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Geoff_Hersch Jan 12th, 2019 06:21 AM

Summer Family Vacation Ideas (TOKYO or INDO)
 
Choosing between Japan or Indonesia for two weeks in June 2019. Three children will be ages 14,15,18 at that time. We have traveled to Costa Rica, Vietnam, Spain, London, Peru and more. Son wants to go to Indo for high school graduation trip. We love adventure travel and cultural immersion. Japan is safe and clean with opportunities for food, culture in both the urban and suburban to rural setting while Indo would be beach, culture, adventure, hiking, waterfalls, BIG inexpensive luxury homes, etc.

We really will have about 12 days on the ground in either destination and two shoulder days for traveling.

Ideas...Indonesia with arrival into DPS (Bali) for the first 5-6 days then to Sumatra or Sulawesi for another week or so. We have NOT looked into great detail on possible itineraries for either trip and are open to suggestions. Most likely would fly into and out of DPS (Bali) from LAX. Might stop over in Tokyo for a few nights on the way back but that would add about $500 to each of our airfare. Right now, LAX RT to DPS looks to be around $1000 but adding Tokyo as a stopover would be about $1,500.

Japan might look like arrival into Tokyo for 2-3 nights then move onto other islands for a 3-4 days each. Most likely fly into and out of TOKYO from LAX.

Thanks for suggestions.

kja Jan 12th, 2019 09:26 AM

I haven't been to Sumatra or Sulawesi, but thoroughly enjoyed Bali and Java. You might find some useful information in my trip report,
https://www.fodors.com/community/asi...-bali-1116191/
or look for the classic report by Kathie.

A first 2-week trip to Japan usually involves Tokyo, Kyoto / Nara, and one other destination. Spend lots of time with japan-guide.com and browse this board for the many planning threads that cover various options and issues.

I'm sure your family would enjoy either!

Kathie Jan 12th, 2019 11:51 AM

With just two weeks, don't plan on visiting more than two islands in Indonesia - you just don't have the time. Travel is slow (and unpredictable) in Sumatra and Sulawesi. If you opt for Indonesia, I'd nix the stopover in Tokyo - it will detract from your trip to Indonesia. I would encourage you to consider Java for your second island in Indonesia.

Both Indonesia and Japan are wonderful destinations, very different from each other, of course. I agree with kja about how to plan your Japan trip.

marmot Jan 12th, 2019 05:34 PM

Do you think you could have found two more diametrically opposed places than Tokyo and Indonesia? :) Two good choices, but very different experiences. Big cost differences too.

I think you could easily fill up 12 days in Bali alone, Sulawesi alone or Bali + Java or Lombok. Other good combinations with Bali are Komodo, Flores and Sumba.

In Bali you'll want to spend some time at the beach and some time inland in the Ubud area, and maybe a few days in a more remote inland area like Munduk or Sidemen.

It's easy enough to get from Bali to Lombok (by ferry) or Java (by air) but the travel time does end up taking up most of a day each way. Lombok is really about the beach. In Java you can spend some time in East Java (Mt. Bromo, Ijen) and Central Java (Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Prambanan).

In Sulawesi you could consider both Central Sulawesi (Tanah Toraja) and North Sulawesi (the Manado area). There are frequent flights in and out of Makassar and Manado but overland travel from there is very slow. I haven't been to Sumatra, but I understand it's even more logistically challenging than Sulawesi.

The big Islamic holidays following Ramadan will start this year around June 3 or 4 and carry on for a week to 10 days. You do not want to be traveling in Java or Sumatra at this time! Lombok is also impacted, but to a lesser extent, as the resorts continue to operate. North and Central Sulawesi not so much, Bali not at all (except for the influx of vacationers from Java).

Geoff_Hersch Jan 13th, 2019 12:29 PM

Thanks Marmot. I'd like to understand a little more about things to do in each of your suggested locations. If we elect to stay on Bali and Java or Bali and Sulawesi, what type of activities would you suggest. My intention or understanding is that we if we stayed in a beach location on Bali, we can rent a beautiful private home for a relatively inexpensive cost. I looked into a few unbelievable homes on Airbnb that would blow you away for under $300 per night. As long as the location is nice with easy cultural and day trip activities available close by we would want to do that.

Regarding Sulawesi, the only reason that is on my radar is because of the tribal ceremonies that may or may not still be active in today's world. My dad mentioned these to me from a trip he took there about 25 years ago. Modern day development may have eliminated this.

