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Singapore/Bali, Yogyacarta, Borneo itin question

Singapore/Bali, Yogyacarta, Borneo itin question

Aug 8th, 2010, 02:46 PM
  #21  
 
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Stan, again, I haven't driven from Central Java to Bromo, but my son has. He said they left Borobudur around 5 a.m. and arrived Bromo exhausted at 7 p.m. Figuring an hour or two for meals, rest stops, asking for directions, it was 12 hours. You have to remember that it gets dark every day at 6 p.m. and you don't want to be on the road after sunset.

My suggestion is to fly whichever airline has the most flights to wherever you're going. Usually that's Garuda, but not always. I'm less concerned about safety -- which is acceptable -- and more concerned about convenience. Flights do get cancelled and delayed.

glover, some other places to look at in Pemuteran: Taman Sari, Amertha. Taman Sari's an old favorite with divers. Amertha is newer. Both have nice garden settings close to the beach. Not much of a beach, though.
marmot is online now  
Aug 8th, 2010, 03:55 PM
  #22  
 
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marmot; I really do not want to quibble except that he has been serving as a guide in Central and East Java for 6 years. but at my advancing age I may have hear incorrectly. In any case my suggestion that you support is flying is the best option. though they ask you to arrive at the domestic airports 1 hour before departure if you are ticketed an arrival 30 minutes before deparure works. But with unanticipated traffic delays i start out always planning on getting there 1 hour before and often I arrive 30-40 minutes before departure is fine. but unlike in us they board 10 minutes before departure if the flight is on-time vs. 30 minutes in US.
StanKase is offline  
Aug 8th, 2010, 05:03 PM
  #23  
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All this is great, thanks! I understand and agree with everything you all are saying about flying being cheap and fast. So, my bottom line question is: If what we want we want to do is leave Bali, then spend some time in both Ijen and Bromo (in either order) and ultimately go from either Yogya, what would that itinery look like in terms of flying everywhere? Thanks. For example, flying - I'm not sure how we'd get from Ijen to Yogya. . . . . or flying . .. . Ijen to Bromo. .. etc.
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Aug 9th, 2010, 03:33 AM
  #24  
 
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If you take the ferry from Bali to Java then you could do Ijen first, then drive to Bromo, then fly out of Surabaya to Yogya or Solo.

If you fly from Bali then you would go from Denpasar airport (which is actually close to Jimbaran) to Surabaya then drive to Bromo and Ijen in either order. After the mountains you would return to Surabaya and fly to Yogya or Solo.

Semarang airport is also a possibility in Central Java. It'a little further to Borobudur (about 2.5-3.0 hours), but there are more flights in and out.
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Aug 9th, 2010, 05:04 AM
  #25  
 
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glover; You will see more if you fly into Yogya and have a chance to see Borobudur (Hindu) only 30-40 minutes away, Peranadem (spelling) Temple(Buddist) 10 minutes out of town, Mt. Merapi within a few minutes of thr Buddist temple and unless the weather is poor a day driving out with a guide to Dieng Plateau can be most memorable. Also as I mentioned in Yagja on sat. at Sultans Palace a good free traditional puppet and Sunday a ballet both from 11-12. Avoid the place that offers dinner and a evening ballet combination. The food is fair but the ballet is a joke.The guide I used took me to 2 batik stores that the upper middle class locals buy at if you are interested in material or sari's or batik shirts at very resonable prices.
Actually the guide Wiedy can easily clarify for you the best flight connections from Bali into Java considering he has clients that do a Bali/Java combination package.I am not sure what he will chargeyou but for about $250USD you can get picked up at the airport in yogja have three 10 hour days of touring and return to yogja or Solo Airport whichever is most convenient for you flight to KL. they even will come pick you up at your hotel and take you to dinner but with taxi's soinexpensive ($3) we only had them do it one night because it was an out of the way place and from Traveladvisor we were told even the taxi's sometimes get lost.By the way if either of you wear glasses and want $800-$1000 S.Dupont or Tiffany Frames in the big mall in Yogja there are 4 optical stores on the first level and 2 of them have the same genuine frames with international warantees for $300-$350. This is not black market. It is an unusual situation we have found in 2-3 Asian cities.
StanKase is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 06:57 PM
  #26  
 
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Stan, please check your facts before you post. Borobudur is a Buddhist Monument, notable for that fact that there are hundreds of Buddha figures. Prambanan is Hindu, noted that there are statues of Hindu gods such as Nandi, Ganesha and Wisnu. And, do you really think your guide is giving you a good deal....$250 for 3 days of touring? I hope that included your hotel stay! Or did you mean $150? And never, ever use a guide to take you shopping! For obvious reasons.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 05:38 AM
  #27  
 
