Independent motorcycle travel in Indonesia : cost and tips

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Indonesian motorcycle tours: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo + video)

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Indonesian motorcycle tours: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo + video)

oksasha ” 01 Feb 2011, 10:48 am

A little video report of the trip to Lombok and Gili Air http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl . 6FLosL2fe8

Travel notes 16.01-17.01.11 – tedious flights SPb – Moscow, Moscow – Abu Dhabi (5 hours flight), Abu Dhabi – Jakarta (8.5 hours flight), Jakarta – Lombok (Mataram) and all with hookups up to 6 hours… That was the price for cheap tickets (SPb – Jakarta 21 000 rub. Etihad – bought 2 weeks before the trip)). We bought airline tickets to Lombok in Jakarta (610,000 rupiah for one (approx. 62 $ + 40 thousand rupiah – tax)), we also exchanged currency at Jakarta airport, the exchange office we chose: she has not a “cheating face” – will not cheat))) We bought our foreign currency in Jakarta Airport (exchange rate: $ 1 = 8,980 rupiah). Many on the forum write that the rate is lower in Lombok, but we exchanged money in Sengigi (Lombok) at a rate of 1 $ – 9 thousand rupiah), may be you mean not the airport rate but the rate in Jakarta? It’s just that if you can, you should do an analysis of the offers. It concerns both exchange rates and food and accommodation…

17.01 23.00 local time and we finally landed on the island of Lombok. It had just rained, the freshness is nice… but a warning comes to mind – it is the rainy season in Indonesia. What is it the rainy season. Anyway, it’s better than the winter in St. Petersburg … We take a cab and the hotel Sunset Homestay in the area of Senggigi (on the advice of Lonely Planet, as it turned out later most of the advice is not very soft to say) (cab 55 thousand rubles), room 450 thousand rubles ($ 50), looking at us tired and exhausted bargaining with us are not, though as it turned out later price they slammed. The next morning, we opened our eyes and looked more like carefree all-knowing tourists, we found a hotel next to ours (Botu Bolong), room 250k with a separate entrance, hot water, air conditioning and better design of the hotel area.

January 18 happily moved to the hotel Botu Bolong enjoy the sun, waves and ride around the area on a rented motorcycle (40 thousand rubles per day). After all, this time of year the weather in Indonesia is not so bad (as it seemed to us on this day). Lunch in the center of Sengigi (165 thousand rubles), in the evening a fruitless search for a night market near Ampenan, dinner at the hotel (110 thousand rubles)…

Hotel Botu Bolong (Sengigi, Lombok Island):

19.01 – it’s raining in the morning, it’s impossible to fight sleepyness, so we hope for light at the end of the tunnel, i.e. the sun))). Amazing how one really rainy morning can change the mood of travelers… 12 hours – is still dripping and it looks like the flood is inevitable, but we decided to be optimistic to the end – we go on a motorcycle around the neighborhood – we visit the temple Botu Bolong (near the hotel), find a market near Ampenan (awfully dirty, smells, bought fruit, Other islands or other areas we hope to have much more fruit), we go beyond Sengigi to the north – the area begins mountainous, flying unseen birds, in a word, a beauty, except that the rain. 16.00 hours – as real optimists we decided to set off in the morning on our bikes around the island. Hurray, it stopped raining, taking advantage of the moment and not knowing how much happiness befell all of us, we rush for a swim in the ocean… The rain again… Everything, dinner and sleep, tomorrow morning for the deeds and spitting in the rain…

Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video)

