Planning a Trip to Indonesia

Best Time to Visit Indonesia 
Narmada, Indonesia
Narmada Park, Lombok or Taman Narmada as it is also known as in Indonesia, is one of the most famous tourists’ attractions of Lombok. The miniature replica of the summit of Gunung Rinjani and its Crater Lake, Narmada Park, Lombok, derives its name from the Indian River Narmada. There is a temple inside the park known as Pura Kalasa, which is still used for the annual celebration of Balinese Pujawali.

11 kilometers east of Mataram, Narmada Park, Lombok, was built by King Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Karang Asem in 1727. Besides spending a few hours in this beautiful garden in peace one can also worship the divine Hindu god, Lord Shiva here.

There is a big pool representing the Crater Lake on the volcano Rinjani. Due to its height of 3,726 m, it became difficult for the king to make the pilgrimage. So he made Segara Anakan at Narmada to represent the mountains and the lake. Near the pool there is a spring whose water is believed to give eternal youth to all the dedicated pilgrims.

There is also a fountain in this park known as Youth Fountain. Whose water is believed to give long life to those who drink this water will full faith and dedication towards lord Shiva.

The best time to visit Narmada Park, Lombok, is in the months of May to August, when the climate is at its best. The entry fee to Narmada Park, Lombok is around Rp 5000, which is very cheap.
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Jakarta, Java, Indonesia
Jakarta is my hometown, and as a capital city of vast Indonesia, it's just not for the faint-hearted. It might be the most modern city in the country, and also the most polluted with the most depressingly long traffic jams, but it's also the most vibrant with ideas and attitudes of its 12 million inhabitants coming from elsewhere in the archipelago country and worldwide. Dodging traffic and enjoying radio banters while sitting in traffic are favorite sports, and eating is just as much fun as finding inexpensive gems be it a pair of shoes, a batik shirt, a gadget, or a piece of furniture in your shopping sprees. Just by being there surviving the daily physical abuse the traffic posed is a perfect excuse to be pampered - and Jakarta boasted the best hair/body salons and spas offering full-body, half-day treatment for about $40! Try the 'cream bath' if you don't have that much time... Banks and money changers are ubiquitous - you can buy pre-paid cellphones, and taxicabs are the best way to go around - or if you are indeed a braveheart, you can try the 'ojek' or motorcycles for hire, or the bajaj, the motorized tuktuks.
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Bayah, Java, Indonesia
Bayah is a very beautiful place...travel is best by land...there's no real accomodation, but you may stay at the villager's house... The beach is still untouched...but beware of the waves, at some times it can be very dangerous to go out swimming...
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Larantuka, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
Larantuka is a small and beautiful city in Easf Flores. It has beautiful beach very clear ocean. Even in it's harbour, I can see the creatures small fish in the bottom sand. Most the citizens are catholic. Almost each house, has their own chapel.

How to get there?
- by plane from Kupang (capital of Nusa Tenggara Timur province). Trigana operates a direct flight from Kupang to Larantuka.
- by plane from Kupang to Maumere, then take road trip to Larantuka. Can be reach in 6 hours. You won't even feel it. It was beautiful route. You'll see forest and mountain, traditional Flores villages, prairie, and blue ocean with small islands for pearl production. If you choose this way, make sure you already book rental car to make your trip more enjoyable, especially on Easter (public busses don't operate).

Best time to go?
On Easter!
Larantuka still held ancient Catholic tradition on Easter (Holy Friday) called Semana Sancta. It's a combination ritual of Catholic, Flores and Portuguese culture to recall the crucifixion death of Jesus Christ on Holy Friday. Start at Friday at 6 am, by picking up Jesus and Maria and bring them by boats. About 50 boats full of prayer participate on this ritual.

At the evening, after the mass, people pray, sing mourn for the celebration, walking along the Larantuka streets with candle on hands. During the ceremony, Larantuka is decorated by thousands candle along the prayer route (about 5 km).

The tradition has been known for ages, and thousands people from many places and countries outside Flores and Indonesia will come for this celebration. It is the only place that still have the tradition. The procession start on Friday at 6 a.m, end on Saturday at 2.a.m. Most of Larantuka citizen are involved in this tradition.

