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Top Indonesia Hotels


Indonesia The ebb and flow of troubles that have washed over the Indonesian archipelago for much of the last five years reached their apogee with the terrorist bombings in Bali in October 2002. In the wake of the financial crash of the late 1990s, government shenanigans in Jakarta and unrest in the remainder of the country, the attack was the last thing that Indonesia needed. At the time of writing, international advisories still warned against non-essential travel to Indonesia, and the decision to go there remains very much a personal choice. That this is a source of regret cannot be overstated, as the country's 13,00 0-plus islands, strung from Sumatra in the west to Irian Jaya in the east, make up one of the most fascinating parts of Southeast Asia. More than 1,000 years ago traders from as far away China were sailing to the spice islands of Indonesia, and the same commodity drew Europeans as early as the 16th century. Dutch colonialists subsequently gained a strong foothold in the country, and - after the Japanese occupation during World War II - Indonesia only finally achieved independence in 1949 after several years of armed struggle. The decades that followed were marked by a gradual prosperity, interspersed with some domestic upheavals, and tourism only started to take off in the late 1960s, with Bali leading the way, as it has done ever since. First port of call for many visitors is the capital, Jakarta, a maelstrom of a metropolis which acts as a magnet for Indonesians from all over the country who have come to look for work. Bandung, a lovely art deco city which the Dutch planned as an alternative capital, sits in the hills to the east, while further across Java are stunning man-made wonders like the 1,000-year-old Buddhist temple of Borobudur and natural marvels like the dormant volcanic Mount Bromo. The Hindu enclave of Bali, most tellingly described as "The Morning of the World", remains perhaps the most picturesque and intriguing of all the Indonesian islands, while further east Lombok and Flores are less developed but still hold many attractions for holidaymakers. Komodo is famed for its giant lizards, cunningly marketed as "dragons", while divers tend to flock to Sulawesi, and in particular to Manado, where Bunaken Island is ranked as one of the top underwater sites in the world. More difficult to get to, the Bandas also have some superb coral reefs as well as a number of statuesque colonial forts. Sumatra, whose oil, rubber, pepper and coffee contribute largely to the Indonesian economy, has one of the country's most diverse ethnic populations. Irian Jaya remains very much the "wild east", however its trekking opportunities through the little travelled hinterland cannot be matched. With a wealth of culture, natural beauty and marine sporting facilities, Indonesia has all the potential to become one of the region's top tourist destinations. Families travelling here will find their children are greeted with special warmth, providing an instant entre to the local community. The phrase "paradise resort" has been used so frequently it has almost lost its currency, but it really does apply to some of Indonesia's top-flight accommodation. Aman is the name that most obviously springs to mind, with three properties in Bali and two elsewhere, and the country's major destinations all host some very acceptable 5-stars. Not that you always need to shell out top dollar, as inexpensive labour leads to high staffing levels and many of the intermediate hotels can be guaranteed to provide extremely comfortable stays. Perhaps the best value of all, Indonesia's guesthouses, or losmen, are often family run and very hospitable. Straddling the equator, Indonesia has two main seasons - wet between October and April, and dry for the rest of the year, with slight geographical variations. The wet season is by no means unbearable, as storms tend to come in sudden bursts and once they have subsided it will be dry for the rest of the day. The Christmas holiday season traditionally attracts a horde of visitors from Australia and the rest of the world. Still, the political climate is what will really be affecting visitor's plans and it is only to be hoped for that it will stablise soon. More...

Visas

Effective 1 February 2004, nationals of these countries who are going on holiday and/or are attending conventions are allowed to stay in Indonesia of up to 30 days without visa.

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Visas on arrival can be obtained for the nationals of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

The cost of visa on arrival is USD10 for up to 3 days stay / 4 days to 30 days is USD25 and extensions are charged at USD20 per day.

All visitors must have a passport valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry as well as a return or ongoing ticket. Nationals from countries not listed above and those wishing to check the ever changing visarequirements shouldcontact your nearest Indonesian Embassy or representative office.

