Indonesia suggestions

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Total Reject
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Indonesia suggestions

Post by Total Reject » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:56 pm

I've got 2 weeks on the ground. I'm not going to Bali or Lombok. I've been to Kalimantan and I may consider it again. We don't want to sit on a beach the entire time.

I'm thinking bouncing around Sumatra from Medan to Padang, Sulawesi bouncing around, or going way out to Ambon and Buru, that area. Suggestions?

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by desertstorm » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:07 pm

It has probably changed because the last and only time I was in Medan was 10 years ago, but God and Allah what a shithole that was.

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Total Reject » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:47 pm

desertstorm wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:07 pm
It has probably changed because the last and only time I was in Medan was 10 years ago, but God and Allah what a shithole that was.
Were there other things nearby you enjoyed? I think there's a national park and a touristy area a few hours drive away that is popular. I was considering stopping there a couple days, then going to the opposite coast and checking it out. But I don't have my heart set on Sumatra, really wondering if there are other suggestions for the larger islands beyond Java.

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simon_in_exile
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by simon_in_exile » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:30 pm

Plenty to see near Medan (which I quite liked) - from there you could head a few hours south to visit Berastagi, hire a guide and walk up Sibayak volcano (easyish day walk with thermal springs attached to a Pertamina geothermal plant at the base of the mountain), watch Sinabung erupting (its been at it for 3-4 years now). Then head via Batak villages to the dormant supervolcano of Lake Toba and hang out on the island in the lake (magic mushrooms optional), which used to be on the backpacker trail 20+ years ago but is now for some reason half-forgotten. Then back to Medan, or alternatively head NW to Leuser National Park (a few people here have visited e.g. Cuch) and then further up NW to Aceh and Pulau Weh right at the tip of the island (from which you can fly to many spots in Indonesia and also to KL and I imagine Singapore).
So that’s one idea.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by cuchulainn » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:42 pm

Medan-Leuser-Aceh is a good route.
Pulau Bunaken has amazing coral reefs, although it’s near Sulawesi.
I went to Pulau Weh and the reefs were decent

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Chip_Oatley » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:12 pm

With the F?

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by cuchulainn » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:40 am

I went to Bunaken with her.

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by steveogolf » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:32 pm

The beaches on Bunaken are lousy, so don't go there thinking that the sand is real nice. Most who go to Bunaken are there for the divings which is first class. The snorkling is very good too.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by desertstorm » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:37 pm

Total Reject wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:47 pm
Were there other things nearby you enjoyed? I think there's a national park and a touristy area a few hours drive away that is popular.
I think simon and cuch have covered it much better than I could, Toba lake is nice in a relaxing scenic kind of way but don't expect spectacular scenery.. We went to Banda Aceh to visit a friend but it was just a few years after the all-destroying tsumani and it was still being rebuilt back then, not worth the time unless you really like nice but not too special beaches and a bit of snorkeling, but we hadn't because we did the diving in Flores instead later in the trip.

If you go to Padang you may also climb Kerinci besides visiting the national park, it should not be a hard climb if you like walking up mountains. I did Rinjani in Lombok instead because I heard it was a harder climb than Kerinci, but Kerinci is higher so you can claim you climb the highest volcano of Indonesia, and Lombok but especially Rinjani is likely to be off limit anyway in coming period.

Is that a reason why you don't consider Java, have you been there before?

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by simon_in_exile » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:45 pm

To add to that:
1. Kerinci as a gunung bagging peak would be good (check gunungbagging website for brilliant hiking trips up all the big volcanoes by the way)
2. Rinjani will be off limits for 5 minutes, based on my Merapi observations: Sep 2010 it’s off limits for a week, then erupts (I was on the neighbouring peak Merbabu one day before coincidentally), and then it’s back on hiking agenda about two months later. I know a really good local guide if you head to East Java or Bali/Lombok/Sumbawa by the way, and actually have a phone number for another Sulawesi (Soputan) guise if you plan to go there too.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by rezuar » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:43 pm

The Togians off Sulawesi are amazing.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by strife » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:33 pm

I've only been to Bali and Nusa Tenggara. Really want to check out diving in Maluku next time.
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Lincoln
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Lincoln » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:40 pm

All of the above advice has been really poor.

You should head to Java...very cool, Borobudur in particular is great...we had a month in Java just bumming around and it was awesome.

