Indonesia: Bali – Ubud

Ubud

That eve we booked another uber *successful* to our hostel in Ubud. This cost us 100,000 IDR. The hostel was lovely ‘Dormy Inn’ but a little bit out of the way so we rented a scooter the whole time which was great for us as Danielle is a confident driver but if your not so keen maybe stay somewhere closer or ask about taxi hire. Our friends hired a car for 400,000 IDR (2 people) for the day to take them round to all the attractions they wanted to see.

In Ubud we went to the monkey forest, 40,000 IDR, which we really liked. It’s a nice little walk as well as just being to see the monkeys. I was really scared about being attacked but didn’t need to be; if you don’t provoke them or have any food they won’t come near you.

1BF1AE94-093E-4359-94B6-E3B0D67EA814

2FEC3FF1-A3AE-4016-B693-95A7159F21CF

27B33979-415B-4C17-9E4B-A33A4AC8729B

70FE1BB8-DE97-41B0-B7AC-5617F6D65054

FAE9AA10-D0E8-4C02-BA67-8D87BF41FF7A

In the afternoon we went to the trawangan waterfall. It was a fantastic scenic drive to the waterfall passing through jungle, rice paddies, hidden streets and dodging all the dogs! This was the best bit of the trip as the waterfall itself wasn’t really anything too special (this may be us in spoilt traveller mode as we have seen so many stunning things now, hopefully not!). The water was pretty murky so we opted out of the swim and it was just so busy.

165

After this we drove in convoy (at the waterfall we had met up with Katie, Charlotte and Daryl) to a silversmith. This was very cool as we got to see the ladies making the jewellery and then went into the shop for the finished products. Obviously they tried to sell us stuff but they let us walk around and have a good look and let us leave with no problems even though no one had bought anything. We then drove onto a local market where there was lots of clothes/local food. Whatever you do in Indonesia make sure you barter for everything, even if you think you’re taking the piss with the price, your not and try it anyway.

148

151

164

CDBCE205-5E6C-4A1A-9186-396136A89D75

Next day we got the hostel shuttle (60,000 IDR pp) back to Denpasar airport and flew to Lombok. We had heard the weather was really bad for the boats going across to the islands so thought we would try this instead. It was only a 30min flight but travelling took most of the day with the faffing and the journey from our accommodation on both sides.

Off to Lombok!

Advertisements

Indonesia: Bandung and Jakarta

Bandung

From Yogyakarta we went to Bandung which was an 8hr night train. This time we paid the much more expensive 350,000 IDR pp executive tickets as we couldn’t face the economy over night. This was definately the right choice as the seats reclined and had lots of leg room, however they kept bright clinical lights on all night so make sure to take an eye mask!

5B6EB062-7BB0-4D8C-B22B-35676BE0CA53

31C1E6DF-D7C7-44FB-BF7A-D1C225D1DDF3

831F88E1-D70D-4F4C-818B-82508153DC11

Bandung is meant to be really good for cheap shopping however we didn’t really find this the case and only bought Danielle one t-shirt!

Bandung was a bustling city from sunrise to set.  It had some type of stall lining every street, they are most famous for their tshirts. It was challenging for us to shop as their super cheap stalls were mainly local clothing and the huge malls were incredibly expensive, think Westfield type of shops and tags.

We did take advantage of the western culture of Bandung.  We had a Dunkin Doughnuts breakfast,  KFC lunch and Pizza Hut dinner. Very naughty but after a month of fried rice for every course a change was needed.

2061DD3E-9DBB-457F-837F-69C2B6ADC99C

Jakarta

From here we went on to Jakarta by train in economy again as it was only 3 hours.  This time it was great. The seats were in twos and were individual rather than a bench. There was a charging station and tray for every seat. Sounds like a normal train right! We don’t even have chargers in the UK sometimes.

From the train we tried to get an Uber but they cancelled twice as the traffic around the station was awful. We ended up getting in a bemo type taxi (a scooter with two seats and a little cover).  It was a fun ride as we could skip loads of traffic but he got lost about three times and in the end kicked us out as he couldn’t cross the main road. We walked the rest of the way.

We had 24 hours here so not much time to do anything and I (Danielle) had to get yet another PhD application in.  We did however find an amazing restaurant. The food was Indonesian but in a funky style and they did these amazing milkshakes.