Customs

There are no restrictions on the amounts of foreign currency that can be taken into/out of Indonesia. However, you cannot import or export more than Rp5million. The total cost of gifts taken into the country must not exceed US$100.

Visitors may take the following into Indonesia duty free:

  • 1-week stay:
    • Alcohol - up to 2 litres
    • Tobacco - 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 100g of tobacco
  • 2-week stay:
    • Alcohol - up to 2 litres
    • Tobacco - 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars or 200g of tobacco
  • 3-weeks and over:
    • Alcohol - up to 2 litres
    • Tobacco - 600 cigarettes, 150 cigars or 300g of tobacco

Time

  • Eastern Indonesia (Iryan Jaya & Maluka): GMT + 9 hours
  • Central Indonesia (Bali, East Timor, East & South Kalimantan, Lombok, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara): GMT + 8 hours
  • Western Indonesia (Central Kalimantan, Jakarta, Java, Sumatra): GMT + 7 hours

Currency

  • Rupiah (Rp) - Check current exchange rates
  • 1 Rupiah = 100 sen.
  • Notes issued: Rp50,000, Rp20,000, Rp10,000, Rp5,000, Rp1,000, Rp500, Rp100
  • Coins issued: Rp1,000, Rp500, Rp100, Rp50

Visitors are advised that currency that has been written on, looks scruffy or is generally older in appearance may not be accepted by establishments. Some guests have also noted that US dollar notes printed prior to 1997 will also not be accepted in Bali.

Tipping

A Government Tax of 11% is added to bills and many restaurants and larger hotels also add a 10% service charge. Additional tipping is optional and 5-10% of the bill is acceptable. Tip porters at your hotel or the airport around Rp2,000 per bag.

Banking Hours

  • Monday to Friday 8.00am to 3.00pm
  • Some larger banks are open on Saturday from 8.00am to 12.00pm

Language

Bahasa Indonesian is the official language, however numerous local languages are spoken throughout the islands, which vary according to different dialects. English is widely understood in tourist areas and to a very limited extent in rural areas.

Telephone

The international dialling code for Indonesia is 62

When making international telephone calls from Indonesia, first dial 001 + country code + area code + telephone number

Local Telephone Codes

Balikpapan (Borneo) 052
Batam 0778
Bekasi (West Java) 021
Bintan 0771
Jakarta 021
Lombok 0370
Manado (Sulawesi) 0431
Medan 061
South Bali (Denpasar, Kuta, Ubud) 0361
Sumatra 0628
Surabaya 031
Ujung Padang (Sulawesi) 0411
Yogyakarta 0274

Electricity

220V AC 50 cycles is most common, however smaller hotels and rural areas tend to use 110V. It's best to double check before plugging anything in. A torch is a useful item to have as power cuts do occur.

Plugs are two round pin.

Water

Tap water is not safe to drink and ice cubes should be avoided. Bottled water is widely available.

Health

Reasonable medical facilities are available in major towns but once outside these areas, medical services tend to be very poor. Make sure that you have adequate health insurance that covers evacuation and consider inoculations against typhoid, cholera, Japanese encephalitis and hepatitis. There is a risk of malaria in many parts of Indonesia and it is recommended that you take advice regarding anti-malarials. It is always best to check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.

International Airports

  • Bali - Ngurah Rai
  • Borneo - Balikpapan
  • Jakarta - Soekarno Hatta
  • Medan - Polonia

International Airport Departure Tax

Rp50,000

Domestic Airports

There are numerous domestic airports all over Indonesia providing a vast network of travel options. In addition to the above, the more popular destinations include the following:

  • Batam
  • Manado (Sulawesi)
  • Surabaya
  • Ujung Padang (Sulawesi)
  • Yogyakarta

Domestic Airport Departure Tax

Rp11,000

Etiquette/Dress Code

Dress is informal in Indonesia but try to wear unrevealing clothes at all times as a mark of respect to the country's predominantly Muslim values. Beach attire is tolerated around the resort areas but outside these regions bearing flesh is considered immodest.