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:41 pm

I see Simon's advice runs a little heavy towards volcanoes. :D

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by harry_flashman » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:14 pm

Meh

I have gone off Sumatra. Those toba Bataks are about the most loathsome people in SE Asia. The lake itself has regressed to the point it’s only popular with locals and the crazy stories of Muslims in various parts of the country persecuting other religious minorities for the most insane reasons just underlines why I don’t want to return. The trans Sumatra highway was shit when I did it in 2003, heaven knows what’s it’s like now. Indonesia, with the exception of java, must be the only country in SE Asia where the general infrasture has not improved one jot.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Geoffers » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:55 am

If you follow Lincs advice and go to Yogyakarta to see Borobador, don’t miss Prambanam, a hindu complex of three temples, including a very rare Brahma temple ( there’s only one in India) , out the other side of the city.
As for Medan, it’s still a shithole, but has grown enormously in the last decade or so. Not a nice place. Nearby Bukit Lawang no longer has an orangutan sanctuary, but you can still see them and various types of monkey in the wild quite easily.
Last year lake Toba was fuly booked out during Chinese New Year, which caught me out as I seldom book in advance.
Note that alcohol in Indonesia is now very expensive, don’t go there thinking it’s cheap, it’s cheaper in Australia from a bottle shop.
Enjoy your stay wherever you go, my favourite places can’t be accessed on a two week stay, so I won’t mention them, other than to say, the further East you go, the better)think East of Flores).

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by strife » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:12 pm

Geoffers wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:55 am

Enjoy your stay wherever you go, my favourite places can’t be accessed on a two week stay, so I won’t mention them, other than to say, the further East you go, the better)think East of Flores).
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by simon_in_exile » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:23 pm

Steve_in_Exile wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:41 pm
I see Simon's advice runs a little heavy towards volcanoes. :D
I got a bit distracted ;)

Echo geoffers’ suggestion of Prambanan - I went there a few years back (after hiking up another 3000 m volcano: Gunung Lawu, easy to do by yourself sleeping in a shack near the top), and it was practically deserted, yet amazing in scale and intricacy of carvings. I guess everyone goes to Borobudur instead... their loss.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by andybox » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:07 am

Go to Timor. Kupang is a cool, cheap city. Pulau Roti is a shortish boat ride away, excellent surf and snorkeling on the reefs. Fuck it, I want to get back to Kupang soon.
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by _ar » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:07 pm

I spent 2 weeks in Flores last summer and it was incredible- quite untouristed except for Komodo National Park but even then you can escape the crowds. We spent 4 days on a boat exploring the entire marine park. The interior of the island is lush tropical - you can hike volcanoes and visit remote villages. the trans flores highway is a treat.. it's a far ways from becoming a bali or lombok.

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Lincoln » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:35 pm

_ar wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:07 pm
I spent 2 weeks in Flores last summer and it was incredible- quite untouristed except for Komodo National Park but even then you can escape the crowds. We spent 4 days on a boat exploring the entire marine park. The interior of the island is lush tropical - you can hike volcanoes and visit remote villages. the trans flores highway is a treat.. it's a far ways from becoming a bali or lombok.

_ar...you are one of the original posters on this forum and yet you've made only 7 posts in 13 years....if you don't mind me asking, why do you post so little?....did you just remember this forum and start posting again?...whats your story?

Good info about Flores too...excellent palce.

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by simon_in_exile » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:06 pm

_ar now there’s a poster I haven’t seen for a looooong time. A pleasant surprise - still in New York?
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by polardude1 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:14 pm

I spent a month in Sumatra back in 1989 including chilling out along lake Toba. I started n Medan, and made my way to Brastagi. I did climbed Sibyak but without a guide. I finished of fin Bukitinggii and did a 9 day trek on Siberut Island. I'm sure a lot ha changed in 29 years
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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by _ar » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:38 pm

I've made more than 8 - that counter is wrong!! I think it got reset some years back maybe? I transferred from the LP days but yeah after a few years I kinda drifted away .... I was researching some travel thing and came upon a lonely planet discussion link that made me think about the stew and I was wondering if it was still around.. and not only is it around but my login still works :-)

Hi Simon - yes, still here... how are you?

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Re: Indonesia suggestions

Post by Cyllarus » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:56 pm

Travelled about West Sumatra in 2008. Good hiking in the highlands outside of Bukatingi down to some lake I've forgotten name of. Very interesting matriarchal culture - Menangkabow - living in longhouses and women own everything and can have up to 4 husbands.... despite it now being a muslim area. Also spent a week diving and snorkelling on Cubadak Island off coast of Padang. Lovely place.

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