We strongly believe in self-travel. Getting lost in the middle of nowhere, finding our own way, trying local transportation, meeting new people and understanding the local culture, we get the feeling of living there rather than just visiting. But all of that said, a lot of pre planning and reading is required to plan an entire trip on your own. It requires weeks of research and analysis to fit in the maximum possible in the limited number of days.
Here we want to share the important resources and tips that aided us in our planning and also our 14-day itinerary at Indonesia. The intent is to ease your research phase and also to show you it is indeed feasible to plan any trip on your own.
- We found this amazing website Sky scanner ( also available as an app ) where it shows the cost of flying from different airports to the destination. Though we reside at Bangalore, we found that flying from Kochi airport to Indonesia was much cheaper. So, before you book your tickets, take a look at this website to check if there are cheaper airports to fly from.
- The earlier you book your tickets, the more you will save.
Indians do not need Visa to visit Indonesia.
TRANSIT VISA AND CONFUSION:
- There are almost no direct flights from India to Indonesia and most of the flights transit via Malaysia ( KL ) which means you might need a transit visa of Malaysia.
- The transit visa should be applied 30 days prior to the date of travel and if not, you should get e Visa for Malaysia.
WHEN IS TRANSIT VISA NOT REQUIRED: ( assuming you are not planning to leave the airport )
- When you fly the entire journey with the same airlines.
- When you either get a boarding pass till the final destination at the source itself or you can collect the boarding pass at the transit area ( Check with your airlines).
- When you don’t have to re check in again after getting down at Malaysia.
- When you transit at KLIA Main terminal/Satellite terminal.
(If your airlines drop you at KLIA2 terminal, you definitely need a transit visa. We read that all POINT to POINT airlines like AirAsia need transit Visa. Please re check with the airlines for conformation)
So, before you book your tickets, it is very good to check with the airlines about all the pointers above and also with the Malaysian embassy about the TRANSIT visa requirement. In our case, the airlines were not able to help us and they confused us at the last minute which costed us a huge sum of money to cancel and re book our tickets since we were on the assumption that we did not need a transit Visa.
Sim cards are easily available at the airport and also at Indomart. It is expensive to buy at airport. So, come out of the airport and buy at the nearest Indomart outlet.
MOVING AROUND WITHIN INDONESIA:
- At Java, the important tourist cities are well connected through trains. You can book those train tickets easily online using tiket.com. The train fares are just like flight fares there. The later you book, the more you need to pay for the ticket. There are two classes Executive and Economy class and some trains will have business class. Though all the three are air conditioned, the Business class and Executive class are little sophisticated with better leg space and seating arrangements than the Economy class.
- Just like Uber/Ola here, the three famous taxi services are Grab, Gojek and My blue bird. Make sure to download all the three apps and create a profile. Everytime you book a taxi make sure to check the fares between all the three apps since we found Gojek taxis were slightly cheaper than Grab taxis. Some of these also have food delivery service as well. The only advantage of using Grab (because most of the people are not fluent in English there) is that it translates your chat messages to the driver to Indonesian and then back to English. So, you can communicate your location better to the driver.
- Buses were reliable in Java but at Lombok and Bali there were not many buses and one cannot rely on public transport to move around.
- Motor bikes were the best. We rented motor bikes at Java, Bali and Lombok. More details about the rental cost and contact numbers in our later posts. Make sure to carry your original DL and it is good If you can apply and get an International Driving License, though we were not stopped and asked for it, at any of these places.
Only a handful of people would be fluent in English. So, it is good to have a translator app.
Rice is the main food there. We personally like the quality of chicken and meat there. We also heard that they use country chicken and not broiler and maybe that is why.
But there are plenty of street food to dig into.
MUST PACK ITEMS:
- Don’t forget your umbrellas because it gets very sunny at the afternoon.
- Lots of sunscreen with SPF > 70 if possible. If you are allergic to the sun, then it is safe to carry an after-sun lotion as well.
This totally depends on the comfort level and the type of vacation you are looking for. Our style is that we would plan the places to visit first and then look for nearby stays that allow us to easily access these places. If you are like us too, then we have marked the places we have stayed at in the Map for your reference.
We used booking.com and agoda.com to book our stays. Both of these websites have easy UI and would change the listings as you move over in the map. There are various filters available as well to pick the best place of your choice.