Other Atraction
Waiara Beach.
It is beautiful beach in Maumere, you can visit before or after your travel to Larantuka. You can just relax, enjoying sunset on the beach. Best way to spend your time. You can also join a diving trip. The water is very clear, white sandy beaches, remote small islands and beautiful underwater creatures. There are some resorts to stay along the beach.

Food
Flores coffee.
I can't event describe how great it is. Make sure you get an arabica home made one.

Money
Make sure you get the money you need before you reach Flores. Get it in Kupang or Bali. Money changer and ATM are hard to find in Flores, even more difficult in Larantuka.

What to bring?
- Sun block, sun glasses, summer hat, umbrella, it is very hot in Larantuka.
- Don't forget your camera. Larantuka and all the way down is too damn beautiful.

Hotels Accomodation
Don't expect 5 star hotels. There are only small motels and home stay. During Semana Sancta on Easter, Larantuka citizens open their house for visitor. It is cheap, but with limited service off course. On Easter, there are some travel agents in Jakarta arrange trip to Larantuka. It usually include hotels, transportation, food, etc. All you need to see Larantuka participate in Semana Sancta.

Nightlife
No nightlife
Only on Easter : it is praying, singing, mourning in Semana Sancta

Interacting with locals
They already familiar with visitors. They are friendly and helpfull. Be polite, they will help u if needed.

Danger annoyance
- dangerous roads in mountainous area to Larantuka from Maumere.
- if possible, don't do night drive. There are no street lights along the way from Maumere to Larantuka
- get a rental car or reach Larantuka before Eastern. Public busses don't operate during Easter.
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Maumere, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
Maumere is the biggest city in Flores island. You can start your travel here to other cities or attraction in Flores like Ende, Kelimutu mountain, Larantuka, Lembata, etc.

How to get there?
- by plane from Kupang (capital of Nusa Tenggara TImur, province). Trigana air operates daily flight to this city.
- road trip from Labuan Bajo in West Flores. Labuan Bajo can be reached by plane from Bali or ferry from Sumba. The road trip is awsome, through mountainous roads in Manggarai, Bajawa (people call this place Switzerland of Flores) and Ende.

Activities
Waiara Beach
Beautiful beach about 4 km from Maumere. You can just be lazy, spending your time at the beach, watching the sunset. Or joining a diving trip to Pulau Besar and other spots in Waiara Beach, operate by the resorts.

Hotels Accomodation
There are some resorts in Maumere, mostly in Waiara BEach. Like The Beach Club, Sao Wisata, Maumere Sea World Club or Hotel Anjajavy.

Food
Sea food is the best. Fish are cheap in Maumere. You can get Crapoe at very low price. You can get the cheap fish in traditional market near the harbour.

Money
You better get all the money you need before reach Flores or Maumere. ATMs and money changers are hard to find in this island. Get it in Kupang or Bali.

What to bring
- sun block, sun glasses, hat, umbrella, Maumere is hot
- swim suite diving gear, the beach and ocean are beautiful
- camera, the sky is very clear. If lucky, on rainy season you'll get rainbow, dolphins, and whales passing by on their way to Australia.

