Not much to see in Jakarta actually.
The nearesr airport to Bromo is Surabaya
Suggest that do the following
LCCT -> Bandung->Yogyakarta->Solo -> Mt.Bromo ->Surabaya ->LCCT : 9 Days Back-Packing
Bandung (1-2 days)
Yogyakarta (3-4 days)
Solo (1-2 days)
Mt Bromo (1-2 days)
Surabaya (There is nothing to see here)
I hope this helps
Sometimes Bromo are off limit due to hazards, but most of the time it is open. The receipt for a visit to the mountain are this. Get up really early, and start walking along the road cut out in the craterwall no later than 4:30 in the morning. Then you will have good time to reach the top before sunrise. Sometimes there is lot of yong local couples walking as well, but they are too buisy with eachother to travel fast, so you will soon have the lead and can enjoy the walk. In my diary i wrote this: “the queue felt behind me, it became totally silent. There was no trace of wind, no sounds created by annimals or human to be heard anywhere, only the sound of my own boots on frozen sand.I could hear my own heartbeats. I was alone with the magical shades of the mountains rising towards the sky lightened by the halfmoon and the stars”. After crossing the sand, it is possible to rest at the teastalls at the base of Bromo and Batok, before climbin gto the top of Bromo, the steepest part have stairs. You will feel drops of acid in yur face, often you are covered in dirtywhite sulphursmelling gas drifting down the mountainside. You will hear the sound from the gasvent, if you have seen the titanic movie, and remember the sound when the steam vas dropped, you have the sound of Bromo. At my visit, it only came a manageable amount of gas, but here are a list of previous uprises from that PMS dominated lady. 1980-glowing bombs are spread over the sandsea. In the end of june, 480 explosions was recorded in 24 hours. Visitors was not allowed to enter until september. July 1980-449 poisonous gaseruptions. 1995- Bromo creates ashrain 20 kilometers away. December 2001-100 explosions daily with asheruptions.
When the light arrives, this is the place to really appreciate the impressive outerwall of the Tenggercrater. It is possible to visit the place all day long, but after sunrise the magic is definately gone. Nature wants it like that, beside now it is lots of cars transporting tourists between the teastalls and the village.
The Island of Java.
I have wanted to visit Indonesia for a while and after a few failed attempts I finally was in the region and took the oppurtunity. Although my time was short I was able to make good use of it and saw some of the sites I wanted to. There are many islands that I wanted to visit but I just spent my time on Java. The main reason I wanted to visit this island was for the Buddhist complex of Borobudur. I only heard of this place a few years ago but when I saw it, it immediately went on the places to visit list. There are a lot more places to visit in the island and many of them are quite wonderful. But if I do get to come back to Indonesia I think I would perfer to spend that time on the other islands.
Java is the powerhouse of Indonesia. It is the centre of the country in basically all aspects. With an area of 130,000 km2 which is small in my Canadian standards and a population of over 120, 000, 000 people which is big in my Canadian standards is a fairly densely populated island. Sometimes it almost seems the island is one big village. This is almost like all the Indonesian islands wrapped into one. With lots of different religious influences, there is a lot of different architecture. This place is also a really good place for souvenirs (I picked up a few). Its landscape is domintated by the volcanoes which are quite active.
Java - three weeks was just too short!
We were invited to Jakarta for a meeting. 4 days we talked about the futur of the orangutans on Borneo-Kalimantan.
After that we had our vacation...
We took a flight to Yogyakarta - a really great city. Lots to see and the surroundings with the borobudur are world inheritance places...
Then we decided we diserved a little beach-sun-relaxing at pangandaran. An absolute highlight was the green canyon for me.
Bandung and Bogor the last stops of our trip.
It was absolutely great.
towards Australia and beyyyooond.....
