January in Indonesia?

Old Mar 13th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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January in Indonesia?

I've never been to Indonesia and have travel time to fill in January 2017. I was only considering either Sikkim or Kerala India but my husband thinks he might like to see Indonesia. What would you do in Indonesia in January? What should every first time visitor see? Bali? Jakarta? Papua? Raja Ampat?

I love snorkeling, culture, festivals, history, archaeology, easy hiking, markets, off the beaten path. Any ideas?
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Old Mar 14th, 2016, 02:01 AM
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Indonesia covers a lot of geographic territory, so how much you see depends on how much time you have. Except for the first week and a few days around Lunar New Year, January is the slow season and rates are low.

For most of Indonesia, January is height of the rainy season. Generally the rain won't impact your activities, but if you're expecting mostly sunshine on the beach, then January's not the best time. (I'm not sure about Papua.)

Bali is a good starting place. After that I'd add Central Java (Yogyakarta area) and the Bromo area of East Java. I haven't been to Papua or Raja Ampat (which is in Indonesian Papua). All of Papua is remote and requires more logistical planning than Bali and Java. I'd also look at Sulawesi -- Tanah Toraja in Central Sulawesi and the Manado/Bitung area in North Sulawesi.

I'd give Jakarta a miss.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 11:05 AM
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Thank you for that...but plans have changed again so I'll keep that short itinerary in mind for when I finally go to Indonesia.
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Old Mar 15th, 2016, 06:52 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, January is a good time to visit Indonesia. If you're worried about the rain, try to avoid the first week but the rain will actually make the weather more tolerable, IMHO.

I'm not sure what kind of traveler you are or how seasoned you are but I'd say Bali is a good starting point if you've never been to Indonesia. I've never been to Raja Ampat but from what I've read, it is more suitable for seasoned travelers.

Bali is very accommodating to tourists so it might make it easier for first-timers and the range it offers in terms of activities and price points is wide so you are guaranteed to find something you'll like.

I'd suggest the Seminyak area, it has a lot of great cheap villas, good food, and shopping options.

I don't think there is much to see or do in Jakarta unless you just want to people-watch or savor local food. It is not a touristy place and in that sense, is a much more authentic place to experience what being an average Indonesian means. I personally love it. Not much fanfare, just sit back and relax and appreciate how other people live their lives.

One last suggestion: if you have a day or two to spare and you just want to relax, I'd recommend Bintan. It's an hour ferry ride from either Singapore or Batam )I recommend go from Singapore), it's a little bit more expensive but still quite under the radar with pristine beach and wildlife. I've been there twice and it's never crowded so it's a really good place to chill or do some water sports. There is not much else to do and some of my friends don't like it but these are friends who much prefer Bali or Bangkok so you get the point.

You can check out my trip to Jakarta and Bintan here:


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