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Question about jungles (sumatra, borneo) and forest fires

Question about jungles (sumatra, borneo) and forest fires

Old Nov 20th, 2015, 12:48 AM
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Question about jungles (sumatra, borneo) and forest fires


I'm going to Jakarta in march 2016. I'm a solo adventurer, I always hike alone in free-to-go, unpaid places, I hate organised trips and I don't want to spend money for some for-tourists attractions. I dream of big jungle to hike, with locals only (if any).

Here are my questions:
-Where are bigger and denser jungles? Borneo or Sumatra?
-What is a perfect place to hike for a week or two, without paying anything to anyone? I'm not generally interested in National Parks, unless you can sleep there somewhere for free, far away from resorts, huts and tourists. I could pay entry fee if I have to, but NO paid places to sleep over night. I have a hammock, nice supply of food and handheld water decontamination systems. I can manage without visiting stores for some time. Already did it in a past, so I'm sure about my survival experience.
-What is a PRESENT situation with those huge forest fires? Is entire Borneo in dense haze?
-Is there a cheap way to transit from jakarta to borneo?
OstatniNalesnikanin is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2015, 10:54 PM
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In September, I just spent three weeks in Malaysian Borneo, and the "haze" in Sarawak was just awful. I'm sure it's the same situation in Indonesia, as they are the ones that are burning their forests. I'm a quite healthy lady, but I couldn't stop coughing. People told me that the Indonesians burn their forests seasonally, and September is the worst.

I would recommend getting some accurate information as to when the burning ceases--maybe they have stopped by now. I never like to get into political discussions on this message board, but the neighboring countries, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei are all mad at the Indonesians for burning their forests. I personally would never go there for that reason.

I thought the Kelabit Highlands are quite beautiful, but if you are hiking in the Malaysian part, then you will need a guide. The jungle is wondrous with great flora and fauna, and an orchestra of interesting sounds. I had a wonderful local, private guide--he was very cool and hip. He would make animal sounds, have us eat fruit from the trees, all in all, alot of fun.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2015, 01:36 AM
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Why are you asking for free advice if you are such an independent traveller?
I work things out by research. It's not that difficult.
mareeS55 is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2015, 12:00 AM
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CaliforniaLady, thanks for info

mareeS55, what's your problem here? Just because I'm independent, doesn't mean I'm not supposed to be prepared. And asking people is a part of it. Move along, citizen, there is nothing to see here.
OstatniNalesnikanin is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2015, 02:58 PM
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The burning season is over, the fires (which are more accurately described as land fires than forest fires) are under control and the haze has dissipated. They shouldn't start up again until July. [Of course, they shouldn't start up again at all, but that's a different topic.]

Borneo, as you probably know, is divided into three countries Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Both Malaysia and Indonesia have plenty of rain forest. Malaysia is more orderly and easier to navigate. Indonesia Borneo which is called Kalimantan, is the Wild West.

From Lonely Planet: "Skewered by the equator and roasting under a tropical sun, the steamy forests of Kalimantan serve up endless opportunities for epic rainforest exploration. "

Sounds like you'd like Bukit Baka-Bukit Raya National Park which offers "barely any tourist facilities." As a bonus, the giant Rafflesia flower blooms in March.

Rain forest trekking isn't my area of expertise, but from long experience in Indonesia I'd suggest that you find a local guide, at least to get you to your starting point.

The cheapest way to travel in Indonesia is by Pelni, the inter-island ferry system. It's basic, gritty and not reliable. If you only have a month, save your adventures for the rain forest and fly from Jakarta to Kalimantan.

There are many inexpensive domestic airlines that fly from Jakarta to the larger cities in Kalimantan, Pontianak and Balikpapan. From there you can connect with smaller commuter services to fly to more remote locations. Or travel by river or overland by four wheel drive.

Three small but important points: 1) Indonesia is visa free for citizens of most countries; however in order to take to advantage of this status you have to arrive and depart from a visa free airport. Otherwise, you have to secure an arrival visa on departure which (because it is absurd) is costly. 2) get evacuation insurance. PADI covers a good, cheap coverage. 3) Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the time you arrive in Indonesia.
marmot is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2015, 08:27 AM
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Usually all the nice places in indonesia, you have to pay for ticket, hiking, etc. They will charge for tourist. I'm balinese, and i just tell you what happen in my country.
BaliPrivateDriver is offline  
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