116

131

Our hotel was nice for the price but people were allowed to smoke inside and in the eating area which means it smelt disgusting as well as giving you sore lungs.

Then next day we managed to get a grab taxi to the airport. The traffic was so manic it took about 30 minutes just to get onto the main road. Just as we were starting to get a good flow we were being bibbed at and harassed by a taxi behind us, he even drove between the two lanes to get by the side of us.  We had no clue as to what was going on. In the next breath we were pulled in by the police.

It appeared that the grab car was driving in the taxi lane, he ended up with a ticket and a fine. In all this time Lara and I were panicking about getting to the airport on time as it had already taken so long to get to that point. The taxi man gave us the international money sign and said toll road.  After agreeing as we needed to get there he stopped at a toll card vendor and said 50,000IDR.  We realised he didn’t have his own card so instead of just us paying the tolls he wanted us to buy his card and weeks worth of tolls for him! Needless to say we were pretty ready to be leaving Indonesia…we had had some great experiences here but also a lot of stresses, we would just say be careful if you are a female travelling alone. It is still a very masculine dominated environment.

TIP

Toll roads are usually about 10,000IDR per car per road and are a good idea if you want to get anywhere quickly. If you have loads of time you can go the long slow route.

Indonesia – Gili Trawangan (Gili T)

Our hostel was close to the harbour (about 10min walk) and we stayed there for 3 nights. The hostel was basic…but it was cheap so we didn’t expect much! We are not really sure how we feel about Gili T, some bits were nice, some bits not so much. The west side of the island is much better, but a bit more pricey as it’s where most of the more expensive resorts seemed to be. If you definitely want to go to Gili T, we would say two/three nights is plenty. We did do a really good day boat trip which was 80,000 IDR pp and went to a couple of snorkeling spots and then to Gili air. Seeing Gili air we think we should have stayed there, seemed much better!

3A82A9FF-AA24-4052-9A4B-740B7DBBA0CF

48C5E36F-01DF-4208-A3ED-2BBABF033E92

XGWQ2356

06C24705-BA6B-4748-B75F-9D3A96BBC8A9

On our last day we met our friend Katie from Oz and cycled around the island and went to take the obligatory Gili T swing pics, bike ride around the island and swing pics are a must! Such a fun day :).

1B53B207-EA5B-4475-B76C-2145C556E6E0

JKVK2036

89

SVQF9139

E609036B-4F93-4A94-B62E-CDEBB14E9EB7

As the weather had calmed down we took the fast boat back to Bali, to a small place called Amed. This boat cost 200,000 IDR pp. We went straight from Amed to Permuteran as we were starting to run out of days, this was our most expensive journey at 550,000 for both of us. That night we stayed in a cute little homestay, the owners were lovely.

In the morning we headed to the main road and got a local mini bus to Gilimanuk, this cost us 45,000 IDR which was a massive rip off, make sure you try and barter more! We just jumped in the first one and after we had paid then saw the locals paying 2,000 IDR each!

At Gilimanuk we got the public ferry across to Banyuangi/ Ketapang which took about an hour and cost 9,000 each. Luckily this was a fixed price so as tourists we didn’t get ripped off again.

77

 

Indonesia – Java 

Banyuangi

We stayed at a great hostel in Banyuangi called Panorama homestay. It was a 10,000 IDR pp local taxi ride away from the ferry port. The rooms were nice and clean and there was a lovely pool with a great view :). That night we didn’t get to enjoy the hostel too much as we set off for our Mount Ijen trek. The hostel helped us organise this through a contact they have. For the whole trip we payed 275,000 each. We were picked up from our hostel at 1130 and then taken to the base of Mt Ijen where a guide met us and lead us on the trek. We commenced around 2am and got back to the base about 8am. This was by far the best thing we did in Indonesia. The views were stunning, well worth climbing vertical through the night. The locals nick name it blue fire mountain because the heat from the sulphur creates a blue fire which you can see at night.

0F1982C4-07F8-40F0-9276-50A2C879BD30

1

3

42

54

14F38D78-2B7E-4A10-BF38-9CCE3A4B1BDA

82402C7B-E00D-400C-83E6-5B9797D5F85B

After the trek, we were driven to a waterfall which is included in the trip. This was lovely but I think we were all a Little to tired to enjoy it properly!