Visitors to temples are expected to wear a sash (you can normally rent these if you don't have one) and women should make sure that their arms and head are covered before entering.

Public displays of affection are frowned upon and it is considered impolite to point. Avoid patting children on the head and do not use your left hand when giving or receiving. As with most Asian countries, it is best to try not to lose your temper. Confrontation is not appreciated and will only worsen rather than resolve any situation.

Diplomatic Missions

Many countries have representative offices and consulates in Indonesia

Further Information

Further information on Indonesian culture and tourist attractions.

  • Travelling in Indonesia

Weather

Situated astride the equator, Indonesia experiences a tropical climate.

  • Wet Season: November - April
  • Dry Season: May - October

Temperatures are hotter along the coast and more moderate at higher elevations. Humidity remains high with a yearly average of 70-90%.

Rainfall can occur at any time of the year but is higher in the mountainous areas where there is very little distinction between the wet and dry seasons.

Central Indonesia is the driest area.

Due to its southerly position, Indonesia is not prone to cyclones or typhoons but thunderstorms are quite common.

Carry a lightweight jumper as it can be chillingly cold inside air-conditioned buildings.

Note! HAZE - In recent years Indonesia has suffered from the phenomena known in Asia as "Haze". Caused in part by forest fires and out of control "slash and burn" practices in both Indonesia and Malaysia - late Summer/early Autumn have seen sunny skies obscured for days and poor air quality. Haze is difficult to predict, however efforts are being made to prevent a recurrence of the severe hazes of 1996 and 1997.

Western Indonesia

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (November-April) 22 - 31°C 380mm
Dry Season (May - October) 23 - 31°C 316mm

Central Kalimantan, Jakarta, Java, Sumatra

Primarily due to the elevation of much of the land, this is the wettest region of Indonesia. Rain is common year round with no real distinction between the wet and dry seasons. Temperatures remain constant throughout, although warmer clothes are required in the mountainous regions where temperatures can drop well below the average.

Best time to visit: Between June and September when rainfall tends to be marginally lower.

Central Indonesia

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (November-April) 23 - 30°C 217mm
Dry Season (May - October) 23 - 31°C 83mm

Bali, East Timor, East & South Kalimantan, Lombok, Sulawesi

This area remains hot and humid year round, with temperatures holding at around 30°C.

The western monsoon brings the heaviest rain between December and March - rain normally falls in intense showers for a short period only.

Moving closer to the mountains, skies become cloudier and showers more frequent but the climate is always pleasant. In the higher climes, temperatures fall and visitors will definitely need either a sweater or jacket after sunset.

Best time to visit: April to September, as rainfall is much lighter - although this is the busiest time for visitors.

Eastern Indonesia

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (November-April) 24 - 31°C 260mm
Dry Season (May - October) 23 - 28°C 147mm

Iryan Jaya, Maluka

Most of the recorded rain falls in the mountainous regions, hence coastal areas can actually be drier. An umbrella is always useful, as are warmer clothes if intending to visit the mountains as temperatures can drop - particularly during the night. Elsewhere, temperatures remain hot and humid and lightweight clothing is advisable.

Best time to visit: During the Dry Season when rainfall is lower.

Featured Indonesia Hotels

4 stars
From
$176
per night (USD)
Atlet Century Park Hotel Jakarta

Atlet Century Park Hotel Jakarta

City, Indonesia

Location Strategically located right in Jakarta's dynamic Central Business... More...

 
3 stars
From
$82
per night (USD)
Ibis Jakarta Arcadia Hotel

Ibis Jakarta Arcadia Hotel

City, Indonesia

Location Located in the business district of Jakarta, Arcadia Hotel is easily... More...

