Look Out Indonesia, Here We Come!

Nov 3rd, 2009, 08:06 PM
  #41  
 
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If you want to get from Yogya to Surabaya and you don't want to take the 0600 flight, then you'd have to connection is through Jakarta or through Denpasar. I think Jakarta would be more flexible and a little shorter but it depends on the time and flights. The whole proceedure would take about 3 hours but there are quite a few flight options.

The 0600 flight from Yoyga is doable. You'll have to leave your Yogya hotel at 0430 but you'll find that about 100 million Javanese are also awake at that time for first prayers.
marmot is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2009, 08:32 PM
  #42  
 
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My thinking was that you would start Yogya, do your thing there, then go to Bali and stay there, THEN fly to Surabaya at the end of your trip. Going from Yogya to Surabaya through Jakarta or Bali would take the better part of a day, and whenever possible I try to avoid connections in Indonesia.

It appears you can get to Yogya from KL and fly to KL from Surabaya on Air Asia, so this would work. As Marmot says, it's counter-intuitive but it is probably the most efficient.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 05:19 PM
  #43  
 
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I just happenened on this question because Katie and marmmot and Michael have helped me with my upcoming trip to Central Java. You have made a wuise decision to eliminate Lombok. We were sorely disapointed when we left Bali for there. It was , in our opinion, a total non-event except for the wet market which you can find elsewhere. The 4 days in Ubad I assume, I did not read closely, is as a base, because visiting there twice I think 2 full 8-9 hour days within a 20 mile radius of Ubad is sufficient but from there you can do great great day trips with and guide and driver. We thought KL was worth 1 full day in town unless you jouney to the Camerron Highlands which in March-April are simple lovely. It makes for a long day but with a knowlegeable guide/driver it is 5 hrs. RT but the scenic beauty is awesome and the gypsy residents that live within 15 miles around the Highlands are a very interesting group to meet. Our guide knew some of them so it made it quite special. I personally would take a pass on the Genting Highlands and we were not that impressed though it was interesting to see the Batu Caves. The shopping is enjoyable but it is not a bargain hunters playground by any stretch of the imagination.We recommended to friends 3 full days/4nts. last year and they thought that was just right if you go to the Highlands because that is a 10-11 hour day and the guide/driver cost ~$200USD in 2007. I do not mean to spoil any plans but thought I would add my two cwents. you will have a ball.
Our only disappointment is we cannot make a day trip to Bromo from Yogya and our 4 days/5nts far full.
StanKase is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 04:24 AM
  #44  
 
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Bill...One thing to do in KL is take the tour of the Petronis towers. I skimmed thru peoples responses and did not see that sugested to you. Bob was luke warm about the tour when I suggested it, but really enjoied it. The key is to get there and be in line before it opens. We were in and out by 10 am. Otherwise there are always long lines. Enjoy and we will see you in Bali? k
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 04:38 AM
  #45  
 
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Bil; Not to counter kmkrnn unless you get there 20+ minutes before it opens on a weekday the wait can be long and though we enjoyed the experience a 1 hour wait plus factored in I would have rather used the the time 3 hours total differently (getting there, waiting, going up, etc. and on to next dest.=3hrs.). We were there 30 minutes early and did it total time was 90 minutes and worth it.
StanKase is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 07:42 PM
  #46  
 
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Just catching up with everyone on this board and glad your back ON for next May. As I read thru this thread several questions come to mind that you may want to investigate/consider. Ask Marmot if Bromo is prone to rain and heavy mist when you are going. I mention this because when we wanted to go to Gedong Solo from Losari the cloud cover was so dense we had to cancel our outing...and that was just a one day blip.
What are the things you are interested in seeing in Yogya? Kathie and other will probably disagree with me but I did not find anything so compelling in Yogya that I would make it my base. Check to see if Prambanan is still under renovation and cordoned off. If you can't go inside the temples, how will that affect your experience?
As you know, I loved Losari and it was nearly empty when I was there last May. I'd say get on Skype and call the General Manager. See if you can get a very discounted rate on their least expensive accommodation, which I'm sure is very nice. It never hurts to ask politely and persistently. I think you'd love the hiking and walking in this area, the sheer beauty of the surround and the access to wandering through villages within 1-2 kms from Losari. So I'd consider Losari or the hotel across the way from Borobudur as a base instead of Yogya. (You can always go in to Yogya for a day tour from Borobudur area). The villages around Borobudur are wonderful to wanter in; we followed families in to the rice fields and visited. The weekly market in Borobudur is at the very least a B+ market. Magalang is 40 minutes from Boro and has some interesting sites besides the traffic.
As to beaches in Bali, I'd pick the south. The GM of the Allia Manggis is a lovely fellow from Sri Lanka, call and see if you can get a bargain rate. The beach is lovely, uncrowded and its a great base to visit the Bali Aga villages of Tanganan, the town of Klungking, etc.
On this last visit I found Seminyak unsatisfying. Yes, there are lots of shops, nothing different (maybe less intresting) than what you see along Abbot Kenney in Venice. I don't think you'll be an experience of the local people in that area. And the traffic is horrendous. It took us 30 minutes to drive from Kuta to Seminyak in bumper to bumper traffic when we drove in from the south. Feel free to email me if you want further input from me.
Robbietravels is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 12:21 AM
  #47  
 
