Sunday, January 10, 2016

Indonesia - 14 day itinerary

Travellers have a sense of clarity on what they like to experience and what kind of a vacation they want - history travel experiencing monuments and museums, nature travel trekking the mountains, wildlife travel seeing the wild species, city travel experiencing the bustling urban life, or a beach vacation.

Indonesia offers you all of this - from trekking to watch an active volcano to basking in the sun in the beaches, from going back in history at temples to walking around rice terraces, from seeing a 4 million year old species in the wild to partying till dawn. You are spoilt for choice if you can look beyond the touristy Bali.

Here is a quick snapshot of our itinerary and tips for visiting Indonesia. Detailed posts separately about Java, Bali, Flores and Lombok shall follow.

Highlights: 14 days
Java  - Trek Mt.Bromo, sunset at Borobudur, sunset at Prambanan and Ramayana ballet

Bali - Ubud, rice terraces of Tegallelang, dolphins in Lovina, waterfall of Gilgit, Tirta empul temple, tombs at Pura gunung kawi, Goa gajah temple, Lake temple Bratan, Tanah lot sunset and cliff temple of Uluwatu

Flores - Mt.Kelimutu near ende, Komodo dragon at Rinca islands and snorkeling at Kanawa and Kelor islands

Lombok - Gili Trawangan

Must do: Mt.Bromo, Borobudur, two wheeler ride around Ubud, Komodo dragons, Snorkeling at the pristine beaches

Rough budget (INR) - INR 2,20,000 for a couple

Flight:- Rs.95000 (Bangalore-Singapore-Surabaya-Yogyakarta-Denpasar(Bali)-Ende-Labuhan Bajo-Lombok-Denpasar-Singapore-Bangalore)

Local travel & sightseeing:- Rs.50000 (Includes tickets at different sites, taxi hires, public buses in Surabaya, self drive 2 wheeler & car in Bali, boats in Lovina & Labuan Bajo)

Food:- (Vegetarian) Rs.23000

Stay:- Rs.37000 (Resorts in Bali & Lombok, Basic lodges in Cemoro Lawang & Moni, decent hotel in Yogyakarta)

Other Miscellaneous expenses:- Rs.10000

Points to keep in mind while planning the trip:
1. Visa - Available on arrival for Indians at all major airports. List available here. Surabaya airport had a smaller queue and was very quick. 35$US per person in 2015. 1 and 2 dollar notes not accepted.
2. Public transport options are not very convenient. Buses are fairly congested and not very efficient. Hiring a private vehicle is easiest to save time. You can look for shared taxi in places like Probolinggo, Ende to save some money.
3. Bali offers many options to get self-driven cars. Regular Indian driving license in English is sufficient.
4. Keep a time buffer for traffic on the road, possible flight delays and cancellation.
5. Vegetarian food is scarce and difficult to explain to locals.
6. Be ready for a lot of flight connections since this is an archipelago.

Brief summary of Itinerary:
Day 1 – Bangalore to Singapore. Night stay at Singapore.

Day 2 – Singapore to Surabaya by flight in the morning. Local bus travel to Probolingo continuing to Cemoro lawang village at the base of Mt.Bromo.

Day 3 - Mt.Bromo and Prambanan
  • Trek Gunung Penanjakan to see the sunrise over Mt.Bromo at 3am
  • Trek Mt.Bromo to see an active volcano after breakfast 
  • Travel back to surabaya and fly to yogyakarta 
  • Sunset over Prambanan Temple 
  • Ramayana ballet at Prambanan 7:30 to 9:30 pm
  • Night stay at Yogyakarta 
Sunrise at Mt.Bromo

Day 4 - Kaliurang Village (Mt.Merapi) and Borobudur 
  • Kaliurang Village at the foot hills of Merapi volcano. Please avoid unless you have time to scale the mountain
  • Sunset at Borobudur. Will take 3-4 hours if you really want to go through each beautiful level of the temple 
  • Evening flight to Denpasar. Reach hotel in Ubud late night.
Sunset at Borobudur

Day 5 - Ubud
  • Relax at a hotel overlooking the rice fields in Ubud 
  • Rent a two wheeler 
  • Monkey forest and walking around the Ubud market area 
  • Hit the Spa in the evening  
Rice terraces of Ubud

Day 6 - Tegallelang and Tampaksiring 
  • Ride the two wheeler through the rice terraces of  Tegallelang stopping to take pics 
  • Tirta empul temple 
  • Gunung Kawi temple
  • Goa Gajah temple
  • Lunch at The Bridges, Ubud enjoying a lovely view of the valley 
  • Ubud palace and walking around the market 
Day 7 - Lovina and Tanah lot
  • 3 am start to drive up north to Lovina beach. Watch the dolphins swim in the sea (best time is to do this in the morning just after sunrise)
  • Gilgit waterfalls (give it a miss if you have seen better waterfalls in your life)
  • Pura ulun danu Bratan lake temple (give it a miss since the lake has less water and the temple is no longer in the middle of the lake)
  • Tanah lot sunset 
  • 3-D Art museum in Seminyak were you can click some interesting pictures
  • Balinese Dance Performance at Made's Warung Seminyak
Sunset at Tanah lot

Day 8 - Flight from Bali to Ende and taxi to Moni village at the base of Mt.Kelimutu. Night stay at Moni.

Day 9 - Mt.Kelimutu - scaled up the mountain at 4 am to watch the sunrise over the tri coloured lakes. Night stay at Ende since Garuda airlines canceled our flight to Labuan Bajo. We suggest you try to reach Labuan Bajo to enjoy the evening there.
Sunrise at Mt.Kelimutu
Day 10 - Komodo and Kanawa beach 
  • Morning flight to Labuan Bajo
  • Boat trip to Kelor island to do snorkeling . The water is unbelievably clear and shallow for a fantastic snorkeling experience 
  • Onward boat trip to Rinca islands to see the komodo dragons 
  • Snorkeling at Kanawa beach 
  • Night stay at Labuan Bajo 
Komodo dragon in the wild
Day 11 - Uluwatu and reach Gili Trawangan 
  • Travel from Labuan Bajo to Bali 
  • 4 hours taxi rental to visit uluwatu and shopping at Krisna (great place for souvenirs)
  • Flight to Lombok, taxi to Bangsal, Boat to Gili Trawangan, horse cart ride to the resort 
Gili Trawangan
Day 12-13-14 - snorkeling, kayaking, swimming & beach bumming at Gili Trawangan