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kuluk; You are correct. I was confused Borobudur is in fact Biddhist. No my guide does not come with hotel but having used guides througout my travels in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America I often, but not always find, that one or two highly informed and connected guides can command somewhat more. When I compare notes with others who have visited the same areas it is normal to hear them say "how come I could not get to see this or that". For example how come I could meet with the Sultan for 15 minutes. You often get what you pay for, but not always,
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Aug 10th, 2010, 06:09 AM
  #28  
 
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Stan: I see you like Java so much that you are going back. Good for you.
marmot and kuluk: how possible is it to self drive from Bali to Mt Bromo? My husband speaks and read Indonesian and he is a good driver. We usually rent a car when we go to Bali.
Stan: sorry to hijack your post.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 06:24 AM
  #29  
 
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Sorry Glover, didn't realize it's your post.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 08:54 AM
  #30  
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Not to worry, Mohan, I'm still following along and getting great info. Your questions will be helpful to me too!
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Aug 10th, 2010, 10:18 AM
  #31  
 
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I do not mind either. I have done it a few times on this Forum, myself.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 03:29 PM
  #32  
 
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Mohan, whether your husband should be driving in Indonesia is a topic I will leave to your discretion , but yes, driving from Bali to Java can be done as thousands of Javanese prove every weekend.

The coastal roads are heavily traveled by homicidal long distance trucks and buses so self driving is only for the brave. Reliable directions are hard to come by, especially in the mountainous areas and roads are often impassable in the rainy season.

If you’re planning a one way trip, then the first question would be to ask the car rental if you can pick up a car in Bali and then leave it in Java. I doubt that this is common procedure.

The car ferry leaves from Gilamuk in Northwest Bali and lands on the east coast of Java in Ketapang. The ferry itself is under 30 minutes and is quite frequent.

From East Java you can follow the coastal road to the turn off to the Bromo area at Pasuruan or Probolinggo. I’m not sure of the time involved – I’d guess 5-6 hours. Once you arrive at your resort you’d probably be better off getting a guide who knows the mountain and has a four wheel drive to take you touring.

From Bromo it’s another 4 hours or so to Surabaya. Please check these times as I haven’t done this myself. When my son drove from Bromo to Pemuteran in Bali it was pretty much a whole day’s journey.

You can also stay in comfort in Surabaya or Malang and "commute" to Bromo for sunrise (you leave the hotel at 2:00 a.m.). To me this is a less satisfying experience than staying on the mountain, but it's a popular approach and there are some very nice places to stay in Surabaya and Malang.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 07:07 PM
  #33  
 
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Thanks Marmot. I get your point. Safety comes first. If you know of a reputable tour operator or a cautious driver with a good car, please let me know. Reliability is what I am looking for. I won't be going to Bali this year, still have plenty of time to look around.
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Aug 10th, 2010, 07:19 PM
  #34  
 
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Yes, it is do-able to drive from Bali to Bromo. The question is would it be enjoyable or safe? The route between Bali and Java is always crowded with busses and trucks bringing their freight to and fro and they drive like maniacs. There are frequent accidents. The scenery in some places is really nice, but there is a forest in East Java outside of Banyuwangi that I find reallly spooky and that is known for robberies. Also, I don't take the ferry anymore since the ferry 15 minutes behind me capsized and hundreds of people drowned. It has too many bad feelings for me. My suggestion is to fly to Surabaya and then rent a car or have a tour company arrange the logistics of the Bromo part. I agree about staying in one of the nice cottages a few minutes from the top, it's part of the magic.

About domestic flights, I don't know exact routes offhand but Lion Air and particularly Mandala are very good.
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Aug 11th, 2010, 07:23 AM
  #35  
 
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Thanks Kuluk. I am really not suicidal so no self drive and no boat ride. The ferry that capsized was due to running into a coral reef, was that the one? Can imagine how you feel, just too close to home for you. I will explore both possibilties as suggested. When I googled Bromo tour, many came up. So I'll ask the same question: which one is reputable? For car rental, is there a name that stands out as more reliable than others? DH reads Indonesian, are there websites with good info? These days I prefer to equipped myself with knowlege before I contact a travel agency. Some 14 years ago, my second time to Bali, a travel agent in Jakarta sold me a package of 4 days stay at 'Bali on the cliff', he show me many magazine articles of that hotel being as one of the 'ten best in the world', none of the articles were in English so I had to take his word for it. I was obviously disappointed when I got there. It's a very nice hotel in the middle of nowhere, just not the world's best.
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Aug 11th, 2010, 03:44 PM
  #36  
 
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mohon, I'd enlist your hotel or resort to get you to Bromo. Whether you stay outside of Bromo in Surabaya or Malang or actually on Bromo, the resorts all offer tours and guides.

