Start Jakarta or Bali?

Travel Forums Asia Start Jakarta or Bali?

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1. Posted by jedmonds (Budding Member 32 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi there

We are flying into Jakarta on 11th July and we have a month to explore what we can of the thousands of islands. We are long term travellers so understand that we will only touch the tip of the beauty and adventure but we are now settled in UK and miss the smells and sights of foreign lands (and 4 weeks holiday is all we can get!)

We have a flight home out a Bali so want to work our way south from our arrival city of Jakarta. From Jakarta, would you recommend the train, stopping along the way at key sights? I heard the bus was slow and unreliable? Or would you recommend flying straight to Bali and spending time in Bali, Lombok, Gili Islands? Are the trains easy to catch and relatively cheap?

We would like a mix of jungle adventure, volcano climbing and beaches.

Would this travel be easy? Can you recommend key sights to see along the way?

Thank you very much for all of your help!


2. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I just wrote up this post on another forum about train travel in Java.
Train travel in Java

Also you might like to have a look at Yudi Sujana's website about staying at his homestay in Cianjur an off the beaten track place.
I know the place well as I had my own little free english school I paid someone to run for me for 5 yrs.
Cianjur West Java adventure

Other interesting places are Gunung Bromo( currently erupting but may be ok ot visit in July) and Kawah Ijen in East Java.

I can send you scanned maps if you contact me privately with your email address.

3. Posted by kategypsy (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jennifer,

It's definitely possible to travel by train, and during day trips, you can see the countryside. But I want to suggest that you do not just go from Jakarta straight to Bali. I would advise spending some time in Yogyakarta in Central Java where there is so much to see. Of course, I'm a bit partial since I've been living just north of Yogya for around 20 years (American by birth).

Bali is beautiful and has lots to offer the traveler, but Central Java has a very different feel - so you can 2 distinct pictures of this remarkable country.

If you want more info, drop me a line.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2011, at 22:26 by kategypsy ]

4. Posted by dianshi (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


With a month scheduled, I would recommend you to start from Jakarta then heading east to Bali. You’ll get the chance to see great places across Java Island, including beaches and volcanoes (lots of volcanoes :)).

If this is your first trip to Indonesia, I would not recommend you to use public transportation like bus though. You can find quite reliable train from Jakarta to major cities in Java, but the problem for using train is that you would miss great spots between two cities as interesting places are usually scattered along different areas in the island. If you’re really keen to explore the island and do not mind to spend extra budget, probably the most convenient way is by renting a car. There are a lot of car rentals with reasonable price in major cities.

Of course you could also just skip Java and go straight to Bali and its neighborhood. Bali and Lombok (and Komodo Island if you’re really up to wild adventure) are all a must-visit destination. But personally I think with 4 weeks you should be able to see more.

Let me know if you need further advice on the interesting places to visit as it is quite a long list to mention here.


5. Posted by jedmonds (Budding Member 32 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thank you for your advice all. I thought that the train journey would give us views and was a better choice from flying?

Would you suggest flying from Jakarta to Yogyakarta and then travelling by bus and boat to Bali from there? Are there some fantastic spots that we would miss out on by doing so?

We do not have the budget to drive or the confidence!

We love taking local buses but thought that we wouldnt have the time as we really want to visit komodo island.

Any extra help would be gratefully received.

Thank you!

6. Posted by kwsarus (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

hi there.

here's my recommendation.

day 1 : Jakarta - overnight
day 2 : go to Bandung by bus (took less than 3 hours). in Bandung take one day tour package to Tangkuban Perahu, Kawah Putih, Situ Patenggang (volcanic site).
day 3 : use a tour package to visit Pangandaran beach, Green Canyon (water-rafting) and you might stay overnight.
day 4 : back to Bandung and catch a train to Jogjakarta.
day 5-6 : sightseeing in Jogjakarta, visiting Keraton, Batik village, Borobudur, Baturaden, and surrounding areas.
day 7 : catch a train or bus to Malang.
day 8-9 : take tour package to Bromo (still active though), Senpu Island (Indonesian Phi-Phi Islands alike).
day 10 : take bus to banyuwangi and accross a ferry to go to Bali :)
day 11-14 : you can hang around in Bali or using a ferry to Lombok or Komodo Islands.

of course it isn't fixed. my advice is to rent a car with driver if you had to, don't drive yourself, it can be confusing. hope it will be useful for you.

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3932 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Further to the above, the temples at Prambanan are worth a half- day trip from Yogyakarta.

When you go to Borobudur, try and get there very early to avoid the crowds.

8. Posted by trifenatours (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jennifer,

Since all of you going to spend a holiday for 30 days in Indonesia with an entry point in Jakarta & out from Denpasar - Bali, we think it would be very enough time for all of you to conduct an overland holiday and explore more tourism spots from Java island up until Bali island. Beside the cost will be less instead using any local flights or even local low cost carrier.

Start from the capital city from Jakarta (Overnight 2 Nights) -> Bogor, Puncak & Cipanas (Overnight At Cipanas 1 Night) -> Lembang & Bandung (Overnight At Lembang 2 Nights) -> Garut & Pangandaran beach (Overnight At Pangandaran 2 Nights) -> Yogyakarta & Solo (Overnight At yogyakarta 2 Nights) -> Semarang & Karimunjawa Island (Overnight At Semarang 1 Night & Karimunjawa Island 1 Night) -> Malang & Bromo (Overnight At Malang 2 Nights) -->Cross Bali Straits To Bali Island By Ferry -> North Bali Explre: Lovina Beach (Overnight 2 Nights At Lovina) -> Central+West Bali Explore: Amlapura, Semarapura & Candidasa Beach (Overnight 2 Nights At Candidasa) -> Kuta Beach, South Bali Explore (Overnight At Kuta 13 Nights) ---> Departure Return

Since majority religion in Bali island is Hindu, it would be an advantage for all of you to enter Bali island before July 30 2011 considering the holy month of Ramadhan for the majority Moslem religion in Java island, where all of them on fasting period starting July 30 until August 29 2011.

For 30 days overland touring, it will depend on number of your participant and fleet selection to reduce the cost. If only 4 persons, the most efficient operating cost is using Suzuki APV Arena 2010. If 6 persons, use KIA Preggio. If 8 - 10 persons, you better use ISUZU ELF NHR55D 2010. Those fleet are van type and could also accommodate your traveling bags/suitcase. While for hotels in those places as mentioned above, there are lots of options to minimize the cost. From twin share or triple share room. As long all of you just require a clean room+safe+air conditioned+Telephone+TV+running hot shower+complimentary daily breakfast hotels requirement, with or without swimming pool, there will be lots of cheap hotels choices. Get the advantage from your currency exchange rates by buying on indonesia rupiah rates.

Those are my prelimenary opinion & suggestion to all of of you. Hope it could be one of your next holiday reference to Indonesia:).

Nicolas Kosigin

9. Posted by jedmonds (Budding Member 32 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Wow, thank you all for your generous responses. It will just be two of us so I think overlanding ourselves may not be cost worthy? Do you think? Also, what are the driving conditions like in Java? Is it as crazy as India or easier?

Great tip about Ramadhan, we will be sure to be in Bali by then. We would also like to trip over to Lombok and Gili Islands if possible too.

I will print up all of your suggestions and spend the evening planning my route!


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