"ready - set - GOOO!!!!!"
i started from frankfurt. nothing special about that, right? i was only worry to get all my lugguage on board since i was only allowed to have 20kilos. i have heard something about 30kilos max though. so i did precise packing: lifting the big suitcase to the check-in counter...and.... exact 30kilo. well - I AM GERMAN!
flight was perfect. i flew "Gulf Air" and let me tell you - these guys are even better than "British Airways" and they were on top of my list of perfect airlines.... the food was good, many movies to choose from, even some games and very friendly. oh - and: they brought me here: ABU DHABI.
what a city. rich is not even describing how rich these people are over here. big cars, everything is clean and nice...
well. right in front of my hotel is this internet cafe which even has its own doorkeeper who leads you all the way to were you want to go (eventhough everything is very easy to find)... dont ask how much it is though.... he said something about 10 something for an hour... what do they actually have here? dollar? dinar? no clue. anyway the counter is fast moving towards the 10 min and since i dont want to get a car for free on the side i'll better get going to explore the city somewhat more....
have to get up arround 7am tomorrow in order to get to the airport on time.... oh - i shared the care with some other germans on the way to the hotel...they are so german: only complaining, all the time, verifying everthing after they got it veryfied already and confusing antone around them... i dont know - are we all like this...?
saturday, 09th november 2002
the wake-up call came around 7am (4am in germany). taken the fact that i went to bed around 2am i realized that i might not have had enough sleep. interesting enough that i felt fit and good though. have had breakfast and got picked up (along with some grumpy germans which stayed in the hotel all night long) for the airport.
KL was already raining - was worried that it will be the raining season for my whole stay - HOPE NOT!
people are looking at me. is totally weird. even the people in the plane - havent they seen white guys like me on the airport? hmmm...who would be like me? alright, alright! i grand you ONE look... :) -well - i reached jakarta around 1am in the morning (one hour late). the air has a killing factor with it. totally different from abu dhabi. really hot, very humid (almost watery) which makes it very heavy and hard to breath. everything is ultimately sticking to your body. but you will not know if it is from your own sweat or the moisture in the air...
gotta stay with a friends family in "joglo", a district of and within jakarta. i am tired but the jetlag gives me the impression of not being sleepy yet. around 3am i gotta go to the bed otherwise i will not be able to survive the next day. the whole house is awakening slowly because of the early breakfast for ramadan. well - i force myself to bed and let the others do whatever they think they will have to do.... good night.
sunday, 10th november 2002
woke up around 9am. it was sooo freakin hot. the ac was working all night but doesnt seem to help very much. breakfast. getting to know the rest of the house (incl. maids who seem to be very shy indeed). around 12noon i get shown the city - well - the first part as i discover later. jakarta is big, i mean huge. i begin to realize that you will always spend a long time in the car until you reach the place you wanna go. gosh this air. so i got to see the politician area, the golden triangle (a constellation of big autobahn -like-streets forming the middle of the center in the shape of a triangle), a couple of embassies (incl. the german one!), poor areas, middle class areas and the old city where i liked it the most. the old city (from the colonial times of the dutch) has a cozy factor to it. a train station, the old city hall is now a very plain but interesting museum and streets to walk on. there is some kind of atmosphere here. i wish it would be in better shape - but honestly: the old city isnt the worst place in jakarta. i am so amazed of the obvious visible signs of wealth here. in the middle of the poorest area and houses made of not more than wood and some metal one will always find a big, nice, green, clean, heavily guarded and fenced house with a couple of big cars in the driveway. the poor are really poor and the rich are more than rich. there seem to be hardly any middle class, but there is and sometimes one can think they belong to the upper class... a strange society. i guess not easy to understand.
in the evening i went to another family gathering for the "breaking the fast" party. a lot of people, praying and good and lots of food. i've had some good conversation and a really interesting evening. i went to bed around 10pm after a long, long day. but i felt good. i did have a problem with a headache and some kind of sleepiness around 4pm (10am in germany) but managed to get of this and went on and on and on and......bzzzzzzzzz
monday, 11th november 2002
since i want to leave tomorrow to the java trip i've got up early (7am!!). have to by a hair clipper (forgot mine - but they should be cheap over here anyway), check out airfares to melbourne and see the rest of the city. i am excited - what is more to see? oh - i forgot - yesterday i even went to this park close by jakarta ("Taman Mini Indonesia Indah"). an amazing park about indonesia itself. each region is presented there with its architecture and customs. they are so diversed. but i guess with over 17000 islands a country just is like that. and before i forget another thing: the phone (+62-812-1875557) works!