Anyway, if you have the desire and the time, Marmot, would you be able to suggest a reasonably active 12 day itinerary assuming Bali and Java or Bali and Lombok from about June 8-22. That would give us 12 days on the ground. Thanks in advance.

kja Jan 13th, 2019 06:16 PM

I wonder, Geoff_Hersch, whether you realize that Fodor’s provides a forum for people who enjoy travel to voluntarily share their experiences and expertise, not a site at which one can obtain free itineraries? IME, marmot is extraordinarily generous with her expertise, and she’ll make her own decision about how to respond to your request. But FWIW, I would note that ignoring two members of the Fodorite community and asking a third to do your homework is not, IMO, an ideal strategy for benefitting from this forum, no matter how politely you phrase your request for that effort. JMO.

(P.S. I just read your post on Peru. Count me out!)

Good luck!

marmot Jan 13th, 2019 10:12 PM

First, on Sulawesi: The culture of Tanah Toraja is alive and well (or perhaps I should say dead and well, since so much of it focuses on funeral ceremonies). To get to there you fly into Makassar then arrange for a car & driver to take you to the Rantepao area, which is about 8 hours overland, and a spectacularly beautiful drive. In Toraja, a guide will take you around to the various ancient burial and architectural sites and to any funeral ceremonies that are going on at the time.

To get to North Sulawesi you have to back track to Makassar and fly to Manado. Manado is a pleasant town, but the main attraction are the phenomenal reefs and marine life of the area around Bunakan island (near Manado) and the Lembeh Strait (a couple hours drive). Near Lembeh is Tangkoko National Park, where you can see assorted floral and fauna, notably monkeys, hornbills and tarsiers. It's a highly scenic area, suitable for snorkeling as well as diving.

For a Bali beach location, I'd suggest that you look at Petitenget which is on the north end of Seminyak. I would note that the surf on the west coast beaches can at times be dangerous for inexperienced swimmers, though at other times it's quite manageable. When you're on the beach I would recommend that you just concentrate on enjoying the ocean and beach culture and not try to use the area as a base for other sightseeing because the traffic can be discouraging. How long you stay on the beach depends on how your personal preference. Activities are ocean and beach community related: playing in the waves or in the pool, surfing, walking on the beach, watching the sunset. The Petitenget area also has terrific restaurants, shops, spas.

The center for arts and culture in Bali is the town of Ubud and the surrounding countryside. Here you can experience Balinese religious ceremonies and dance and musical performances and visit an endless number of Hindu temples and shrines. Ubud is also the center for arts and crafts: wood and stone carving, jewelry, weaving, painting, making basketry, offerings and religious paraphernalia. There are all kind of nature related activities: biking, hiking through the rice paddies or down the river valleys, rafting, mountain climbing. And then the wellness and spiritual channel: massage, yoga, healing, meditation. Ubud also has some very good restaurants and arts and crafts shopping.

Beyond the beach and Ubud, there's a lot more of Bali geographically. Weaving villages, temples large & small, coral reefs, active volcanoes, waterfalls, vistas. Look at the areas around Munduk and Sidemen.

Lombok and the nearby Gili Islands are really beach destinations. There are calm areas for swimming and snorkeling and big wave areas for surfing. Ferries from the east coast of Bali take about 3 hours depending on the boat and the route. You can also fly into Lombok international airport.

If you go to Java, do it at the end of your trip to avoid the holiday crunch. From Bali (and probably Lombok, though I haven't checked) you can fly to Surabaya in East Java or Yogyakarta in Central Java. Recommended local airlines are AirAsia and Garuda. Or you can take the ferry from the far northwest tip of Bali to Java's west coast.

The main sites in East Java are the Ijen sulphur mines which are near the ferry landing and the Mt. Bromo volcano complex which is accessed from Surabaya. They are both very impressive for rugged natural beauty.

In Central Java you can see the 8th & 9th Century temples of Borobudur and Prambanan and the Dieng Plateau for more ancient sites. The Sultan's court in Yogyakarta is full of pomp and circumstance. The region is also a center of batik making and a wide variety of arts and crafts and performing arts. I'm not that fond of Yogya itself, but the country side is serene and majestic.

If you decide to add Lombok or Java I'd suggest that you fly from either to Jakarta and then continue home from there rather than backtracking to Bali.

Rental villas with private pools and dedicated staff are available all over Bali, but especially in the Seminyak beach area. Price per night for a family villa varies WIDELY, so be sure to investigate the location and ask what services are included e.g., cook, car/driver, wifi.

