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Time to Bali & Java, pls. take a look on our plans.

Time to Bali & Java, pls. take a look on our plans.

Feb 4th, 2008, 09:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 108
Time to Bali & Java, pls. take a look on our plans.

Hello everyone,

After many years planning and hoping for this trip, this April we may do it to Bali and Java. Please take a look on our itinerary. On each Day we put the town, hotel, and main activies we plan to do or places to visit. We would appreciate any input on our plans, we are still open to make any changes. Pls. bear in mind that this is our third trip to Bali, so Uluwatu, Kintamani, Tanalot, etc. we may not visit. We would like to focus in Ubud and Legian areas since those we didnt cover before. Regarding transportation arrangements we will only book hotels and maybe airport transportaion in order to hire local drivers there. Finally, We dont know how to book the Garuda DPS-YOG flight

Our main Interests: Culture (Religion Sites/temples, Music & Dance Performances, regional food), Natural Wonders (underwater, jungle but not trecking our camping out) and Shopping: high quality / unique crafts paintings and furniture.

Day 1 Wednesday Bali / Beach(Sofitel near Legian)
This day we are thinking on relaxing at beach recover from long flight, take walk near legian, dinner at nice restaurant.

Day 2 Thursday - Bali / Beach
More Beach, We may try to get to some SCUBA/SNORKEL spot (we been to Amed just for Snorkel, now we are thinking on Scuba, any suggestions?)

Day 3 Friday - Bali / Beach
Day Trip to Lake Temples, evening shopping&dinner near Seminyak

Day 4 Sunday - Java (Gran Mercure or Hyatt, pls. advice?)
Early Garuda flight to YOG (no sure how to book it?) Shortflight I think, then touring around downtown (not temple today since might be too crowded), Kraton, etc. craft shopping (any specific store reccomendation? we like Wayang Goleks and any kind of Indonesian Cloths). If possible Ramayana at evening?

Day 5 Monday / Borobudur Temple (stay at Losari Coffee or back to YOG?)
After temple planning lunch at Amanjiwo (our budget only affor that...), Open agenda after lunch we would like advice on what other place to visit near Borobudur (nearby temples Candi Pawon or Mendut). Evening more shopping at YOG downtown, dinner at Kraton restaurant (or which one?). How about continue to Dieng Plateau after Borobudur, is it doable?

Day 6 Tuesday / Prambanan and other Hindu temples
Hindu temples day trip, other things we would like to do in Java: Gamelan , Dance , Wayang Wulit but dont know yet when/how/where

Day 7 Wed / Bali / Ubud
Flight back to DPS
Here we are strugling with hotel selection since we have many alternatives, our finalists: Komaneka Resort, Maya Ubud, Alila. Your adivice will be appreciated here.

Looking for some cutural experience like temple celebration (sadly no full moon during our stay), wedding, etc.

Day 9 Thursday / Bali / Ubud
Day trip to nearby towns looking for nice woodcrafts, stone crafts and furniture. Pls. advice on specific towns&shops also if you know shipping company. We know there are some issues related to shipping stuff (remember items will be shipped to Mexico, which is not necesary easier than the US) but we are in contact with custom agent.

Day 10 Friday / Bali / Ubud
Today we think on spa and touring downtown ubud, evening show at ubud palace?

Day 11 Saturday / Bali / Ubud
Relaxing at hotel, more Ubud.
Evening Flight to SIN-NRT (we will have 4 day stopover in Japan just to visit Kyoto from NRT, but I will put plans in another message)

Sorry for this long message.

jcontreras is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,765
You seem to have already done quite a lot of research. I think you're well on your way but I'll just try to answer some of your questions.

Garuda Flights
A travel agent should be able to handle this for you. Currently Garuda makes three daily non-stops between Denpasar and Yogyakarta. If you're really at an impasse you might as your Bali or Yogya resort to help you.

I like the Sofitel and think it is a good value.

The scuba and snorkeling sites are in East and North Bali quite a distance from Southern Bali. There are outfits that will offer day trips, but this makes a very long day that's more travel time than water time. You might be better off scheduling this activity when you're in Ubud. I would recommend Menjangan Island in North Bali for SCUBA. I have snorkeled in East Bali but never dived so I can't compare.

Same thing for the Lake Temples. It's a doable day excursion from the beach but a lot of driving time.

I like the Hyatt in Yogya. Nice grounds, good service. Rooms are simple (basic you could say) but clean. I've never been to the Gran Mercure.

You'll drive right past Prambanan between the airport and Yogya so you could ask the hotel to arrange for the driver to stop.

Try to see a dance performance at the Kraton. Some the most skilled dancers in Java.

I haven't been to Losari, but I know the area and it's quite scenic. It's about an hour from Losari to Borobudur so if you want to do the pre-dawn sunrise tour you either have to be prepared to leave really early (4:00 a.m.) or maybe consider staying at the Manohara which is right on the Borobudur grounds. I haven't been to Pawon, but Mendut is about a 10 minute stop. There's a very nice shop near Mendut, also called Mendut, which specializes in local crafts, especially glass painting.

You'd have enough time to do the Dieng Plateau but considering the early start and the afternoon heat you'd be better off giving this area it's own day.

Your resort will be able to arrange dance and puppet performances. Central Java is also a center of mysticism and you should be able to see fire walking and other black magic rites.

I like Alila because of the service and views. They have excellent activities and guides for both culture and nature. A lot of people are put off by the architecture, though. I find the Maya leans too much toward the Asian tourgroup circuit. Komaneka Resort is charming but somewhat more isolated (I know, I know, it's just across the road from the Alila) It's smaller and less structured. This may be a good thing depending on your priorities and they will certainly take good care of you. I'd also recommend the Alam Sari for a lovely setting and excellent cultural activities.

