I need help planning trip - Indoneasia

#1
About a year from now my wife and I will be visiting our daughter serving in the Peace Corps near Surabuya, Indonesia. We plan on going around Ramadan since they have a bit of a break (free vacation if you will) from school during that time. We anticipate the trip to be about 3 weeks and plan for 7 days with our daughter. Keep in mind its 2 days of flying on both sides.

This is also a 25th anniversary trip too.

I am looking for ideas to do in Asia and the choices seem overwhelming. I am considering Bejing for some time, Tokyo or another place and the list goes on and on. Frankly I am befuddled with great choices.

Any thoughts?
 

cyning

Senior Member
#2
Not sure what the current flights from Dallas offer, but to get to Indonesia from here, I'm guessing you probably will have to go through Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore. Of those three, I would pick Hong Kong for a layover for a few days if it's available. It's surprisingly compact and you can see and do a lot in a short time. Some people like Singapore a lot, some don't like it. It has fewer touristy things to do, but has some good restaurants and interesting history. Have a Singapore sling in the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, just for fun. The subway there is great and safe, day or night. Personally, I never enjoyed Tokyo much. Too much like just another big city.

Be very careful about taking cabs in Indonesia. Blue Bird and Silver Bird were pretty safe and honest when I was there, but that has been some years ago. They are the same company. Silver Bird has nicer cars and is more expensive, Blue Bird is more economy level. I can't recommend any other cab company. Too many of the others take advantage of foreigners or are simply unsafe.

Thailand is fairly close and is good for a side trip too. Bangkok is fun and you'd probably enjoy a day long river trip inland from there too. Thailand also has some very nice beach resorts. If you're interested in Australia, it used to be pretty easy to hop over to Sydney from Jakarta.

Enjoy your trip!
 
#3
Going to that god forsaken country, you may find your neck on the business end of a knife. It's crawling with muzzies.
CaptainMorgan said he wasn't "brave enough" to risk going to Qatar, or Dubai, which I found laughable, still do. Golfers and golf fans I guess are pretty tough.

But I want no part of Indonesia.

Good luck to you.
If you can get yourself to Thailand, either Phuket or Pattaya, you'll enjoy yourself. Great beauty, very affordable.
We parasailed there for $5. Great foot massages for $5.

www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28700983
BBC
Aug 11, 2014 - Officials fear the group is now trying to make ideological inroads in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation. Meetings of radical Indonesian groups declaring their support for the Islamic State (IS, also called Isis) have been held in Jakarta

www.indonesia-investments.com › Business › Risks
Some contemporary radical organizations that have been in the spotlight since the Reformation period are the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (Council of Indonesian Jihad Fighters), the Front Pembela Islam (Front of Islam Defenders), the Jema'ah Islamiyah (Islamic Congregation) and the

The Rising Tide of Radicalism Threatening Indonesia | Jakarta Globe
jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/blogs/the-rising-tide-of-radicalism-threatening-indonesia/
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim majority country comprising of about 200 million people, is known ... Popular radicals groups in Indonesia include

Islamic State: Jakarta mosques, schools linked to Islamist terror group ...
www.abc.net.au/news/...indonesia.../7181032
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Feb 18, 2016 - A number of Indonesian mosques and schools, including in the capital ... to Islamist terror group as Indonesia struggles to contain radicals.

Islamic State: Jakarta mosques, schools linked to Islamist terror group ...
www.abc.net.au/news/...indonesia.../7181032
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Feb 18, 2016 - A number of Indonesian mosques and schools, including in the capital ... to Islamist terror group as Indonesia struggles to contain radicals.

But then this appears good:
World's Largest Islamic Organization Tells ISIS To Get Lost
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../indonesian-muslims-counter-isis_us...
The Huffington Post
Dec 2, 2015 - A 50-million strong Sunni movement in Indonesia just launched a ... and scholars have denounced the Islamic State group, the U.K.'s Muslim Youth ... to “produce counter-narratives against radical ideas and propagate them ...
 
#4
Contrary to what you will hear some folks say - Indonesia is safe - yeah they have an incident here and there but tell me which country doesn't?

Anyway - if you do want to do a sidetrip while in Indonesia - here are some countries and thoughts

Singapore - Too sterile and not much more than a city

Hong Kong - Again nothing great

Thailand - Phenomenal place. But if you are headed in the summer it will be awfully hot although prices will be low. You got Bangkok - which is good for 3-4 days and you can head up to Chiang Mai which is cooler. Of course you have the beach resorts in Phuket, Koh Samui or Krabi which are great. Don't go to Pattaya - it is nasty.

China - If you can swing a visit to Beijing you can see the great wall and a side trip to Xian is where you can see the TerraCotta Warriors

Malaysia - Got some interesting bits.

While not on the direct route - Vietnam where i went a few years ago was fun too

If I had to pick I would do Thailand followed by China.

Any questions - feel free to ask


About a year from now my wife and I will be visiting our daughter serving in the Peace Corps near Surabuya, Indonesia. We plan on going around Ramadan since they have a bit of a break (free vacation if you will) from school during that time. We anticipate the trip to be about 3 weeks and plan for 7 days with our daughter. Keep in mind its 2 days of flying on both sides.

