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Need help planning 1 week Java itinerary

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Jan 6th, 2013, 12:20 PM
  #1
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Need help planning 1 week Java itinerary

I am planning a 2 week vacation in Indonesia split between Bali and Java.
Here are my travel specs:
arrive DPS from CX 785 @3:00pm on Aug. 16
depart CGK on JL 726 @ 10:10pm on Sept. 1
These are award tix and doubt they can not be changed at this point. It took a lot of work to get them.
I thought maybe 6-7 nights on Bali split between 2 different locations, one of them Ubud. Then fly to Java, to Surabaya or Yogyakarta. Hire a driver/guide for the week. I've been in touch with Wiedy, the driver some of you have used. We'd fly to Jakarta on Sept. 1 to hook up with the JL flight home that night.

We like temples, villages, art and culture, cooking classes. Borobudur and Prambanam are on the must see list. We are both very fit and able to do some hiking and outdoor activities. I do not have a need to see Bromo at sunrise like it seems everyone who goes to Java does. We do not usually stay in 5 * hotels unless they are a bargain. Nice hotels with local flavor will do.

Here's 2 sample itineraries from a tour company, Exotissimo:
Day 1 arrive Yogyakarta overnight Yogya
Day 2 Yogya-Prambanan-Yogya overnight Yogya
Day 3 Yogya-Borobudur-Candirejo overnight Yogya
Day 4 Yogya-Kertosono (train)-Kediri-Mt. Kelud-Malang overnight Malang
Day 5 Malang-Mt. Bromo-Surabaya overnigt Surabaya
Day 6 Surabaya-fly to Jakarta for JL flight

or
Day 1 arrive Yogyakarta afternoon overnight Yogya
Day 2 Yogya-Prambanan-Yogya overnight Yogya
Day 3 Yogya-Borobudur-Candirejo overnight Yogya
Day 4 Yogyakarta-Borobudur-Candi Rejo-Ambarawa overnight Losari
Day 5 Losari Plantation and Gedong Songo overnight Losari
Day 6 Losari- Solo-Sukuh Temple - overnight Blitar
Day 7 Blitar - Penataran Temples - overnight Malang
Day 8 Malang-Surabaya overnight Surabaya
Day 9 Surabaya-airport to fly to Jakarta for JL evening flight

What do you think about a plan like one of these? I can tweak any itinery to our interests with the driver.
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Jan 6th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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These itineraries are a good starting point, but I'd break up your travel to include more independent time, more time in each place and less ground travel. You might want to alternate your days with and without a guide so you'd have some time to explore on your own. Prambanan and the sights of Yogyakarta, for example, are easy enough to navigate without a guide. If you stay in Malang or Blitar the Tugu will take care of your excursions.

As I've mentioned on one of your other threads, I'd reconsider Bromo. It's not just a one stop in-and-out sunrise. It's a whole region of incredible natural beauty, all day long. Quite different from the areas around Yogya and Malang.

I'd also recommend staying close to Borobudur. Again, the area is naturally scenic and it's worthwhile to visit the monument during different times of day.

I haven't been to Candirejo, but I've spent a lot of time driving through the area, enroute to Borobudur from Semarang. I'm a bit skeptical of this type of officially sanctioned tourism village. I'd look into this a little further into the program before making a commitment. Same goes for Ambarawa. I wouldn't consider it a destination per se.

Losari is now called MesaStila Resort. I haven't been there myself, but it's generally well regarded, especially for its wellness programs. I'd spend a couple of nights and take advantage of the spa and the surrounding area. This is a good jumping off point for the Dieng Plateau (and presumably Candirejo). It would also work as a base for Borobudur.

So my suggestion would something like this:
Fly to Surabaya (or to Malang if the flights from Bali work)
2 days Malang/Blitar area
2 days Bromo area
Fly from Surabaya to Yogya
2 days Yogya
2 days MesaStila
Fly from Semarang to Jakarta
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Jan 7th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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There itineraries strike me as the sort of thing big agencies recommend. And I guess that is just what they are.

You've already gotten some good advice from marmot. I agree that I would cut the tourism villages. There are lovely real villages to see.

Decide what the most important things are for you on this trip. You mentioned Borobudur and Prambanan, and I agree they are must-see. Do you plan on seeing the Ramayana while at Prambanan?

Some of the days seem not possible, like Day 6 on the second itinerary Losari- Solo-Sukuh Temple - overnight Blitar.

I'm not so sure I would plan to be driven between eastern and central Java. That is a LOT of driving.

