In February 2019 I went back to Indonesia – but this time with a plan :D. I tried to convince a few friends to ‘join my trip’ with a 1-pager filled with pictures of vulcanos, manta-rays and temples.
So in February, we flew to Denpasar, Bali and started our trip via Ubud and back south to Nusa Lembongang for the Manta rays. After some nice dives and driving around the island we left for permuteran – a small village near the national park of Menjangan in northwest Bali.
We enjoyed some more dives and visited the turtle hatchery to send a small turtle (Sgt. Miau) on it’s way into the big blue ocean. Afterwards we passed the straight and slept a few hours near Mt. Ijen before hiking up the crater at night – and even saw the famous blue flames.
The next day, we took a train through the Indonesian landscape towards Probollinggo to get close to Mt. Bromo. Due to cloudy weather we didn’T go for the sunrise and we walked around the planes near Mt. Bromo in the late morning hours. We also hiked up to the craters edge where we could hear the rumbling and see the smoke coming out of the partly active volcano.
As our final stop of the trip, we went to Yogyakarta and spent the last days visiting the UNESCO world-heritage site temples Borobudur and Prambanan as well as the city and its surroundings.
I put the diving pictures in a second gallery below.
As mentioned previously; we didn’t get to see any manta rays during our liveaboard trip. But we met a few swiss people who told us about komodo… and once we were back on land and had wifi, we found (return) flights to komodo for ~160€. Glad that we hadn’t booked anything besides the liveaboard, we booked the flights and – after a short visit to Koh Tao (upcoming post) – flew over to flores to enjoy 2.5 days of diving followed by a visit in the national park to see the last living dragons.
Our boat was really comfortable with a sundeck complete with bean bags to enjoy the ~2h boat ride to the first dive site. Those were the first current-dives with hooking in for me and I saw sharks, mantas and lots of turtles. Komodo is definetly worth a visit but don’t go there just for the dragons.
This year I finally made it back to South East Asia! And of course I had to stop in Bali. This time a friend joined me for diving and we decided to book a day of ‘all you can dive’ and rented a computer and camera as well. We started at 7 in the morning and finished the day with a night dive. Below, you’ll find the best pictures we took with the Canon G-16. (the date wasn’t set propberly so just ignore that 😀 )
Besides getting my advanced open water diver certificate and some further diving in Bali, I also toured around the island for 1 day, hiked the volcano at night and spend an afternoon enjoying the waves at Kuta beach.
Unfortunately the hike to the volcano wasn’t rewarded – as I expected – with the view of a beautiful sunrise. After starting the trip with 200 stairs to a temple located at 950m at 3.00 a.m., My guide and me hiked through the steep RAINforest. The high humidity and fog filled the air with water and the additional wind resulted in a blistering cold which I neither expected nor was prepared to encounter. No jacket could have possibly withstood this madness for 3 hours anyway as the other freezing figures in perfect waterproof outdoor gear on the mountaintop assured me. 😀 After googling some details, it turned out the 1600m hike from 1300m to 2900m which was told to me, was a slight underestimation. The parking lot below the temple is located at around 900m while the mountaintop rises to 3142m, resulting in 2242m of steep forest or rocky paths and climbing with a headlight in the dark. The clouds and fog didn’t allow for any good pictures 🙁 but 2200m in 3h is quite an achievement :).
I tried to capture the vast rice-fields (from a driving car) and impressive temples as well as the waves at kuta beach, but see for yourself:
After getting to singapore I was eager to finally have a chance to dive. To see the wonderful world below the surface. After my open water diver in Tioman Island where I caught a first glimpse of the hidden beauty while focussing on all necessary techniques and procedures, I went to Bali last weekend. The padi advanced open water diver course is an accumulation of mainly fun-dives with some additional skills and Bali’s east coast offeres interesting dive-sites. After looking through the vast amount of diving schools, I decided to join the Tulamben wreck divers for a few days. During 4.5 out of 7 dives I rented a camera and tried my luck with color distortion, parallax (floating particles that reflect any flash coming from the same direction as the camera – e.g. built in flash), little light and quick moving objects while floating by myself. Underwater photography requieres a lot of skills and perfect buoyancy – especially with a compact camera without external flash or light. (The underwater casing for my nex 5 is as expensive as the camera itself 🙁 ). Thanks to my diving instructor I had a great time and some of the pictures turned out ok, allowing you to take a glimpse at the amazing habitat between -30 and 0m. [I met a turtleee! 🙂 ]
The wreck of USAT Liberty, a US cargo ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942, then towed to the beach and unloaded. A vulcanic eruption in 1963 made it slip into the water. It lies at 3-30m depth and has become a very famous diving site in Bali.
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Jakarta.
When I booked the trip, I was really excited – JAKARTA ! One of the few cities in Indonesia you know. From movies.
Excited, until everyone I mentioned it to toled me: Stay at the airport, grab the next plane to somewhere else.. – Is it THAT BAD??
Wikitravel and the internet confronted me with similar advice.
I still went there – but I probably won’t do it again. I stayed near the old town which is the poorer part of the city. Poor, simple, sometimes a little dirty – but not dangerous at all and everyone is helpful. On the opposite, the south of the city is like singapore. Giant shopping centers with all brands you ever heard of. They even sell cars on the ground floor.