This is also a 25th anniversary trip too.

I am looking for ideas to do in Asia and the choices seem overwhelming. I am considering Bejing for some time, Tokyo or another place and the list goes on and on. Frankly I am befuddled with great choices.

Any thoughts?
 

Green225

Platinum Member
#5
Not sure what the current flights from Dallas offer, but to get to Indonesia from here, I'm guessing you probably will have to go through Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore. Of those three, I would pick Hong Kong for a layover for a few days if it's available. It's surprisingly compact and you can see and do a lot in a short time. Some people like Singapore a lot, some don't like it. It has fewer touristy things to do, but has some good restaurants and interesting history. Have a Singapore sling in the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, just for fun. The subway there is great and safe, day or night. Personally, I never enjoyed Tokyo much. Too much like just another big city.

Be very careful about taking cabs in Indonesia. Blue Bird and Silver Bird were pretty safe and honest when I was there, but that has been some years ago. They are the same company. Silver Bird has nicer cars and is more expensive, Blue Bird is more economy level. I can't recommend any other cab company. Too many of the others take advantage of foreigners or are simply unsafe.

Thailand is fairly close and is good for a side trip too. Bangkok is fun and you'd probably enjoy a day long river trip inland from there too. Thailand also has some very nice beach resorts. If you're interested in Australia, it used to be pretty easy to hop over to Sydney from Jakarta.

Enjoy your trip!
I have been to Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Agree on Hong Kong being the better of the three for things to do. Have been there many times.

American Airlines is now running non-stop flights on Boeing 777s from DFW to Hong Kong which does shorten the flight time considerably. Hong Kong would put you about 4 - 4 1/2 hours from Surabaya. Tokyo to Surabaya would be almost 10 hours. Singapore to Surabaya - about 2 1/2 hours.

Things to do in HK? Victoria Peak, Lantau Island, an evening cruise of the harbor on the Star Ferry, a walk thru Nan Lian Garden (botanicals), dining - have to try the Dim Sum, the Big Buddha, shopping - you could spend a day or two doing just this, an afternoon of horse racing at Happy Valley Racetrack, Disneyland Hong Kong?, a train or bus to the Northern Territories with a peak into Mainland China, and if you have the time a trip to Macau on the Turbojet (about an hour) - great dining and some of the largest casinos in the world.
 

AGH

Gold Member
#6
Tokyo and Hong Kong. The rest of that part of the world would be a real disappointment after those two cities.
 
#7
I have done Bangkok, Singapore, HK
HK is now very expensive and I'm sure Singapore is too and Tokyo is famous for being expensive

If this is a vacation where most bang for your $

Vietnam and Thailand...
Chiang Mai in Thailand is on our go to list.
Don't listen to the muppets about Indonesia being a Muslim country.

Follow these on social media

http://www.theflightdeal.com
 

Piiilot

Platinum Member
#8
You are going to a cool place. Just remember you will see poverty like you have never seen before in Indonesia. People drive like maniacs, so be careful crossing the street. Hong Kong is great place. Lots to see and do. If you go to Beijing just accept the fact you will be the victim of identity theft soon after you get home. Any electronics you have - phone, lap top iPad, will be hacked. They don't have the 4th amendment there. Don't leave anything in your hotel room you don't want someone to go through. Remember it is illegal to bring counterfeit merchandise back home. The people in China love Americans and are very polite and glad to see you. The Great Wall is a must see. Vietnam is also worth a stop.
 
#9
I agree with the Hong Kong & Singapore stops.

You could fly in and out of Bejing if you plan to visit China. It is a shorter trip from Dallas and AA offers 787 service there. Lots of cool shopping things to do in Bejing as well.

One place you might consider is Bali. I haven't been there but understand it is very beautiful.

I travel to that part of the world several times a year. I also like Thailand and you should look into places there. The people are very nice and accommodating.


Someone mentioned Vietnam. I alongside heard great things about that recently.
 
#10
Right now the leading contenders are....

1. Bangkok
2. Viet Nam

I think we will fly into Bangkok and meet out daughter there. Internal flights in Asia are VERY VERY CHEAP.

So the tentative itinerary is Dallas to Bangkok, Bangkok to Viet Nam, Viet nam to Surabya, Bus to village to meet host family.

Might smack the wife around a little in Indo - When in Rome.....

Then unwind it back to DFW. 3 to 3.5 weeks planned.
 

Londoner

Platinum Member
#11
sounds like a great trip... jealous... did a couple days in Bangkok a few year ago on the backside of a Phuket holiday and didn't even scratch the surface... want to go back!!

have heard vietnam is a great trip as well... cambodia has been really popular as well, so if you have any flexibility there you might want to consider a trip to angkor wat
 
#12
I'm not sure how it works internationally when you have a bunch of one way tickets. I know customs always wants to know about the return flight to the States. I'm sure it will be fine but it could get interesting.
 