I have a couple of hotel recommendations for you: We very much enjoyed the Phoenix in Yogya. It is a good location for exploring the city, and the hotel itself is lovely. It's an old 1920s hotel, beautifully restored. We stayed in a suite and paid $152 including breakfast (which were very good) through Weidy. We also paid the same amount for a suite at the lovely Majapahit in Surabaya. A regular room at either would be much less. Both are wonderful places to stay.

BTW, Weidy made our arrangements, but did not drive us. I'm sure he could get you a driver for eastern Java, then you could take the train and have another driver for central Java.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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For my stay on Java I based myself in Yogyakarta and made trips from there by taxi to Borobadur and villages in the environs and spent a couple of nights in a village on Mt. Merapi, Kaliurang. I'm not sure why you'd need a guide except as a security blanket as the area is infinitely seeable on your own and at your leisure. But then I much prefer an unstructured visit, deciding where I want to go when the time comes.

In any case I'd certainly recommend at least a day, 2 would be better, for strolling around Yogyakarta on your own unencumbered by a guide.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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I'm now looking at keeping this week in a smaller geographic area. Staying around Yogya-Solo-Magelang, central Java, will cut down on transport times. We could fly into Yogya or Solo from Denpasar and out of the other to Jakarta at the end of the week. I may also decide to stay longer on Bali and less on java as I do more research and trip planning.

After studying a map closer, Malang really is far away from the other central java cities. Since I do not want to go to Bromo, I may save that part of java for another trip.

I am planning to stay at the Phoenix in Yogya. Someone from TA recommended a classic B&B hotel in Solo, Roemahkoe Heritage Hotel. After looking at the MesaStila web site, the rates are a bit steep so I won't be staying there. But I'm too far out to begin making hotel reservations.

I'll keep reading and looking for tips and ideas from you here, people on TA, and Wiedy's suggestions. I have many more questions to come.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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I do think it makes more sense with your limited time to choose just central Java. Yogya and Solo are in central Java, Malang is in eastern Java.

We chose to base ourselves in Yogya for our entire central Java stay. The drive to Borobudur is about an hour, the Dieng Plateau another hour and a half beyond that. Solo is about two hours in the other direction from Yogya.

Happy planning!
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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Agree, distance are greater than they seem because of the mountains.

From Magelang you're closer to Semarang airport. There are Garuda frights from Semarang to Jakarta several times a day.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Now that was a freudian slip: Flights -- not frights!
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Jan 9th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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If we were to spend more than one night in Magalang, what other sites/temples/towns are there to see? I know Magelang is close to Borobudur and that's the main reason why people go there. Why else would I want to visit here?

There are no direct flights DPS-SRG on Garuda; there are 9 a day SRG-CGK, with only 2 late afternoon/evening. The cost is more than JOG-CGK.

Kathie: did you do a trip report for your central Java trip staying in Yogya the whole time?
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Jan 9th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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If we were to spend more than one night in Magalang, what other sites/temples/towns are there to see? I know Magelang is close to Borobudur and that's the main reason why people go there. Why else would I want to visit here?

There are no direct flights DPS-SRG on Garuda; there are 9 a day SRG-CGK, with only 2 late afternoon/evening. The cost is more than JOG-CGK.

Kathie: did you do a trip report for your central Java trip staying in Yogya the whole time?
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Jan 9th, 2013, 12:00 PM
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susiean, here is the link to my trip report form November. It covers both our time in central Java and our time in eastern Java.

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...n-to-jogja.cfm

In addition to Borobudur, you would want to visit Cani Mendut and the Dieng Plateau. You could do this while staying at Magalang, but we did it while staying in Yogya. It's an hour or so from Yogya to Borobudur, another hour and a half beyond Borobudur to the Dieng Plateau. We also didn't stay overnight in Solo, as I prefer to be able to settle in somewhere. Solo is two hours from Yogya.
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Jan 9th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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Magelang is both a regency (state) and a town so the area is loosely described. Magelang, the town, doesn't offer much except the usual for a medium sized Javanese town, but the countryside is quite scenic. MesaStila isn't actually in the town, but in the countryside.

I don't know how long the drive is from Magelang to Borobudur, but I don't think it's significantly shorter than from Yogyakarta, maybe 30 minutes versus 60 minutes. Magelang is closer to the Dieng Plateau.

