Tag Archives: Bali

Java, Bali and Singapore – Pt.2

I’ve been incredibly slack and not posted this second part of the trip to Indonesia, even though it’s now over two years since we returned. As it’s been so long, I’ve forgotten most of the detail of what we did, so this is going to be brief and really just completion.

Buddah in alcove
Fantastic old Buddhist temple built on many levels surrounded by a plain.

We had our photo taken by a bunch of school kids who I think were from Malaysia. They found us very amusing though I suspect that was an “at us” rather than “with us” amusement.

Mount Bromo
Dawn at the Bromo caldera
This one was a bit of a mission. Had to get up in the dark to be driven along a winding road in a jeep, passing other vehicles which were slipping off the road due to landslides. Got to the top of a nearby mountain to see the sunrise over Bromo, a volcano situated in a huge lava plain. After the requisite photo opportunity we drove down to the plain and then walked up to the crater of the volcano.
The crater of Mount Bromo
Unlike many of the other slacker visitors we eschewed the pony ride to the foot of the volcano and walked all the way.
Horses at Bromo
Can’t remember that much about Surabaya apart from doing some shopping there, and not taking any photos.
We stayed at the Club Intercontinental in Jimbaran. We had to pay for an upgrade to get a decent room which was a bit of a rip-off to be honest.
Vic enjoys a drink at Club Intercontinental, Jimbaran

Java, Bali and Singapore – Pt.1

At the end of January we went to Indonesia on holiday. Here’s the first part of my write-up of the trip.

We flew to Singapore with Singapore Air, as good as ever, departing on Thursday, arriving on Friday morning.

On arrival at Singapore, we had to pass through immigration to change to the AirAsia flight to Yogyakarta in Java, Indonesia. While we had a couple of hours in the airport, we found the LionAir desk and booked our flight out of Yogyakarta for the following Monday morning.

[flickr size=”small” float=”right”]4342211894[/flickr]The flight to Yogyakarta was relatively short and we arrived in the middle of the afternoon.

We were staying at The Phoenix Hotel, a lovely old colonial place which used to be a private residence before being converted into a hotel. Our room had a view over the hotel’s pool. Had a bit of a wander around and then set about tackling the jetlag with some sleep. The beds in Indonesia all seem to be enormous and very comfortable.

[flickr size=”small” float=”left”]4342197410[/flickr]Up on Saturday and a cab to the Kraton, the local Sultan’s Palace. Lots of hawkers and taxi/becak touts outside. Becaks are the cycle rickshaws where the driver sits behind the two passengers. We paid out entry fee and joined out English-speaking guide, an Indonesian lady who has worked at the site for 30 years.

[flickr size=”small” float=”right”]4341127547[/flickr]The building was very ornately decorated and is still in use by the current Sultan of Yogyakarta, who is also a government minister. There were lots of items owned by previous Sultans, from binoculars to ceremonial outfits worn at circumcisions!

After visiting the Kraton we visited one of the streets which the guidebook recommended for places to eat and drink, Jalan Prawirotaman. We went to the ViaVia restaurant, part of a world-wide chain focussed on making the most of local talents and ingredients. Nearby is the Civet Cafe, which serves the famous Kopi Luwak, made from coffee beans that have been half-digested and then excreted by the Civet cat (or Luwak), a type of weasel. We decided to pop back to try the coffee the next day.

[flickr size=”small” float=”left”]4341923378[/flickr]An early start, about 7am, on Sunday for our trip to Borobudur by hotel car. The early start was to avoid the heat of the day, it soon reaches 32C. Borobudur was one of the things which initially attracted us to going to Java. It’s an 8th century Buddhist temple, the largest in the world, apparently. It lay abandoned for over 400 years until Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles brought them to the world’s attention while Lieutenant-Governor of Java following a British invasion in 1811.

Photo Album: Java, Bali and Singapore

Bali & Lombok

We’ve been away for two weeks now and I’ve not been able to update the blog yet. I’ve got a bunch of photos to upload to my Bali and Lombok Flickr set which should appear about the same time as this blog entry.

I’m writing this offline as we’ve been unable to find a decent internet connection. We did get online for half an hour on a shared dial-up connection in an internet cafe on Lombok but that’s been it. I brought the Macbook with me but none of the places we’ve stayed have had WiFi connections easily available.

We flew out from Heathrow around 6pm on 14th March. Fortunately the flight wasn’t delayed by the person running onto the runway that day. Changed at Singapore and flew on to Bali, arriving on the evening of the 15th.

Picked up from the airport by a driver from our hotel, the Bali Niksoma in Legian, which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. We had a couple of nights in Kuta, picking up a few supplies and enjoying the warmth.

View from Bali Niksoma Resort

It was then on to the Tegal Sari cottages near Ubud in-land. The cottages were great, two storeys with plenty of lounging space and views over paddy fields. Three nights there, giving us plenty of time to look round Ubud and visit the sacred Monkey Forest there.

Rice paddies, Ubud.

Ubud Monkey Forest

Next stop was Candi Dasa, on the East coast for just a single night. Didn’t like Candi Dasa much, there was no beach to speak of, the place we stayed (Kubu Bali) was a bit of a hole and the town seemed pretty empty. Had a couple of good meals at Vincent’s and Toke but I wouldn’t recommend Candi Dasa to anyone.

Early start next day for a short taxi ride to Padang Bai to catch the GiliCat fast boat to Lombok, which is about 35km from Bali. This takes two hours rather than the 4 hours by normal ferry, but costs much more.

We were picked up at Teluk Kode and driven the half-hour journey to Windy Beach Resort at Mengsit where we had a lovely bungalow on the seafront. Stayed there for 6 nights and really relaxed.

Our bungalow at Windy Beach Resort, Lombok

We’re currently back on Bali, staying near Tanah Lot.

More when I get a chance….