anyway - its much later now (actually evening) and i havent found a hair clipper yet. we went to so many places and scratched so much what we've had on our list but i still have the feeling that we havent done enough... not that it was boring or that nothing happend, but EVERYTHING takes very long here. you spend hours in the car just to find out the place you wanted to go to is closed by the time you are ariving there...its not disturbing since i am on vacation and enjoying any minute here, but if i would live here it would drive me nuts... life has a different pace here...
i went to a couple of electronic stores, a mall, had lunch at KFC, tried the internet speed at a local university campus (ATMAJAYA) and went to a car repair store to prepare the car for the ride. so far i am adjusting pretty good with the heat. i really enjoy it actually to sweat while my fellow citizens are freezing very much... an i do sweat a lot...
ok - have to get up early tomorrow for the road trip. lunch is planned for a place on-the-way to bandung and spend the next 2 nights there...
tuesday, 12th november 2002
had to wake up around 7.30 because I planned to get a massage before I start the “tiring trip”. And for real: at 7.30 in the morning on the dot the masseuse comes to your home to give you a full body massage for an hour and you don’t even spend more on it than 3 euro. Just beautiful.
Around noon we arrived BOGOR (a city south of jakarta on the way to bandung). A city shaped in the colonial times as well with an extraordinary botanical garden. During lunch I realized that I felt somewhat wired and weak. I remembered that on almost every vacation trip I went I was sick for a couple of days ion the beginning. Well I thought I would get along without it this time but it looks it’s some kind of process for my body to get used to the new environment. But it also could just be that I have stressed out myself too much the last days. The changes are heavy. The temperature is never under 30 degrees Celsius, the time changes affects me always a lot and the humidity and the food and and and… well on the way from BOGOR to BANDUNG I tried to get some rest, since I thought this would be it what I need – sleep. Arriving BANDUNG around 7pm. I feel even worst and go to bed right away in the hope to be fit tomorrow. Everything hurts.
wednesday, 13th november 2002
There is not much to say about this day except that my practice was closed because of illness. Even though equipped with earplugs and blindfolded the morning prayers from the mosques around the area woke me up. Since my health conditions didn’t improved over night I couldn’t fall asleep again and I was rolling around in the bed from one side to the other until it was too much and time to ask for medical treatment. So at 6am in the morning I went to a close by hospital (rumah sakit), which was surprisingly up to date. Very clean, well equipped and doctors who seemed to know what they are doing. So I got my anti-biotic and was released to stay home for the next 3-4 days.
In the evening I felt better already.
Thursday, 14th november 2002
I woke up with a headache, which disappeared quickly after I got up around 9am. During the day the driver drove me to the bank and a store to refill my prepaid phone card (called simPATI here).
