Our journey Indonesia
Bugdet RP 2.900.000
Duration: 13 days
Distance: 1.600 km
We started off in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. It was the cheapest and closest destination coming from Christchurch, New Zealand. Here we met our families, since we haven’t seen them in a long time. We spent 2 weeks with them and enjoyed a family holiday, which had nothing to do with our backpacking trip 😉
Our favourite place in Bali was definitely Nusa Penida. Not only because of the beautiful beaches, more because locals and foreigners had dinner at the same places. It’s very cheap compared to the main island. In Bali itself it was very sad to see how the Balinese rely on tourists. There is no independency left. It’s not a place we will visit again. Dont get us wrong… there are very nice restaurants and shops , delicious food, beautiful arranged, but that’s not Balinese. It’s just made for tourists and you see what influence especially Australians have.
We also visited popular tourist places like Ubud, Canggu, Seminyak and Uluwatu. You can find many Blogs and Websites about it, there is nothing we can add, as they are very touristic. Bali is maybe a good start to get a brief glimpse of the Asian culture, but that’s it.
…started when our parents left. We had one last night in Canggu before we made our way to Java. We took an Uber to the bus terminal in Mengwi. There were two options: a big coach bus with aircon or a little rusty van for 7 times less. The travel time of 4 hours to Gilimanuk was the same only the comfort was different. We were so glad, that we took the little rusty one, meeting school kids on their way home.
From Gilimanuk we took a ferry to Java.
When we arrived in Banyuwangi we walked pass our first Couchsurfing host not listening to him calling our names, because we were still in “Bali mode” trying to escape the drivers. We finally met him at our meeting point a little Alpha marke. we spend the evening at his place planning our trip to Ijen.
A Couchsurfer in Bali told us about the blue fire, which only exists two places in the world, unfortunatly we were not allowed to climb into the vulcano crater by ourselves so we had to book a tour.
The tour included pickup, dropoff, gas mask and a local guide. Luckly our host knew the orginsers and we got the local price.
Ijen was totally worth the money, it was really impressive to see not only the blue fire but also the miners working in the sulphate-mine. We hiked 2 hours to reach the top of the crater and another hour to get into the crater near the mine, where we could see the blue fire. An hour before daylight we hiked back to the top again to enjoy the view by sunrise.
The same morning we went to sleep at 8:00 AM, so most of the day we slept. but in the afternoon we spent time with our nice host, who showed us around in the city and took us to a waterfall.
The following day we just took the train to Malang, it was freezing cold. Imagine in one carriage were 6!!! aircons on 16°C (always have a jacket ready at hand). When we arrived in Malang our Couchsurfing host picked us up from the train station and brought us to his house where we planned our next couple of days and our journey to Surabaya in the next couple of days.
Our second day we hung out with our host and his friends, they took us on their scooters to a huge market in the city, walking around in rainbow city and going out for a fun night singing karaoke.
On our last day in Malang we rented a scooter to get to Batu. It is a beautiful small village in the mountain. We went up the mountain to see a nearby waterfall and had fun zip-lining over a hedge labyrinth. Our day ended back in Malang, were we had to buy a train ticket to Surabaya.
Surabaya was just a stop over, as we figured out that we save Rp 200.000 per person if we stay one night. So we enjoyed after 5 night of couchsurfing a bit of privacy in a little hotel room, not a fancy pancy hotel, but good for one night.
The next morning we took the next fridge on railways to get to Yogyakarta.
In Bali we had Wifi everywhere so we assumed it was easy to find Wifi in Java… wrong conjecture! We walked around until we found with help of maps.me an hostel, where we could connect and contact our host and order a grab. Our couchsurfing host in Yogyakarta is musician. That night we went to the largest bar in SE Asia “Liquor”, where he introduced us to his friends, who had a live gig there.
After a good sleep in we explored the city by ourselves as our host had to work. We visited the water castle, the markets and the royal house.
There we met some locals who showed us around the staff village. And introduced us in their handcraft of building dolls and light theater figures.At night time we met for dinner with our new host from Wates only 30 min from Yogya away. He and his friend introduced us into the street food and a coffee with coal. Mikkel even tried chicken intestine…his comment “very sweet”…
The next morning our new host from Wates picked us up early, as we went to a school to teach English.
It was such a great experience!.
Lucky our host’s occupation was driver so he and his friend took his around to the best temples in and around Yogya until we finished our temple tour at the markets again learning about the spices. For dinner we went to the famous vegetarian mushroom restaurant ” jeJamuran”. It was not as cheap as usually in Java but still not expensive. We definitely recommend going there if you are in Yogya. Very delicious!
The train tickets to Jakarta are on high demand no matter what day of the week it is and they vary in price. You can spend between Rp 74.000 and Rp 350.000. We booked ours only 2 days in advance and got only tickets for Rp 140.000. It’s a 10 hours train ride to Jakarta. When we arrived at midnight we were super tired and went straight to our Couchsurfing home and to bed.
The next day was a Sunday so we’re lucky to see a carnival parade after we visited some monuments and the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in the South East Asia. In the afternoon we left to Bogor by train.
Bogor was one of our favourite places we stayed at a boarding school for disadvantaged kids. Around 40 children live like a big family together and learning from each other. We arrived quite late. We had a quick dinner and spent the rest of the night with the children making music and singing. We had a great evening.
We had an early breakfast, which the kids prepared for us. Then our pleasant and challenging task started. We were responsible for organising their classes and teaching them all day. We started with a game to get know everyone better and moved on to geography while we talked about our journey through Asia. Then we had a beautiful yoga class. It was so nice to see and feel how the whole atmosphere had changed during the class from giggly and cheerful to calm and relaxed at Savasana. The afternoon we had a mix of games and maths and some basics about Europe. Teaching these kids and spending time with them was probably one of our best experiences so far. These beautiful kind children thaugt us at least as much as we could teach them.