#13
If you let TSA/Customs know your plans and connect all the dots you will not have any problem. It would be a good idea to do that though. I got on a hassle list there for a while when I did an open ended trip through Turkey then picked up the flight back out of Heathrow. Took a little while for that to shake out.
 
#15
So I plan on stocking up on clothes while I'm in Asia rather than bring a lot of American clothes with me. However, I am American sized and I eat carbs and drink beer. What is the availability of american XL and XXL clothes in Asia?
 

Londoner

Platinum Member
#16
So I plan on stocking up on clothes while I'm in Asia rather than bring a lot of American clothes with me. However, I am American sized and I eat carbs and drink beer. What is the availability of american XL and XXL clothes in Asia?
went to the Tokyo Dome back in '02 or close to that... desperately wanted to get a Giants jersey... tried on an XL and was more like a Medium... hopefully things changed since then, but i ended up buying a cap instead
 

Daytimer

Double Platinum
#17
If you stop in Bangkok...

Y'all are in for an awesome adventure. Since you don't have a tonne of time in Bangkok - you'll be fairly tired after the flight - here's some highlights I'd recommend:

Royal/Grand Palace - shows the architecture and history of Thailand. AH-MAZING! There is also the Emerald Buda onsite (take your shoes off and don't point your feet forward at Buda - it's a sign of disrespect to point the lowest part of your body at anyone). The Reclining Buda is nearby as well.

After that, I'd recommend catching a longtail river taxi across the Chao Phraya to Wat Arun ("Temple of the Dawn"). It'll be a little quieter but still absolutely spectacular climbing the stairs. There are some great views once you get there. It is also a memorable journey just being there taking in all the sights. The Temple has a neat history itself. Don't pay at the gate - it's a scam 😛

There is also the Jim Thompson house - this is a collection of houses showing more interesting Thai architecture and Asian art. He also helped revive the Thai silk industry. There is also their retail stores where you can find fabrics, furnishings, and silk items at their retail store - also fairly close to the Royal Palace.

You can also find the floating market which has great food - fresh fruits - etc. Avoid anything served directly out of a plastic baggie or rinsed with water (French designed sewers - 'nuff said). Look for jackfruit or rambutan. Oh and the watermelon is SAH-weeeet!

I'd also recommend the Erawan Shrine as its close to Sukhumvit Rd. It makes Preston on Saturday look desolate (7 "lanes" each direction but 10-12 cars/trucks/buses/motorcycles/tuk-tuks/elephants crammed wide). Climb the stairs over the intersection to appreciate the magnitude.

I want to hear about how awesome Indonesia is.
 
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#18
Based on my daughter's experience Indonesia is a magical place with it's own sense of time and a diverse culture across the various islands. For example Bali is Hindu whereas the rest of the islands are Muslim.

School starts at 7 (ish) and ends at 1 (ish). There are a lot of (ishes) in Indonesia.
 
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Londoner

Platinum Member
#19
If you stop in Bangkok...

Y'all are in for an awesome adventure. Since you don't have a tonne of time in Bangkok - you'll be fairly tired after the flight - here's some highlights I'd recommend:

Royal/Grand Palace - shows the architecture and history of Thailand. AH-MAZING! There is also the Emerald Buda onsite (take your shoes off and don't point your feet forward at Buda - it's a sign of disrespect to point the lowest part of your body at anyone). The Reclining Buda is nearby as well.

After that, I'd recommend catching a longtail river taxi across the Chao Phraya to Wat Arun ("Temple of the Dawn"). It'll be a little quieter but still absolutely spectacular climbing the stairs. There are some great views once you get there. It is also a memorable journey just being there taking in all the sights. The Temple has a neat history itself. Don't pay at the gate - it's a scam 😛

There is also the Jim Thompson house - this is a collection of houses showing more interesting Thai architecture and Asian art. He also helped revive the Thai silk industry. There is also their retail stores where you can find fabrics, furnishings, and silk items at their retail store - also fairly close to the Royal Palace.

You can also find the floating market which has great food - fresh fruits - etc. Avoid anything served directly out of a plastic baggie or rinsed with water (French designed sewers - 'nuff said). Look for jackfruit or rambutan. Oh and the watermelon is SAH-weeeet!

I'd also recommend the Erawan Shrine as its close to Sukhumvit Rd. It makes Preston on Saturday look desolate (7 "lanes" each direction but 10-12 cars/trucks/buses/motorcycles/tuk-tuks/elephants crammed wide). Climb the stairs over the intersection to appreciate the magnitude.

I want to hear about how awesome Indonesia is.
agree on all points, even though we didn't have time to do most of this list, they were all recommended... we did do that floating market and was a fun day, but didn't buy much

things we did that we loved... Tiger Temple, which has come under scrutiny in past weeks/months/years, but it was one of the most amazing experiences we've ever had

went to Pratunam Market, which is huge and amazing... IF you enjoy both flea markets, people watching, haggling while shopping for cheap crap, and craziness/chaos in general, but an experience you won't forget

at night, we did a Bed Supper Club restaurant... again, great experience to do once... had a theme night as well, with some sort of performance art/mystery show... you'll see a bunch of white ex-pats there probably