 
5 stars
From
$122
per night (USD)
Le Meridien Hotel Jakarta

Le Meridien Hotel Jakarta

City, Indonesia

Location Located in the heart of Jakarta's financial district, Le Meridien Hotel... More...

 
5 stars
From
$76
per night (USD)
Hyatt Regency Hotel Yogyakarta

Hyatt Regency Hotel Yogyakarta

City, Indonesia

Location Hyatt Regency Hotel is situated in the scenic outskirts of north-western... More...

 
3 stars
From
$133
per night (USD)
Ibis Malioboro Hotel Yogyakarta

Ibis Malioboro Hotel Yogyakarta

City, Indonesia

Location The Ibis Yogyakarta Malioboro is located in the very centre of the business... More...

 
5 stars
From
$88
per night (USD)
Melia Bali Villas & Spa Resort

Melia Bali Villas & Spa Resort

City, Indonesia

Location Encompassed in spectacular lush tropical gardens, this resort is located... More...

 
4 stars
From
$107
per night (USD)
Novotel Hotel Yogyakarta

Novotel Hotel Yogyakarta

City, Indonesia

Location Located in the city of Yogyakarta, this hotel is close to many places of... More...

 
3 stars
From
$126
per night (USD)
Diwangkara Holiday Villa Beach Resort Sanur

Diwangkara Holiday Villa Beach Resort Sanur

Sanur, Indonesia

Location Located on the beautiful beach of Sanur in Bali, this beautiful boutique... More...

 
4 stars
From
$82
per night (USD)
Novotel Benoa Bali

Novotel Benoa Bali

Tanjung Benoa, Indonesia

Location Nestled on the edge of Nusa Dua, the Novotel Benoa Bali overlooks the... More...

 
3 stars
From
$112
per night (USD)
Ramada Resort Benoa Bali

Ramada Resort Benoa Bali

Tanjung Benoa, Indonesia

Location Situated at the tip of Tanjung Benoa peninsula along Bali's... More...

 

Indonesia Travellers Tales

janet czekirda
8/28/2005

Melia Hotel is situated in Nusa Dua. You can find restaurants and shops outside the complex of Nusa Dua but these are limited. To travel elsewhere means taking a taxi. We booked a car and guide (via the hotel - Bali Taksu) and visited the Volcano Batur as well as the Barong Dance, Celuk village , Batuan painters, and Sebatu rice terraces. The guide - Made - was really a great source of info but allowed us to do change the itinerary if we wanted. This is a great way to see Bali if you do not know where to go or what to see. It can be more expensive than hiring your own car but was good for us as we had not been to Bali before.


edward bagnall
8/21/2005

We strongly recommend Gado Gado restaurant on Seminyak beach. Wonderful food, very friendly and helpful staff and a dramatic view of high seas at night.


michael brosda
8/2/2005

The hotel is near the National Museum which is very informative about the Indonesian history, also for shopping Plaza Indonesia is just 5 minutes away by car. But of course you need to be careful, not to forget to lock the car anywhere you go as crime rate is quite high in Jakarta.


michael brosda
7/30/2005
Stayed at: Melia Benoa Bali

For beautiful sunset, go to Tanah Lot, see the sunset from Le Meridien Nirwana lounge. For a nice restaurant of local food, you can go to Bumbu Bali in Benoa. To go around you can rent a car with a driver, it''s easier if you know which places to go although your driver can recommend you also. And don''t forget to take the Bali Hai dinner cruise, it''s unforgettable.


