About the creator
Selamat datang, welcome to Indonesia! On Day 1, you and your fellow travellers will arrive in Jakarta at various times, some of you having completed very long flights from abroad. With this in mind, we've arranged for a lovely hotel very near to the airport which will provide all the amenities you need to relax and unwind for a few hours.
At 7pm, we'll convene for a Welcome Dinner and Orientation in the hotel's premiere dining room, where you'll meet your Escort/Tour Leader and travel companions for the first time. Over dinner, the Tour Leader will give each traveller a detailed Trip Itinerary and a Mobile Telephone (so we can stay in touch throughout our journey). After dinner, we'll head to bed for a good night's sleep before embarking on our journey across Indonesia in the morning.
Wasting no time on Day 2, we'll enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at our hotel, then immediately depart for the airport. We'll fly to the centre of the Island of Java, where we'll begin our journey with a visit to the ancient TEMPLE OF BOROBUDUR. Looming out of a patchwork of bottle-green paddies and swaying palm tops, this colossal 9th-century relic is the world's largest Buddhist monument and a World Heritage Site. Like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Borobudur makes the rest of Southeast Asia's spectacular sites seem almost incidental.
IndoExcursions travellers will receive special passes to stay on the Borobudur site outside of public visiting hours, which will allow us to watch the sun set over Borobudur - a wonder to behold - before enjoying a sumptuous dinner and settling into our accommodations for the evening.
We'll wake early on Day 3 and head to a hill overlooking Borobudur, where we'll have a "picnic breakfast" whilst watching the sun rise above the enigmatic temple. After breakfast, we'll drive through the Java countryside to our next destination, the CITY OF YOGYAKARTA (or "JOGJA").
Ruled by a Sultan to this day, Jogja is the "soul" of Java. Central to the island's artistic and intellectual heritage, Jogja is where Java's arts are at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible. After checking into our Jogja hotel, we'll visit several of the galleries that line the streets of the city and showcase the highest craftsmanship in Java, then end our day at a landmark restaurant.
Days 4, 5
On Days 4 and 5, we'll spend 2 full days exploring the pulsating culture of Jogja. Highlights will include the walled palace of the Sultan (the Kraton) ; the royal gardens (Taman Sari) ; the resplendent Prambanan Hindi Temple Complex, erected in the 9th century about 50 years later than Borobudur ; and an outdoor evening performance of a centuries-old dance of the Javanese court, set against the stunning backdrop of Prambanan's main temple. Along the way, there will be plenty of time to visit batik galleries, silversmiths, and other local artisans producing products unique to this region of Java.
Late in the day on Day 5, we'll take a short flight to the City of Makassar on the Island of Sulawesi, where we'll make an overnight stop enroute to our next destination.
Day 6, 7, 8, 9
On Day 6, we'll board a small aircraft and take a 45-minute flight to TANA TORAJA, a tiny mountainous region in the central highlands of the Island of Sulawesi.
The indigenous people of this region (the Toraja) lived in isolation for centuries, protected by a rugged mountain landscape and granite cliffs. Through millennia, untouched by the outside world, the Toraja developed a highly-unique set of customs and traditions.
Perhaps the most fascinating of these are the spectacular Torajan funeral ceremonies, involving ritual dances, buffalo fights, and the slaughtering of pigs and buffalos to ferry the soul of the deceased to the afterlife. Following each ceremony, the deceased is buried in a small cave, and a tau-tau effigy (a small statue of the deceased, made from wood or bamboo) is placed in front of the cave, either inside a hollowed-out tree or hung from a cliff. Equally fascinating are the Tongkonan houses of the Toraja, distinguished by their boat-shaped roofs, intricately carved exterior walls, and buffalo horns hung over the front door.
In the 1970s, Tana Toraja was finally opened up to the world, and it's been the fixation of cultural anthropologists ever since. But due to difficult overland access, it remains one of the least visited destinations in Indonesia. At IndoExcursions, we overcome this access problem by flying our Travellers directly to the Sulawesi highlands by small plane.
We'll have 4 full days to explore the stunning scenery and vibrant tribal culture of Tana Toraja. Our native Torajan guides will choose a selection of sites and villages for us to visit, but, if the opportunity presents itself, we'll opt to forego a day of sightseeing in favour of attending a local funeral or other cultural event.