Lastly, you should take advantage of the several vibrant trip reports on this forum, that provide extensive detail on Bali, Lombok and Java and Sulawesi.

Geoff_Hersch Jan 14th, 2019 07:20 AM


Originally Posted by kja (Post 16854800)
I wonder, Geoff_Hersch, whether you realize that Fodor’s provides a forum for people who enjoy travel to voluntarily share their experiences and expertise, not a site at which one can obtain free itineraries? IME, marmot is extraordinarily generous with her expertise, and she’ll make her own decision about how to respond to your request. But FWIW, I would note that ignoring two members of the Fodorite community and asking a third to do your homework is not, IMO, an ideal strategy for benefitting from this forum, no matter how politely you phrase your request for that effort. JMO.

(P.S. I just read your post on Peru. Count me out!)

Good luck!

I am very concerned by the argumentative nature as quoted above. First of all, as you mention, this is a forum of voluntary and recreational content. Each and every post is for the sole purpose of sharing ideas and stories or world travel. I did nothing wrong by singling out Marmot's suggestions and asking for more. I, in no way, am violating Fodor's ethical standard or pushing the limit of what is acceptable on this site.

Marmot was not pushed or pressured in any way to come up with a suggested "itinerary" but rather was asked for more advice on travel to a large country with many options for my family. Thank you, Marmot, for your thorough explanation and suggestions. They are very much appreciated and are in no way considered a definitive itinerary that I could otherwise pay for.

I appreciate everyone's advice and, in fact, read other people's trip posts as suggested. My family loves to travel and, as you know, we have many options available for itinerary suggestions and ideas on the internet. Nobody on this site is obligated to reply to each post and certainly, when someone does respond asking for more information from an apparently knowledgeable traveler, should that person be scolded for singling out that persons expertise.

Thanks again for all of the responses thus far. Indonesia seems to be a very large area of diverse culture and geography. Bring it on!!!

crellston Jan 14th, 2019 08:20 AM

We loved both Java and South /Central Sulawesi. Both are terrific locations for culture and scenery but, as already suggested by Marmot, travel does take time, sometimes a LOT of time. I would be hard pressed to choose between those two islands but definitely would not try and cover both in the time you have. Possibly a few days in Bali for the beach at the beginning or end of the trip.

We tend to travel very slowly but in 12 days either would be possible.

In Sulawesi we flew into Makassar from Denpasar and then travelled up to Tana Toraja for 4 days and came back via Lake Tempe and Ramang Ramang. Excluding Makassar , a trip of 7 nights. Add a few days in Bali at the beach and your time is filled.

In Java, we flew into Jakarta and travelled south through the island mostly by train stopping along the way at Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Malang Mount Bromo, Mount Ijen before getting a ferry across to the north of Bali. It would be feasible to fly rather the ferry to Bali

A lot of photos and detail about our travels to these places in the Indonesia section of our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/indonesia/

We also looked at spending some time in Sumatra, mainly to see oranagutans in the wild, but on closer investigation decided that getting around was even slower than in Sulawesi!

All those locations tick the wish list boxes you set out in your OP apart perhaps from "BIG inexpensive luxury homes, etc. " which you may struggle to find!

Geoff_Hersch Jan 22nd, 2019 11:03 AM

UPDATE...Due to time constraints we are going to focus on a more leisurely pace of Bali and probably will not venture on to Java. We are now thinking of an itinerary such as written below:

June 8 LAX-DPS
June 9-11 - Seminayak (3 nights)
June 12-14- Ubud (3 nights)
June 15-18- Gili Air/Lombok (3 nights)
June 19-21- Tokyo (3 nights)

So...we are thinking of making a stopover in Toyko on the way home to Los Angeles to break up the long flight. Two other options are to stopover in Singapore on the way home for 2 nights. Either way, our Bali stay will be a summary trip with some beach time, surf time and shopping in Seminayak, Culture, waterfalls and hiking in/around Ubud. Gili Air will be for sunsets and snorkeling. There are always so many options but think this idea will allow us to see what we want to see while providing a mroe relaxed pace on the island of Bali and then hopefully a stopover in Tokyo on the route back home to have the city experience, culture and food of Toyko.

Feel free to comment!! Thanks to all!!

marmot Jan 22nd, 2019 06:11 PM

It's good to have a framework (and for a props for choosing a more relaxed pace), but I'd suggest you research the logistics of four different locations very closely.