Anonymous
7/30/2005

I would definitely advise you to eat at a Jazz restaurant across the road from the hotel. The food is absolutely fantastic, the drinks are great and they also have a band who come on at 10pm every night and they rock. We loved this place so much that we went back twice. The food and drink are excellent value. I would definitely recommend this place - quite the little gem that we stumbled across.


dominique lecoq
7/23/2005

Don''t forget to have a look on the chinese district. Zoo is ok althought maintenance could be improved. Surabaya is not a touristic place as Yogyakarta or somme other places on Java.


ai lian lim
7/20/2005

The hotel location is strategic as there are many shops around the hotel. It is just few minutes walk to reach the shops and Legian Beach. There are many taxi just outside the hotel. You can easily get taxi to the place you like. At night, you can have dinner at Joni Restaurant, just 5 minutes walk from Balisani Padma Hotel. It is a pool side restaurant and they have a life band. Therefore, you are having dinner and enjoying the performance of life band at the same time. It is very nice!!!! Tanah Lot Temple and Uluwatu Temple are 2 temples must go to visit. Dreamland beach is nice for surfers. Kintamani Volcano scenery is really really GREAT! Do not forget to try Crispy Duck and Babi Guling (pork). For people who likes to shop, Denpasar and Ubud pasar are a must! Things there are really cheap (don''t forget to bargain)!!! The shops along the road on the way to Kintamani have lots of nice and cheap stuff.


Anonymous
7/18/2005

Take the Full Day car rental (included driver) at the hotel. The driver is well trained and could take you from Borobudur to Prambanan to Traditional dances and shopping. For US$50 net it was well worth it. For a local tour near the hotel area, take the becak outside the hotel with the "Melia Purosani" painted on the side. Very friendly and helpful.


Anonymous
7/17/2005

Would recommend Lana thai restaurant in CBD near Mandarin Oriential and Cafe Batavia on Kota, both good food and atmosphere.


michelle mallinson
7/16/2005
Stayed at:

Lombok looks like it has seen better days. Many buildings in the Senggigi area look vacant and are a bit run down and there seems to be a growing problem with the amount of trash scattered around. Having said that, Lombok is a big island and once you get away from the "touristy" areas, you will find beautiful beaches and lovely scenery. We stayed at a great little hotel, Qunci Villas. If you are looking for white sand and a beautiful beach, this is not the place for you as the beach is small in front of the hotel, has darker lava sand, and has been overtaken by some fairly aggressive beach hawkers. But if you enjoy sipping two-for-one priced happy hour drinks at the pool while watching the sun set behind Bali''s Mount Agung, you might want to reconsider! Good trade-off would be to stay there and then take some day trips to more secluded beaches and islands. A visit to snorkel around the Gilis is a must, and we heard from other travelers that mountain biking the island''s interior was a great experience.


mr. & mrs. j a c van oort (extension)
7/5/2005

Bali is a nice place for leisure. When we were in Bali we visited Turtle Island, went fishing at Tanjung Benoa Nusa Dua. We also visited Ubud, saw the Barongs one of the Balinese dances, to the Monkey Forest, go shopping. There are many restaurants around where we stayed and a newly shopping mall called Discovery Mall with lots of shops, play game for the children, and from there you can visit Celcius Cafe/Starbucks with its delicious coffee or go direct to Kuta beach, just at the back from Discovery Shopping Mall. You can also go surfing by the beach if you like surfing at Kuta Beach or Sanur Beach. Or just relax at Kuta Beach. Or take photos in front of the Monuments to commemorate the Bali bombings. Sometimes there are Balinese dancers standing in front of this Monument. Not far from Kartika Plaza street you can also visit Matahari Dept. Store, McDonalds, Hard Rock Cafe, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and lots of cafes, shops which surrounds the area. Along the Kartika Plaza street you can find Pizza Hut, the Sling shot for excitement, Jumping Play, Waterboom, Go Kart, Mexican Restaurant, 24 hours K Mart, small shops which sells CDs, DVDs, clothes, surfing boards, jeans, souvenirs or eating out at the well known Warung Made Restaurant, Kuta Chinese Restaurant, Wet Cafe, and many other cafes or restaurants. There are lots of tourists now coming from Australia as well as from other parts of the world. You can choose any tours you like including city tour or sailing which suits your budget and there are some that you can bargain too. But when you want a more quiet place you can also visit Lombok. Lombok is also a nice place to visit for your next trip to Indonesia besides Bali, Jakarta or any other places in Indonesia. In Lombok you can take a tour to 3 islends, Gili Island, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Or you can walk along the beach as there are small shops too or take a tour to visit the water fountain in Lombok.


javier serrano
6/23/2005

The Hotel is very well centralized and within walking distance to the Sportsman''s Bar (Wester Pub and Restaurant) and many other places to eat and entertainments. The Pasaraya Mall is located accross the street for shopping, banking and eating facilities.