20.01 – 8 am, again with difficulty we force our eyes and with apprehension look out on the veranda … hooray, it’s not raining, the sun is breaking through the clouds))) Breakfast and forward – to conquer the mountain peaks and waterfalls. To Senaru (north Lombok) about 86 km, the track is easy, the road is paved and good, the place is very scenic, mostly along the coast, and then a slight uphill climb. About 3 hours on the road (including small stops) and we are there. While the stories of the locals that the mountain on a motorcycle will be difficult to ride, have not found confirmation, it was easy and interesting to ride. Around two arrived at the place, checked into a hotel near the entrance to the trail that leads to the waterfalls (room 200k), the area is amazing, fir trees overlooking the mountains, waterfall and rice fields. Having rejected all the suggestions of the local guides and the callers, we decided to climb the first two waterfalls on our own. The road to the first waterfall takes a maximum of 15 minutes (the track is not difficult, the whole path asphalted), to the second waterfall, certainly much more beautiful and impressive road is not clear, no signs, no asphalt, according to local residents the way to the second waterfall is very dangerous and do not find it yourself. We do not believe it and go ourselves, the path to the waterfall is veiled – from the first waterfall begins to climb back up the mountain on steps and on the left side of the handrail begins inconspicuous mountain path – you, the conquerors of waterfalls and not afraid of adventure, to this trail. The trail leads through a real jungle, over a beautiful bridge, along a mountain stream, you cannot lose the trail… You will have to walk a couple of meters along the mountain stream itself in the place where the trail stops, then it starts again, on the left side of the stream. At the beginning of the path to the second waterfall began a real tropical downpour, which throughout our journey, then weakened and intensified, but it was warm and interesting, for us it was an unforgettable adventure. The waterfall, as well as the track to it, is impressive, very beautiful and large, the first is no comparison. About the waterfall itself there are a lot of reviews and there are a lot of photos – I won’t repeat them. Our only regret: the rain made it almost impossible to take pictures… We went back from the waterfall with a feeling of accomplishment and under the impression of the unreal beauty. In the evening it rained so much that all the previous ones seemed to be mushrooming, so we went to bed with the next goal – to go south through the Sembalun Valley and the mountain pass with an overnight stop in Tete Batu and the hope that the water would run out of water during the night.

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On the way north.

Senaru hotel grounds

Senaru Falls

21.01 7am – alarm clock went off, no point getting up – it’s raining… did it ever stop? Sleeping till 9 – sun looks out, but not for long. We decided to go our way in spite of frightening clouds and surprised laughing glances of locals. It’s about 85km to Tete Batu, through the pass near the Ridjani volcano. We were very lucky, it didn’t even rain much. The road is almost all right, there are some small washed out sections, but in St. Petersburg it is even worse, it is very picturesque. The ascent to the mountain on a motorcycle survived taking into account the two people and cargo of 16 kg (backpack was placed in front of the scooter), but be warned at once. Down from the pass was very steep, and therefore on a scooter in the opposite direction (from south to north, from Kuta toward Sinaru) climb much harder. After the last village (Sembalun Bumbung) to the highest point of the pass was very close, and we thought about stopping in Sembalun, to just hold the pass. On the way we noticed a lot of gray monkeys coming out of the woods on the side of the road, we really regretted that we didn’t have any snacks with us, it’s too bad they were so devoted and kept folding their paws in anticipation. At the top point we were lucky and all the clouds began to disperse, opened the view of the village, a lot of monkeys ran away… How nice that we went this way and not along the coast, and how good that we were not afraid of rain. We arrived in Tete Batu around 4:00, for two hours the sun was shining and there was no hint of rain. We stayed at the Pundok hotel (100k), next to the hotel we planned to visit waterfalls (as they say, there are two of them), there is also a forest of monkeys 2 km away, but we are not interested in that anymore. After Tete Batu, the asphalt ends and the road splits in two, we drove both (1.5 km each). On the left the road leads to the path to the waterfall, but the waterfall is not impressive, especially after Sinaru. From the road to this waterfall 300 meters and a warning. – There are little leeches there. There are a lot of leeches in this area in general, even just in the grass, so you have to inspect yourself when you return to your room. The second waterfall, as it turned out, far away and we did not even bother to look for it. The road to the right leads to a very picturesque little village with beautiful rice fields and real local color. Here we met the sunset and slept – tomorrow for Kutu, in the fishing village of Gerupak (track about 75 km).

