— Guest post by Rachita Saxena of Nomllers
Indonesia is a big country. If you don’t decide on a few places to visit beforehand then you could end up becoming really confused and overwhelmed. We didn’t do a lot of research before coming to Indonesia but we knew a few places that we were definitely not going to miss in our itinerary.
We had just 9 days to make the most of our trip and that is exactly what we did. We visited the UNESCO heritage sites—Borobudur and Prambanan temple in Yogyakarta. We chilled at the beaches of Kuta and Jimbaran in Bali. We strolled around the famous Tegallalang Rice Fields of Ubud and got drenched in the famous Tegenungan waterfall in Ubud. We climbed Mt. Bromo to witness an active volcano and saw the beautiful sunset from Mt. Panajakan.
We planned a few places and then again, we didn’t plan on visiting a few places. In the end, we loved our short yet memorable journey. If you are also planning to travel to Indonesia for one week and want to cover more than just Bali, then this article will be quite helpful for you. In this guide, I will explain how we took a route of Jakarta-Yogyakarta-Bali-Bromo-Jakarta to cover a few of the most amazing places in Indonesia.
If you want to know some really amazing and useful tips for traveling in Indonesia, then you can check out my article on Effective Tips to Make your Indonesia Trip Legendary.
Plan your trip to Indonesia
We reached Jakarta from India and started for Yogyakarta on the same day. We had no plan to stay in Jakarta as we didn’t find anything which could spark our interest in the capital city of Indonesia so we took a bus to Yogyakarta from the Pulo Gebang bus station.
We took Damri bus from the airport to Pulo Gebang as we didn’t wish to spend too much on a cab. It took us around an hour to reach from the airport and then we caught a 2 p.m. bus to Yogyakarta.
We reached Yogyakarta around 2 a.m. in the night so we just headed for our homestay to rest for the remaining night.
The next day we started a little late, around 11 a.m., for our trip to Borobudur and Prambanan temple. We had read so much about these historical sites which made it quite fascinating to us. Since we weren’t too sure about a bus here, we called an Uber to drop us at the Borobudur temple. Surprisingly, the Uber driver turned out to be friendly and offered to take us around for the entire day in 470,000 Rupiah so we accepted the offer gladly.
We spent around 2 hours in Borobudur, gazing at the nearby mountains and marveling at the numerous Stupas. Finally, around 4 p.m., we left for the other UNESCO heritage site in Yogyakarta – Prambanan temple. Here, we witnessed a gorgeous sunset and learned about the story behind the construction of the 999 temples.
Finally, we left for the Yogyakarta airport to catch our 9.40 p.m. flight for Bali and reached the Island around 11 p.m. at night. A lot of people don’t realize how big Bali is and that there are many amazing things to do in Bali. Sadly, we were one of them too. We searched for a hostel and finally spent the night at the Kayun Hostel in Kuta.
We weren’t too sure about where to go in Kuta and although we wanted to visit both the Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple, it was not possible to visit both the places in just one day. So, we headed out to the Kuta beach for some time to just chill and then we hired a Scooty to explore the Uluwatu and Jimbaran side.
We chilled at the Jimbaran beach for a couple of hours and it was quite amazing as it was not as crowded as the Kuta beach. Then, we drove to the Pantai Pandawa beach and trust me, I am glad we did that because the road was really beautiful here and the seaside view was truly breathtaking.
Then finally around 5.30 p.m., we headed to the famous Uluwatu Temple and spent some time here, enjoying our surroundings and witnessing the antics of the monkeys.
We then headed back to Kuta and partied a little on the Legian street. Finally, we were too tired so we came back and planned to leave for Ubud the next morning.
Today, we started for Ubud and left around 10 a.m. from our hostel. We booked two seats in a small van and it took us around 3 hours to reach Ubud and boy, was it a complete change from our previous destination. Ubud was cool and green and was quite homely. We again looked for a hostel and after throwing our bags in one corner, we headed out to visit the famous Ubud Monkey Sanctuary.
The Monkey Sanctuary was huge and green and you could see hundreds of monkeys swinging here and there from the trees or the stairs. We roamed here a little and enjoyed some time in the fresh air and then we just looked at the various shops and restaurants here. Ubud closes earlier than Kuta so we went to sleep early that day and decided to start early the next day.