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Weather is always an issue with Bromo. I went in August, which is supposed to be one of the best times to go, but even then the bellman at the Majapahit hotel had told me that the day before I was to go, he had been there and the winds were horrible. The weather was near perfect for my sunrise. May is perhaps a bit more of a 'risk' but as I'm sure you know, weather is always a risk when traveling this part of the world. In this case, it is going to have a big effect on your experience, but only you can judge whether or not it's a deal-breaker (FWIW, wind is a bigger issue than rain - all that volcanic dust is not fun when it's wet - and they are predicting a dryer wet season next year due to el Nino).

I have to laugh when people talk about "all the shops" in Seminyak. I know the area they're talking about, and I tend to think of that area more as "north Legian" rather than Seminyak (although I guess it *technically* is Seminyak). The "Seminyak" that I like is further north of that area, around the Petitengit temple, and has hardly any shops.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 08:11 AM
  #48  
 
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I would agree with the recent comments on Seminyak...I was underwhelmed. It was very crowded with traffic and the stores were hit and miss. Also, the prices were quite high I thought and there was NO bargining or wiggle room on the prices.

MichaelBKK- I stayed at this place, www.desaseni.com north of Seminyak and close to the Petitengit temple...is this where you mean?
cruisinred is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:11 PM
  #49  
 
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cruisin, I'd love to hear more about Desaseni. It says in their website that they're in Canggu which is about 5-10 miles from Petitengit, but you say you were near the Petitengit temple? I can't seem to find a map on their website. How was the yoga?

When I think Seminyak I mean Petitengit too. This area includes Legian, Samaya, Sentosa and a zillion villa accommodations plus LaLucciola, Living Room, Hu Bar, Sarong and a zillion other restaurants, spas and clubs.

The shops are definitely upscales and as noted hit or miss. Actually, I'd say hit or miss is a good description for all retail in Bali. There's good stuff but you have to wade through a lot of flotsam and jetsam.

I'm not much of a shopper, but my US clients who are serious acquirers always like shopping Seminyak -- from North Legian to Petitenget.
marmot is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 03:01 PM
  #50  
 
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Hi Marmot

I really liked Desa Seni. I think it is quite unique in all of Bali. I really lucked out and had this entire house all to myself, for the price of a small room! http://www.desaseni.com/gambuh.htm

As you may have read on the website, all of "rooms" are actually authentic wood houses (mostly from Java) reconstructed on site. The houses are decorated with antiques from all over Indonesia, from the owner's extensive collection. The food was great, too...very fresh, from the onsite organic garden. And the service was both competent and friendly. The yoga was not quite as good as the yoga classes I did at the yoga barn in Ubud, but still quite satisfying.

I think you might like Desa Seni for a weekend jaunt!
cruisinred is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 07:17 PM
  #51  
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robbie, I was hoping you would come back soon! I've been really looking forward to your input since you've stayed at a lot of the places we were interested in. I do wonder about Losari...mostly wondering if you stayed there since the management shift. I've actually read a few recent reviews on it that talk about a very recent management shift and how the place has gone totally downhill (i.e., rooms look worn out, old, etc...amenties/meals are very overpriced)...curious to get your first-hand input on that.

Re: Yogya. I should clarify: we were planning on doing 2 nights in Borobudur and 2 nights in Yogya...so Yogya wouldn't be our base. Just waiting to see what kind of rates we can get in Borobudur proper and then figure it out from there. Still waiting to hear back from Amanjiwo on the best rates they can offer. If we have one splurge hotel-wise this trip, that will be it.

stan, thanks so much for all your input as well. You've definitely given me some gems to meditate on. I'm actually now leaning towards taking 1 or 2 days once we arrive (in Bali from BKK) and spending them in a place like Desa Seni (although after having used up our 1 splurge item, the rate is a bit high for us) to unwind, get used to the time difference a bit and then head on to Yogya (possibly Bromo) then back to Ubud and then to KL.

