Skip Navigation

Change of plan, considering Indonesia

Travel Forums Asia Change of plan, considering Indonesia

1. Posted by wanderitch (Budding Member 81 posts) 7y

I'm currently coming to the end of my second week in Thailand. I was plannin on another three weeks here then Cambodia and Malaysia. I keep hearing good things about Indonesia and bad things about Malayasia, everyone has there own opinions but I'm not that excited by Malaysia for some reason.

What do you think about Bali, Indonesia? I hear its much cheaper than Thailand.

I didnt have Jap Enc or yellow fever jabs. Do I need any of these?

2. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 7y

What are the bad things about Malaysia that you heard of, and what was your original plan there?

3. Posted by wanderitch (Budding Member 81 posts) 7y

I heard its expensive, and just a general preference of other south east asian destinations. It doesn't seem to anybodies favourite.

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3714 posts) 7y

I loved Malaysia and although it wasn't my favourite country in SE Asia I would highly recommend going. The jungle - Taman Nagara National Park - was fantastic and one of my favourite places on the continent, and I also really enjoyed the Cameron Highlands, the Perhentian Islands, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur. It is more expensive than most other countries in the region but it's still pretty cheap by Western standards. I haven't been to Indondesia but I certainly couldn't say anything bad about Malaysia.

5. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y

I think you will find Bali is a lot more expensive than the other islands of Indonesia.
Also Bali is so western as well.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1613 posts) 7y

Quoting wanderitch

I heard its expensive, and just a general preference of other south east asian destinations. It doesn't seem to anybodies favourite.

When you factor in the price of a plane ticket to Indonesia is that place any more expensive than Malaysia?

Last November I took a train down to Hat Yai and then went over to Malaysia, the train was pretty cheap. Malaysia was not that expensive. The train goes all the way to Butterworth (near Penang) and then on to KL. You can also go on to Singapore by train if you want. Singapore definitely is more expensive than Malaysia.

Up to you, but if you want to save money Malaysia might be no worse without paying for a plane ride too!

Last time I was in Indonesia was around 11 years ago. Stopped in Bali and then flew down to Sumbawa Besar (Merapati Airlines) where I worked on a charity project for Earthwatch. There are some recent terrorist warnings concerning Indonesia, here is one from the US.

There have been several since the terrorists blew up the bar.

Good luck.

7. Posted by claireh (Respected Member 318 posts) 7y

I thought that Malaysia was more expensive than the places I visited in Indonesia (Bali, Lombok & Gili Islands), particularly in terms of accommodation. Food is roughly the same. You can get a good guest house in Bali for the price of a hostel in Malaysia and the quality is better in Indonesia. However, I did only visit the Malaysia Penninsular so cannot comment on Brunai etc (I expect Brunai would be cheaper). In my experience, I did not find Indonesia cheaper than Thailand - it was about the same - although, it could just be where I went. I adored Bali and the Gili Islands. Yes, a lot of Bali is heavily westernised, but there are still lovely areas to explore if you travel off the beaten track. The Gili Islands are seriously paradise - no cars, no bikes, no beach dogs, just peace (unless you go to Trawangan - aka the party island!!). Ubud is gorgeous as well, great art galleries, lovely restaurants and really special places to stay at mostly reasonable prices if you just turn up and scout around! I wasn't so keen on Malaysia - I just didn't 'click' with it - it's very developed and not really what I was travelling to see. Check the website to check on vaccination requirements.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Mar-2009, at 05:06 by claireh ]

8. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y

If you were planning on getting to KL you can fly to Banda Aceh cheaply from KL. Have to get your 30 day or 60 day visas in KL- only takes one day.
From Banda Aceh you can travel across to Pulau Weh.
Read this great report from April 2008
From Banda Aceh you can travel by bus down to Takengon- 8 hrs and check out Lake Tawar
From Takengon it is a 10 hr trip to Ketambe where you can go trekking in the jungle and see WILD orangutans compared to the tame ones at Bukit Lawang.
Blog on Takengon
From Ketambe you can get a 8 hr bus trip back to Medan.
Great website on Ketambe is here at
which is really excellent gives one a great feel of the area.
Best place to stay in at Ketambe is undoubtedly Pak Mus- most back packers stay there.
He has just recently built 3 new bungalows on his property.
Here are some photos of my wonderful 8 day stay there in Nov 2006.
Pak even has a house ( repaired since I was last there) high up on the hill looking down onto the river with views to die for.
Here is my trip report on Aceh I wrote on in an internet cafe at a school in Takengon in Central Aceh
Blog on Ketambe by Aussie traveller
NOTE: planes are not flying as yet. New contract maybe ready by May 9th like it was last year- though you never know maybe April.
Keep checking the Ketambe website because Uwe will update as soon as Badaruddin in Ketambe lets him know.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Mar-2009, at 16:33 by pPamela ]