I wasn't recommending flying from Bali to Semarang, just from Semarang to Jakarta and only if you're already in the Magelang area. Garuda online is showing that Semarang Jakarta is marginally less expensive than Yogyakarta Jakarta (but only a bit). Flight prices are all over the place for different times of day and different airlines so it's hard to compare.
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Jan 10th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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Kathie: I had read your trip report which was the inspiration for my week On Java. The first 4 days looks like the things I'd like to do. Here's another itinerary I found online that is similar to what you did, staying in Yogya, Solo, and at Borodubur. What do you think? I'd add a day or 2 doing something else or going to another town as a day trip from one of these places:

Day 1 Arrive YOGYAKARTA

Meeting service, then visit Prambanan Temple it's the biggest temple complex in Java. With 224 temples in the complex; three of them, the main temples are Brahma Temple in the north, Vishnu Temple in the south, and the biggest among the three which lies between Brahma and Vishnu temples is Shiva Temple (47 meters high). These three ancient masterpieces of Hindu architecture are locally referred to Prambanan Temple or Lorojonggrang Temple. Afterwards, proceed to Yogyakarta for check in. Evening program, seeing The Ramayana Ballet .

Day 2 YOGYAKARTA CITY TOUR
After Breakfast at Hotel then visit : Sultan Place officially named the " Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat ", a grand and elegant example of Javanese architecture, "Tamansari" Water castle, Museum Chariot and Kota Gede. After Lunch at local Restaurant; continue to Kasongan, Bringharjo and Malioboro sight seeing as the ultimate program, and then drive to Borobudur for stay in Manohara Hotel, the closest hotel to Borobudur temple.

Day 3 BOROBUDUR SUNRISE
Enjoy the wonderfull Sunrise in Borobudur Temple early in the morning. After Breakfast at Hotel, depart to Solo. On the way, stop at Mendut Temple and Kaliurang to see the scenery of mount Merapi and if you are lucky you will see the Lava fall down from the top. Drive to Solo and stop at local restaurant for having lunch. Arrive and stay overnight in hotel.

Day 4 SOLO TOUR
After Breakfast at Hotel, then visit: Mangkunegaran Palace – Solo, Cetho Temple the erotic temple and Sukuh Temple. Lunch will be provided in local Restaurant. Back to the hotel at noon. Evening, transfer to local restaurant for having dinner.

Day 5 Transfer Out (B) to ???

If we arrive at Yogya in the afternoon then the touring would not start until day 2. I'd like to stop in a craft village or two as I am very interested in arts and crafts, especially batik making. The last day we would have the morning and half of the afternoon before we have to go to the airport for the flight to Jakarta.

Any suggestions on interesting locales in central Java accessible from Solo or Yogya?
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Jan 10th, 2013, 09:53 AM
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Only you can decide if you want to change hotels that much - packing and unpacking, etc. For us, we felt we had more time by staying in one place.

The itinerary above takes you to Prambanan from the airport, before you check in to your hotel. If you are coming from Bali, you could do that. But you have to drive back out to Prambanan to see the Ramayana Ballet unless you choose to see it at a dinner theatre in Yogya (which I do not recommend). If it were me and I was arriving in time to be able to see Prambanan the first day, I'd check into the hotel, then go out in the later afternoon, say 3:00 or 3:30 to visit Prambanan, then have dinner, then go to the ballet.

Day 2, you can certainly wander the city on your own. They make it sound like a big deal - it is not.

Day 3, again, decide if you want to change hotels out to the Manohara (a very basic place). You can leave Yogya early and see sunrise at Borobudur if you prefer. I note hhis tour doesn't go to the Dieng Plateau because they use the time to move to a hotel in Solo. Go to the Dieng Plateau when you have a chance. The drive up the mountain is beautiful.

Day 4, Solo tour, then to Sukuh Temple (which is the erotic temple, not Cetho) and Cetho. The best Batik is in Solo, so make a stop for batik shopping.

Day 5, they transfer you back to a hotel in Yogya. You can use that day for shopping in Yogya. There are not craft villages (that I've seen) in Java like there are in Bali.

I assume you have the LP - look at all of the places they talk about in Central Java and see which of them appeal to you.
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Jan 10th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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I have looked at the LP book before from the library, which is from 2010. I see that a new version will be out this summer in June and I will purchase it then. In the meantime I will keep referring to the library book. Side note: the Indonesia thorn tree forums on LP seem to have disappeared. What's with that?

I don't mind changing hotels 2-3 times over the course of a week. I like to stay in one place for 2 nights minimum before moving on. I don't mind basic accommodations like the Manohara if the location overrules the average hotel.

