Batam, Indonesia

Ah the perks of ‘popping’ to Indonesia for a Sunday day out! Here are 10 reasons to try wakeboarding in Batam…

1) Dust off Sunday’s hangover and do some exercise, if only for the month of January.

2) You get ‘express service’ for the $10 USD visa so can hop straight from the ferry, no queues.

3) Unlike East Coast Park you pay for the day (7 hours!) and not by the hour.

4) $2 SGD Bintan beers!

5) $20 SGD massages by the lake.

6) Great instructors, friendly, patient and fun; “Welcome to Batam where the time difference is 1 hour and twenty years behind Singapore.”

7) A motobike pick up service when you stack it on corners 2 or 3.

8) Jumps and a separate ‘pro queue’ so everyone gets fair time on (or under) the water.

9) Loud surround-sound and a nice balanced party vs chill playlist.

10) Sunloungers and a gorgeous deck to spectate when it all gets too tiring!

How to get there:
Visit: http://www.cable-ski.com/

Price: $108 SGD for everything. Includes two way ferry, rental gear, buffet lunch, transfer bus and 7 hours of wakeboarding time. Unfortunately not a magic wand when your muscles ache so much even typing this is hard the next day!

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Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Mount Bromo is a bucket-list favorite, and a nifty tag onto a Jakarta trip.  It’s even possible to squeeze into 24 hours, so what better to do with your Sunday than climb a volcano!

Getting there:
Only a 1h flight from Jakarta  / 2h flight from Singapore for under $50 SGD with Air Asia or Tiger.  The jumping off point is Surabaya airport.

The local bus runs from Surabaya to Probolinggo (2.5 hours express bus for 27,000R) then minibus from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang (1 hour for 30,000R) Or taxi the whole way for $500k/$50 SGD in 2.5 hours. Bluebird taxi will even keep it on the metre!

Staying:
There’s plenty of mountainside guesthouses dotted from Probolinggo upwards. Cemoro Lawang is highest at the base, so although rough, sparse and overpriced, it’s the best views and the best starting point.

LP favorite Cafe Lava offers basic (fit a bed in) rooms for $220,000R or nicer en-suit ones for $450,000R. It’s worth springing for the hot shower alone, plus you get breakfast included. A couple of home-stays offer the same for $150,000R. It’s a two street town so easy to walk-in on arrival. Cafe Lava has a surprisingly cosy restaurant, and they also hire decent waterproofs jackets for $25,000R

Tour or DIY?:
Don’t be fooled, whichever option you choose the sleepy daytime town of Cemoro Lawang is transformed into neon Vegas as 3am. 4 x 4 touts and motorbikes appear from miles around. Local guys will offer you tours to the sunrise point & crater for $100,000R, hotels the same from $250,000R.

If you bug staff at Cafe Lava long enough, they’ll eventually help you out with a map to walk yourself!

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Here’s the original from another blog with great advice – but Cafe Lava will drawn you your own too;
http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/mount-bromo-without-a-tour/

Sunrise Trek (Looking ONTO Mt Bromo)
To reach Seruni lookout point for sunrise, set off at 3am. It’s not as cold as you think but you can buy beanies for $20,000R & gloves for $10,000R in Cemoro, just to look the part. It’s then an hour by torchlight up the road past Hotel Indoh, and another hour after that to Penanjakan & the radio mast.  You’ll still share your 5am sunrise tripod spot with a dozen others and a nice lady selling tea, but walking yourself means you can make it back down for 7am without waiting for the traffic convoy. Plus the satisfaction of breaking a sweat and all that jazz!

Mount Bromo Crater
This is by far the better half of the trip (and maybe a better alternative for Sunrise?) You can walk the flat valley sea in approx an hour, or like we did hop on a $50,000R return motorbike for a nice fly across the volcanic ash desert. Again, the steps to the crater are a little like queuing at peak commuter hours, but it’s still a spectacular view down into the sulphur smoke and back across the valley. You share the climb with a herd of pony sellers who urge you to “buy horse’ if you want to amble up the steep ash dunes a la Blackpool Pleasure Beach.  It’s packed & lively, with many Indonesian tourists on a Sunday. So although you can’t expect serenity, it’s still a fantastic morning, all before breakfast at 9am!

 

 

 

Pic of the week; Jakarta

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City view from the Horizon Floor of the Jakarta Shangri-La Hotel. Their house cocktail is appropriately named; The Traffic Jam, which says it all about this city!

Gili Air, Indonesia

Back to everyone’s favorite set of islands. Gili Air is just gorgeous. Maybe it’s the psychedelic disco fish, maybe the cute horse & carts, maybe the Bob Marley vibe. But there’s no finer beanbag cushions to sink in and sip your Bintang, anywhere else in the world. Except maybe sama sama Gili T or Meno!

Getting there: Bluewater Express, 2h fast boat from Padangbai. $54 USD. They let you sun worship on the roof deck,until the big waves start to hit half way though the crossing!

Where we stayed:
Manta Dive Hotel $65 SGD for Garden Rooms with veranda and outdoor bathrooms!

Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia

A little dog-eared and past it’s hey-day Senggigi is still a charmer. It’s forced to compete with those chic little upstarts (the Gili Islands) and Bali’s big daddy of debauchery (Kuta) so sadly Senggigi’s tourist dollars have gravitated elsewhere. 60,000R and 24h buys you a scooter and a lovely 100k road trip North to Tiu Pupas Waterfall. 30,000R buys you BBQ fish by the roadside. 90,000R a full body massage on the grass by the beach with a harem of local toddlers to make eyes at. Buck the trend. Come. Spend. Enjoy.

wpid-IMG_20130915_172708.jpgGetting there: 10,000R Public Boat from Gili, plus an 80,000R taxi from Bangsal to Senggigi (40 mins.)

Getting away: $30 SGD / 25 min flight with Lion Air from Mataram to Denpasar. Warning, there’s no airport bar!

Where we stayed: Kebun Villa Sengigi $65 SGD and #1 on Trip Advisor for a reason; the 70 metre pool!

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Previous Older Entries

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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