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Our trip planning is a work in progress. We’d love your recommendations on towns, excursions, restaurants, lodging, or anything you think would be helpful during our stay in Indonesia.

Please post any ideas in the “Add New Comment” section below, or email us at [email protected]


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  • Manfred Reuter

    Hey Anne and Mike,
    Don’t’ know what happened with my first message, so I re-post it.
    Here are some tips for Indonesia:

    One of our favorite places we visited in Indonesia was Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is a city and also a special region in South Central of Java. Its really a place hard to leave and we’re already planning returning next year. There are lots reasons. People are friendly and welcoming, a wide variety of options to do and places to visit, it’s rich in history and culture, food is great and many things are very affordable.

  • Manfred Reuter

    Hey you 2,

    While the other comment is reviewed here are some tips for traveling to Yogyakarta.

    Try to go to Yogyakarta in end of April, beginning of May when rainy season is transitioning to dry season. Yogyakarta is still lovely when it rains, but if it rains a lot you might face some flooding issues and can’t go to all places. Avoid June. It’s school recess in Indonesia. This small city will be packed with vacationing students and their families. It’s hard to book a hotel room around that time.

    Heat and humidity can be tough in Yogyakarta. So try to start your activity early morning when it’s more pleasant. Also, get enough cash and small change before going anywhere – credit cards are not accepted widely. Sometimes the credit card fees are applied to the customer’s bill. 2 – 3% are common.

    Here’s how our daily expenses for 2 looked like (you can easily spend less than that):
    - Hotel fee $23-$100 (Home-stay – Luxury Villa)
    - Lunch & drinks $7-10.
    - Rickshaw ride – cost depends on the distance but we never paid more than $1.5 for a 10 minute ride. You can bargain with the driver if you can speak Indonesia ;-)
    - 10 hr car rental (car with AC, a driver & gasoline) $45 + parking fees $1. You can also rent Motorbikes. It’s cheap for sure, but I don’t know what the price is.
    - Entrance fee to local attractions (depending on # of places visited). $1-$40
    - 60 min Javanese Massage $9-19. Oh yes, this is a must to check out. Javanese massage is just awesome. Most massage places have specials for couples.
    - Dinner & drinks $7-$30.

    I will add more details if I remember something.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      manfred….wow, those tips are great. the language class sounds like a must do, as does the Javanese massage (what makes it special? i guess we will find out!). i also found out where that message that got caught as spam was hiding. should be visible now……thanks again for these amazing tips. have you ever done the far north west parts of Indo?

      • Manfred Reuter

        Yes, the language class is fun, definitely a must.
        The special of the massage is something you need to find out for yourself – no spoiler ;-)
        There is still one message missing (the very first one) – about travel information around Yogyakarta. I sent it actually twice. Let me know if I should repost.

        We haven’t been to Northwest-Indonesia, so can’t tell much. If we would go to Sumatra we would check out:
        - Lake Toba (Danau Toba) – its a lake in a super volcano (http://wikitravel.org/en/Lake_Toba)
        - Mentawai Islands (West of Sumatra).
        Maybe a couple of things to start your research.

        Cheers
        Manfred

        • Sun

          Hi.. I think you should come to visit Lake Toba in North Sumatera. I have visited Lake Toba twice and it was totally amazing. They called it as the sparkling diamond especially when the sun shines the lake surface. There are plenty of cultural sites and entertainment places for you to visit. Don’t worry about the food, the taste would suits you. The point is all about relaxation as Lake Toba offers different thing from Bali.

          The best time to visit around the year or you can check the Lake Toba festival around September. Mind the high season where the accommodation would be difficult to find unless you have booked it before but that’s not the issues. I suggest you to find or contact local people to help you in providing exact information or simply to arranging your budget as the German couple i met there share their experience about this. :)

  • Manfred Reuter

    Here are some tips about where to stay when in Yogyakarta.

    A very good area is a well known backpacker area called Prawirotaman. It’s close to the city center and within walking distance of restaurants, day spas, travel agencies, mini markets, and traditional market.

    For lodging I can suggest (since I was there) De Pondopo Homestay. The owner is very helpful. It’s $23/night, tax, wifi & breakfast are included. You should book in advance as they only have 4 rooms. They only accept Cash or money transfer. Here is their website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/De-Pendopo-Boutique-Homestay/125434230813333

    One good place to start after you check in your hotel is the Cafe Via Via (which has great food by the way). They provide several tourist services and classes. One I really can suggest is the 3 hour Indonesia language class ($8 per person) – after that you will be able to order things in the restaurant, buy products in the market and bargain with Rickshaw drivers.

    Cafe Via Via has also a Homestay, which received good reviews. I can’t tell much about it, since I didn’t stay there, but it looked nice from the outside.

  • Heather Cole

    Been following your amazing blog for a few months now, you two are truly inspiring! Our next adventure is the Amazon, and thanks to your posts, we’re hoping to have a week with the Amazonas Indians, looks amazing, so thanks for the lead!! Anyway, we visited Indonesia last year and thought I’d share some of our experiences if it might help you decide what to do.

    Bali is just the most beautiful island, and not at all swamped by tourism as we’d expected (this is a good thing!!). You have to visit the cultural centre of Ubud, amazing laid back artsy/café culture, with temples, traditional dancing, really good place to relax and perhaps do a bit of writing! We stayed at the blissful Alam Indah (http://www.alamindahbali.com/), a really cute, peaceful little place on the edge of the monkey forest, within easy walking distance to the centre of Ubud. Only thing we didn’t much enjoy was the monkey gauntlet through the eerie forest (you don’t have to take this route but should see it just once), they are rather pesky through too many tourists feeding them.

    Another place we stayed at, just outside Ubud on the Sayan Ridge was Bambu Indah (http://www.bambuindah.com/). A bit more expensive, but worth every penny for a few days of chilling. Views are stunning over the valley with rice terraces and forests. The bungalows are all original Javanese teak wood bridal homes and are just gorgeous…the owners have carefully collected furniture and other items (both from Indonesia and worldwide on their extensive travels) to furnish each house individually. Definitely a spot for a honeymoon (even an extended one!!). The staff are lovely, unassuming and very helpful. We have a travel philosophy of never returning to a place we’ve visited because there is still so much more of the world to see, but Bambu Indah may just be the place to change that!!!

    Out of Ubud, we headed east to the Sideman Road area, a gorgeous lush rural area packed with amazing rice terraces, little villages, pretty much untouched by tourism. We spent a couple of days just wandering around the valley, chatting to all the locals, and taking some great photos. We stayed at Lihat Sawah homestay/guest house (http://www.lihatsawah.com/) which again has amazing views across the rice terraces, with an infinity pool as the cherry on the top.

    Its also worth visiting the rice terrace valley in the north up at Jatiluwih, very spectacular. Unless you’re all rice terraced out by now :-)

    And of course you can’t miss Borobudur Temple on Java (do a sunrise tour!). Can recommend the 1001 Malam Hotel (http://1001malamhotel.com/) in Yogyakarta (lovely little guest house with traditional Javanese architecture, art plastering the walls in the rooms, and down a great little side street bustling with every day life, and good cafes).

    Anyhow, hope you guys have a fab time wherever you decide to go!

    Heather

  • Turtlestravel

    It really depends on what you want to do in Indonesia. We used every day of our 30 day visa visiting Bali, Gili Air, Lombok, Flores and Java. Each were quite different from beaches, ancient temples to amazing wildlife. What type of activities do you think you want to do in Indonesia?

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