Anonymous
6/22/2005

Must have a meal at either of the Made Warungs as well as Bambu Bali restaurant in Nusa Dua. Jimbaran is a must visit for atmosphere ambience and food - in that order.


Anonymous
6/20/2005
Stayed at:

Ibis Kemayoran is close to the central banking complex (Bank Indonesia) and a very short taxi ride to a reasonable shopping complex and food court. It is also close to one of the cities clothing and computer shopping areas (manga dua). A favourite trick by taxi drivers is to say the road ahead is traffic jam and then proceed to travel around which will take longer (and more costly) then the "normal" direct route.


jose ramon bacas malo
6/1/2005

The hotel has easy access to Borobudur, Prambanan, Mt. Merapi, etc.. On the other hand, people in this part of Java are very friendly and helpful. The scenary around Borobudur, Merapi is spectacular and stunning. Definetely, if you are thinking of visiting Indonesia, you should come to this area.


john feldt
6/1/2005
Stayed at:

Bali is getting westernized little by little with all of the bad habits. Recommend that newbies only use Blue Bird cabs and learn the real price before negotiating with street cabs. Also go to Matahari or Hardy''s and check the max price for art goods then you are prepared for the markets like Sukawati.


javier serrano
5/30/2005

The Hotel is across the street from the Pasaraya Shopping Mall where you can walk and buy anything and get any service desired. The Pub is also very good and offers western food if desired. The night club has a different band playing different types of music.


gan pei ling
5/30/2005

I would say that there''s nothing much to shop and walk around there. It''s pretty secluded from the rest. But it''s still a walking distance to a small town for the pasar malam tingy. Liked the bargaining process though when negotiating with them for the price. Kuta Square is a more crowded and popular shopping attraction if you want to go out. But the transport is quite steep for the journey.


Anonymous
5/24/2005

Found the palace disappointing. Lots of batik, silver etc but should always try to bargain. The highlight was the temple at Borobudor -- we took the Sunrise tour the hotel offered....although it seems more expensive than what one would find outside, they provide torches so you can see clearly as you climb. Worth getting up early for ! Also do visit the nearby Amanjiro hotel, its unique !


Anonymous
5/20/2005

Best restaurants - Made''s Warung (reasonably priced local food), Kafe Warisan (great but dearer French food) and goto KuDeTa for the sunsets and make reservations for dinner (very expensive). Bebek Bengil (The Dirty Duck) in Ubud would also be a great place for food.


Anonymous
5/10/2005

Waterworld is just a few minutes drive by taxi. There''s also mangga dua mall next door for your electronics needs. Food court on 5th level. Minimart on 4th. Mangga dua SQUARE is just 5 mins by Bajai (scooter). Taxis will insist on min charge, or take the opp route to delay time. This has carrefour, shops (clothes,handbags), and food court with great ambience. The in place for this area.<br> <br> Bluebird cabs are generally reliable. The doors will lock as soon as you leave hotel compound. Don''t panic, This is for your own safety. Night street stalls sell cheap stuff outside main road. Just be wary of pickpockets. Not my scene. For good indonesian food, drop by Pondok Laguna (at lunch/dinner time only). It''s located on jalan batu ceper/ batu tulis. Ask taxis if they know where it is first, else just get the hell out. Once you get there, sample their in house specials. Gurame goreng, tahu sumbat, sayur asem, ayam bakar and list goes on. Great food! Make sure you find a bluebird cab to hitch a ride home. Head to Pasar Baru if you are into more shopping. You can find oil painting there too.