You're probably aware that Lombok suffered a major earthquake about 6 months ago. The Gilis were hard hit, and my understanding is that reconstruction efforts are by no means complete. I haven't been to Lombok recently so can't give a first hand report. The people of Lombok could really use your support, so I wouldn't want to discourage a visit. I would just urge you to look into the current situation on the ground thoroughly before including Gili Air in your itinerary.

Ubud town to Pandang Bai and Gili Air is about 3 to 4 hours by ferry all told. There are many boat options so check the departure and arrival times carefully. You would want to plan ample time getting from Gili Air to Bali airport. Whether you fly or take the ferry, the trip will take up most of a day. You could, I believe, fly to Tokyo out of Lombok airport, but getting from Gili Air to Lombok airport is also a schlep and you want to be conservative on your longhaul flight.

If you decide to forego Gili Air, you can find good snorkeling in Bali in the northwest around Menjangan Island and the northeast in the Amed area. They are both scenic, laidback areas, but neither beach is a good as what you'd find in Lombok.

Seminyak is loosely defined area that by some counts extends from Legian in the south to the northern areas of Petitenget, Batu Belig and Brawa. Personally, I like Petitenget, for a good combination of beach, villas and lively (but not frantic) neighborhood. In June surfing -- and sunsets -- will be good all up and down the west coast, with different areas suited to beginning, intermediate and advanced skill level. Old Man's beach and Batu Bolong (about 45 minutes north of Seminyak) is a favorite right now for surfing and associated culture -- food, yogya, spas, nightlife. It's where your older kids will want to be.

You seem to really want to make Tokyo happen, which is understandable as it's a vibrant and fascinating city, but tacking it on the end of Indonesia may tough if you only can allot 3 days. The flight alone is 7 hours. Singapore is generally well liked as a family tourist destination. After Bali, I would find it a bit packaged (much more so than Tokyo), but that's just my viewpoint having been there a zillion times. For adventure travel and cultural experience, I would choose Java over Singapore.

Geoff_Hersch Jan 29th, 2019 06:47 PM

Flight options
 
In searching for flights to Indonesia from LAX, I would like to fly on Singapore Airlines. It seem like it would make sense to fly LAX to Singapore Round Trip and then “fill in the blanks” with regional flights from Singapore to and from Indonesia.

I’d like to start with Bali and end with Java but the flights home from Jakarta to Lax make the airfare close to $2,000 per person. If I take a regional plane from a smaller airport on Java back to Singapore it gives us a little more freedom. Otherwise, one night in Jakarta prior to our international flight back seems like a wasted day of travel to make an early flight from Jakarta - Sin- LAX.

Does that make sense? Basically multi city flight plan LAX-DPS and CGK-LAX (layover in SIN) or RT LAX-SIN with a regional flight to and from wherever i chose in Indonesia? Ugh :(

marmot Jan 29th, 2019 08:42 PM

SQ has excellent connections between Singapore and Jakarta and between Singapore and Bali. If flights are delayed they will make sure you and your luggage make the connection, often with well under the minimum connecting time.

If you can, try to book SQ all the way to Bali, then an open jaw returning from Jakarta or Surabaya on to LA. If that turns out to be too complicated or expensive then I would just go with round trip LA-Bali and fly domestic from Bali to Java and back to Bali. The back tracking will take a little more time, but domestic flights are cheap and fast, and the benefit of SQ service connecting to your longhaul flights is enormous.

Either way, on SQ or on a combination of SQ and a local carrier, you should be able to connect from Java to Singapore without spending the night in Jakarta. Look at flights from Yogyakarta, Solo (Surakarta), Semarang and Surabaya, especially on SQ's subsidiary Silk Air.

Geoff_Hersch Jan 31st, 2019 08:43 AM

Thank you so much marmot . I booked flights on Singapore Airline this morning. LAX-DPS with arrival on June 8th and then SIN-LAX on June 22nd. I will book a regional flight from Java to Singapore once I determine what we will be doing in Java.

The plan now would be to be on Bali for about 8 days and then fly over to Java (probably Yogyakarta) for 4-5 days before heading to Singapore for 2 nights.

Very much looking forward to filling in the blanks for this trip.

marmot Feb 1st, 2019 08:05 PM

The countryside in Central Java -- Borobudur and other ancient sites, Mt. Merapi, the Dieng Plateau, the coffee and tea plantations -- is stunning. Try to hike or bike through the various little villages and rice paddies, early morning or late afternoon. Aside from Prambanan Temple, I'm less enthusiastic about Yogyakarta city, though it's a wonderful place to shop for arts and crafts, like textiles, wood carvings, bamboo and rattan items and pottery. The batik is extraordinary.

