5 weeks solo in August
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Jul 3, 2012 3:18 AM Last Post By: GaryD
Jul 1, 2012 6:40 AM
5 weeks solo in AugustHello there :)
I am a french girl planning a trip of 5 weeks in Indonesia, I will arrive in Jakarta at the end of July.
For now I have no real plan...but I am looking for some good adventures...small villages, jungle, nice beaches, treck in montains, temples, etc.
I am hesitating between Sumatra-Kalimatan OR Java-Bali-Flores-Sulawesi...probably very different...
I am looking for a backpacking destination not too touristic but where I could still meet some other travelers and cheap guesthouse (, and also places relax for a solo female traveler....maybe I am asking too much ;)
So if one of you have any suggestions, it will be more than welcome :)
Jul 1, 2012 6:47 AM
1Sounds like Kalimantan wouldn't suit you - the others are all fine.
Perhaps make the 1st option a Sumatra-Java(-Bali?) trip.
Even so, the 2nd option sounds more interesting, but could also be quite rushed in just 5 weeks.
You'd have a more relaxed trip with more time to get off the beaten track a bit if you chose to stick to fewer islands.
Jul 1, 2012 7:35 AM
2Im agree with him, c0z if ur route is sumatra-kalimantan, it will c0st much m0re m0ney than r0ute sumatra-java-bali.
In sumatra u can see t0ba lake, two c0lor waterfall, bukit lawang, weh/sabang island, nias island, rubiah island, c0ral batik, banyak island, mentawai island, ngarai sian0k, l0vina beach, musi beach, etc.. In java u can go to 1000islands, pangandaran, karimunjawa, b0r0budur, prambanan, kangean, etc.. In fl0res u can see k0m0do, labuan bajo, etc.. In bali u can go to gili,dreamland,nusa2,legian,kuta,etc n if u have much m0re m0ney,fr0m bali u can g0 to raja ampat in west papua
Jul 1, 2012 8:14 AM
3Hey, thank you for these advises,
Sumatra-Java-Bali or Flores looks like a nice journey :o) Indeed my budget is not huge and probably Kalimantan will be too expansive! I ll keep it for the next time :)
I guess the best way to travel from island to island is inner flight right ? are ferry boats also a good option ?
Jul 1, 2012 8:20 AM
4There are cheap ferries doing the short crossings from southern Sumatra to Java and East Java to Bali, but as with your limited time you'd better stick to more attractive northern Sumatra, you should probably fly from there to Java.
The ferry crossing to Bali is close to attractions in East Java and is a real travel bargain.
Bali to Flores overland is quite a long way through Lombok and Sumbawa involving a total of 3 ferry crossings - while doable in one go, it's better to break it up with stopovers.
Jul 1, 2012 8:28 AM
Jul 1, 2012 8:55 AM
6Five weeks is not a long time for Indonesia and I also think you would have a less hectic and more enjoyable trip if you pick a few islands and see the highlights. You are also a solo female which is not necessarily a disadvantage - there are plenty of women who travel Indo alone - but if this is your first time I would suggest a circular more travelled(not necessary "touristy")route from Java to Sulawesi to Bali and then hop over to Jakarta for flight home. (or vice versa). You could take in Yogjakarta with temples (borobudor, prambanam) Solo, Malang, Bromo and maybe some sights in between via train, minibus or car and domestic flights. To Surabaya and fly to Makassar(Sulawesi) with a trip to Tana Toraja and then fly to Bali for remainder of trip( lots to see and do on Bali and very unique) with side trip to Lombok or Gilis for beaches. I would save Sumatra for another trip. I suppose you could substitute Flores for Sulawesi, but I wouldn't. You'll meet a lot of people along the way. Things don't always go like a well oiled machine in Indonesia, so you don't want too tight a schedule trying to squeeze too much in.
Jul 1, 2012 9:21 AM
7Thanks a lot for your kind advise,
I am used to travel alone, but maybe not for so long...
