Is it just me or does it seem that Indonesia is not so popular? From browsing gapyear stuff it definately doesnt get as much attention. Most backpackers to SE Asia seem to follow the Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam route. Is there something I should know, as i want to go there this summer (june/July). Im a solo female traveller.
It does appear to be slightly more unstable than some of the other countries in SE Asia, but nothing says you shouldnt go there at all. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated from any1 in the know!
I have also noticed Indonesia does not appear on many of these gap year things. I was there last year with my family and it is a very beautiful country, we went to Surabaya in East Java. I am not sure I would want to go to that patricular area as a solo female traveller, I don’t think they have many foreigners there and I wasn’t that comfortable going anywhere alone. Even my brother got harrassed when he went out alone.
When we were there all the locals kept asking if we had been to Bali, that appears to be the place to go however it is fairly commercialised now from what I have heard.
Hope this helps.
Well Thailand, Cambodia and Laos and Vietnam are all connected to each other, so its easy to take a bus or a train and really cheap flights. Flights from Thailand to Bali or Jakarta are normally $200 or $300..
Personally, I think Bali is the best place for a single female traveler. Huge tourist destination (my favorite place in the world I am going again in July :) ). I would not recommend anywhere else if your going alone. If you were in a group I would recommend going to parts of Sumatra and parts of Java, but they are not great alone. Indonesia is HUGE! the same size as the United States. It is hard to get all over. Best to stick to only a couple places, unless you have a great deal of time. I go to Indonesia a lot. Let me know if you want help. Be more than happy.
I cannot say enough about the place.
Thanks guys, maybe i will make friends with people in Bali and then go on to the other places as a group. Iv heard Bali can be a bit more expensive because it brings so many tourists in. Do you know if its ok to go to via Malaysia? I was planning on working my way down from Thailand. Thanks again!
Indonesia is lovely. A lot of people were put off by the Bali nightclub bombings a few years back and the tourism industry suffered, but something like that shouldn’t deter people from visiting the rest of the country. It does though, naturally and understandably.
One of the reasons that it’s not mentioned a hell of a lot in Gapyear circles is because you may not find a stopover option in Indonesia on your average ‘off the peg’ RTW ticket. That’s changing, though.
It’s really popular with young Aussies, because it’s on their doorstep, relatively speaking (lots of Australians live nearer to Indonesia than they do Sydney or Melbourne).
Bali is touristy, but worth a visit. The Gili islands are great for diving and snorkelling, and places like Komodo (home of the dragons), Sumbawa and Flores are just nuts. Volcanoes, jungle, the lot.
You can’t visit all the islands, though. There’s something like 7,500 of them, see.
If you dig nature, then Indonesia is one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet. As Jenpo said - it’s vast, and there are plenty of things lurking on them there islands that we don’t know about. They find new species of animals there all the time. Swathes of Indonesia are true unchartered territory.
Indonesian Borneo is another world. Amazing.
Great place. I would say that it’s definitely more visited than you think, though. If you pick up a copy of Lonely Planet’s ‘South East Asia on a Shoestring’, you’ll see that Indonesia has far more pages devoted to it than anywhere else. But yeah - it doesn’t seem to get talked about that much on here. The Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forums are a good source for info and for asking questions. Obviously GY.com is your first choice, though :o
As for getting there from Malaysia. Easy. Air Asia are based at KL, and they have a very wide choice of destinations to fly to in Indonesia. Super cheap too. Jetstar also fly to Indonesia from Singapore, as do a fair few other airlines.
You can also take boats from Malaysia to Sumatra.
We got Indonesia on our RTW ticket..We’re flying from Singapore into Bali in July…We are intending to take in those Gili Islands as mentioned above too.Looks fantasic..
Ok, the plan (for now) is to fly into Singapore or KL at the start of June and go across to Sumatra, then work down to Jakarta. Along Java to Bali and Lombok, then head north to Sulaweisi or Kalimantan (or both) then back to Singapore or KL for flight home.
Is this a realistic ( advisable?) plan for a solo female, with 2 months to do it in? Thanks again for the good info Tom.
Still looking for a travel buddy!
Mcnapper…whenabouts in July, a wee drinky might be in order?
Fly into Bali from Singapore on July 1st..
Just look out for the pissed Irish lad wandering about..
A friend and I are planning to do a very similar thing this summer. We’re thinking of flying to KL or Singapore (whichever we get the best deal on!) at the end of June, then check out peninsular Malaysia, spend a few days in Singapore before heading to Sabah, then go to Java either through Kalimantan or whatever is easiest, then explore Java and if we have any time left chill on the beach in Bali/Lombok before flying back to to Singapore for our flight home at the end of August.
Speaking to a friend who’s been, I don’t think you’ll find it deserted and you’ll meet people, but it just won’t be crammed full of backpackers like Thailand would; but I think that’s a good thing!
im thinking about a very similar trip to yours and was wondering how to do pennisular malaysia indonesia and malaysian boreno.
So how long do you rekcon your spend in pennisular malaysia? and then fly out of singapore to sabah and then are you going to fly back west to indonesia? do you knwo roughly the cost to fly to sabah and back?
Oh and Sophie me and two of my friends will be in malaysia and indonesia for june and july if you get lonely!
I shall be going to Indonesia next year. 1 1/2 months sound a reasonable amount of time for the main areas? Starting on the Indoneisan part of Borneo, then I will fly to Bali and then overland back to Kuala Lumpur, unless I clearly dont know how much of a feat that may be? obviously I will need to boat a few times.
Just got back from my 2 months in Indonesia. I went overland (almost) From Sumatra, down to Java then onto Bali. Going overland from Bali to KL is doable though i would recommend a flight from Jakarta to West Sumatra (Padang), you could take a night bus thogh. And give yourself a couple of months to do it justice there are a lot of amazng places to go.
im going!!!Gunung bromo looks awesome
Bromo is completely out of this world!! You’ll love it. Watched the sun rise there from the top of the crater, then went down into the big crater to climb up bromo. Its a bit of a nightmare getting there and away and beware of organising a bus from cafe lava…..they will probably just stick you on a chicken bus so organise it yourself if you can be bothered…wish i had. But cafe lava is a nice place to stay there. Urgh im sooo jealous!
Flying to Bali from Oz (either Darwin or Perth, haven’t looked in to it yet!)
Then overland up from Bali to Singapore, possibly fly out to Borneo before heading up the rest of SE Asia!
Will be there this time next year! EEK! So excited! Fly to Oz 4 weeks todayyyyyy!x
Thanks guys, maybe i will make friends with people in Bali
I didn’t find many travellers on Bali, just tourists. YMMV.
FYI Airasia do cheap flights between DPS (Bali) and three airports in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, on the main land, Kuching, on Borneo, and BKI (?). So, if you fly to Malaysia you should be able to do Bali as a side-trip without too much expense, if all else fails.