For most IndoExcursions trippers, Tana Toraja is the highlight of their Indonesian experience. It is, truly, a mecca for travellers!
On a journey across Indonesia, it's next-to-impossible to avoid at least 1 full day of transit somewhere along the way . . . and Day 10 will be our "transit day."
On the morning of Day 10, we'll depart Tana Toraja on a small plane and take a 45-minute flight to the City of Makassar in southern Sulawesi, then connect to a larger plane and fly on to the island of BALI.Upon arrival in Bali, we'll be greeted by our local guides and driven to the City of UBUD, Bali's "cultural capital," located in the centre of the island.
By the time we arrive and settle into our dreamy Ubud accommodations, we'll only have time to freshen up and head out for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants. But given that you'll now be in Bali, we're sure you'll think that the trip was well worthwhile.
The first day in Ubud, Bali will be entirely yours - a "Free Day." From sun up to sun down, you'll be on your own. You can take in Ubud's famed sacred monkey forest, shop for gift items and local handicrafts, enjoy a dazzling array of food stalls at the Gianyar night market, or just relax poolside and do nothing at all. The choice is, ultimately, yours.
Days 12, 13, 14, 15
We'll devote 4 full days to a cultural exploration of Bali.
For many, Bali is the very definition of tropical paradise : magnificent vistas, looming volcanoes, lush green forests and terraced rice fields tripping down hillsides.
But Bali is so much more than this. It's the extraordinary richness of the Balinese culture - it's the "essence" of Bali - that sets it apart from any other island in the world. From the flower-petal offerings placed everywhere, to the processions of joyfully-garbed locals shutting down roads, to the elaborate temple ceremonies, to the enchanting traditional dances, to the otherworldly gamelan music played island-wide, almost everything in Bali has spiritual meaning and leaves you with a lasting impression of reverence, peace and tranquility.
Over 4 days, our native Bali tour guides will take us off the well-trodden path for a true "insider journey" across the island. The journey will be filled with unprecedented behind-the-scenes opportunities that reach far beyond the predictable stuff, offering unique access that you simply couldn’t plan on your own. We'll venture to intricately carved temples rarely visited by tourists; we'll stop at villages where locals will prepare us meals while excited youngsters perform ritual dances; we'll visit traditional spice plantations . . . we'll experience "authentic Bali" and discover the true essence of the "Island of the Gods."
Before heading out each morning from our Ubud accommodations, our guides will deliver a 30-minute language lesson and a short briefing on Balinese customs (such as how to correctly tie a Balinese sarong and sash before entering a sacred temple). And we'll end each day back in Ubud, so we can spend our evenings eating at amazing world-renown restaurants and attending fascinating Balinese dance and musical performances.
We never go to Bali that we don't wish we had more time. As full as our 6-day Itinerary is, there is simply NOT sufficient time to see all the scenery, visit all the temples, attend all the performances, and eat at all the world-famous restaurants concentrated on this small island.
With this in mind, on Day 16 (our last day in Bali), you'll have a second "Free Day" (from sunup until 3:30pm). We'll keep 1 tour guide on call for the day, in the event that you or any of your fellow-travellers require assistance with transport to your desired location(s).
At 3:30pm, all travellers will meet back in Ubud for a very special final evening in Bali. It's our custom at IndoExcursions to end our Bali tours with a private dinner and private performance at a surprise location - something arranged exclusively for IndoExcursions travellers!
After 16 days on an intense cultural journey spanning 3 Indonesian islands, you should have restored balance to your mind, body and spirit. We expect you'll be well-tanned, have heaps of photos, and lots of stories to tell when you get back home. But, more importantly, we hope you'll have many fond memories of experiences shared with new friends.
On Day 17, we'll make our way to the Bali airport and say our goodbyes. Then, you'll fly back to your original entry point in Indonesia, where IndoExcursions will have arranged a final night's accommodation for you before you head back to your home-country . . .
Unless, of course, you live in Indonesia, or choose to remain in Indonesia for some independent travel!
WE HOPE YOU'LL JOIN US FOR 17 DAYS OF FRIENDSHIP AND CONVERSATION . . .
AND THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO TRAVELLING WITH YOU IN THE WEEKS OR MONTHS AHEAD.
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