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Old 02-26-2016, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 11,135,736 times
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Good Day Everyone,

I must say I got some fantastic information from fellow posters in C/D regarding an upcoming trip to Malaysia in June. Well before that, in 3 weeks my partner and I are off to Indonesia. We are going to Yogyakarta and Bali.. We already have a good idea of temples we will be visiting but curious if you can share any tips on cuisine (what to eat and drink) in both Yogya and Bali and also any other interesting experiences or 'must' see things to do and see in both places.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:16 PM
 
Location: NoVa
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If you can find both Andrew Zimmern's and Anthony Bourdain's Bali episode on You Tube from Travel Channel, definitely check it out. It has all the highlights.

If you're adventurous, rent a motorbike in both Bali and Yogya. If not, rent a car with a driver who can take you around, rather than trying to catch a cab or public transport. The driver may even take you to attend a religious ceremony in a Hindu temple. Watching 'Ngaben' - Balinese cremation ceremony, beat anything I've seen there.

Food, well, I'll start with Bali. Know that Balinese Hindu is different than India's Hindu. India's Hindus are mostly strict vegetarians. Balinese eat meat, and they especially love their BBQ pork, which is usually a whole pig slow roasted on low fire for long hours. Really delicious. People will tell you to go to Ibu Oka for BBQ but it was meh for me. Go to Naughty Nuri instead for delicious BBQ ribs. Try their crispy duck - just google 'bebek bengil'. Or 'bebek betutu', Balinese grilled duck marinated with aromatic spices, wrapped in banana leaf, then slow grilled on low fire for hours. Yummy! Then there's satay - Balinese call it 'Sate', which is kinda like a kebab except it's served with spicy peanut sauce for dipping, made from from pork, chicken, fish. best ones are usually the hawkers whose push carts are loitering along the roadside of your hotel. If you can eat fish head, there's a good fish head soup restaurant in Kuta called 'Dwi'. Just google them all and see if you'll want to try. You will find sate / satay all over southeast asia but I like Indonesian sate best. If you see a line in front of a food cart, don't think twice and line up for yours too. Trust me, that's the only way to eat well all over asia.

For beaches in Bali, my favorite is Padang Padang in Uluwatu, beautiful. There's a temple at the top of the cliff overlooking the gorgeous beach that you can check out too.

The monkey forest is overrated and must skip. Unless you consider being stalked by thieving monkeys fun.

Check out their open markets and try whatever fruits in season. Mangosteen is my favorite, they're juicy and sweet and delicious. Or try rose apple or snake fruit (called 'salak' in Bali). Google them.

I visited Yogya over 20 yrs ago so I don't think the places I visited are still there. Well, except for the temples, Borobudur, Prambanan, for example. Those are must see. Their food was on the sweet side, which I didn't like. Try their Jackfruit stew though - called 'gudeg' - made from unripe jackfruit so it doesn't stink, for the novelty if nothing else. Some cook it like a stew, some cook it on the dry side, try both. They're mild and sweet.

If you have time, hiking all the way up to Mount Bromo to see the beautiful sunrise is worth the excursion. The trip is usually guided, you can hike or ride a horse up the mountain. You leave around midnight so you can reach the top just in time to see the sunrise. It's been 20 yrs but I still remember that hike and the beautiful sunrise.

What to drink? Fresh coconut juice that's sold at every street corner in Indonesia.

Phew! That was a long novel.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:30 PM
 
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I don't have any experience with Yogya. But Bali is somewhat of an anamoly in Indonesia - Hindu (as opposed to Muslim) and very tourist friendly. There have been some threads on here on Bali so you can do a search...there is actually an entire forum dedicated to bali tourism somewhere on the interweb.
The only thing I can say about Bali, and I've repeated it in this forum several times, is my advice to get out of the typical tourist slums of Kuta unless you interest is only getting sunburned on the beach and drinking with thousands of other drunken sun-burned Aussies. If you don't do that it will be a miserable experience, at least in my opinion - stay home and go to a Florida beach or something if you want cheap booze and beaches. Otherwise Bali is an amazing island with plenty to see...IF you leave those godforsaken tourist/resort slums. Start with Ubud and explore the interior and the many isolated beaches. Yeah skip the monkey forest near Ubud - them monkey's are mean.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Thanks for the advice and recommendations Grace (I enjoy your novels ) and Dd (sound information regarding exploring more of bali than just the beach) - duly noted and much appreciated.