Danger/Annoyances
You better book your connecting flight from Kupang or Bali on different day with your flight from Maumere. The flight schedule from/to Maumere can change unexpectedly. It can change just because the airlines get a charter order to Bali, Wakatobi or Moyo island, etc. And passengers in Maumere must wait till the plane back from those places.
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Indonesia Photography  
Jakarta, Java, Indonesia
Jakarta (J-town) The sumpek (crowded) city ever (from my point a view of course) even sumpek this city offer lots of fun and variation of view. For you who like a photography, you can get lots of funtastic lunatic outrages view here in J-town. Here the placed that I mostly visit for hunting a Fatahilah Museum, Sunda Kelapa Harbour, Monument of Monas, Bunderan HI, Catedral Catholic Church, Gold Dome Mosque, Ragunan Zoo, Sudirman Street, Suropaty Park, Indonesian Miniatur Park (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah) , and lots of Monument building. For you who like take a fashion picture just go to mall or Kemang Street or you go to the office area in sudirman-thamrin or kuningan you will get a perfect street fashion ever... ;b or you like take some artistic picture like me visit the traditional market like Senen or Kramat Jati. Outrages picture you can have it in Taman Lawang, Jatinegara, Bantar Gebang or Ciliwung and so on. "Where should I stay then?" dont worry, if you rich enough J-town have a lotta of 5 star hotel like Ritz, Shangrila, Mariott, or Four Seassons. Oh, low budget... thousands of hotel for the low budget tourist ;) Party goers? perfect J-town have lot of place for party Embassy, Centro, Vertigo, Bliss sometimes we have Sundaze in Pantai Marina Ancol and other of cool party. Just wanna hangout not partying, Kemang is the perfect place... they have food festival sometimes garage sale. "What should I bring?" MONEY... Did the locals were nice? some of them yeah, some of them no... if you lost in direction just find a police station go there and ask. For women Travelers, use guide from your hotel or trusted travel agent its better rather than you have travel alone ;) "Am hungry!!" we have thousand of restorant and cafe, you can find it in Mall or Hotel, from europe food to asian food, indonesia food in everywhere, love spicy got to Rumah Makan Padang or Daeng Tata in casablanca for the Makasar taste uuuuhhhmm yummy... Well... bon voyage... ;) avoid trouble and keep smiling
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Bunaken, Sulawesi Islands, Indonesia
Beaut wall diving all around Bunaken. But get away from your resort and walk down to the village on the end of the island. Wander along the beach, chat with the local kids and snap a few photos of them playing in the water. There's a superb backdrop of a volcanic island for the pics! Great memories.
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Bali, Java, Indonesia
Visiter mon blog sur l'Indonésie et la photographie; Vous y trouverez des astuces mais aussi des conseils aux voyageurs. En français et en bahasa indonesia
http://fouchardphotographe.travelblog.fr
Philippe FOUCHARD
fouchardphotographe@yahoo.fr
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Ubud, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
Go to the monkey forest in Ubud. The monkeys can get a bit cheeky at times, but bring some bananas to feed them. However, don't hide the bananas from the monkeys, they wont be happy and may follow you and/or jump on you until they get them! The guides are a great help and can show you how to get great photo ops. Definitely the best place to go if you want to get up close and personal with monkeys.
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Yogyakarta, Indonesia
.CitraElo are a licensed tour operator specialising in white water rafting, outdoor training and management training.
They offer three rafting trips ranging from moderate (Grade I-III) to advanced (Grade III-V).
The Lower Progo River is the advanced trip which is the one that I chose on this occassion.
The cost is IDR 1,500,000 per boat which includes all rafting equipment, guides, refreshments and a meal afterwards.
As there were no other participants I basically funded the whole expedition. But this included a support rescue raft which I think was just an excuse for the team to get onto the river as well.
Most of the team work as farmers around CitraElo base camp so I think they will take any opportunity they can to go for a bit of a paddle themselves.
They seemed to enjoy the adventure as much as what I did and they certainly added a lot of fun to the whole trip with their humerous antics. On more than one occasion someone ended up in the river with a helping hand ;)
Yours truly went overboard when his centre of gravity became waterside!
One of the highlights for me was to ride on the front of the boat 'rodeo' style by hanging onto the ring at the front of the raft and then trying to stay on as long as possible in the rapids.
Some of the photo's were taken by one of their photographers so I was expecting to pay extra for these. However, the photographer joined our group on the second leg of the trip and he enjoyed himself so much that he gave me a CD with the pictures that he took plus two prints!
I did also pay an extra IDR 350,000 for transport to and from our hotel in Jogja. At my request, the driver was kind enough to stop at various locations to take some pictures of the surrounding countryside.

Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/827ac/125995/6/#ixzz1Dn81BRNV
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Indonesia Visas & Permits 
Pulau Bali, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
When wanting to change money on the streets around Bali, don't always look for the place offering the highest exchange rate, as more often than not they will be trying to rip you off.

Find out what the going rate is online, (xe currency convertor is one of the best), to get a general idea of what the current market exchage rate is, as a guide.

If, for example, the online rate is Rp7500, then look for a money changer offering around Rp50 either side of that amount. Occassionally you'll come across a "nest" of changers sitting around Rp7800, which is too high above the going rate.

I have had, and heard of several experiences, where trying to change money at these higher rates has led to the customer being ripped off, or if you uncover the scam during the exchange process, they pack up and cancel the deal. This happened to a friend of mine just recently using the above exchange rates as an example.

