Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:54 pm

How big is the lake - appears to be huge....
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:04 pm

Largest lake on Bali, nowhere near the size of lake Toba though ... dont have the exact figures.

Back on the road we headed down the mountain towards Ubud, stopping for a few photos and an ice cream at Bali’s famous rice terraces, which of course was uber touristy. Ubud is the arts and culture heart of Bali, streets of shops selling wood carvings, art, textiles and a cluster of hippy-type yoga and massage places make up most of the town. We stopped at a local warung for some food before heading west towards Tanah Lot. Houses on Bali are quite simple constructions but the ornate walls that surround them give the impression that everyone lives in an elaborate temple compound.
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To follow: Tanah Lot
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:23 pm

The Tanah Lot Hindu temple is one of Bali’s major tourist attractions but it is well organized and relatively inexpensive (35,000 rupiah) to enter. It is on a small island which is only accessible when the tide is out, which it fortunately was at the time of our visit. Nowhere have we seen the narcissistic obsession with selfies more prominent than here, why people venture to new and exotic places to take photos of themselves is beyond me.
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:25 pm

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The return drive back to Candidasa via north Kuta was like being in a depraved racing video game; they drive like utter lunatics here but can never get out of third gear due to the narrow roads and heavy traffic so we didn’t see any accidents over the three days on the road, unlike in Thailand where they are a daily spectacle.

To follow: Padang Bai
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:44 am

It was time to move on so we headed to Padang Bai the next morning to get on the fast boat to the Gilis. The tourist boats are all tightly, almost mafia, controlled and heavily price regulated costing up to 700k (1,800 baht) per person in high season, luckily the guys in our hotel got us tickets for 250k each (which is still a lot for what is essentially an hour and a half ferry crossing).

The port area was awash with young iPad, GoPro and selfie stick toting backpackers ... how times have changed, when I did it all I had was a book. I was starting to feel my age, a feeling that intensified as we arrived on Gili Air where the average age was about 22.
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To follow: Gili Air
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:36 am

When you’re on the road things don’t always go smoothly and as planned, you have a lot of good experiences but also a few bad ones and our hotel (Omah Gili) on the island turned out to be the latter. To cut the story (and my lengthy rant on Tripadvisor) short the woman at reception basically scammed us out of $70 on top of what we’d already paid Agoda to let the kids stay in the same room as us.

With a sour taste in mouth we tried to put it behind us and went out to explore the 2km by 1km island which instantly reminded me of Koh Tao twenty years ago. There are no vehicles on the Gilis so the only way of getting around the sandy paths that crisscross these tiny islands is by horse cart, bicycle or foot. The lapping of the ocean and dulcet tones of reggae are about all you’ll hear and the pace of life immediately drops to slower than slow. This is definitely dreadlock, tattoo and banana pancake territory, the new Koh Pha-ngan in Indonesia.
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To follow: More from Gili Air
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:10 pm

I'm not one for the "Bar Streets" and hi-life anymore - been there and done it it earlier years.... still enjoy a night out (and the odd firework) now and again though! :oops:

Certainly like the laid-back sound of the island and would love to see the place, but appears too quiet even for me for more than a couple of days.

Great photo's yet again buks and sorry you had a bad experience with the hotel - pity for something like that to put a damper on a great visit/experience.

[EDIT] Money in bike recycling then?!! :D

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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:21 am

There was enough going on for us, the bigger island - Gili Trawangan is where all the parties, booze buckets and backpackers are - which is exactly why we avoided it!

We spent a couple of relaxed days ambling around from beach bar to restaurant, and taking swims or snorkels on the vibrant house reef just a few meters off the shore in between meals and a few cold Bintangs. Venturing inland you really notice the contrast between the several hundred dollar a night swanky beach resorts and the shanty style shacks that the locals live in right behind them.

Fortune would have it this day that I literally bumped into an old work colleague with his family wandering down the sand strip on one of the smallest islands I’ve ever been on; it is indeed a small world, we enjoyed a few margaritas and chatted over times gone by as the sun cast a pink hue over Gili Meno to the west.
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To follow: Boating around the Gilis
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:38 am