Oh – that is something I have to explain. It is very common to have both in indonesian families: maids and drivers. Drivers: well if you could see how they drive here, you would understand why and maids to help in the household. Most of the time they also live with the family and come from poor islands of indonesia. And with the money they make as maids or driver they can support their families at home. And since labor is very cheap here they are affordable and very welcomed in the family that everyone can take care of their own stuff and don’t need to be bothered with household issues… very interesting. Well that’s what I did today – besides resting and recharging my batteries for the days to come…
Think will get up early tomorrow that we can stick with the trip schedule. We skip bandung (can always do it in december since it’s close to jakarta) and head towards Yogyakarta (Yogya)…
Friday, 15th november 2002
I need to start this day with adding the information about the dinner last night. There is a place called “Kampung Daun” still insight BANDUNG but (at least for me) some way to drive that it actually felt like outside of the city. While you are driving you will get the view over LEMBANG (a city close by). Anyway. There is some kind of compound called “Trinity” and the restaurant Kampung Daun is right in there. Definitely not easy to find but very beautiful. Rocks with a little river surround the restaurant and the eating-places are little huts for 2 people up groups with maybe 15-20 people. Each hut is a couple of meters of distance to each other and some are higher up in the rocks and some are on the little river. You sit on the floor surrounded by nature and not at all many people. The place is very neat and clean and (yes I have to say it) western like for me. Except the prices like almost everywhere in Indonesia. I’ve had some kind of prawn with lots of garlic and rice for not even 4 Euro – obviously that I had to take 2 portions…anyway – just wanted to add that. Now to today:
As I said – the day of the long ride. Leaving BANDUNG around 10:00am towards YOGYAKARTA (YOGYA) passing GARUT, TASIKMALAYA, CIAMIS and KEBUMEN. Right in the beginning I’ve had another highlight of the tour. “Kampung NAGA”. This is a village (again) not easy to find even for locals (we are 4 people in the car and passed it almost twice) and had to ask round about 10 people from the region. The village is situated between GARUT and TASIKMALAYA save and hidden in a valley that you reach after taking over 300 steps down. It is famous for preserving the traditional life including the architecture of the houses, doing agriculture and making handicraft etc. The houses will not be rebuild only maintained and are typical for this region. Even architecture students from Bandung have to make a field trip to the village. Just being there and standing in front of some rice plants listening to the river and the sound the jungle on the other side made was so impressive for me. Almost too much nature…
After that followed the car ride with some stops along the way for either picture taking (it is all so green over here) or eating. Have had dinner around 6pm at breaking the fast time…
Arrived YOGYA around midnight where we all will stay for the next 2 nights in a huge and beautiful house…
Saturday, 16th november 2002
Once again – getting up too early. It is almost like work keeping the schedule but I think it is worth it to be stressed out a little bit now because I really want to see something from this country and the beaches are still to come.
Well if you are in YOGYA you will go to BOROBODUR. A place, famous for the world’s biggest Buddhist temple. Well what to say. I saw pictures of it already and (of course) expected more. The pictures made it bigger as always and I was all the time in the believe there is still something to come. But nevertheless is BOROBODUR a breathtaking place (not only because of the combination of steps that you have to climb in this heat). I am glad to see another reason for keeping the UN and with it the UNESCO alive. Because without them the temple would have lost almost all of its power of impact.
And BOROBODUR was also my first encounter with the tourist world of Indonesia. They have it all: the seller who wants you to sell everything. Water, key rings, paintings, fake statues etc. and they will hunt you down until you buy at least a little bit. Not different to the rest of the tourist places of the world and I am sure I will see lots more of them. Lunch was in SOLO, another city reachable by car within 1,5 hours. The evening we spend with exploring downtown YOGYA (yes they have something like that) and I bought myself a nice Sarong (indonesians actually say: Sarung). Look it up yourself what it is. Again, it was a long day and again: it will be a very early morning since we are hitting the road again tomorrow towards MALANG.
Sunday, 17th november 2002
The headache day. The whole day. It does not make sense to get up early and face the consequences the complete day. I need sleep otherwise I am grumpy all day long and waste a full day. Well, this one was hard. Had to get up early again since we wanted to leave at 9am again. There are 2 things that we wanted see in YOGYA before we leave though. 1. the city has in its center some kind of palast (the “kranon” or so) and 2. a little bit outside of the city another hindu temple in PRAMBANAN. Well, we saw neither one of them. In the city of YOGYA is a monument to remember the fight for independence of indonesia where YOGYA played a very vital and important role in it. None of the group was interested to see that except me. As it turned out, almost no one at all was interested to see that and the tour guide was so happy to see a foreigner again that he thanked my whole group for bringing me since it was such a long time ago that the last foreigner visited this place. Anyway. For me it was worth it going there. Very much. I cant connect that much to very old places like castles and so on but this is contemporary history which effects the face of the city as we see it now. The “Yogya Kembali” as the place is called, is very well made and the tour guide did a fabulous job showing me around. So it turned out that we all stayed longer at this place as we anticipated and skipped the other 2 sights. And we were on the road again. The only stop we made since we wouldn’t make it until sunset to malang (I explain later why this would have been nice) was at BLITAR. As small village probably only known for the birthplace and now “Tomb of President Sukarno”. So we stopped, watched and left again. The tomb is not excessively exciting but nice. Interesting enough though that the people treat it like a holy place: you have to leave your shoes at the first steps and go on your knees once you enter the gravesite. You even do some kind of praying. Interesting again.
