Indonesia

Anyone here been? Going for three weeks in May, looking at things to do, places to visit.

This thread didn’t help much.

Will avoid the bogans in Bali, but other than that no plans yet.

No, closest I got was Malaysian Borneo, sorry

Thanks anyway

I really liked Sumatra when I went. Bukit Lawang was a great village in the jungle with a river running through it, crossed by multiple rickety rope bridges, can go for hikes in the jungle from there. Then I went down to Lake Toba where they used to do full moon parties, so theres a lot of tourist infrastructure, but now not many tourists. And finally the beaches just south of Padang are pretty great.

No, closest I got was Vancouver, sorry

No, closest I got was Turkey, sorry. But ask me again in a month.

Only been to Outdenesia sorry

Went to Israel, couple of the same letters there

Yeah I’ve been to Crete, recommend Kissamos and stopping off at Petroula’s orange juice bar and seeing some nice donkeys on the drive

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Oh sorry Indonesia. No.

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What do you want to do? I’ve been to Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and Northern Sulawesi. Most of this has been for Scuba diving but I might be able to give pointers.

I haven’t been to Jakarta in about 12 years but I really, really hated it.

I went to Jakarta 21 years ago. That is one hectic city, and most definitely not in a ‘vibrant’ way…

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Big place, will only get round to Java, Bali & Lombok in the end, shame as there’s just so much to see, but you’d need months to do so.

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That was the route I took, had a really great time. Yogyakarta is a must on that route, also you can climb Bromo and Ijen volcanos if you fancy, pretty hard work for sunrise but v worth it! Didn’t get to grips with Jakarta either, some OK bits to see but possibly the worst traffic I have ever encountered in my life

Lombok when I went was much much quieter and chilled than Bali, rent a scooter and just drive round, it’s super beautiful

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+1 to Yogyakarta - go see some wayang gulit and gamelan. Also take the day trip from there to Borobodur - really excellent.

NB I went in 1991 so it might be shit now

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It was good in 2009 as well.

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Time flies when you’re in Yogyakarta

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Jakarta

The stuff around the National Monument Park is interesting, more in a “fuck me, the military police are a bit ott, hey?” way. Feels very authoritarian in that region, very much in keeping with the lack of recognition of the USA-backed genocide of 1965/66. Went to the National Museum, was OK, but mostly for the Aircon.

Metro is good to get around in general, but buses are slow af, and Gojek is cheap so used that a lot to get around.

Also went to Taman Fatahillah, which wasn’t particularly spectacular, but nice that there’s a square there with families hanging out, and an actual pedestrianised area so you don’t constantly feel like a motorbike is going to hit you at any moment. Some decent food options in the old post-office too.

It’s a bit fucking intense and polluted here though, I can understand why people are put off by it. It definitely feels like the most “alive” place we visited here though, since so many of the other places are dependent on tourism, but Jakarta is doing its own thing (and is fucking massive).

On the return visit, went to Kemang, which was very cool. Lots of art galleries and creative spaces, good food and bars, and just a general mix of cultures (with a strong representation of Japanese culture in particular). Many cool outdoor food markets in the area too.

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Yogyakarta

Great place, caught the train here from Jakarta, was an awesome journey passing all the rice paddies etc. and very good train travel, would recommend.

The main street in Malioboro is fantastic. All sorts of people about at all times of day, and very few tourists. Most people just use this as a base to get to Borobadaur or Prambanan, but it’s a cool place to spend some time. We happened to be there at the same time as some Eid Mubarak celebrations which was cool, and Jl. Malioboro was alive.

Not cool with the mistreated horses on the horse & carts (mostly for tourists). The fabric markets are amazing according to my wife who has bought tons of fabric to make things with, about a tenth of the price of the equivalent in The Netherlands apparently, and that’s without bartering. Not much of a bartering culture at all in this city actually, which was nice. Slight discount if you’re buying multiple things but that’s about it.

The palace is alright (bit weird with all the mud out the front) and Taman Sari was OK (but found all the alleyways around it more interesting than the place itself, but very glad we spent a few days here.

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Borobudur

The temples are both pretty expensive now, they bumped the price post covid, and it’s now about €50 for a combined Borobadur/Prambanan ticket.

Both temple complexes are absolutely worth visiting though, fucking phenomenal, and on such an incredible scale.

They don’t open early enough for sunrise tours anymore post covid, but you get an awesome view of the surroundings from Punthuk Setumbu though which is well worth it.

Bukit Rhema Gereja Ayam (the chicken church) is nearby too, and well worth a visit as I love weird architectural passion projects made by people who seem detached from reality, and that’s just what that place is.

Borobadur has an option to pay a little more to go to the higher levels. Do it. We had to wait 30 minutes extra for this bit, but otherwise it’s hard to see it properly from the surroundings.

Stayed away from the locked up elephants though, what the fuck.

Prambanan

Incredible place, so many Hindu temples. Don’t bother with the bike hire / shuttle bus to the other side with the Buddhist temples, just walk it. It’s pleasant and the gardens are nice too.

You can catch the bus from Jogja for this one too, bargain!

Weird as fuck that they’ve got locked up cassowaries though, what the fuck.

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