8B315AE3-0386-43EB-BD85-0DC18848F554

19nh

When we arrived to the hostel we jumped straight in the pool and then for a nap. The hostel owner let us stay in the room until after check out so we could sleep which was much appreciated.

6ds

At midday we had booked a cab to Banyuangi train station to get to Probolingo, where we were planning to climb mount Bromo. Sadly there were no train tickets 😦 so after a (small) stress from Lara we booked a ticket for the next day to Yogyakarta which meant we couldn’t do Mt Bromo but we have heard really good things about it so we would recommend to try and do it if you can!

So we stayed in a Homestay close to the train station, it was not anything great but was in walking distance to the station which was great as our train to Yogyakarta was at 0630 the next morning! We bought economy class tickets for 90,000 each. The journey was 13hrs which was an interesting experience! The seats were bench style, rows of three facing each other so pretty cosy, especially when Indonesian style is to spread out, take up as much space as possible, make lots of noise and make a 5 course meal at their seats. Luckily we had downloaded a load of things from Netflix so this kept us occupied most of the journey, if you havn’t got it people it’s a must! So after surviving the journey we reached Yogyakarta at about 1930 and walked to our hostel about 10 mins away. We stayed at ‘Laura’s Backpackers’ which was fine but the bathrooms were pretty dirty and they kept loads of animals in tiny cages and didn’t seem to be looking after them very well. The staff were all really nice but I think just a bit lazy.

Yogyakarta

So things we did were; muin temple, chicken church and prambaran temple. I don’t want to have too much of a rant here but we were getting a little sick of Indonesia by now and the temples just exacerbated this. For ‘locals’ and they would accept anyone who vaguely looked Indonesian for this, the price was 30,000 IDR pp and for anyone else it was 260,000 IDR pp so for Bodora we put our foot down and did not go in but we decided to pay for Prambaran as it was a bit cheaper at 230,000 IDR pp. We understand that locals may be allowed to have a cheaper entry fee but the difference was extortionate and after being ripped off since day 1 we were bored of it.

3B6A824A-F727-4173-A643-92B40E07F423

D3178B74-DD3A-4B1A-9E95-5E30FA844EE2

4B352576-D25F-4EAC-B4A4-DCF481C900AB

275FFEEA-BF23-43ED-ABE4-80D88B1F4D9C

 

 

 

 

Indonesia – Lombok

At Lombok airport we went through the usual stress with the taxi drivers and managed to get one for 150,000 IDR. We then headed for Mataram, the capital city where we were staying for one night. The hotel was really nice (favhotel) but I’m aftraid to say that’s all that was. There isn’t anything to do in Mataram, if there is please let us know! So late morning we got in a cab to our next destination- Senggigi. We just used a local cab and asked them to put it on the meter, it ended up costing 60,000 IDR. Which is reasonable.

141.jpg

Senggigi is much nicer and had a bit more to do. We wondered down to the beach and had a little walk and Danielle finally purchased some elephant trousers she had been wanting since we arrived in Bali! She paid 50,000IDR which seemed to be the lowest any stall would go.

124

146

120

We also treated ourselves to a massage from what seemed to be a chain spa as they were everywhere, called ‘Orchid’. We both had back and shoulders, 30 mins, which was 45,000 IDR pp.

That evening we walked to a local bar which was pretty much empty but had live music and a pool table so we were happy!

3F3553C4-3899-4804-9FA0-25EA33CB2AA2

75B76862-9D24-4B2B-9564-6655654B69CB

9F095FB3-F9E9-4A69-9733-1778538163F5

In the morning we had an early start as we were commencing the journey to Gili Trawangan. We paid 65,000 IDR pp which included the shuttle from our Hostel and the local boat over to the island. They picked us up from the hostel at 0830 (Lombok time meant this was really 0900) and our ferry was at 1030. We arrived on Gili T (feeling pretty queasy from the boat journey) about 1115.

Singapore

We decided to get a long layover in Singapore before going to meet Lara’s Dad in Hong Kong.