In the evening we arrived MALANG where we checked in into a cheap hotel (5 euro per person incl. breakfast) and had “Chue Mie(?)” for dinner – what MALANG is famous for.
Monday, 18th november 2002
Breakfast around 9am. The day was actually scheduled for exploring MALANG and its outside area. Close by is a mountain (Mt. Bromo) that we tried to reach last night before sunset. Since we missed that we were (not very persistently though) thinking of catching the sunrise there. Well – obviously – we missed this also. So we decided to catch the sunshine at least. Off we were to Mt. Bromo. 2 hours of driving and not reaching the top was very disappointing though. Eventually we found the tip but to enter the very last meter it would have cost 20 euro to enter. A fortune for this country where you can get a full meal for 1-2 euro a person. So we skipped it and decided to not go back to MALANG since we were already have of the way to BALI. The situation here is very friendly and peaceful. I have seen no one who agreed to terrorist acts in one or the other way. Even trucks are driving around here with demonstrative painted british and american flags on it. And the very presence of police everywhere makes us feel very save as well. Nothing major happened on the road except the countless phone calls with the travel agent in JAKARTA because he messed up with my flights to MELBOURNE where I wanted to go next week. Somehow I ended up on a waiting list even though I’ve had the tickets confirmed already. Being far away from this guy, sweating and paying money to call him made me so furious – he was lucky that he wasn’t around the corner. I hope he has fixed the problem by Saturday, which is the day we plan to be back in JAKARTA. I hope it for him.
Anyway – there is a ferry connecting JAVA and BALI, which goes every 15 minutes. Around 11pm we arrived LOVINA BEACH, a small and quiet place in the north of BALI. I am so graving for sun, silence and sleep. The plane for tomorrow is just being myself and hanging out on the beach after this nice, interesting, very detailed but tiring trip. Doing nothing till Wednesday. I thing then we will move on. See you then…
Tuesday, 19th November 2002
The beach-relax-rest and task-free-day started definitely different from the days before: NOT getting up early, having breakfast and spending the rest of the day in and around shops and the beach, gaining some color and playing around with the waves. Enjoyment can be so easy.
Wednesday, 20th November 2002
Lets start with a little lecture in religious celebration habits:
The Christians have "Christmas" (the day on which the messiah was born)
the Moslems have "Lebaran" (or Idul Fitri - breaking the fast - the last day of Ramadan, the fasting month)
and the Hindus have "Galungan" (the first and opening day of a ten day celebration on which the spirit of the ancestors of each family come down to earth to see how they are doing or so). so far so good. Why do I mention this? Well - Bali is well known for its majority of Hindus and - yes - "Galungan" is today. First and more than anything else it means getting up very early again. The biggest Hindu temple of Bali wants to be discovered on this special day of course. But I guess I did not get up early enough. The temple, placed in BESAHKI, seems to have its main procession already behind him. We grab us one of the temple tour guides who shows us around and tells stories about the temple, the procession, the meaning of colors for the religion, Galungan itself and what role Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma play in this game....
And off we are to a beach, which wants to be explored and is not know at this point. As it turns out, the surprising beach has to be on the island of LOMBOK since we have to wait 1 hours of the ferry which will need another 5 hours to bring us there. Around 6pm LOMBOK is reached and the sun set already and unfortunately. But finding a hotel on this island is not a problem at all.
Bargains are possible everywhere since because of the Bali bombing hardly any tourists coming and a whole bungalow in a 4star hotel can be arranged for not more than 13Euro per person incl. breakfast. The hotel itself ("Puri Saron" at Sengiggi beach) is except of 1 Dutch guy and 7 rooms for some germans completely empty. Well I don’t mind the silence and attention of the hotel staff not at all and go to bed after some rounds of swimming in the pool...