The vast majority of Money Changers are good, honest people, but there's unfortunately a few that will try and pull one over you. Be on guard!
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Denpasar, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
Carry your own bags to your awaiting transport yourself once through customs. It saves on porter money and tips and it saves you from any possible 'tampering' with your luggage, lost luggage, or mixups by others. Also, buy your bottled water upon entry as it's hot in Bali!
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Ubud, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
Lots of artist are located in this area. You get the real feeling of Indonesia in Ubud. I have to admit the monkey forest is worth to visit.
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Bekasi, Java, Indonesia
If you want to know about Indonesian industrialized area, you should go to Bekasi in West Java. There you can see the real Indonesian way of life. You can see how they work, how they deal with traffic jam, etc.
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Anyer Kidul, Java, Indonesia
If you go to Anyer, please don't wear any green colored clothes. That's what we Indonesian believe.
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Costs in Indonesia 
Bali, Java, Indonesia
Well what can I say. Was an interesting place didn't really go the narrow streets etc. Was quite a dirty place. However if anyone ever heads that way the tours were excellent especially the Kintamani volcano Tour and the Monkey Forest and Temples Tour. Be wary if offered a friendship bracelet or the like as my friend and I were ripped off $280AUD each the first day we were there if you do find yourself in this situation and not knowing the value of their Money all you need to do is say the word police and they back right off. Great weather, really hot. We stayed in Kuta at cheap accommodation but if you go there i would recommend going for something around the 3.5 - 4 star mark as the accommodation we had was only 2.5 star and the sheets were washed daily but they were kinda brown and blood on the walls of our unit. Kuta Beach was lovely but they have a lot of people selling stuff that tend to hound you. lol. The shopping absolutely amazing and very cheap. We were offered drugs by some guys .............no we didn't take them neither of us were into that but however if you are game to purchase off of them do be warned that as soon as you buy it they go to cops and report you then you have the balinese police on your back. Overall was a great place especially the tours, kids ride moped thingees to school and the balinese drive crazy.........yes there were times we thought we weren't goin to make it back to NZ. Was a real eye opener for us. These people work so hard for so little.
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Denpasar, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
The doorway of Bali but not the heart. Unless you're in Bali for the night life avoid the area and go somewhere more interesting. Ubud is the next city and more relaxed (but more expensive). Keep your anti mozzie creams/sprays/oils ready! If you visit the area then remember prices are inflated for tourists. 200.000 is typically bargainable to 30-40.000. Every time a tourist doesn't bargain the more liberties the sellers take with the next person and the more locals get priced out of the island - indirectly killing the tourist industry. Has been quiet since the Bali bombings which makes it ideal for a more relaxing holiday. Good for both straight and gay travellers.
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Padang, Sulawesi Islands, Indonesia
DONT DRINK THE TAP WATER EVER!
otherwise you will get very sick.
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Balikpapan, Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia
BALIKPAPAN REGENCY
Balikpapan is recognized also with title oil town. If You resided in plane that is soon land in Balikpapan, hence from the air will seen a lot of oil conveyor ships reside in the beach whereas a number of oil bridges seen to stand up steady in the beach. Refinery Balikpapan located in edge of 'Teluk Balikpapan' cover area with 2,5 km width. This factory processed crude oil functioned to become ready products in marketing that is 'BBM' and 'Non BBM' for requirement of east Indonesia area. Because this oil, Balikpapan has developed become going forward town with various and modern town facilities. Sepinggan International Airlines and Hajji Embarkation becomes indicator for Balikpapan as very onward town in Kalimantan. Various star hotels five and restaurants international class made available in this town. As a modern town, Balikpapan also crowded with activity of entertainment amusement. Balikpapan City is commercial area where various hotels, restaurant and shop resided. Balikpapan Shopping Centre is residing in street between Sudirman Street and Ahmad Yani Street that is have become one of city symbol.

So come and visit Balikpapan.
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Padang, Nusa Tenggara Islands (Lesser Sundra Islands), Indonesia
Padang Bai is a beautiful, small friendly fishing village on the east coast of Bali in about 54km from Denpasar.

Not all but, sadly, a lot of people dont stop to enjoy the life of Padang Bai. Padang Bai is also the main ferry port for heading east to the island of Lombok.

Most people on a limited time rush through on their way to the Gilli islands of the coast of Lombok and beyond.
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