Over the pass.

Near Tete Batu

22.01 – slept with difficulty, toads squawking, the constant imaginary feeling of leeches on the legs … The long-awaited morning greeted us with sunshine, quickly on the road – because the weather in Indonesia is variable … I did not like this road (the mountain serpentine and jungle is much better), a lot of villages on the road, sometimes traffic, nothing of interest, and this scorching sun. But we go towards Kuta, and there are the most beautiful beaches in Lombok. Passed Kuta, soaring sun just killing … where is the long-awaited rain. Already on the way to Gerupak convinced that the beaches here are really chic – Bounty. We settled in the village itself in the hotel Duyung for 110 thousand, a friendly owner with a good knowledge of English, very good food – we first time in Indonesia really enjoyed the food … After all, in Indonesia there are nice nice people and good food, it reassured us, because we have a month to travel in this country. It was raining so long-awaited, we were sitting on the veranda, relaxing and after the rain, let’s go – to explore the beautiful beaches… We rode a scooter on the beach with white sand – super and almost no people, mostly locals… met the sunset and decided – since we are so fed here and the beauty around, the trip further postponed and tomorrow a full day here.

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Kuta

23.01 – in the morning we went to explore the beaches, they were all in the direction of Kuta, including the most famous with a beautiful rock immersed in the ocean and dividing the beach into two parts (with white and yellow sand). The tide came in around 11 pm, there were small waves and some seaweed came up, but it didn’t spoil the feeling of paradise. Unnoticeably we managed to get burnt, although we were almost never in the open sun – we found a shelter for our boat by the ocean and settled in the shade. After a tasty lunch in the hotel we drove around and looked around in the opposite direction from the ocean, walked along paths, pastures, local villages. GPS helped us a lot in that sense – we were not afraid to get lost and we studied all the paths. Closer to sunset drove to the beach with white sand, where we caught a short pleasant tropical downpour, yes, yes, a nice And here we have a bad thing happened, we literally a couple of minutes left the GPS in the trunk of the scooter and went to take pictures of low tide and sunset near the rock, but at this time, some local assholes climbed under the side of the trunk cover and stole our guide. Very upset, because without a navigator it is much harder to travel around the islands, and it’s a shame that such creeps got caught… We ate dinner in frustration, watched another thunderstorm and went to bed.

Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video)

24.01 – that’s it, we go back to Sengigi. We decided that in addition to Gili Nangu (with one hotel on the island) we would stop for a couple of days on the islands of Gili Meno, Gili Air. The way to Sengigi was not easy, we decided to drive along the ocean by the local village Selong Belanak, then through Batujai and Kediri to Sweta, and there to Sengigi, the total route was about 90 km. The road along the ocean is broken, but you can pass, the place is very beautiful and worth it. But the most difficult thing for us this day was definitely navigating without a navigator, eh, how many times we remembered it. Anyway, thanks to the map of Lombok and appeals to local residents with questions in what direction this or that village we arrived. We stayed that day in the already known hotel Botu Bolong, proudly confirming at the reception that we rode around most of the island on a scooter. After lunch it rained, but he did not stop us – we go to Sengigi to order a transfer to Gili and change some money (just in case). In the end, we booked a transfer to the hotel for 120 thousand rupees for two (minibus + boat to Gili Air). In the evening, again watched the sunset, and surfed the Internet, by the way, in Botu Bolong no internet, but in Sunset Homestay, where we spent the first night and paid a lot of money, it is, the password is sansethomestay (can anyone useful – sit at the pool Botu Bolong and connect) And the food in Sengigi, went around several restaurants in the center Sengigi: The food is mostly disgusting and expensive by Indonesian standards – we know this after traveling through Lombok. The last couple of times we ate at a cheap hotel (if you drive from Mataram direction to the temple and Hotel Botu Bolong it is on the right before the temple, rooms for 100 thousand rupiah with cold water), there is good food and prices are quite consistent with the Indonesian.

Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video)

From Kuta to Sengigi (without navigator)

25.01 – transfer to Gili Air impressed, first just a mini-bass ride along the coast about an hour (we did this route during the trip to the north of the island), and then in Bangsala get on a small boat (public boat), in which the locals and carry a lot of food and drinking water to the island. It takes about 10 minutes to sail, even the most unstable do not have time to get carsick. All day today we are watching the weather on Lombok, just a stone’s throw away from Gili, black clouds are gathering over the whole visible part of Lombok and it seems that the rain does not stop. And we have a wonderful, light haze and intricate clouds in the sky, apparently, the rainy season does not affect Gili … We rented bikes (25 thousand each), went around the island, on one side of the island constant waves (visible to other islands of Gili), on the opposite side there are almost no waves during the day (visible to Lombok). We settled on the right side of the pier (counterclockwise), but quite far from it (Star bungalow 180k per day), we have just a fantastic new house with nice furniture, pictures, lights and other nice little things. One slightly overshadowed – all hotels on the island, except perhaps the very expensive, with salt water (but not as salty as the ocean), in any case, the beauty of the island and the relaxation that you feel, worth these slight inconvenience. The prices here were not so scary, at Sengigi (in the center) is worse. Dinner for one, for example, fish steak with potatoes, rolls with vegetables and juice will cost 55 thousand, a bottle of water (1.5 liters) 5 thousand, shuttle to Bali (which actually now we are interested, 300 thousand to Padangbai – the price given at the pier)

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Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video)

26.01 Morning, woke up early, sunshine, decided to go snorkeling off the islands of Meno, Trawangan, Air (80 thousand rupees per person, from 9:30 to 15:00). We walked up to the local callers and swam. Then we took a local “cab” – a cart with a horse, as it was insanely hot and the second half of the island did not attract us… There are less hotels and restaurants on Meno, lots of secluded places, though we also found such places on Ayr. In general we took this trip as a boat trip to see the local sights, i.e. islands. After snorkeling we swam in the ocean and met the sunset, riding rented bikes on the sand and waves.

Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video) Indonesia on a motorcycle: part 1-Lombok, Gili Air (photo+video)

Tomorrow in Bali on a fast boat… but that’s another story… And know this: the rainy season is not terrible, if you have a waterproof jacket, water protection for your backpack, the right attitude and a great desire to embrace the immensity.

Good luck to all the present and future travelers.

Oksasha member posts: 138 Photo: 21 Registration: 30/01/2011 City: St. Petersburg Thanked (a): 10 times. Has thanked: 27 times. Age: 40 Countries: 17 Reports: 7 Gender: Female

Independent travel by motorcycle in Indonesia (Sumatra): cost and tips

solo travel to indonesia

In this report, I’ll talk about my personal experience of a two-month motorcycle trip around the island of Sumatra in Indonesia in fall 2015: useful tips, full cost of the trip (all expenses: motorcycle, hotels, food, household, visa, airfare, etc.), as well as everything about buying and selling a bike in Indonesia and my mini guide to the secret scenic spots in Sumatra.

In September 2015, I traveled to Indonesia, to the island of Sumatra, to buy a motorcycle there and take it on a solo solo solo trip. The main goal of the trip was to cross the equator, a long-time dream of mine, and I wanted to do it by land, to fully experience the crossing of this important border that divides the planet in two. I didn’t design an itinerary, as I decided right away that I would just drive south, stopping in places I liked for as long as I felt like it.

I didn’t end up riding very much in a month and a half, about 2,000 km. I repaired my bike a few times (which took 4-5 days) and stayed in some places for long periods of time: five days in Berastagi, four days in Lake Toba, four days in Tapaktuan, a week in Bukittingi and even lived for a full seven years in Lake Maninjau – so I didn’t spend much time directly on the road.

