Currently planning RTW trip and want to have some advice on travel routes. I'm going from Australia and want to see parts of Indonesia (want to go for under 30 days).
Is it easier to fly to from Australia to Thailand (as I also want to go to S.E Asia) then go down? Or is it easier to go to somewhere like Jakarta then go up? Also, where should I go when I'm in Indonesia? Doing it on a shoestring so don't want to see all the Islands, just the highly recommended places.
(My overall plan is: Start in Central America then on to South America, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, S.E Asia, India, China, S. Korea and finally Japan).
[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jan-2013, at 14:49 by Cok Facé ]
There are regular air links between Australia and Indonesia, so you don't need to fly to Thailand first if you don't want to. The price, however, is another matter. It MAY be cheaper to fly to Thailand but the only way you'll find out is by searching. Clearly, if cost is not an issue then it makes more sense to fly into Indonesia and then continue to Thailand, to avoid back-tracking.
I'm glad you're not planning to see all the islands. Given that there are more than 17,500 of them, you might find yourself a bit pushed for time
If you want a quick introduction to the country (and in a country like Indonesia 30 days counts as quick in my book!) then you could consider flying from Australia to Denpasar, Bali. You can fly there from Perth, Sydney or Melbourne with Garuda, and possibly from Darwin too. JetStar is a "budget" airline you could look at too.
Getting from Bali to Thailand could be fun - Bali, Lombok, Java, Sumatra. Then take a ferry from Dumai in Sumatra to Melaka in Malaysia, then up to Penang and Butterworth and make your way up to Bangkok by train. Travel in Bali, Lombok and Java is easy; I do not know Sumatra. Not only do you avoid backtracking this way but you get to experience travel by ferry and train too. Getting to Bangkok by train is very straightforward, I have used the line on several occasions (although only between Bangkok and Sungai Kolok).
As for recommended places...Bali, Gili Meno or Gili Air off the coast of Lombok, Gunung Bromo, Borobudur, Prambanan, Yogyakarta and Solo in Central and East Java. I suspect that Central and West Java have a lot more to offer. Sumatra is also said to be a very interesting island.
Happy planning and enjoy your trip!