Here is our 15-day itinerary at Indonesia. More details about each of the place we visited, how we got there, what to expect, entry ticket details, risk factor and much more in individual blogs soon.
The first half of our itinerary is Jam packed and tiring with sleepless nights and lots of transit. We are these super crazy hyper excited travelers and seeing the most matter to us more than sleep. So, do analyze if it would suit you and make sure to alter it to your capability and needs.
JAVA (5 Nights & 6 Days)
DAY 1 –
From India, around 2:00PM we landed at Bandung, one of the International airports of Java.
Transit to Yogyakarta from Bandung via Train ( 8 hours ) and hence we reached Yogayakarta around 2:00 AM in the midnight.
We comfortably booked a Gojek taxi to our hotel and checked in at 2:30 AM.
DAY 2 –
- Borobudur Temple – Best to be here at 6:00AM and see the sunrise from the top of the temple.
- Prambanan Temple
- Malioboro night market – Very happening street with local food stalls and shopping.
Check out our blog – A day at Jogja for in depth details about these places.
DAY 3 –
- Transit to Surabaya by train. Then caught a bus to Probolinggo. Afer that a mini bus to cemero Lawang. By the time we checked in our home stay it was 4:00PM in the evening.
- We did an evening trek to Mt. Bromo and came back around 8:00PM, one of the active volcanos.
- Woke up at 3:00 AM and did a sunrise trek up king kong hill.
- Came back around 9:30 AM and transit to Probolinggo again and then we got a motor bike rent from Probolinggo.
- Bike ride to Tumpak Sewu ( There is no public transport )
- We reached around 6:00PM in the evening and we checked in our hotel just in front of the waterfall trek start point.
- Started the Tumpak Sewu waterfall trek at 7:00 AM
- Came back at 12:30 AM and then started our bike ride back to probolinggo.
- Returned our motor bike and caught the 4:00 PM train to Karangasem Banyuwangi
- Checked into our homestay at 9:00PM
Also enjoy reading our experience at Tumpak Sewu here.
- Did not sleep at all. Started our Mt.Ijen trek around 1:00AM.
- We got down the crater around 3:30AM to see the blue flame.
- Then we reached the sunrise point and the acidic lake view point around 5:00AM
- Reached the base camp around 9:30AM
A Complete Guide to the blue flame trek is available here.
- En route Bali:
- Got a Ferry to GilliManuk
- Got a bus from GilliManuk to Ubung bus terminal, main bus terminal in Bali( 4 and half hours )
- Walked around Sanur beach road.
LOMBOK ( 4 nights, 5 days )
Since our return flight was from Bali, we decided to explore Bali later and flew to Lombok from Bali.
Day 1 –
- Checked in around 1:00PM
- Explored Senggiggi area
- Rented motorbike
- Bike ride to Tiu Kelep waterfalls
- Trek to see Tiu Kelep waterfalls and Sendang Gile waterfall
- Drove past the traditional Senaru and Bayan Villages
- Pantai Pandanan for sunset
- Boat to Gilli T from Bangsal, one of the nearest ports to Gilli T from Lombok
- Snorkelling at Gilli T, Gilli Air and Gilli Meno
Day 4 –
- Checked out and moved to Kuta
- Kuta Beach
- Project Mandalika
- Tanjun Aan beach
- Checkout out of Lombok and flew to Bali
What more we wanted to see@ Lombok:
Snorkelling at Gilli Nangu & Gilli Kedis
BALI (3 nights & 4 days)
Day 1 –
Checked in late at night
Day 2 –
- Rented a motor bike
- Drove to lempuyang temple
- Tirta Gangga Temple
- Taman Soekasada Ujung/ Water Palace
- Beachwalk shopping mall
- Kuta beach
- Drive to Ubud
- Teggallang rice terraces
- Tirta Empul Temple
- Sacred monkey forest, Ubud
- Ulawatu Temple for Sunset
- Checked out of Bali and flew back to India.
What more we wanted to see at Bali:
- Tanah Lot temple
- Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
- Snorkelling at Nusa Penida
What more we wanted to see at Indonesia:
- Raja Ampat
- Komodo Islands
These were the costliest places to reach time wise and money wise but equally beautiful. Hope we could plan these some time soon.
Stay tuned for a more detailed guide about each of the place we visited.
Hope we found this useful. Do let us know your questions and comments and we would be happy to assist.