My Sumatra motorcycle trip lasted almost two months plus I spent a few days in Penang, Malaysia, doing an Indonesian visa there.

Through the many links scattered throughout the text, you can find my travel notes and photos from that trip. All the notes from this motorcycle trip can be found on my blog.

Any questions arise, ask in the comments.

Motorcycle tour Sumatra

Buying and selling a motorcycle in Indonesia

Buying

It took me about five days to find and buy a motorcycle for my motorcycle trip in Indonesia. Officially, a foreigner without a residence permit cannot buy a vehicle in his own name in this country, but not all Indonesians reissue documents in their own name when buying motorcycles. The procedure for buying a motorcycle by hand is very simple – you give money and they give you the documents, keys and the motorcycle in return. It is not obligatory to put your name in the technical passport. That is why I was in the mood to buy used motorcycle from the very beginning.

In the first few days in Banda Aceh I tried to find used bikes for sale. I could not find any (although I later learned that they are – in the market near the main city mosque), so I turned for help to the locals. Through couchsurfing I found a young guy, Aul, who agreed to help me find and buy a motorcycle. In three days (it’s not customary to rush in the east) we accomplished this task and I bought a 2011 Yamaha Byson (team search for motorcycle). The seller gave me the documents, the key and the motorcycle, and wrote a receipt for receipt of Rs 11.7 million from me – my name only appeared on this receipt (which, incidentally, could serve as proof of ownership in case of a possible document check by the police).

We searched for sellers with the help of private ads site olx – it’s in Indonesian, but you can use google-translator. Very handy site – you can sort by city, make, year of manufacture and other parameters.

Motorcycle documents you need to have:

  1. Buku pemilik kendaraan bermotor – Motorcycle owner’s card.
  2. STNK (Surat Tanda nomor kendaraan bermotor) – Motorcycle registration certificate.
  3. Surat katetapan pajak daerah – Certificate of annual tax payment.

What you need to pay attention to when buying a motorcycle. In addition to the condition of the motorcycle, you should check whether the numbers match those in the documents, the expiration date of the registration number, the date of payment of the annual vehicle tax, the province in which the bike is registered.

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My Bison was registered in a neighboring province – it did not matter to me, but in the end this nuance led to additional costs. I was required to pay the annual tax, but since I was in another province, it was impossible to do so without a bribe. Aul and his friends helped me do it in two days, but it cost almost 1 million rupees.

The initial price for the bike had been 12.5 million, but Aul persuaded the seller to lower it to 11.7 million. Now I understand that even that was too expensive – since the bike was registered in another province, I could have easily knocked down the price by at least another 1 million. But I wanted the bike so badly that at the time I did not think much about money.

truetraveller tips on a motorcycle in indonesia

alexey sinitsyn truetraveller

Selling

It was not an easy thing to do in a short period of time. I launched a massive campaign and launched an offensive on four fronts at once:

  1. Accepted the help in finding a buyer offered by the guys working at my home stay (one of them has a brother who sells used motorcycles);
  2. Offered to buy the motorcycle to the lady of the house;
  3. Started driving around town and looking for used bike dealerships;
  4. Placed an ad on the site olx.

A student responded to the ads and made up ridiculous stories about living in a mosque, having little money, and then that his brother had an accident, needed treatment, and the student had even less money.

The landlady announced every morning that she needed more time to think.

Resellers refused to buy a bike registered in another province.

The guy whose brother sells motorcycles was only thinking about how to make more money from his help and blew all the negotiations with potential buyers.

This whole mess lasted five days, and I was beginning to think that I would never get out of this swamp (Padang made a bad impression, the landlady and her staff did too, her retarded son looked into my room, all the people in town seemed rude, unpleasant, dishonest, and the air was unbearable). I was ready to make a deal at any price, just to get out of that place.

