Best of Indonesia

Trip Code: TISSC

Why we love it

Gunung Leuser National Park is your best chance in all of Indonesia to see orangutans in the wild. This diverse ecosystem also harbours some 300 bird species and the endangered Sumatran tiger, The excellent Bukit Lawang Eco Lodge provides a unique jungle experience, and by staying there you support the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, Climb the Sibayak Volcano, enjoy a picnic at its spectacular summit, then head to local hot springs for some well-earned rest and relaxation after the descent, Explore Lake Toba and the villages on Samosir Island. Check out Indonesia’s highest waterfall and a take a cultural tour that includes a traditional Batak dance performance, Yogyakarta is one of South-East Asia's standout spots, and a cycling trip takes you through its backcountry, a world of flower-studded fields and smiling locals, Take a guided walk through the jungle and rice paddies of Seloliman Nature Reserve, then sit back, relax and soak up the ambience under the stars, Climbing Mt Bromo in the early hours of the morning is an adventure to remember. If the conditions are right, you'll be rewarded with a dazzling sunset over mist-laden volcanoes, Get behind the scenes of some of Java's fascinating local industries – from coffee, cocoa and palm sugar to traditional Javanese medicine, There's plenty of time to chill out at beautiful Pemuteran by the beach

Is this trip right for me?

Sumatra is less developed than other islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Due to limited tourism infrastructure, expect there to be bumpy and windy roads, some longer drives and more basic hotels. On the plus side, there are less tourists.

This itinerary spend one night camping in Gunung Lesuer National Park. Keep in mind this is jungle camping with twin share tents and no facilities. Which is of course all part of the adventure.

Gunung Leuser National Park is located in Aceh province, which is governed by Sharia Law. There are strict Sharia laws to comply to. Your leader will explain more, but conservative dress is required for these days, (and is recommended for the rest of this trip).

This trip involves a fair amount of hiking and cycling. A moderate level of fitness will help you to get the most out of this trip.

Java is one of the largest islands in Indonesia, and this trip covers a lot of ground. Travel times can be long and delays are common. Where suitable, you'll travel by train instead of drive, which will make the journey more comfortable. 

It's important not to make your bags too heavy, as you will be expected to carry them onto and off trains, and walk them short distances. Porters are available in most stations at an extra charge.

Accommodation at Seloliman Nature Reserve, and near Mt Bromo is in basic guesthouses. Set on the edge of a tropical forest the Seloliman Reserve embraces philosophies of environmental education, and we are sure you will get a good nights sleep. The next night close to the base Mt Bromo our guesthouse is selected for it's location. Our stay is short, as we awake very early the next day for our sunrise hike.

Dress standards in Java are more conservative than in other areas of Indonesia. Show your respect by covering your knees and shoulders when visiting temples. It's a great idea to bring your own sarong.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2,6,7,16,18,19,20 (Guesthouse) and Day 3 (Camping) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. In order to book the train tickets on this trip we require your full passport details at time of booking, or at the latest 45 days prior to travel. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket or alternative transport costs.
3. As this is a combination trip, your group composition as well as your leader may change in Jakarta.
4. Please not the internal flight from Sumatra to Jakarta is unaccompanied.

What to bring/pack

MAIN LUGGAGE:
What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Remember to bring suitable locks for your luggage. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

SMALLER BACKPACK / DAYPACK:
A small to medium backpack is required for the trek in Gunung Leuser National Park. A capacity of 30-35 litres/8-9 gallons is suggested, with a waterproof cover, and spare plastic bags to keep your possessions dry. While trekking, you leave your main piece of luggage at a central point and return following the trek.

ESSENTIALS:
- Toiletries
- Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Lightweight and comfortable clothes for the activities are best, and quick dry items are great in the humidity. Modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees is also preferable in Sumatra in general, particularly when visiting areas outside major cities that are more conservative, .
Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes. For visits to religious sites you will also need to wear clothing that covers shoulders and pants/skirts that go past the knee.

