Indonesia – Travel Tips

indonesia

  • See the Indonesia Wikitravel page
  • It is possible to enter overland from Singapore by taking a ferry to Batam in Sumatra. Beware of the persistent touts on the Indonesian side and make a beeline for the airport or the next city.
  • Jakarta – The capital disappoints most visitors as it is mostly an administrative base with very little to do for tourists, beyond the national museums. I would suggest hopping on a train to Yogyakarta as soon as possible.
  • Yogyakarta & Borobudur – Be sure to see gamelan music and a cultural performance either here or in Bali. A day trip to Borobudur will take you to the ‘Angkor’ of Indonesia – a splendid, recently resorted ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist monument.
  • Bali – Split your time between the tourist and nightclubbing hub of Kuta (the ‘Kao San’ area of Indonesia, full of mainly Australian backpackers) and Ubud (the arts/crafts capital, very laidback, be sure to see a cultural song/dance performance and the Enchanted Monkey Forest). Bungee jumping, trekking, white-water rafting and other adventure sports are all possible in Indonesia’s tourist centre.
  • Gilis and Lombock – Two beautiful islands near Bali, great to escape to and excellent diving.

Adventures – Chicken Suit Bungee

indonesia

Journal Extract:

…I drove back to Kuta to do my third and final bungee jump on the beach. I’d bought a deluxe package of 3 jumps – a standard jump where the cord is attached at the feet, a ‘spider’ jump with a harness around the waist giving you more freefall freedom and a final jump where you do a run-up on a BMX (the bike is attached to you). In preparation, I’d not eaten for a while and did the biggest poo I could muster to ensure no messy accidents during the escapade…

I’ll be honest – I derived no enjoyment at all from the exercise and literally spent 8 minutes ‘contemplating’ on the edge of the platform during the first jump. By the second one I’d cut my emotional crisis on the edge down to 6 minutes. The crew told me that the longer I wait, the harder it would be – they weren’t wrong and I wish they’d have just pushed me. They say skydives are easier – I have a couple of solo skydives to my credit and agree, at least, that parachute jumps are more abstract – you’re up in the clouds and are generally pushed out! However, here you have a situation where you can see the ground clearly and are being asked carry out an action which your brain reminds you is – in essence – an act of suicide.