A boat trip was in order to take in the sister islands of Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan along with a few sessions of drift snorkeling over the pristine coral reefs that fringe these paradise islets. The hard coral was in very good condition, no signs of bleaching or over fishing (as in Thailand), and the fish and marine life was pretty prolific, I wanted to go for a dive but this was a family trip so had to banish all thoughts of regulators or early morning narcosis at 40 meters. To make up for it we swam with turtles on the final snorkel of the day trip which was a bargain at 400k for all four of us.
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Our final evening on Gili Air was spent dining on local food, essentially spicy island curried fish and chicken, overlooking the view of Mount Rinjani as the sun slinked into the ocean behind us, tomorrow we were travelling again, the cloud shrouded peaks of Lombok to the east beckoned.
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To follow: Lombok
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Sun May 01, 2016 9:51 am

Again, boat rides and any form of transport involving westerners is heavily regulated and accordingly price hiked. We booked a boat over to Lombok and van ride down the coast to the resort town of Sengiggi for 300k for the four of us. Before we even landed on the beach on Lombok the taxi bandits were wading into the ocean looking to snag an unwary tourist. Our accommodation at the Joje Resort was right on the black sand beach so I fell into a huge beanbag and had a coffee while we waited for the rooms. After the fracas at the last hotel we’ve started booking two rooms now so the kids get their own, it works out almost the same as booking a larger room with an over priced extra mattress.

Sengiggi is similar to Candidasa, a main strip of tourist restaurants, a couple of bars and a few souvenir shops. There was nowhere you could buy beer outside of restaurants or bars where it is pretty expensive at 40k (over 100 baht) per bottle plus service charge and tax, the Indo equivalent of Seven-Eleven doesn’t sell it, neither does anywhere else.
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To follow: Around Lombok
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Mon May 02, 2016 9:55 am

Each morning on our beach we had the fishing show where an entire family (or two) would spend an hour or more hauling in a huge net for their daily feed as there certainly were not enough fish in the catch to sell at local markets.
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It was bike time the following day, since the northern part of the island rains every day, we decided to head south to Kuta and the beaches. By the time we’d got round Mataram and were half way to the airport we knew we would not make it there and back before nightfall, distances on Lombok are just as deceptive as they were on Bali. We decided to head back and got thoroughly soaked by the daily downpour in the process. Over 90% of the Muslim population of Lombok are farmers, and by the looks of the countryside their product is rice - sodden paddies stretch as far as the eye can see and buffalo is still the man’s machine here.

To follow: Mount Rinjani
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Tue May 03, 2016 10:27 am

The sensible choice the next day was four wheels instead of two so another Toyota Avanza was in order seeing as they seem to be the car of choice in Indonesia and rental rates here are half the price of Thailand. We were heading north around the rugged Lombok coast to a spectacular waterfall on the northern face of Mount Rinjani.

Our route took us through tiny ramshackle villages, switchback mountain roads, monkey encampments, and deserted beach roads, driving on Lombok, with a fraction of the traffic, was a pleasure compared to Bali.

We had to stop and ask directions a couple of times since very little is signposted in Indonesia but eventually made it to Senaru, the ranger station and base camp for Rinjani. As with nearly everything in this country there was an entrance fee and we had to take a local guide at a cost of 50k each down the steep valley to the falls. The first one was an impressive height but it was shadowed by the second waterfall a couple of kilometers down a jungle trail and across a couple of streams. A huge cascade around 200 meters high enveloped the entire area in spray making shooting photos somewhat tricky.
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Back up top we had a bite to each (nasi goreng again) at a local warung overlooking the valley and ocean. Two hours later we were winding our way back down the coast road to Sengiggi for our final night before onward travel the following day.

To follow: Lombok to Java
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by prcscct » Tue May 03, 2016 10:52 am

I don't know if mentioned earlier but 1 Thai Baht = 377.00 Indonesian Rupiah as of today. That helps putting costs in perspective when seeing large numbers like 50k above. Pete
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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by pharvey » Tue May 03, 2016 5:49 pm

Cracking photo's yet again buks - not too sure I'd fancy the "pathway" in DSC_0543.jpg with my knee though!!

As to the Nasi Goreng..... God do I miss that!!

On the topic of food, did you try the Balinese Peppers? The LHG a few years ago insisted that as she was fro Chongqing/Sichuan, she could take any "heat" thrown at her....... these peppers nearly blew her head off!!

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Re: Photo trip report: Island hopping Indonesia

Post by buksida » Tue May 03, 2016 6:01 pm

We got a little fed up with the food after a couple of weeks, nasi goreng, mie goreng and ayam goreng (fried rice, noodles and chicken) seem to be the only things they eat in Indonesia. Thailand definitely wins on the food selection front.

Yes tried the chilis, hot but have had worse! Also bought a load of sambal back as the Thai chili sauce is sickly sweet crap.
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson
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