In the end, Bison was bought by the landlady for 7 million rupees. She’s going to rent it out to tourists – I think that’s the best prospect for Bison, and he’ll continue to serve travelers. It was hard to part with the bike.

Just after getting the money from the landlady, I immediately bought a plane ticket for the next flight to Medan with a departure in 14 hours – one more night in Padang, and I was off. I spent the remaining three days before my flight to Penang at Lake Toba, returning there again a month later, but without Bison.

the cost of independent travel to indonesia prices

The cost of traveling in Indonesia

I’ll list here all of my expenses for my two months of solo travel in Indonesia and the few days on Penang Island that went into preparation.

I use special mobile apps to keep track of my travel expenses, so my travel budget is extremely detailed.

Rate (Fall 2015) : 1 $ = 14 thousand Indonesian rupiah = 4.1 Malaysian ringgit = 65 rubles.

Airfare to Sumatra

  1. Ticket Moscow – Penang (via Doha and Kuala Lumpur) cost 21,000 rubles one way.
  2. Penang – Banda Aceh ticket costs 4 300 rubles.
  3. The ticket Padang – Medan cost 400 000 rubles.
  4. The ticket Medan – Penang cost 30 $.

In total all the flights cost me 457 $. But note that this is without going back to Russia, however, round trip airfare would not cost much more than a one-way ticket.

2. Visa

The cost of a visa for two-month trip to Indonesia – 190 ringgit, or $ 45 . I got it in Penang, Malaysia. It’s very easy to do in two days, the package of documents is minimal. Read our detailed article about visas to Indonesia.

3.

I bought a bike for 11.7 million rupiah, another 850,000 for the tax (450 – tax, 400 – bribe). I sold it for 6.75 million rupees. My total expenses for the bike (purchase minus sale) were 414 $.

The repair costs (after the purchase, after the falls and to fix problems that occurred during the trip) was 1 million rupees, or $71 .

Gasoline costs: 400,000 rupees or $30.

Equipment (helmet, gloves, rain gear): 240,000 rupees, or $17 .

Hotels

Accommodation expenses in Indonesia was 6,276,000 rupiah, hotel expenses in Penang was 239 ringgit. Total: $505 , that is about $8.4 per day.

5. Medicine

Cost of insurance in Indonesia and Malaysia – 10,490 rubles (included in the risks of driving a motor vehicle). Purchasing missing drugs for my first aid kit cost 1,580 rubles. Total: $186.

6. Mobile Internet

On how to buy a sim card with an internet package, read the tips below. The cost of three sim cards and one recharge was 300 thousand rupees, or $ 21 .

7. Meals

Meal expenses at the eateries: 3 million Indonesian rupiah + 124 ringgit = $257.

Fruit cost me 500 thousand rupiah, or $35 $.

Spent 450k ringgit, or $32, on groceries in stores (peanuts, water, chips, etc.).

Total for food I spent about $ 330, which in terms of the day would be about $ 5 – very budget. I ate well: whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. On average, a meal (rice/noodles + a glass of thick, freshly squeezed mashed potatoes juice) would cost about 20-25 thousand rupees, or 1.5-2 $.

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8. Transportation .

Ferries, buses, cabs, motor rickshaws, etc. cost me $33 + renting a motorcycle in Penang for a day cost $8. Total: $41 .

9. Clothes

Jeans and sneakers: $40 .

10. Other .

70 $

The total cost of traveling in Indonesia

The budget for my two-month solo trip to Sumatra with all expenses was $ 2,200, which at the current exchange rate is equal to 145,000 rubles.

Indonesia is a very cheap country to live and travel, but the amount came out a decent amount. However, it is only frightening when converted into rubles because of the bad exchange rate. You can not say that $ 2,200 – a lot for two-month trip, all flights and buying a motorcycle.

motorcycle trips sumatra indonesia beaches

Going to Indonesia by yourself: tips

Be sure to buy a good raincoat and think of something to cover your luggage with – the downpours in Sumatra are heavy.