Jungle Trek: for your 2 day trek in Gunung Leuser National Park you will need to carry the the following specific items in your backpack:
- Extra sleeping mat (optional) - thin roll mat is provided
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Plastic bags: to keep gear dry, and a spare to carry toilet paper out
- Toilet paper / tissues
- Torch/flashlight/headtorch
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, bio-degradable soap / shampoo for use in the river
- Insect repellent
- Sun protection: hat, sunscreen/sunblock, sunglasses
- Personal medical kit and personal prescription items. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and adhesive bandages.
- Hand sanitizer
- Water bottle: Larger size recommended. Can be refilled from the stream on second day
- Water purification tablets (boiled stream water is available at the campsite)
- Swimwear (optional): or can swim in clothes like the locals
- Lightweight, loose fitting and quick dry long trousers, and long sleeve / t-shirt to wear (mosquitoes can bite through any tight clothing)
- 1 change of clothes for sleeping / second day of hike
- Warm jacket or layers for the evening (weather dependent)
- 1 small towel / sarong
- Underwear
- Densely woven socks
- Hiking shoes/Lightweight walking shoes with a good grip or walking sandals (not flip-flops) are a good choice. If you are wearing sandals, please ensure they are not slippery between your feet and the shoe when they're wet, as this makes it impossible to walk up any hill!
Rubber shoes -we recommended that you purchase some local rubber shoes for the jungle trek. These are known locally as Spatu Gambir and offer excellent grip and only cost around 4 USD. Please speak to your guide at Bukit Lawang and they can help arrange this - its recommended to bring plaster’s as first time wearers often get blisters on their heel.

The above items will also be useful for the remainder of your trip. Hiking shoes/boots are useful for your climb up Sibayak Volcano

RECOMMENDED:
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank: You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items most days, however these are a good backup.
- Electrical adapter plug
- A second hand sleeping bag will be provided for the overnight camp however you may prefer to bring your own for extra comfort.

OPTIONAL
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- A good book, a journal and music player for longer journeys.
- Travel washing line and Bio-degradable washing detergent

VALUABLES
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe if available. It’s a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. It’s also recommended to bring a copy of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list., LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS:
Due to luggage restrictions on the trains in Java, bags must be 20 kilograms or under and within the dimensions of 70cm long x 48cm wide x 30 cm deep. Charges for luggage in excess of 20 kilograms are IDR10 000 per kilo. You will need to pay for any excess luggage. We recommend taking a backpack or small wheeled suitcase for the train travel on this trip., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Swiss-Belinn Medan, Jalan Surabaya 88, Medan, INDONESIA, Phone: +62 6141077777, Fax: +62 614520505

The Swiss-Belinn Medan is located in the central business district, within walking distance to shops and very close to the famous Selat Panjang food stalls. The hotel is approximately 30km (18.6 mi) away from Kualanamu International Airport, approximately 1 hours drive (depending on local traffic conditions).

The Swiss-Belinn Medan offers 24 hour reception, arestaurant, fitness centre, spa with massage services. Free Wi-Fi in public areas, and laundry services are also available.

Rooms are come equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, a flat-screen cable TV, internet access, safety deposit box and tea/coffee making facilities Private bathrooms have a hot-water showers. Please note that not all rooms have windows and although we will endeavour to book our travellers into rooms with windows we can not guarantee this.
http://www.swiss-belhotel.com/en-gb/swiss-belinn-medan

Joining instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you have booked an airport transfer your driver will be waiting for you, holding an intrepid travel sign, inside the arrival hall after you have collected your baggage. If you are unable to find the driver please call our local supplier on their 24 hour number +628126051224 (Phone/Whats App) The journey time is dependant on traffic but can take up to 2- 2.5 hours.

If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer, to avoid using unlicensed taxis and/or being overcharged, we strongly recommend you purchase a taxi voucher to your hotel which can be purchased at the taxi counter inside the airport after clearing customs. Taxi transfers will cost approximately IDR200,000 per car. The journey from airport to hotel can take 2-2.5 hours depending on traffic.

The quickest way to get to central Medan is by using the high speed rail link. The cost is 50,000 IDR, it departs every 1 hour and takes around 50 mins. Follow the signs once you have collected your baggage in Medan. Upon arrival into Medan you will need to either walk for around 15 minutes (note the pavements are not very even or well defined on some streets in Medan) or take a taxi – the approx cost from the train station to the hotel will be around 30,000 IDR.

Finishing your trip

Sabana Ubud, Jl. Premasanti , Pengosekan Ubud Bali, Ubud, 80571, INDONESIA, Phone: +62 85239827958

Checkout time is 12 midday. Taxis can easily be hired from the street in front of the hotel. The drive can take approx. 35 min depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions.