Java Banana is a newish place in the Bromo area that gets good comments, but I haven't been there myself.

The long distance ferries in Indonesia are notoriously unsafe; however, the Bali-Java route is generally thought of as reliable. It's a short distance (less than 30 minutes)and there are repeated roundtrips every day. I'm not challenging Kuluk's information (I'm sure it was terrible) but I'm just surprised that it isn't better known.
marmot is online now  
Aug 11th, 2010, 05:54 PM
  #37  
 
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Thanks Marmot
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Aug 11th, 2010, 11:38 PM
  #38  
 
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Darn, I wrote a long reply and then got interrupted and it didn't get sent! It was about 10 years ago and to make a long story short my crossing at about 6 pm took almost an hour, longer than the usual 20 minutes. We were very surprised that there were none of the usual lines to get on, I think many people cancelled because of the weather. In fact, the ferry from Madura to Java was delayed about one hour as the boat was rocked by high waves and we could only get off when a Pertamina oil tanker was brought in to steady the deck. We only found out about the tragedy the next day as all the news in Bali was about this boat that had sunk, and people were coming by to see if we had made it alive. Evidently the ferry after us had drifted with the waves for several hours due North, and no one took any action to find the boat until some people were picked up by fishermen and bodies started showing up as far away as Sulawesi. One of my partner's distant relatives who was driving a rice truck disappeared forever. I still remember this all very clearly and in fact if you ask Indonesians they still remember it too. I haven't heard of any other ferries between Java-Bali sinking, but then there is also the case of the dive boat that sank off Komodo a couple of years ago. I remember because I was on a dive boat in Alor at the time! It received a lot of publicity because there were tourists involved. Other ferries around other islands do sink occasionally as well.

And Mohan, I stayed at the Bali Cliff about 14 years ago, I took some of my Javanese staff on a holiday there and they were blown away! It definitely had the vibe back then of being THE hotel in Bali.

As far as using travel agents, I second the plan of using a company thru one of the hotels in Surabaya. IF you come back to the hotel with big complaints, they will have to deal with you! If you use someone from the webs or on the street...they won't! Bayu Buana has offices in every city in Indonesia, I have used them for years but not for tours. You could also hire a Blue Bird taxi to take you as far as the guest house around Bromo area. Then arrange with the gh to arrange the jeep trip thru the caldera in the morning and back. Don't be afraid when you drive in the dark at 4 am, all kinds of local people will be jumping on the sides and back of the jeep as their transport up the mountain. The jeep doesn't stop and they don't talk, it's just a given that locals will get casual transport...just adds to the flavor!
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Aug 12th, 2010, 06:05 AM
  #39  
 
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Glad to see your plans are firming! When it Kota, be sure and check out the orangutan rehabilation center, about 90 minutes away and worth the one-day effort to see.

Ankor Wat is the huge attraction in Cambodia (and Siem Reap has many, many lodging choices although one day is sufficient to get an overview of the temples). Probably the best way to see things there and get a feel for Cambodia is by bicycle, which most hotels can supply. I also think Phenom Penh is quite charming.

Unless you're a Vietnam War vet, I would stick to seeing Halong Bay, Saigon, Hanoi and perhaps China Beach in Vietnam, if your time is limited. One of the coolest surprises in Vietnam is a town called Hoi An (near Danang and CB), for its arts, crafts and temples. Absolutely blissful.

The weather will be cloudy, cool-ish, and probably rainy... so there is a good chance you might have many places to yourself (unless its Chinese New Year, Feb 3-13). Do not go to Vietnam during those two weeks, as its enormously crowded. Also, several of those countries require Americans to have visas (easy online procedures).

Finally, volcanos are not that tough to find in Indonesia, the home of Krakatowa. Many are relatively safe to climb, with an experienced guide...but you can't beat the big Island in Hawaii for an upclose and personal view of our fiery, alive planet. Good chance you'll also feel a minor earthquake or two while exploring. Enjoy!
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Aug 12th, 2010, 03:48 PM
  #40  
 
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thanks kuluk.
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