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Indonesia - help for first timer!!!

Travel Forums Asia Indonesia - help for first timer!!!

1. Posted by ewhiting (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y

Hi, next year (April/May) I will be spending a month in Indonesia. I have read lots of threads and come up with lots of ideas but no idea how to fit it all together and on my budget!

Here is what I am currently thinking:

MUST DO = sumatra (jungle trek/orangs/volcano and lake toba if I can) - how long to do this?
Would like to do = east java/yogjakarta/lombok/gili/flores and dragons - I KNOW you will all say too much but how do you even start to cut down? It all sounds too good!

budget £1200 - this includes getting from and back to Singapore (Air Asia do some pretty good deals so hopefully manageable?) Very open to anything I can do to hit this budget eg living on noodles/homestays whatever. Not a big spender on parties/fancy food etc.

What itineries would you suggest so that I have the best possible time here? My priorities are to do/see things that I can't elsewhere eg I can do lush beaches in cook islands later on!

Thanks in advance :)

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1831 posts) 5y

I've flown from Singapore to Medan and bus to Lake Toba (Hotel Carolina). Later buses through Sumatra and buses and a train through Java and ferry to Bali, seeing sights, sites and towns along the way.

It's not too hard to do on your budget. The only place where accommodation is expensive is Bali. I found Medan rather boring so would not stay overnight there again.

I'd invest in a Lonely Planet guide for Indonesia.

3. Posted by sebelasgal (Budding Member 57 posts) 5y

Hi there,

I'm an Indonesian living in Jakarta.
Typically I'd say a month would be too short to see the real beauty of Indonesia :) but your agenda seems manageable to enjoy what you like to see while travelling here.

As quoted..
MUST DO = sumatra (jungle trek/orangs/volcano and lake toba if I can) - how long to do this? >> Sumatra has several regions so you need to look up a reference book like Lonely Planet or else to decide which region you'd like to spend time in. Let's say the volcano and Lake Toba - these are in North part of Sumatra; which you will be likely staying in Medan before going around visiting the lake. Please take time to do a bit of research of which volcanoes are safe for your visit because nowadays some of our volcanoes tend be a lot active. Sumatra has other lakes and of course big jungle; unfortunately in April/May we might be still having some rains so please watch out the weather forecast.

Would like to do = east java/yogjakarta/lombok/gili/flores and dragons - >>
If you're able to spend a week in Sumatra, you can do these for the rest of 2-3 weeks you have left.
East Java - are you thinking to visit our beautiful Bromo volcano?
Jogjakarta is in Central Java - where you can see the Borobudur & Prambanan temples.
Lombok and Gili islands are easily spent for a week or so. But to head for Flores and Komodo islands, you might need another week.

And that's not included your mobility from Sumatra to Java island. I'd recommend using flight as much as possible. April - May are not our peak months but if there is one or more national days, you might want to rebook in advance.

I hope this helps a bit. Please enjoy Indonesia!

4. Posted by ewhiting (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y

wow that has helped thanks to both!! I have tried to narrow things down a bit so that I am not rushing around too much - what do you think?

north sumatra 1 week - 10 days
fly to surabaya from medan and head to Bali via Mount Bromo (will one week be enough/too much?)
Bali/gili/lombok for the remainder (1-2 weeks - prob least time on Bali due to expense/tourists though)

Really gutted to miss out flores but I think I will have to go back and do that properly!

shame about the weather then but that's just when this leg of my rtw falls :/ I am really excited about this part though I think Indonesia sounds fascinating!


5. Posted by sebelasgal (Budding Member 57 posts) 5y


Sounds great & visible now :)
Surabaya - Bromo for a week will be too much unless you wanna try going to Yogyakarta as well.
Bali is very touristic, agreed, but there are also many options for backpackers accomodations there. Not very much for Lombok though - IMHO, Lombok and Gilis are so much quieter than Bali.

I went to Lombok in Feb 2010 and the weather was cooperative (the rain came at night). And we have a very changeable weather conditions for the last 2 years; East and West part of Indonesia have different weather situations all year, so you may catch a good way to enjoy both parts later!

have a good planning & safe travel!