Most likely there WILL be a temple celebration of some sort, some where in the Ubud area during your stay. The religious calendar is quite complex and it's difficult to get anyone to predict events in advance. You just have to be persistent with the guides and your resort staff in ferreting out these events. The festivals are often all night affairs so be prepared to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to happen.

There are dances every night in the various villages. Those at the Ubud Palace are very good. I wouldn't call them overly commercialized as the quality and skill is excellent, but the setting is more "big production" than the village performances. I especially like the Kecak in Junganan.Your resort or Ubud Tourist Center will have the weekly list. Be aware, however, that performances can be cancelled without notice if there's celebration going on.

If you're interested in masks and puppets I'd highly recommend a visit to Kubu Bingin in Tengkulak Tengah near Ubud. It may take a while but eventually your guide will find this place. (I'd been to Bali dozens of times and had never heard of it!) My husband have studied Balinese masked dance for several years and we were completely blown away by this man's collection. It's extraordinary.

I don't have any specific recommendation about buying or shipping. The major point with large wooded pieces is to make sure it is fumigated and to ask if it's been seasoned. Don't know where you live in Mexico, but the major problem that people have with Indonesian furniture is that the climate change causes shrinkage and cracking.
marmot is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 552
For Ubud, if you are at all interested in being in town, I would recommend Kajane Mua, on Monkey Forest Rd. It was less expensive than some other places we considered, but the villa was very nice and private, and includes a quite large private pool. We have stayed twice and had very good service. They gave us rides to restaurants and dance performances at no charge.

Both trips we also used Putu Arnawa, a guide often recommended on this site, who will take you to any temple celebrations, cremations or weddings happening at that time, which really gives you a flavor of Balinese culture. His contact info is elsewhere on this board.
susncrg is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,003
we will try the alam shanti in ubud area this time....take a look at it:


putu suggested this small family owned group to us...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 108
Thanks for your advice.

Considering Marmots suggestions We are considering cutting one night at Beach and add it to Ubud. Hence, we will do:

2N Intercontinental
2N Mercure YOJ (We will try it and let you know how was it..)
1N Near Bodobudur (if I can get Manohara)
4N Ubud (Day trips to Lake Temples and Snoker&Diving)

I would like to know your opinion on Staying at Ubud town or in the outskirts e.g. Alila or Komaneka. We like to walk a lit bit, and We fear that an isolated place may be too peaceful for us (we like trendy restaurants & bars). What do you think?

In the case of Menjangan Island, how long will be the drive from Ubud? can We do it as a daytrip or better to look from East Bali diving/snorkel site, which would be the best on this side?

Thanks again for your guidance!
jcontreras is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 108
Sorry typo, not Intercontinental Hotel at Jimbaran but Sofitel near Legian.
jcontreras is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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jcontreras, Any chance you could put Central Java at the beginning or end of your trip? It's a short flight from Bali but the time spent in transit and sitting around airports will be significant.

I don't find the town Ubud especially appealing. There are some good restaurants, a few interesting shops and I like the performances at the Ubud palace, but I think it would be misleading to describe the town as a charming place to poke around. I prefer to stay outside of Ubud and take day trips to the various sites.

No matter where you stay, the Ubud area is the opposite of trendy! Lots of culture, some good food, arts and crafts, natural beauty -- yes, but for trendy restaurants and bars I'd head for Seminyak.

You can do Menjanan in a day trip from Ubud, but it's a long haul. I'd spend a night on the North Coast. I haven't been there for several years so don't have a personal recommendation but two places that sound good are Puri Ganesha and Taman Sari.
marmot is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 108
Considering your suggestions We already changed our flights (we have a very helpful Travel Agent Diane from Balibaroungtours.com)in order to arrive directly to Java (Solo) on the first day.

Now our plans are:

3 Night YOG at Gran Mercure or Hyatt
1 Night Manohara at Borobudur
2 Night at Sofitel Seminyak
3 Night at Ubud (no decided where yet)

In the case of the Java portion, we really dont know which is the best route/itinerary to follow. We feel that on the first day we will be destroyed by Jetlag so doing any temple (Pranambam or Borobudur) on that day seems overkill. On the other hand we would like to go to Dieng Plateu. I think we will contact a Driver for the whole stay.

Finally on Bali side. We decided not to go Deer island for Diving, we may go to some place East Bali. Any suggestion? Amed again?

Regarding Ubud Hotels, how about Pita Maha, we recently received a good deal from it. Any comment?

Thanks again for your time and advice
jcontreras is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,765

Yogya is a sprawling, hot, polluted, congested Asian city. There are plenty of interesting and historical sites, but it's not so easy to navigate. Walking, except in the Malioboro shopping area, is darn-near impossible. I find it alternatingly irritating and charming, but it's not a place that I gravitate toward.

Wherever you choose to stay don't pay more than one night in advance. Occupancy is very low and if you want to move, do so.

Prambanan is fairly compact. You could easily visit twice, once on arrival, once on your way out.

The Javanese countryside -- including the Dieng Plateau area -- is to me profoundly beautiful. Make sure you allow plenty of time on either side of your Borobudur visit to soak up the atmosphere.

I haven't dived in East Bali. I understand that it's best known for wreck diving.

Can't help on Pita Maha either. What impresses me about all of the resorts in the Ubud area -- in town or out of town -- is that people almost always rave about wherever they end up. Which leads me to believe that the Balinese ambience and hospitality can overcome any organizational weakness.

marmot is offline  
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