On our 5th day, we started early for the Tegallalang Rice Fields and left at 6 a.m. from our hostel. The morning breeze was cold but we were quite excited to see the famous UNESCO heritage site of Ubud. We had hired a Scooty to reach this place and we were quite blown away by the view that awaited us. We spent a few hours in this amazingly green place and then we headed back to our hostel.
We had some breakfast and then we left again for the Tegenungan waterfall, it took us around 30 minutes to reach the place and it was quite crowded but the waterfall looked really refreshing and blissful. We spent another hour or two over here and then we headed back to Ubud to make our way to the Zen Hideaway.
One of the most amazing places in Bali where you can sit on the highest swing while being surrounded by the trees and waterfall which will make you feel as if you are in paradise. We tried this swing and I cannot even explain in words how seriously amazing it was. It was undoubtedly one of the best feelings ever.
Today, we were headed back to the Java Island as we had to make a stop at the Bromo volcano before going back to Jakarta for our return flight. So, we left early for Kuta as we had to take a bus from the Denpasar bus stand for Probolinggo. We reached Kuta but since we had some time for our bus, my friend opted to try Scuba Diving in South Kuta which took another 4-5 hour for us.
At around 8 p.m., we finally boarded the bus to Probolinggo and it took us around 10 hours to reach. The most amazing part of this journey was that we got a chance to witness our entire bus being boarded on to a ferry and being transferred from the Bali island to the Java island. It took around 1-2 hours for the ferry to cross the ocean and the breeze was quite cool and refreshing on the deck.
On the 7th day, we finally reached Probolinggo at 4 a.m. and from here, we had to take a bus to Cemoro Lawang, which is the last village before the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park starts. We took the bison from outside of the Bondowoso bus station for Cemoro Lawang. It cost us around 325,000 Rupiah for the entire bison but we had no option since there wasn’t anyone in the morning who wanted to go to Bromo, else it would have just cost us 30,000 Rupiah per person. We finally reached Cemoro Lawang around 8 a.m. and then we got fresh at our homestay.
It was quite cold here and the view was really gorgeous. We were just surrounded by numerous mountains and the fog was enveloping the peak of all those mountains. Finally, around 12 p.m., we hired a motorbike driver to take us to the Mount Bromo volcano. It was quick and took us barely 20 minutes to reach the base. Then, we had to climb for another 15-20 minutes to reach the volcano peak and you could smell the strong odor of sulfur here. We stayed here for some time and observed the lava marks surrounding the volcanic mountain.
Then, we headed to the other mountain in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park to look at Bromo from afar and watch the sun go down. It was really cold and the road was really curvy so it was quite exciting. It took around 45 minutes to reach the Mount Pananjakan’s viewpoint for Bromo. It looked really amazing from here but that is not the best part about this place. The sunset was totally mesmerizing from this mountain and we never expected it to be gorgeous.
Once the sun started setting, we headed back to Probolinggo since we figured we can start early for Jakarta, Bromo was around 12-14 hours from Jakarta but there wasn’t any direct bus so we had to reach Surabaya first.
So, we asked the motorcycle driver to leave us at the Bondowoso Bus Station and from here, we took a bus to Surabaya which took only 2-3 hours for us to reach. Once we reached Surabaya, we wanted to take a bus to Jakarta but there was only one direct bus at 1 a.m. which was a private bus. Since we weren’t too sure about it, we took another bus to Yogyakarta.
From Yogyakarta, we took a bus to Kuning and then from Kuning, we got a local bus to Jakarta. We didn’t know that a bus from Yogyakarta to Bandung would have been much quicker and closer so it took us the entire day and night to reach Jakarta.
Finally, around 7 a.m., we reached Jakarta and then by 8 a.m. we were at the Jakarta airport and that is how our trip ended.
Although we got lost multiple times and took longer routes on our trip, we are glad to have seen so much and learned so much on the way. Hope you also enjoy Indonesia as much as we did!
About the author: I am Rachita Saxena from India, who is a part of a travel blog and YouTube Channel by the name of Nomllers. Our travel blog focuses on budget traveling and wishes to inspire others to travel and witness all the wonders of this world with their own eyes. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.