Complete Guide to Enjoy your Road Trip in Indonesia
Indonesia consists of approximately 18,000 islands spread over 5,160 km from east to west. Suffice to say that before preparing your road trip in Indonesia, remember to take into account the region you want to visit, and the means of transport between each point.
In this Indonesia road trip article, I will only tell you about the part I did. Namely the island of Java, the island of Bali and the Nusa Islands.
My approach is almost always the same. Reservation of return flights, reservation of the first hotel night, and list of places that I absolutely want to do in the allotted time. I left for 3 weeks and that's a minimum if you want to have time to visit and enjoy a long trip to indonesia.
Many French and Europeans met on site took Europe/Bali flights. So they started by visiting Bali and then Java. For my part, I prefer to start with the discovery of the country, and end with the “relaxation” part. I therefore advise you to start by discovering Java and end with Bali.
Through the airline Emirates, there are return flights from Paris to Jakarta (and certainly on other companies).
When to go on a road trip in Indonesia?
The western part of Indonesia enjoys a pleasant climate all year round. This is especially true for Bali, and this is Java. However, it is still 27°C in Jakarta in December.
Procedures for entering Indonesian territory
In terms of procedure, you will be asked to complete 2 papers to obtain a Visa (distributed on the plane) one detailing your stay (what are the places visited + name of the hotels), the second relating to the content of your luggage. You will pass the control with these 2 papers to obtain the stamp allowing you to enter the territory. If you decide to leave like me, without prior reservation and let yourself be carried along by your discoveries, don't panic. Just explain it to the customs officer.
On the other hand, he will ask you for the voucher of your 1st hotel night. In my case, it had remained in my suitcase, a suitcase that can only be recovered after the control, and my laptop having run out of battery… Giving the name of the hotel was enough to obtain the stamp. Customs in Indonesia are not kidding. They are strict and mainly look for drug couriers.
Visa costs 25 US dollars and credit card is accepted.
Road trip in Indonesia: Getting around
There are 3 main ways to get around Indonesia: plane, train and boat. I do not recommend the car, the roads are dangerous and Indonesian driving quite special.
I recommend that you take both. Flying will save you precious time. However, the discovery of a country is also done by "confronting" its population. The advantage of the train is that you will be able to travel among the Indonesians, and above all discover the magnificent landscapes of this country.
The disadvantage of the train is that it takes more than 8 hours to cover 500 km, compared to 1 hour by plane, but again you will miss out on magnificent landscapes.
The easiest way to get your ticket is to go directly to the station. Otherwise, there are 2 sites on which you can make your reservations:
The Indonesian Railways website kereta-api.co.id and Tiket.com
Regarding the plane, it is true that several Indonesian companies are on the blacklist of the European Union. However, the national company: Garuda Indonesia is no longer part of it, and is even a Skyteam member. You will therefore be able to accumulate miles.
The boat is a good way to reach certain islands. This is the case for the Nusa Islands, for example, only accessible by boat.
Free trip to Indonesia: Itinerary and practical information
Yogyakarta – Borobudur – Semarang
We leave early to arrive at Borodubur, the largest Buddhist temple on the planet that already impresses with its first image.
It is the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia , so you will find many people in Borobudur, but it is still an essential stop. The temple is marvelous and it is not every day that one is in front of one of the jewels of Southeast Asia.
Although it sounds obvious, any trip to Indonesia by yourself or organized must include a stop in Borobudur.
Semarang – Borneo and start of the tour to see the orangutans
We got up early to catch the flight to Pangkalanbun and finally arrived at the island of Borneo.
From the airport they take us to the port of Kumai, where our klotok awaits. There they serve us breakfast while they give us the first explanations about everything that awaits us in the next three days.
We left for the river that runs through that part of the island and where the orangutan feeding platforms are located.
Today we make a single stop and we end up dissatisfied with the experience, although when it's time to sleep, you feel something special doing so on the deck of the ship, under the blanket of stars in one of the most impressive jungles on the planet.
Orangutans Tour in Borneo
We woke up with the sunrise (it's what you have to sleep in the open air) and after a breakfast as copious as it is exquisite, we arrived at the first of the platforms to see orangutans.
The first contact is made to wait and after two hours of delay, the first orangutans finally appear. It is exciting to see them.
We return to our klotok and navigate for a long time through the jungle, running into proboscis monkeys, macaques and even some orangutans perched in the trees.
After lunch, the second and last stop of the day awaits us, this time much better than the previous two. Here we live unforgettable moments that will remain in the memory of our trip to Indonesia.
The day closes again under the starry sky of Borneo.
Borneo – Semarang – Bali (Ubud)
Another early start, this time to make the way back to the port of Kumai, have breakfast, pack our backpacks and return to the Pangkalan bun airport to start a new stage of the trip: we were going to Bali!
The flight was somewhat uncomfortable, as we had a six-hour layover in Semarang, where we had spent half a day before, which we took advantage of to go out to eat at a restaurant that had been recommended to us.
In anticipation of the high occupancy of Bali in the summer months, we had booked five nights in Ubud to visit the island from there, so we took a taxi from Denpasar to Ubud and traveled the more than two hours of travel through the hellish traffic of the island.
We arrived devastated after three days in Borneo without showering and a full day of traveling to Ubud when we discovered that the hotel we had booked was a scam and did not exist.
After the first moments of overwhelm, we launched into the search and in a short time we were able to find a hotel for that night, the only one available at an affordable price.
We leave early in the morning from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan in one of the fast boats that leave you in half an hour in the middle of the nusas.
The day in Nusa Lembongan was not very fruitful due to the rain, although we took the opportunity to visit some places like Mushroom Bay and end the day with a beautiful sunset at Cloudland Bar .
The rain returns when the sun goes down and since we have come here walking and we are almost an hour from the hotel, we decide to stop free transfer vans from other hotels until they listen to us and finally take us to our hotel.
We dedicated a day to visit the places that were pending on the island of Nusa Lembongan and thus we arrived at Dream Beach , one of the best beaches on the island, Paradise Beach or the spectacular cliffs of Devil's Tears , against which the water of the ocean with a lot of violence.
Although you can rent a motorbike or golf cart to get around the island, we did everything on foot except for the northern part, which we reached by van/taxi.