Don’t go to Jakarta. I’d recommend going to Bali or Lombok or Kalimantan (Borneo).
I went to Bali several times and Ubud is my favorite place. Kuta, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, etc are all beach and foreign tourists. Ubud is more like the cultural center, with endless rice paddies, loads of galleries, interesting markets.
My friend Brandon has blogged about Bali and taken many beautiful photos, if you want to take a look.
If you go to Lombok for a couple of days, it will be more like beach holiday where you bring a stack of books and lie on your back on the beach all day.
Kalimantan is also fun. I went to Rungan Sari which is in Central Borneo, 50 km north of Palangkaraya. It takes some effort to get there, so if you stay only a couple of days you won’t get to do everything: boat trip, orangutan trip, relaxing by the pool.
Hope this helps.
You can have a look at my Indonesian trip photos on my Flickr set, each image is tagged by location, so you’ll have an idea of whether going for something cultural/nature/party trip.
wooow one or two days is really short time but I suggest you to go to Bali to enjoy the sunset at the beach either kuta, tuban, jimbaran, sanur or nusa dua
other option is Lombok this island is really great ( consider that I was born in this island but not grown up) just take a stay at one of the hotel at sengigi beach and rent a car and also a boat to gili trawangan island where u can do snorkelling or diving. enjoy the white sand beach:)
U can see some of my pictures at Lombok and Bali at http://leniawati.multiply.com
Jakarta can be interesting. It’s extremely crowded with a lot of poor there, so you can see the distinction easily between rich and poor. It’s sad. There’s not a lot to do there really, and bombs go off in restaurants and malls frequently. I don’t really know one interesting thing to see there.
I’d go with the others’ recommendations. Bali – just be careful. Well that goes for anywhere, of course, but mostly in Jkt. and Bali with regards to bombings.
I also liked Bandung. It’s a mountainous region and is actually cool (and kinda muddy!) There is/are universities there, and some nice places to eat and shop.
I agree with Borobodur – I would see that. It was on my number one places to visit and I’ve still not got to go there because I got sick each time I went. Avoid street vendors’ food and any water you put in your mouth (even for brushing teeth/washing out the mouth) should be bottled.
I’d just like to say that I disagree with your definition of frequently. I would say that Jakarta isn’t the safest of cities, but it does not have frequent bombings.
Well, when I was there it did. They weren’t things that made the national papers then; just domestic bombings in malls, restaurants and shopping areas that killed a few people, usually locals. I don’t know if they’re still happening now like that. However, when I was there the last time, there was one down the street not far from my sister-in-law’s home in Jakarta. She said they happened frequently. So I’m repeating what she told me. Maybe it’s not so much now – hopefully police are on the lookout for that kind of thing.
Also, note to holgerd, I don’t want to be a spoil sport. :D I’ve got family there so I know what it can be like. It’s a beautiful and wonderful culture and people. I just wanted to say have fun, and be aware. That’s all. ;)
Ooo, one or two days is a rather tight schedule.
If I were you, I’d go on over to Medan (either fly there directly, or take a ferry to Bintan then fly to Medan,) take a bus up to Bukit Lawang, book into one of the guest houses (the best one would be the one at the centre itself, gorgeous lil’ bungalows,) and visit the Orangutan rehabilitation centre there. Beautiful views, a chance to be up close to an Orangutan (very up close, the younglings wander down to the bungalows, play in the grass surrounding the bungalows.)
That short trip (Bintan is the closest point in Indonesia from Singapore and Medan is the closest Indonesian large city from Singapore,) will give you a ranged view of Indonesia. From the bustling city of Medan (fourth largest in Indonesia with a population of 2.5Million, to the quiet village like areas on the way to Bukit Lawang.
In addition, Bintan does have resorts if you preffer to sit on a beach and be waited upon, occasionally getting up to watch the traditional dance performances and such…
I looked for a flight from Singapore to Medan and it was way out of my budget, unfortunately (480 USD).
Is there anything nice to do in Bintam? Since you say it is reachable by ferry it should be cheaper to get there, right?
Only one or two days is really tight. I’d go with sendai’s suggestion.
You wouldn’t want long travel time for other destinations, considering your short stay.
bali for 1 or 2 days? wow, i don’t think that will be enough. plan a trip to bali at least for a week. two weeks is better.
actually 1 or 2 days in any place in indonesia is too short. but if you just wanna see, sendai’s suggestion is worth to try.
Hmmmm…. yeah, one or two days… I don’t think it’s worth paying the 25 bucks for the visa. I’d just stay in Singapore… but, to answer your question it is possible. I think you can catch a boat to Sumatra and there’s supposed to be some cool orangutans there. Good luck.
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