We tried to get on the free tour they do from the airport but as we wanted to get off and then do our own thing they wouldn’t let us; apparently there are no stops. So after walking back and forth through the huge airport we got a taxi to the gardens by the bay. We didn’t pay to go in as we didn’t have too long but you can still walk around the outside which is lovely.

30

34

97

4E84D9C3-F8B5-47FD-BBEB-9E7C61ED8DCB

61

After this we walked to in infamous Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling and monkey nuts. They are making a killing on the drinks at £20 a cocktail but I guess you only do it once in your life!

0CBA8BF8-E8CB-41B3-B5EB-C68DC43CA745

51

49

We then went to meet Laura (Lara’s old school friend who now lives in Singapore) in a wine bar which was much more reasonable! We had a great time catching up :), Laura then took us for dinner at Satay street which is a night food market. The food was pretty cheap and really good, try and fit this in while your there ! (Look up the days it’s on as I’m not sure it’s all the time, we went on a Thursday). Lau then went home and we got an uber to the airport, thanks for our night in Singapore Lau :).

44

40

In the morning we would be in Hong Kong.

Indonesia: Bali – Uluwatu – Seminyak

Hello Asia!

Uluwatu 

We arrived into Bali’s capital from Cairns (check out our last posts for Australia East-Coast) pretty late so were keen to get on with our hours journey to Uluwatu.  And evidently half of the Balinese taxi drivers were keen to take us…For a small fortune of course. At first we tried to get an uber but later realised they cannot get into the airport so had to go with one of the guys waiting outside. *

*Note uber is only effective in certain areas of Bali, it’s pretty taboo in general and the local taxi drivers will tell you it’s illegal. We will try and highlight where it’s good to use.

So back to the airport taxi drivers; after being hassled and heckled we finally managed to  barter one of the drivers down to 150,000 IDR (approx £9). This is about reasonable, they’re starting prices are crazy! Don’t accept straight away.

When we got to our hotel there was no one at reception…as it was about midnight we started invisigioning a night on the benches. Luckily about 20mins later a man showed up on his moped and we sucsessfully checked in after a few communication issues. Sleep time!

Next day we wondered around and had our first Indonesian coffee…interesting experience. Try it once, then look out for the machines!  We hired a moped in the afternoon and drove to the Uluwatu temple. Definitely go do this if your in Uluwatu it’s a good cultural visit, and you can experience the local monkeys. We had the moped the next day too so drove to the beach (1000 IDR entry fee) and had a little swim. Unfortunately we wernt in the right season for surfing but normally it’s a good surf spot.

189

183

194

2F774631-A557-4723-8DA2-B8070CA57F85

3B543018-7E95-438F-AFAE-FCFCA2F9765D

00972DDD-81FC-4781-A18F-B22D86B88CA9

 

2B0D5C10-DA3A-40C3-8FC7-FCEFAE209BEE

21AD0D59-B11C-4074-A4AC-067B51460754

213DFE55-E3D7-4EB7-86B3-3F648BA4B7BC

ADA4708A-D4C7-4789-BB7C-A22AA0FA5F95

59858BC0-9A69-4C5F-817D-CA5F0662DD68

1F90757B-53CE-45B8-B724-3572803C8AF8

 

In the afternoon we ordered an uber*successful*to get to our hotel in Seminyak, this cost 120,000 IDR and we had a really nice taxi driver from Java so he gave us some tips for what to do there.

Seminyak

Our hotel in Seminyak was nice and we went to a local restaurant for dinner that night, good food but tiny portions. *

In the morning we hired a moped and took the obligatory trip to Potato Head Beach Club. This took us a lot longer than anticipated as the location on Google maps is incorrect, look out for the Alia hotel and you will find it more easily!  When we eventually arrived we ordered a cocktail (mocktail for Danielle) which was beaut, just watch out for the price tag, London not Indonesian.

 

3B8B3030-F1FC-4E5B-8FD3-E35DD742917B

2FCDEE3A-F35C-46F0-9CC2-CE8A7FAD530A

4E6B807D-DBF5-435A-A7F0-0832211E067E

 

99938297-DE58-4E1D-A8AD-BAAEA4686C21

6F37E7FE-096F-45BE-AE3E-2E61908DF8BD

7AA27810-685A-4DA6-9125-844D8914A037

191

187

181

Check out our next trip where we explore Ubud and the Monkey forest.