I would seriously consider spending a night in the Bromo area. I don't recommend "commuting" from Surabaya or Malang for a quick sunrise, though. The area -- which is a complex of several active volcanoes -- deserves a more relaxed stay. It's majestic and serene and very photogenic at all times of day.

Geoff_Hersch Feb 2nd, 2019 06:51 AM

Thanks again marmot! As of now, I have a hotel room booked in Yogyakarta at the Phoenix Hotel for four nights. I was thinking that four night here would be good to use to explore the city but also to use as a day trip starting/ending point but this may not work out.

I will book another somewhere else in Central Java as well and tweak it as I need to.

Really trying to limit my number of hotel destinations to five MAX for the entire trip.

As of Now, I have planned a “beach location” on Bali for 4-5 nights, Ubud Villa or resort for 3 nights, YOGYAKARTA for 4 nights and a Singapore hotel for 2 nights.

I can can move things around a bit to shorten beach time by on night and shorten Yogya a night or two as well which would give me time to add another destination in Bali or Java. Will continue researching..

Again, thanks for this help.

Geoff_Hersch Feb 2nd, 2019 08:47 AM

Reading all of the blogs it seems like Seminyak might be too busy, loud and party-like atmosphere for us. As an alternative, what other beach destinations in and around Bali might be better for my family? We are looking for a nice, clean beach with white sand, clear waters and a nice little town to wander around in. It sounds like the locations on Lombok or Gili Air are nice but would take quite a bit of time to get there and back. Suggestions please!!

marmot Feb 2nd, 2019 05:59 PM

I doubt that you will find the beach you describe in Bali or Lombok. No beach in Bali is perfect; they all have pluses and minuses and you have to make trade offs. Even though I live near the beach in Bali and find plenty of pluses (and a few minuses), I don't think I'd recommend going half way around the world for a beach vacation in Bali. My suggestion would be to pick the beach that has most of what you're looking for, spend 2 or 3 nights there, then concentrate the rest of your Bali time in the Ubud area or farther north.


Which beach you choose really depends on what your family plans to do at the beach, how you want to spend your time and what your top priorities are.


Seminyak is a specific area, but it is commonly expanded north and south to included other beaches. At the southern end, Legian and Double 6 beaches are lively and crowded, with lots of beach chairs and umbrellas, vendors offering food drinks and services and casual beach shack restaurants right on the beach for lunch and sunset drinks. Double 6 is great place to learn to surf. At night the area can be very loud and while not quite as raucous as Kuta, it's close.

On the north end is Petitenget which is my favorite spot, for upscale resorts and villas, sophisticated shops, and some of Bali's best restaurants. There are a few clubs that get going late at night, but before eleven it's mostly civilized. It's a compact area, accessible on foot or by a short taxi ride. Batu Belig is the northern edge of Petitenget.

As you go further north, you have the beach communities that are collectively called Canggu: Brawa, Old Man's, Batu Bolong, Echo, Pererenon. These, especially Old Man's/Batu Bolong, have become the intersection of surf, yoga and hipster culture. It's a young and cheerful area with plenty of diversions, some massive beach clubs and many, many small restaurants and shops. The beach is just okay, but perfect for low stress surfing and socializing. There's a temple right on the beach that provides ad hoc cultural entertainment most every day.

The west coast beaches from Kuta to Canggu are all wide sandy, big wave, big surf, big sky, high energy sunset beaches. The resorts keep their beach fronts clean, though some of the public areas can get less so especially after weekend sunsets. The tides and swells can alter the beach experience dramatically from day to day. Look at the website magicseaweed.com for projections.

Jimbaran is near the airport. It's a protected bay and a good swimming beach but has experienced quite a bit of erosion in past year. Many of the resorts in Jimbaran are situated on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Same goes for the resorts further south in the area called the Bukit. The Bukit wraps around south Bali and continues up the east coast in Nusa Dua. It's the place for serious surfing and recently home to many super luxury clifftop resorts. And not much else.

Nusa Dua in the southeast has a wide sandy beach and shallow surf. It's back to back resorts, some luxe, some mid-range. Not much of a neighborhood.