As for monkeys no worries, I intend to stay as far away from them as possible. Such shameless creatures.. I had a not so pleasant encounter with one on my trip to Sri Lanka a few years back. I had just bought flowers from a sweet young girl at Dambulla temple and provided them as an offering to Buddha in the shrine at the base of the temple. Well, not but 5 seconds after I put the flowers on the alter in front of Buddha does one come out of literally nowhere and steals my offering and gone as quickly as the treacherous beast had come. I was shocked at the disrespect to both my gesture and toward Buddha
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:07 AM
 
Location: On the road
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Yogya is a real nice place to visit, there are tons of relatively cheap guesthouses around Malioboro and the temples you're going to see are some of the best in SE Asia. One bit of advice on the temples = take the public bus to Prambanan. There are all sorts of tourist places selling tours to Prambanan where you go in a minivan, forget that you can get there cheap and early in the morning by taking the bus that goes right down Malioboro from those elevated bus stops. Borobudur is a bit more of a challenge for public transportation but can be done, however it wouldn't be possible to get there early and beat most of the crowds unless you do sign up for a dawn tour.

I disagree with other poster on Kuta/Legian, they have their own appeal as do other parts of Bali. We actually enjoyed surfing some great waves on Legian and there were plenty of good times sipping beers under the palm tree line watching the sun set. It depends on what you like and dislike, for us people watching is great sport.

If I could suggest a diversion fly over to Flores and hire one of those boats that do the snorkeling/dragon combo. We found another couple that wanted similar itinerary so saved on costs. We snorkeled along manta point with giant manta rays swimming around us, hit three other great snorkeling spots including Pink Beach, watched thousands of giant fruit bats head out from Flying Fox Island, spent the night on the boat, then next day went ashore to see komodo dragons on both Komodo and Rinca islands. It was an unforgettable experience.

Have fun and safe travels!
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:33 AM
 
Location: NoVa
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forgot to mention that it's now rainy season in Indonesia, right through March. The seas will be rough with high wind so you may want to plan any boat excursion accordingly. Bali is known for its surf for a reason.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Yogya is a real nice place to visit, there are tons of relatively cheap guesthouses around Malioboro and the temples you're going to see are some of the best in SE Asia. One bit of advice on the temples = take the public bus to Prambanan. There are all sorts of tourist places selling tours to Prambanan where you go in a minivan, forget that you can get there cheap and early in the morning by taking the bus that goes right down Malioboro from those elevated bus stops. Borobudur is a bit more of a challenge for public transportation but can be done, however it wouldn't be possible to get there early and beat most of the crowds unless you do sign up for a dawn tour.

I disagree with other poster on Kuta/Legian, they have their own appeal as do other parts of Bali. We actually enjoyed surfing some great waves on Legian and there were plenty of good times sipping beers under the palm tree line watching the sun set. It depends on what you like and dislike, for us people watching is great sport.

If I could suggest a diversion fly over to Flores and hire one of those boats that do the snorkeling/dragon combo. We found another couple that wanted similar itinerary so saved on costs. We snorkeled along manta point with giant manta rays swimming around us, hit three other great snorkeling spots including Pink Beach, watched thousands of giant fruit bats head out from Flying Fox Island, spent the night on the boat, then next day went ashore to see komodo dragons on both Komodo and Rinca islands. It was an unforgettable experience.

Have fun and safe travels!
Thanks Lieqiang.. I had read PT is the best way to go for Prambanan.. We'll probably just arrange Borobudur tour through our hotel.

As for the last paragraph - just a totally AWESOME experience. Its these unique experiences that make me want to see the world.. I mean where else could you experience that

Sipping beers under palm trees sounds like a good idea as well. Although we obviously want some adventure no issue with just taking a day out to chill!
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:28 PM
 
Location: On the road
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Here is some pics we took from last time we there (2015) related to this thread, maybe get you inspired for your upcoming trip

That would be Legian Beach, Yoyga, Flores, and some locals from Manta Point and Komodo Island









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Old 03-01-2016, 12:16 AM
 
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Don't forget the Malioboro street in Jogja, where you can buy local batik and some handicrafts
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Ahmedabad
11 posts, read 4,344 times
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Here is a wealth of other top tourist attractions in Indonesia to discover in this vast and varied country.

#1: Lake Toba
#2: Ubud
#3: Borobudur
#4: Gili Islands
#5: Mount Bromo
#6: Baliem Valley
#7: Torajaland
#8: Bunaken
#9: Komodo National Park
#10: Tanjung Puting
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