Russian SIM cards . If you’re going to get an Indonesian visa in Malaysia (the easiest way), be careful – Tele2 SIM cards do not work when roaming in that country! I have two of them (old and brand new) – both can’t connect to the network. It is better not even to contact the technical support, they are frankly mocking and do not get any help from them. It is worth be careful with this, as you can be left without the ability to enter the intranet bank and manage their accounts.

Internet in Indonesia . Do not have high hopes for the Indonesian wi-fi in hotels – it is not always there, and if it is, it’s not very good. To always have the Internet at hand (and you need it – for example, to work online translator), I recommend buying SimPati sim cards. I have bought three times a SIM card for mobile Internet with packages of 2-3.6 GB. Once in one of the villages I asked some teenagers to put money on my account and connect a new package. In vain – for 60 thousand I got only 600 mb, which is more expensive than buying a new SIM card with 2 GB. So it is better to throw away the old one and buy a new one. The package is connected automatically, you just need to put a SIM card in your phone and everything will work. Check the remaining Internet traffic: *889#.

The roads in Aceh are excellent! The roads in West Sumatra are mostly pretty good. The roads in North Sumatra are terrible and sometimes non-existent. I’ll never forget my hardest day of travel, when I only managed to drive 100 km on broken roads.

Language . Learn a couple or three dozen basic words in Indonesian (it’s very easy to pronounce and understand), which can come in handy for communication and for dealing with any everyday issues, as well as numbers. This will make your life a lot easier, because very few people speak English, and you will also earn the approval of the locals, who will be very pleased that you are trying to learn their language.

indonesia cost

indonesia independent travel

The Secret Places of Sumatra

You can find information about places of interest, national parks, etc. on your own. Here I will make a small list of interesting and very picturesque places of Sumatra, about which you can’t read in guidebooks.

    (Sabang). Tourists go to the northern part of the island – there are hostels and beaches. I recommend a drive on the roads of the southern part of Veh – beautiful views, nice winding road with no traffic, secluded beaches. And in general the whole island is good – here you can get away from everything.
  1. Lho-Nga beach (20 km from Banda Aceh). A huge, beautiful beach, almost deserted. Beautiful! along the west coast of Sumatra – a 150 km section is very picturesque: mountains, beaches, cafes on stilts over the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
  2. Road through the mountains along the northeastern shore of Lake Toba.
  3. The road to the mountains from Pangururan on Samosir Island, southwest of Toba. A steep serpentine ascent to a height of almost 2,000 meters on a narrow broken road with no guard rails and a bottomless precipice on your left one meter away. with a suspension bridge exactly halfway between the towns of Padang Sidempuan and Panyambungan. In general, the attraction of that place is the waterfall, but it is completely worthless. The river and bridge are more interesting.
  4. The hot springs at Sipoholon are half way from Toba to Padang Sidempuan. Fantastic scenery. – A quiet, secluded, almost no one known place 40 km from the town of Bukittingi. I lived on this lake for seven years – it was a beautiful time.

indonesia sumatra maninjau tourism

I also can’t keep quiet about three pretty famous places in Sumatra that are worth visiting while traveling – they are so good that I have to mention them separately:

  • Lake Toba – a magical place in every way: beautiful mountains, a huge lake, clean air, fresh and cool, cozy $5 gesthouses on the very shore, a spirit world, graves of Batak kings and magic mushrooms.
  • Sibayak Volcano – another world.
  • Volcano Marapi – another world.

The volcanoes gave me a gift – on both I wandered all alone. They were some of the highlights of my trip to Indonesia! Read my post about walking among the cold milky mists on the Martian surface of the top of Marapi Volcano and the two-hour descent from it at night through the jungle.

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