Where is Canggu? Is it easily accessible from the airport? We may stay only a day before heading to Yogya. Maybe 2 at most. What's the area like? Walkable?
filmwill is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 08:45 PM
  #52  
 
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Gee, I was unaware of the management change at Losari. When did this happen? We stayed there the third week in May of 2009. At that time, the room we had was stunning. I can't image it getting run down so quickly unless others stayed in rooms that needed refurbishing back then and now its worse. If the price is right, I'd still try to stay. The place was so under booked, you could check out several rooms before deciding. Two night in Borobudur and 2 in Yogya make sense to me.
Robbietravels is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 09:01 PM
  #53  
 
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Canggu is the next area up from Seminyak. You can reach it easily from the airport via the sunset road, which bypasses the jams of Legian street. It's much less developed than any of the places further south.

If you're just looking for a quiet place to unwind after the long trip, you might also consider Sanur. Sounds like Lori (Offwego) had a nice stay at La Taverna (? I think that was it). She had a very good observation about Sanur, which is that it's the one area where it's still very easy to find places right on the beach. Of course, if you were coming here for the GTG, like you're supposed to, then you could talk to her directly about it.

In Yogya, I recently found out that the Sheraton had finally re-opened. It's out near Prambanan, which puts it a long way from town (some might say that's a good thing) but I would still rate it as the best "room with a view" I've ever had.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 09:47 PM
  #54  
 
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Canggu is as Michael says north of Seminyak. The area where Desa Seni is located is actually Berawa (or Brawa) which is in between the Petitenget part of Seminyak and Canggu. (All of the neighborhood names in Bali should be taken loosely. They overlap.)

Canggu is popular among Western expats and there are many, many rental villas in the area. To me it has a suburban feel: villas and rice paddies. Aside from the Tugu Hotel and the Canggu Club and a handful of restaurants there’s not much development. The beach is just so so though you get nice sunsets.

You can definitely walk around Canggu itself but walking from there to other areas, no.

I didn’t know that the Losari had changed hands either though I see from their website that they are now the Losari SPA RETREAT and Coffee Plantation. After reading the wildly different opinions on Trip Advisor I must go and find out for myself.
marmot is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 05:27 AM
  #55  
 
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I've been eyeing the website for this villa in Canggu:
http://www.tamuseseh.com/
It looks lovely, and I've seen the price as low as $125 for the 1 bed pool villa.
Unforunately, I didn't have time to check it out when I was in the 'hood in Sept. But it looks like it would be a lovely place to chill and recover from jetlag for a day or two.
cruisinred is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 06:08 AM
  #56  
 
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We are staying at the Hyatt in Yoylakarta at a rate of $156 plus 17% tax/service for a deluxe king room on the Club Floor with breakfast, cocktails and snacks. We sometimes found after a long day of touring that we were not up to going outbto dinner and a few snacks (sometimes pretty good) were enough and an early bedtime. We booked it directly with the hotel's wensite note through the general Hyatt world-wide site. A deluxe king alone was I believe $125+tax/service.
StanKase is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 07:17 PM
  #57  
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Has anyone (marmot?) heard of this hotel in Yogya?

http://www.mahacandu-jogloplawang.com/index.php
filmwill is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 08:35 PM
  #58  
 
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Oh my, that does look tempting, even if it is in the middle of nowhere. I'd probably consider it, and David deserves the Royal Villa, I'm sure. As has been said, there's not much to Yogya. Tour the old palace, stroll down Marleoboro Street one evening, and you're pretty much done. There aren't even that many interesting restaurants, it seems. I don't usually like eating in hotels, but Yogya seems to be one of the few places where that ends up being the best option.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 10:19 PM
  #59  
 
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Re Joglo Plawang: Nope, never heard of it. Could be quirky and charming. Or could be quirky and annoying. Either way, I'm sure that you'd be treated well; Indonesians are extremely hospitable and try their best to be of service even though their visitor's request often gets lost in translation.

I like the Hyatt in Yogya not because of the atmosphere (the garden is lovely but the rooms are non-descript) but because it's reliable. Everything works and the service is reasonably acceptable.

Yogya is a hot, crowded city that is very difficult to negotiate. You appreciate a peaceful well run place to retreat to.

What Michael says about restaurants in Yogya, ditto. There are hundreds of choices -- especially for Indonesian food -- but they are all profoundly ordinary. Many of the places that are listed in guidebooks are absolutely sub-standard. I mean disgusting.
marmot is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 11:14 AM
  #60  
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Guys, another question for you. Hope it's not too broad.

How much time is enough in Ubud? Please consider that this will be our base for exploring most of Bali.

Right now, I'm looking at 5 or 6 nights--just depending. Is that enough? Too much? I realize this is all subjective. I assume we could find stuff to do for 10 days there if we wanted to.

Also, would you recommend spending half the time in Alam Shanti (where we're currently booked) and then one other place maybe a bit outside of Ubud (like the Komaneka)? Either way, we plan to do lots of daytrips. I figured it might be boring/repetitive to stay in one place only for possibly 6 nights.

Just trying to lock in times in each city so I can start booking airfare/hotels.
filmwill is offline  

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