you choose!

I enjoyed the modern metropole of Singapore – including its stunning gardens and intriguing remnants of the many cultures that once formed its heart. If you go and focus on it’s modern lines, you might not consider it worth your time or money; if you go with an eye to the ways in which it has honored its roots and preserved nature, you might find it worth the costs. Only you can decide!

You might find some useful information about Singapore, Java, and Bali from my (very long) trip report:
A Memorable Solo Month in Singapore, Java, and Bali
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Old Mar 15th, 2019, 08:39 PM
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What are the dates of your travel? Weather and local holidays, especially religious events, will influence your itinerary, both positively and negatively.

Since you'll already be in Singapore, I don't see any reason not to spend 2 or 3 nights there. Of course it is a big international city, but it has a lot of history and culture too.

Don't underestimate the difficulty and time involved in traveling overland in Central and East Java. Public transportation (including by train) is extremely limited and car journeys can be tedious. I would advise against driving yourself unless you've had experience in driving in Indonesia. The "rules of the road" are a bit murky and once you get off the major highways it's hard to get reliable directions.

From Semarang you can easily find a car with a driver to take you to the Borobudur area or to Yogya. It's about 3 hours to either. I would suggest spending a few days in the countryside around Borobudur, then heading to Yogya town for a few days. There's a lot to do and see from both of these bases. I've never heard of Tawangmangu. Unless you have a special interest for going there I think you could your cover your mountain time with the area around Borobudur/Merapi, Bromo and the various volcanic mountains in Bali.

From Central Java I would recommend flying to Surabaya. From there you could drive to Malang and explore that area, then driving to Bromo. I'd suggest staying in the Bromo area instead of trying to catch the sunrise then returning to Malang or Surabaya for the night. I haven't been to Ijen myself, but I think it's a worthwhile stop especially if you intend to take the ferry to northwest Bali. Alternately, you could return to Surabaya then fly into Denpasar in south Bali.

Same situation with public transportation in Bali: You'll want to rely on private cars with drivers; however, the distances from destination to destination are shorter than they are in Java and it's easier to arrange transport.

Northwest Bali (Pemuteran/Menjagnan) is good for snorkeling as is the northeast area around Amed. If you take the ferry from Java to Bali then Pemuteran is a logical stop. If not, then I would give the edge to Amed as you can tie it in with time in Sidemen for the nature and arts of east Bali.
I'd plan up to a week in the Ubud area, as there are many many activities that can be accessed either from Ubud town or the surrounding countryside.

For swimming, surfing and beach culture I would recommend Petitenget (the northern end of Seminyak) or Batu Bolong (part of greater Canggu). Canggu is a wide ranging area comprising several beaches and beach towns. The beaches themselves are just okay, but the whole area is hip and lively. It's where your young adult kids will want to hangout. Petitenget has wide sandy beaches, but depending on the tides and swells can be dicey for swimming. It's a great area for restaurants and shopping. And of course long walks ad sunset on the beach.
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Old Mar 15th, 2019, 09:53 PM
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I would spend more than 1 night in Singapore. There’s a lot to do in Singapore and I always look forward to going back to it. Do some research and see what interests you. I’ve been vacationing in the region for 20 years now and just came back last month and was in and out of Singapore at least 3 times as I fly into it from Los Angeles. I also spent my last 9 nights there before flying home to Los Angeles. I was also back in Bangkok for 3 weeks, Malaysia, and down in Jakarta. I’ve been on Bali, but in the late 90s. I go to the region almost annually for around 6-7 weeks and Singapore is always on my list.

On the recent 2019 Destin Asia Readers’ Choice list, Singapore was voted the #1 city in Asia.
DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2019DestinAsian Page 2 | DestinAsian - Part 2

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
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