We can offer a pre-arranged private transfer service. Inform your agent at the time of booking if you are interested.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 21

Lunches included: 5

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

INDONESIAN FOOD:
Here are 10 quintessential dishes you have to try while travelling in Indonesia: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-eat-in-indonesia/

VEGETARIANS & VEGANS:
Strict vegetarians should be aware that a lot of Indonesian cooking contains fermented shrimp paste (terasi) as a basic ingredient. Chicken and eggs are also common in many dishes. Although there are many vegetarian options available, please ensure you are specific as possible when ordering food to ensure that your meal suits your dietary needs. If you are travelling to Ubud, see our guide to vegan and vegetarian eats: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vegan-vegetarian-guide-to-ubud/

Climate & seasonal information

FLOODS & MUDSLIDES:
Floods and mudslides can occur during the wet season (October - March). Heavy rains during this time can result in areas of the Jakarta region being affected by flood waters. Key services, such as emergency and medical care, telecommunications, transport, and the supply of food and water are often disrupted during floods and mudslides. Should our trips be affected by floods during this time we may need to reroute our itineraries and travellers may need to use their contingency funds to cover additional costs.

VOLCANOES:
Indonesia has many active volcanoes that can erupt at any time and cause widespread disruption. Alert levels may be raised and evacuations ordered at short notice. Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. In the event of or following an eruption you should contact your travel insurance provider directly to ask if your policy is affected by the volcanic activity. For information regarding whether your itinerary has been affected, see our Travel Alerts page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

The most recent eruptions have been:
- Mt Agung, East Bali. Mount Agung has shown increased volcanic activity since late-September 2017. Ash from the volcano has disrupted flights. There is currently an exclusion zone around the crater, which may change at short notice.
- Mount Merapi (near Yogyakarta). Following an eruption in May 2018, people in the area were evacuated by local authorities.
- Mount Rinjani, on Lombok (near Bali), has erupted numerous times in recent years causing flight disruptions in Bali and Lombok.

EARTHQUAKES:
Indonesia is in an active earthquake region with a high level of earthquake activity, sometimes triggering tsunamis. Earthquakes can occur anywhere in Indonesia. In the event of a natural disaster, follow the advice of local authorities. In the event of or following an earthquake you should contact your travel insurance provider directly to ask if your policy is affected by the event. For information regarding whether your itinerary has been affected, see our Travel Alerts page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

The most recent earthquakes have been:
- Lombok & the Gili Islands. A series of powerful earthquakes caused widespread damage and loss of life in northern Lombok and the Gili Islands in July and August 2018. Tourist facilities such as hotels and restaurants that temporarily closed as a result of the earthquakes are progressively reopening and ferry services are operating.

NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY:
Always celebrated on August 17, this is Indonesia's national day and marks Indonesia's declaration of independence from the Netherlands in 1945. Around this time you may experience some delays to transport due to events, or alternative accommodation may be need to be sourced due to it being a peak time.

NYEPI - BALINESE NEW YEAR :
Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Isakawarsa according to the Balinese calendar. It is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali. Custom requires that all people in Bali observe a day of silence and do not leave their homes. Flights to/from Denpasar airport will be suspended for this day and majority of services and businesses do not operate. It is expected that travellers will respect the traditions of the Balinese people during Nyepi and stay within their accommodation at this time. Dates for Nyepi may change, but are currently: 14th March 2021, 3rd March 2022

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid's Indonesia Office: +62 822 3553 2507

Intrepid's Thailand Office: +66 898 103 722

Accommodations

Transportation

TRAVEL IN JAVA
Java is one of the most one of the largest islands in Indonesia, and we cover a large distance on this trip. Where suitable we travel by train to make the journey more comfortable but on some days we will be taking road transport. Travel times can be long, and traffic can be heavy and slow, especially over holiday periods. You will be expected to carry your own bags onto and off trains, and for short distances (porters are available in most stations at an extra charge).

TRANSPORT IN BALI:
In Bali we travel by private minivan in order to access more remote areas such as Bedugul, and for safety on the busy and narrow Balinese roads. Depending on the size of your group you may be split over multiple vans and your leader will alternate between the vehicles throughout the journey.


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