Feedback on Indonesia: Volcanoes and beaches

Administrative

  • Visa: See our related post over here
    • Max 30 days: free
    • Max 60 days: not free (at least 51€/pp)
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), 1€ ~ 17.000 IDR
  • Local bank fees: None (BRI, BNI, …)
  • Language: Bahasa (national language) and dialects, a bit of English, …

Our itinerary


When we went and how long we stayed

15/06/2018 – 09/08/2018 ; 55 days


Our best pics

Sculptures Borobudur (4)-min
Borobudur Temple, Yogyakarta area (Java)
Taman Sari - Water Castle (1)-min
Taman Sari Water Castle, Yogyakarta
Beach Parangtritis (4)-min
Parangtritis beach, Yogyakarta area (Java)
Merapi Viewpoint - Merbabu Trek (1)-min
Merapi volcano, as seen from Merbabu volcano, Yogyakarta area (Java) – You can even see the fumes coming from the crater!
Gunung Merapi (3)
Merapi volcano, as seen from the town of Kaliurang, Yogyakarta area (Java)
Way to Merapi (4)
Merapi volcan lava flows, Yogyakarta area (Java)

Way to Merapi (7)

Gunung Merbabu Trek (9)-min
Merbabu volcano top viewpoint, Yogyakarta area (Java)

Sunrise Gunung Merbabu (2)-min

Bromo Caldeira (9)-min
Bromo volcano and caldeira, Probolinggo (Java)
Gunung Bromo (3)-min
Bromo crater and fumes
Path to king Kong Hill sunrise Bromo (13)-min
Sunrise over Bromo (Java)
Cratère Ijen (5)
Ijen volcano, Banyuwangi (Java)

Sulfur fumes Ijen-min

IMG_1824-min

Pemuteran Beach (2)
Pemuteran beach, Bali north

Pemuteran Beach (1)

Bali Campagne (3)
Rice field of Bali
Padang Bai (3)
Padang Bai, east of Bali
Gili Trawangan Beach Plage (2)
Trawangan island, north of Lombok

Gili Trawangan Sunset (2)

Gili Trawangan Beach Plage (5)

Gili Trawangan Beach Plage (7)


Global and average daily expense for two people

  • Admission(VISA, temples, volcanoes and treks) : 181€ (51€/pp VISA 60 days, 22€/pp temples, 18€/pp volcanoes and treks)
  • Transport (Bus, Plane, Taxi and Boat) : 225€ (62€/pp Bus, 35€/pp Avion, 7€/pp Taxi et 9€/pp Bateau)
  • Food : 464€ (0,5-1€/pp a meal, 2€/beer, budget 4€/pp in a day)
  • Accommodation : 433€ (8€/night on average)
  • Tips (bank fees, Guides and tours): 82€ (20€ bank fees, 31€/pp Tours on Merapi and Ijen volcanoes)
  • Others (laundry, SIM cards) : 18€ (including 5€ laundry powder and 2,5€/pp for IM3 SIM cards (*))

(*): Indonesian 4G is shitty as hell. We were told that « Xcel » brand is the best one, but it seems that only locals can buy it… We had to take one from IM3, using Indosat network, but it worked only on Java, from Jakarta to Probolinggo. Did not work on Bali nor on Lombok…

 

Global expense : 1.405€

Average daily expense for two : 22€ (without taking neither VISA fees nor plane tickets into account)


Feelings

  • + + :
    • General:
      • Incredible volcanoes and treks
      • Wonderful beaches (Gili, Pemuteran)
      • Nice weather (hot, but bearable)
      • Huge country you could spend months on each island to discover it
      • Cheap destination compared with Malaysia (Food is cheaper, most of the time)
    • Population and behaviors:
      • Yogyakarta and around : Nice people and they are always ready to help you out, sometimes even without you asking for help!
    • Infrastructures / Organization:
      • It is always possible to find everything cheap (but you will need to look for a long time sometimes)
    • Food:
      • Great food (Malaysia is better though in my opinion), with a personal liking of dishes with peanuts sauce (Gado-Gado, Pecel, …)!
    • – – :
      • General:
        • Huge Tourism destination (we got there at the end of ramadan and in high season July/August) and nothing authentic anymore (particularly on Bali).
        • Ants infestation (and cockroaches) in most hotels
        • Located along the infamous « Ring of Fire », Indonesia might not be the safest country in the world (Merapi volcano eruption in May 2018, blocking us the way to the top; earthquakes of 6.4 and 7 on Lombok in July and August 2018).
      • Population and behaviors:
        • Does not speak English fluently
        • Disrespectful to non-smokers (locals smoke in the bus, hotel rooms, everywhere and every time they get the chance to). They do not even get that you could be incommoded.
        • Locals on Bali and Lombok always try to get as much money as they can from tourists. They will not hesitate to lie, trick and pretend not knowing local prices for food, transports so you can be cheated on. They will ask « How much are you ready to pay? (always at least 3 times the price) » instead of an honest « This is the price, same for both locals and tourists ».
        • Hygiene (trash everywhere, overflowing sewers, rats, people throw rubbish everywhere, even in nature paths, burning trash, same as India)
      • Infrastructures / Organization:
        • Borobudur Temple: very expensive (25$/pp) without being that great
        • Crappy and poorly organized transport system (huge waiting time without reason, terminal change, you pay for a seat in a bus, but they do not give you tickets, deleted transports, …)
        • Shitty 4G (do not buy IM3/Indosat SIM cards)
        • Hotels including breakfast. We usually do not eat a lot, but we were quite hungry everyday…
      • Food:
        • Extremely complicated to get food without chillies, because locals are used to eat them and do not think that others could not eat them…

Conclusions

We planned on visiting Indonesia for its volcanoes, beaches and nature we see so often on internet. From that point of view, we were not disappointed. We trekked on amazing landscapes and had a great time on beaches and islands. We think about locals around Yogyakarta as really nice and helpful people, even though it is sometimes difficult to communicate.

We did not have a choice and were not lucky to get here right after Ramadan and soon after during high season. In remote or less tourist locations, people only bothered by asking lots of pictures with them (sometimes we even did not get a chance to see what we came to)… However, touristic spots were really disappointing in many ways: nasty locals who only want your money and put all their efforts into trying to create a fake feeling of authenticity, disrespectful tourists, … Their behaviors kind of tore us off a strip until the end and brought back many unpleasant memories from New Delhi in the north of India. They can ask without any shame 40 times the local price for the same service, even with locals besides you who will pay the real price right in front of your face.

It is bad that tourism and earthquakes made us skip parts of what we wanted to see and do, like that three days trek on Rinjani volcano on Lombok island, Flores island and Komodo island. That will give us a reason to come back right?

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