Further north on the east coast is Sanur, one of Bali's oldest beach communities. It's very popular with older expats and families with young children. I'm not a Sanur fan because I see less charm and more neglect. But many people love it. There's an off shore reef which makes for calm water and a wonderful paved walkway that goes the whole length of the beach.

What you don't want to do is stay on the Bukit or the east coast and commute to Petitenget every night for dinner. Sitting in pre-sunset traffic is the worst of Bali.

To get the most out of Bali and Java, my advice would be to devote less time to whatever beach you choose and more time to the Ubud area and the less traveled parts of Bali (like Munduk or Sidemen) and East and Central Java. There are some nice villas in Ubud, but Seminyak/Petitenget has hundreds of choices.

I like the Phoenix Hotel very much, but as I said, I find Yogyakarta a difficult place to navigate. It's a sprawling, hot, congested, trafficky Asian town which is interesting in itself especially for arts & crafts and heritage sites, but maybe not for 4 days whereas the area around Merapi and Borobudur is really special. I also consider Bromo a unique destination, but adding a stop there would mean cutting days from another place.

Take a look at CaliforniaLady's recent trip report.

Geoff_Hersch Feb 16th, 2019 03:57 PM

Java followup
 
marmot aside from 2-3 nights in Yogyakarta we need to find a place for another 2 nights to round out the Java part of our itinerary before heading to Singapore.

We we now have reservations at a few places in South Bali (cancellable) and need to pick one. Either a nice Villa in Canggu or La Joya Resort Bali near Balangan Beach.

From there Ree we are going to Chedi in Ubud for 4 nights.

To Java, we will either take a flight to Yogyakarta or travel by ferry and train toward Merapi for a few nights then to Yogya. Either way we want to visit a few areas of Java and it doesn’t matter which comes first.

Logistically difficult to visit more places nor do we want to load up with more than hotels/villas.

What can anyone suggest doing/seeing around Merapi? Best airport to travel nonstop from this area of Java to Singapore?

Guenmai Feb 16th, 2019 07:50 PM


Originally Posted by Geoff_Hersch (Post 16865649)
Thank you so much marmot . I booked flights on Singapore Airline this morning. LAX-DPS with arrival on June 8th and then SIN-LAX on June 22nd. I will book a regional flight from Java to Singapore once I determine what we will be doing in Java.

The plan now would be to be on Bali for about 8 days and then fly over to Java (probably Yogyakarta) for 4-5 days before heading to Singapore for 2 nights.

Very much looking forward to filling in the blanks for this trip.


That’s an excellent flight schedule from LAX. I also fly Singapore Air, out of LAX, as I live in L.A. County. I just got home last week. I vacation in S.E. for 6 weeks straight, but make Singapore my in and out place to fly. This recent trip was 20 years of spending time S.E. Asia.

On this recent trip, towards the end of my 6 weeks, I flew down to Jakarta for 4 nights. I flew, round-trip out of Singapore. Since I have a frequent flyer account with Singapore Air, what I do is use my frequent flyer miles to fly, for free, within S.E. Asia. Thus, I flew round-trip to and from Jakarta on Singapore Air and in Business Class. Some times I also use my AmEx points to fly within S.E. Asia, like I flew from Penang to KL on AmEx points and also from KL to Singapore. So, think points and frequent flyer miles as it really cuts down on the cost of flights if one has a lot of flights as I usually do.

I'm glad that you've decided to do Singapore for the last 2 nights. Tokyo is great, but you really need more time for Toyko. I do 2-3 weeks in July/August in Japan and do Tokyo and Kyoto as my bases. That's a whole other trip. Singapore seems more logical to connect to an Indonesian trip. Plus, Changi airport is really easy and relaxing to fly either into or out of or both in and out of as I do.

Out of LAX, I book SQ 11 to Singapore and SQ 12 from Singapore back to LAX. There’s a stopover in Narita (Japan). I like to break up the flying time although I know that Singapore Air recently started some non-stops. But, I use to take the Thai Air, 18-hour non-stops from LAX to Bangkok years ago, and personally prefer to break up a long flight a bit.

If you’re on SQ12, on your way back to LAX, then if you want some sushi, there’s a sushi place in Narita Airport. It’s very easy to find. I think it’s around Gate 30. You just walk over to the moving floor thing and look to your right and when you see the sushi place, just get off of the moving floor. I go there and get a California roll to go and then head back to the gate of my SQ 12 flight on to LAX. I can easily do this within the hour or so stopover. I think that SQ 12 is at around Gate 45 or 50.

Have a great trip.
Happy Travels!


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