I definitely want to see the Ramayana ballet (I take ballet classes myself) so going out to Prambanan in the afternoon, having dinner there, staying for the ballet and then back to either Solo or Yogya might make sense.

I have asked Wiedy for his recommendation for a 1 week itinerary in this area and am awaiting his suggestion.
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Jan 10th, 2013, 03:56 PM
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Thorn Tree downsized considerably because of abuse issues. Hopefully Indonesia will be back when TT has implemented better monitoring and filtering programs. I'd also suggest Periplus's guide to Java.

I like Manohara, even though it is bare bones. It is right on the grounds of Borobudur, a two minute stroll to the base. From Manohara you're half way to the Dieng Plateau.

The area around Borobudur, Magelang, Dieng is more focused on nature and low key culture. Lots of little villages, lots of scenic views, lots of mountain hikes.

Yogya and Solo are both sprawling cities -- lowrise but highly populated. You don't really need a guide, but a car and driver who knows the area is helpful as it's difficult to navigate.

There are many, many batik workshops in Yogya, Solo and to the north in Cirebon. Each area has its own design style, motifs and traditions.
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Jan 10th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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The text of the 2010 LP book is regard o attractions in central Java is basically identical to the original LP Indonesia book published many years ago. So read that whole section in the library book and you will know what is available to you.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Here is Wiedy's latest proposal for a short 4 day central Java tour beginning and ending in Yogyakarta:

DAY 1 ARRIVAL FROM DENPASAR BALI, GARUDA AIRLINE
· Arrive at the airport
· Pick up service
· Morning city tour Yogyakarta
· Sultan Palace, Water Castle, Traditional Batik and Silver home
industry
· Lunch time will be in Yogyakarta
· Drive one hour to Borobudur
· Hotel check in
· Afternoon visit the temple with tour guide
· Overnight at Manohara Hotel

DAY 2 BOROBUDUR - FULL DAY DIENG PLATEAU
· The temple is 200 meter walk from your room
· Morning visit the temple at own
· 08.30 Hotel check out, full day tour to Dieng Plateau
· Drive through villages, nice views, mountain, volcano, agriculture.
· Also see local people, farming, sulphur spring, color lake, ancient
temples
· Lunch time will be at Wonosobo regency
· Drive back to Magelang for overnight
· Overnight at Berg View

DAY 3 MAGELANG - SOLO
· We drive to Solo Via Selo (between Merapi and MErbabu volcanoes)
· Visit Sukuh and Cetho temple
· Drive to Solo and enjoy the ancient Solo city
· Overnight at ROEMAHKU Solo.

DAY 4 MORNING SOLO CITY TOUR
· Visit Mangkunegaran Palace, Museum, Flea Market and Batik village
· Lunch time is in Solo city
· Afternoon, drive back to Yogyakarta and visit Prambanan
· Visit the temple is 2 - 3 hour
· There are many hidden temples there
· Proceed for Ramayana Ballet performance (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
or will see the schedule
· Overnight at Phoenix Heritage Yogyakarta

DAY 5 FREE AND EASY
· Free and easy
· Airport transfer for flight to Jakarta afternoon.

This is 100% must visit in the heart of Java.

Cost per person is:
- Single traveler USD 650
- Sharing Twin USD 491

Cost include:
- Private AC car
- Driver, Fuel, Parking and entrance fee
- English speaking tour guide in Borobudur and Prambanan temples, Sultan
Palace.
- Breakfast at hotel
- Ramayana Ballet performance
- Tax and service charge

Comments, please. Is anything major to see missing? If I take the afternoon flight from DPS-JOG then 1 more day is added. Any other sites I should try to see while there? Is there more in Solo to make it worth staying there 2 nights? Does the cost seem reasonable? I may just make my own hotel reservations if I can get them cheaper and pay for the car and guide service on a daily basis when it is needed. I can get another car to drive us to the airport on the last day, just pay the going rate.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 09:29 AM
  #19
 
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It's a packed schedule, but it does cover all of the main sites. The price is reasonable. We found Weidy could save us a significant amount on hotels, and his charge for the car and driver was quite reasonable. Do let him get you the Ramayana tickets, as he'll get you the best seats.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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Looks good -- comprehensive and a good value. You might want to consolidate your stays in Yogya so that you only have to check in and out once. Also, although Yogya and Solo are two different cities and two different sultanates they are very similar in atmosphere. Unless you want to try a different hotel, you could easily cover Solo from Yogya.
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