I decided to write this post after emailing far too many people regarding tips on Bali and Java.
Get a “Simpati” SIM card on arrival. It’s around 5€ for 4GB of data. From then on, you’re pretty relax to do your online research, use Google map & so on. Take a bit of call credit too, always useful to hotels, transportation or else.
Simpati runs on the Telkomsel network, it has the best coverage in in Indonesia 😉
A quick guide on how to buy train tickets in Indonesia (mostly useful for Java): travel.stackexchange.com/q/49691/9395
The popular things to do are on the east of the island: Jogjaktarta, a few volcanos, et 2 unmissable temples (Borobudur & Pranbanan located 45min drive from Jogjakarta).
To hike up mount Merapi (near Jogjakarta): travel.stackexchange.com/q/49603/9395
To see mount Bromo: travel.stackexchange.com/q/49599/9395
To hike up mount Kawa Ijen travel.stackexchange.com/q/49598/9395
Bromo & Kawa Ijen are next to another. You can do them one day after another but it’s a bit rushed.
I recommend to do everything by scooter, independently. It’s more flexible so much nicer, take the time you want in each place & spend less. You can also book tours, everything is then organized for you but the quality is not always great, it’s Indonesia 😉
Bali and Java, why?
The capital city of Indonesia is Jakarta, it is located on Java. You are likely to be flying to Jakarta to start your trip in Indonesia.
Java is located right next to Bali. So it’s rather simple to spend some time in Java & then take a 30min ferry to Bali to carry on with your trip.
Yes, I love the other parts of Indonesia too. Sumatra, Lombok, Flores, Sulawesi & more. But this article just focuses on tips for Bali and Java.
Scooter rental in Bali
Count 50’000 IDR per day maximum: http://travel.stackexchange.com/q/49728/9395
Prepare a 50’000 IDR note (around 3€) for the annoying corrupt policemen… travel.stackexchange.com/questions/50271/bribing-indonesian-police-for-missing-motorbike-license
Clubs & bars
Old Man’s, Canggu
Pretty poison, Canggu
Single fin, Uluwatu
La Favela, Seminyak
Pacha Reggae Bar & Restaurant, Amed
“Potato head”, in Seminyak, epic upmarket bar/restaurant
Betelnut, Canggu (do not miss!!)
Crates, Canggu (for breakfast only)
Barbecue restaurants on echo Beach, Canggu (evenings)
Green ginger, Canggu
Sisterfields cafe, Seminyak (unmissable! Incredible healthy food. Clothes every day around 18:00)
Warung Biahbiah, Ubud (they also have another restaurant in Ubud called Biahbiah+)
Dewa Warung, Ubud
The yoga barn, Ubud (epic yoga place, not to be missed!)
Yuyu wood carving & furniture, Ubud (epic wood carving shop)
Bali wake park, Sanur
Apneista Bali Freediving and Yoga School, Amed (east Bali. A much quieter part of Bali. Great to chill & try freediving)
Balangan beach (next to Uluwatu)
Bingin beach (next to Uluwatu)
All these places are on Google map.
The Gili islands
You can get a return ferry ticket for 500’000 from Padang Bai. Padang Bai sucks, don’t stop there.
Denpasar to Padang Bai takes at least 2h. Without counting the time waiting for the ferry.
Party mode, nothing that crazy, but maybe not what one looks for when in Indonesia. Beaches are better than in Gili Air by the way. And the Gili Trawangan’s night market is very good, amazing food.
Very chill out, a few bars by the beach, some bengalows, a bit of diving/free-diving, some restaurants, and not much more else to do than chilling.
Even more chill than Gili Air.