Java Itinerary

May 9th, 2010, 06:43 AM
  #1  
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Java Itinerary

My girlfriend and I will be heading to Java for a week after spending a week in Bali and Gili T. We plan on travelling to both Central and Eastern Java. This is the planned itinerary (open to suggestions):

Day 1: Arrive at night at Yogyakarta Airport
Day 2: spend a day at Dieng Plateau
Day 3: leave early morning for Borobudur--on way back to Yogy, visit Prambana and Ratu Boko palace
Day 4: spent at leisure exploring Yogy (any suggestions?)
Day 5: leave early morning to take train to Surabaya---arrive mid-day; take train/bus to Malang
Day 6: spend entire day at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Day 7: before our early evening flight back to Denpasar, explore the city and shop for gifts

If I am missing any "must-sees" please let me know. Thanks for any and all advice!
noelm98 is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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We just returned from Central java and based ourselves in Yogya and took day reips to all the places you are going to except Mt. Bromo which does require an overnight stay. We went with a terrific guide/driver that made the trip an enriching experiece. Dieng is quite a trip. It took us 5 hours round trip with our guide who knew where he was going and could handle some of the difficult roads. We were lucky that when we were at the plateau it was simply lovely weather. Many times it can be cloudy and I hope you have a bright day.
In Yogya I would suggest the Sultans Palace if you are there on a Sat. or Sun. because at 11 AM they have a wonderful performance but the other days it is just an o.k. experience worth maybe 1 hr. It is a city and only with a guide could you find the little out-of-the-way places and even then there is no more than a 1/2 day of sightseeing. You can have your leisure. though we stayed at the Hyatt many folks said a deluxe room at the Phoenix was very nice at 1/2 the price and it is in town while the Hyatt is more relaxing and serebne it is 10 minutes out iof town ($2USD taxi ride). You will have terrific time.
StanKase is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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I noticed that you plan to visit Mt Bromo from Malang. I do think that, as long as there are suitable accommodations, you should plan to spend the night near the volcano rather than in Malang. (I do remember Malang as a lovely town, though)

I've done the Bromo trip twice and the experience of spending the night there and making the trek before sunrise ranks among my most vivid travel memories, even more than 20 years later. When I stayed there,, the accommodations were pretty grim but I would guess that the situation is very different today.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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Where are you staying your first night in Java? You might consider staying in the Borobudur area to take advantage of the predawn access to the monument. Personally, I like the countryside better than Yoyga city and think that trying to do Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko in one day is too much

There are several attractions in Yogya -- the kraton (palace) and some other places that are associated with the long line of sultans. As Stan says dance performances at the Kraton is some of the best in Indonesia. Also very good shopping for gifts and handicrafts -- though the Malioboro really gets on my nerves.

I agree with Ekscrunchy: spend the night on Bromo. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. Accommodations haven’t much improved. (They probably haven't washed the sheets since Ekscrunchy's visit .) I’ve heard good things about Java Banana Lodge though .

Malang is a pleasant town but not much of a destination and it seems that it’s adding a lot of transportation time to your trip. To see sunrise at Bromo you have to leave Malang at 2:00 a.m. which is exhausting.

Another idea if you have another day would be to continue on to Ijen and see the sulphur mines then take the ferry to North Bali.

What time of year are you traveling in? Ramadhan starts around August 10 and wouldn’t be the best time for Java.
marmot is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 06:49 PM
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It also seems as if you're doing quite a bit of backtracking if you go to Surabaya, then to Malang. Look at a map, Malang is between Yogya and Surabaya. It would be more efficient to go from Yogya to Malang to Bormo and then end up in Surabaya.
MichaelBKK is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Marmot: At least they may HAVE sheets now!
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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Thanks everyone for the fantastic advice. My girlfriend and I do not mind waking up early to see the sights so the extra travel distance to the sights is not a big deal). Based off what was suggested above, here is my revised itinerary:

Aug. 15: Arrive at night at Yogyakarta Airport
Aug. 16: spend day at Dieng Plateau
Aug. 17: leave early morning for Borobudur (watch sunrise)
Aug. 18: Visit Prambana, Rotu Boko palace and the Kraton
Night of Aug. 18: take overnight bus to Bromo
Aug. 19: day of relaxation
Aug. 20: see sunrise at Bromo
Aug. 21: head to Surabaya for our departing flight

I think this itinerary makes more sense.
noelm98 is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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noel, Unfortunately you'll be traveling smack in the middle of Ramadhan. As I mentioned above, not the best time for Java.

All of the local restaurants (not including hotels) will be closed during the daylight hours -- roughly six to six. People will be fasting (no water or cigarettes either!) and therefore exhausted, distracted and grouchy. At around 5:00 p.m. everyone disappears to prepare for the big break-fast meal.

Performances -- dancing, theater, music -- are strictly curtailed. Markets are half closed.

Also August 17 is National Day (Independence Day). I'm not sure whether Borobudur or other government run sites will be open on that day. If yes, they will be mobbed with local tourists.

I think the idea of flying from Yogya to Surabaya then taking ground transport to Bromo is better than an overnight bus. It's about 15 hours by road and at the end not such good roads. The long distant bus drivers in Java are always maniacal; during Ramadhan they're bordering on insanity.

You'll sure need that day of relaxation.

If you can possibly reschedule to avoid Ramadhan and the holidays immediately followind do. I don't know the exact days but it looks like Ramadhan will be August 9-September 8, Lebaran (the post-Ramadhan holidays) September 9-15.
marmot is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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Noel; marmot tends to know what more than most and she helped me. At the least I would check out Borobudur opening and in the 92-95 degree heat with 75% humity and crowds if it is open a 4:30 arrive is probably prudent. While saving money may be an objective the $100+/- on a reputable airline for the flight may really be money well spent. Even with having to arrive 1 hr. before departure you are trading 1.5 hrs, for 15 and highly likely a bus filled beyond it's legal capacity if it is the holiday.
StanKase is offline  
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