Thursday, 21st November 2002
Guess what: I get up myself early because I am totally curious about the beaches on this island. Sengiggi beach itself has gray/black sand but everything else: palm trees, nice water and silence. To be honest, somehow I hope to find a commercial like beach today: no people, crystal clear water, white sand and palm trees - so - lets go finding it. 45min by boat from the hotel are again 3 small islands - one of them should be the right one. The hotel staff is driving us a little bit more up north and closer to the islands. In a very small village are fishermen who usually do boat rides to these islands for the tourists. Since we are the first once for month now who want to go over there, not even the hotel staff could make any prediction about the price to get shipped over. Happy to have customers again finally a small fisher boat is cutting its way through the dreamlike turquoise and deep blue water towards "Gili Meno" (the other two are Gili Air and Gili ???). GILI MENO seems to be perfect for a moment: white sand, no people, and crystal clear water but somehow I am not happy. There are no palm trees and the water is very, very shallow and has stones everywhere and as I constantly get bitten by little white things I decide: this is not my paradise and ask the fisherman to drive back. The hotel staff is informed very quickly thanks to the cell phone and is already waiting in the fisher village. I feel like a spoiled and never satisfied tourist but the hotel staff is pointing out KUTA BEACH in the south of LOMBOK. There the paradise beach could be found... to make a long story short: KATU was nice indeed: beautiful beach, amazing water but to warm, beach sellers and palm trees a little bit too far away for my taste. A couple of hours had to be enough since the ferry back to BALI was to catch and the next day was scheduled with checking out KUTA BEACH on BALI and starting the return to JAKARTA.
Friday, 22nd November 2002
Bali cinta damai. This was to read everywhere. Stickers all over the city - the Indonesian for: Bali loves peace. I haven’t seen a sadder and so deep in their beliefs destroyed city. Not even New York was like that. Within days New York had to bounce back and the streets were filled with life and a strong and powerful look in the future. Bali - kuta- is not like this. As I have heard tourist numbers decreased already after the New York bombing but what this area is experiencing right now is not comparable. I haven’t been here before but as I have heard used the streets to be packed with people from abroad and Indonesian tourists who celebrated their vacation on a paradise like place to full extend. Now 99% of all the shops are closing at 9pm the very latest. The streets are empty and the waiter in the restaurants know the few guest almost by name and this after more than one month after the bombing. One can still see the disturbance and not understanding in the faces of the people there. I feel very sorry to see that, because it doesn’t look like this island would recover soon from this shock. The site of the bombing is scary to look at night. Indonesian officials cleaned up everything and the only thing you see is a hole. A hole in the middle of a street full of little shops and bars. During the day the street looks a little bit more like life but the signs of sale and discounts make it obvious that hardly anyone is buying. There are even tourists, even more than I expected and I am happy that they are here and hope that they also spread the word of this place which suffers without any reason. I am traveling now 2 weeks across Indonesia (which is not much-I know) but I need to say, that I never felt anything something like hate or dislike towards myself. Police is everywhere and checking id's within the country when one is hopping from one island to the other. Well - I did my share to support KUTA and spend some (even a little bit more) money here before we hit the road again back to JAKARTA. The night is spend in SURABAYA...
Saturday, 23rd November 2002
Well – how much can you write about a day, spend completely in the car? Got up very early since we wanted to be in JAKARTA tonight. The only stop was supposed to make in PEKALONGAN a city famous for its batik art where one can visit a Batik factory. To make it short again: we did not arrive PEKALONGAN before 6pm. Obviously the factories were closed at that time on a Saturday and I had even problems to find some shops that would still are open. JAKARTA was reached at 1am in the morning and I felt in a condition between sleepwalking and dead in my bed and dreamed about beaches, cars, crazy trucks on the street, sarongs, lots of palm trees, rice fields, rain, ssssuunnnn…..zzzzzz