You re absolutly right travelling in such country is never like an oiled machine, that s for sure ;o) and that is propably why it is so charming...I wish I had more than 5 weeks....but it will be for the next time...I just didn't realized how big is the country, focusing on some islands is definitly a good idea, Sumatra has always sounds mystical to my mind....but anyway I will have to make some choices....and Sulawesi looks also very attractive :))
Jul 1, 2012 9:33 AM
8If Sumatra is what attracts you most, go there.
As I had said before, you could still combine it with Java and Bali with some careful planning, allowing ca 2 weeks each for the 2 big islands, the 5th for Bali.
And yes, you will almost certainly get domestic air tickets between Java and Sumatra or Bali for less than $100.
See these itinerary recommendations on what you could see/do on each island in your time-frame:
Jul 1, 2012 2:55 PM
9I paid $120 to fly from Padang (West Sumatra) to Denpasar a few months ago. That was not a direct flight, there was a stopover in Jakarta. So, budgeting around $100 for flights is spot on.
I think, as Laszlo says, Sumatra/Java/Bali in 5 weeks is do-able, but yes, you'll have to plan carefully and pick highlights from each place. Bali isn't such a problem, because you can travel around quite easily and the distances are small - but in the other islands you'll probably end up picking certain areas to focus on.
One thing to remember is that, whichever route you choose you'll probably have a fantastic time!
Jul 1, 2012 5:28 PM
10Arriving in Indonesia the end of July and being here for 5 weeks means that you are going to be here during our Independence Day holiday (August 17) and Idul Fitri (August 19 and 20). Overland travel in the predominantly Muslim areas such as Sumatra and Java will be far more time consuming and difficult during that time than usual. Bali and Flores are not predominantly Muslim, so you should start your Odyssey in Sumatra working east towards Bali and Flores.
If you opt against Flores because of the great time it will take to get there using ferries, then consider Lombok in lieu of Flores. There are superb beaches in southern Lombok.
An excellent film that you should see and which could easily help you to decide on what areas of Indonesia that you’d like to see is called Ring of Fire by Lawrence and Lorne Blair. Just Google for it, as it’s easy to find.
Jul 1, 2012 6:42 PM
11I agree - it will be a somewhat rough time to travel in the muslim parts of the country. Flores (I live here now) is mostly Catholic and an amazing place to spend weeks (months) with so much to see. Getting here is actually quit easy - either daily flights from Bali or on cheap tourists boats from Gili T that depart almost every day.
Once here the living is cheap and getting around is quite easy. As s single female you should have no worries whatsoever!
Jul 1, 2012 8:30 PM
12If you are flying in to Jakarta I would suggest you have two choices: Java - Sumatra - Java - home OR Java - Bali - Lombok - Java - home. If you want to cram more in you are going to have to fly more. It would be a shame to come all the way to Indonesia and not see Bali. As mentioned Lombok has fine beaches in the south and the Gilli islets. It's just 30 minutes and $30 to fly there from Bali. If you'd like to see some photos go to: http://journals.worldnomads.com/merantau/ and http://www.panoramio.com/user/2281781 Whichever you choose you are sure to meet fellow travellers in Sumatra, Java and Lombok. In Bali you will meet lots of package tourists in the major tourist accomodation areas but outside of the south you will find things a lot more to your liking. Amed on the east coast, Munduk in the central hills, Tirtagangga in the east, north coast too. Enjoy.
Jul 1, 2012 9:14 PM
13With all the warnings about Muslim areas, it's worth noting that the areas visited by tourists in North Sumatra (around Berastagi, Lake Toba and Nias) are all predominantly Christian, not Muslim. Only if venturing to Aceh or West Sumatra would one get into Muslim areas, and of these two, only Aceh is strict.
Java is majority Muslim, but is far from strict about religious matters.
About half the places to eat there remain open throughout the day - I know this for sure, as used to live there!
Flight prices increase around the end of Ramadan, but this effects Christian areas too, as Muslims working there return home to Java or Sulawesi en masse to spend the holidays with their families.
Jul 1, 2012 9:15 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$77.68 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$67.00 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$106.61 per night