swart brian
5/2/2005

FJ Bistro & Restaurant in Kemang Timor for cool atmosphere, good food and amazing teas.


niel schubert
4/22/2005
Stayed at:

Surf the Oberoi break or Canggu in early am and late pm. Rent a car. Don''t ever talk to touts selling watches or belts,... belts on the beach? For that reason alone they should be shunned. If you''ve tried Malaysian food, Indo fare is rather poor. Best noodles in front of Hard Rock Hotel on the beach under the trees. Only 5000Rp and better than anything in a restaurant. Nasi Campur Special at Made''s Warung is great but any of the Nasi Gorengs is appalling. For Western; KuDeTa, Mykonos, Hard Rock, and many small warungs that will surprise you with a decent pizza. i thought the Living Room was overrated, but a nice setting. Mind the children when you drive!


randy schafer
4/5/2005

Antiques both new and old can be found at Jalan Surabaya where keen haggling skills are needed to get a good price. Restaurants to try include Koi Gallery (wide variety), Hazaras (Indian), Porta Venizia (Italian), and Styx (beef). Navigating Jakarta is tricky and it helps a lot to know how to get there if it is anything other than a top hotel, mall, or restaurant. The Silver Bird taxis are knowledgeable, but never a sure thing. Don''t worry if the driver needs to ask for directions a few times.<br> <br> If you are new to Asia, try the Executive theaters at Plaza Indonesia for a luxury movie experience. Large number of excellent golf courses within 90 minutes of Jakarta. One of the nicest is Bogoria in Bogor. Jakarta is an exciting destination but it takes new visitors a while to get the rhythm of the place.


atiff gill
4/5/2005

Seminyak is an up-market area with trendy designers, and high quality retailers for lighting and housewares. It also has some excellent restaurants dotted around with Ku De Ta an experience that no-one should miss. The food was excellent, but the key is the lounge chairs overlooking the water and night sky. Highly recommended for those happy to pay USD 25-30 per head.


jill mortensen
3/31/2005

Anyone going to Surabaya with some free time should check out the Muslim Quarter. It''s a great place to explore and while there are hawkers, they are much less aggressive than in Bali. We also enjoyed getting around by cyclo although you really have to bargain with them!


elisha duester
3/31/2005

Beware of the beach vendors. They look for and target those who are on the beach for the first day. Before you buy anything on the beach check the prices on the main street. Took a snorkeling tour called Island Tours. It was a scam! There was nothing to see! Essentially we paid $55 USD per person for a boat ride and lunch! Was offered through the hotel. Next time I will look around more for a better tour.


james williams
3/31/2005

Bali is a wonderful place. Its History, Culture and Religion are enchanting and the People infectiously warm. To do the island justice it needs at least a devoted 2 weeks of adventure. I would recommend basing any Vacation in Ubud. Although lacking the inevitable lure of a beach, Ubud is conveniently located in the centre of Bali and is therefore an excellent point from which to launch your adventures to every corner of the island.<br> <br> The People in Ubud are wonderful, the food and entertainment equally so. With prices here much cheaper than the coastal resorts. The restaurants are fantastic value, highlights being the terrific Casa Luna and Laka Lece. The music of the famed Ubud Jazz Cafe is also an evening not to be missed. Transport is in abundance, be assured you will not walk more than 15 metres without another local asking you if you need any, but they are not in any way harassing, merely looking to make an honest living. Organised tours, which will be private to you and your party, are available through many of the hotels. If you are willing to explore, and not be one of the passive masses, Bali is the perfect destination for any adventurous traveller. I can''t wait to go back.


fernando de matos
3/28/2005
Stayed at:

Try scuba diving at the Gilli islands for another great experience - the people at Blue Marlin diving were really good.


manny martinez
3/27/2005

A nice "Hard Rock cafe" type of a bistro called Bali Bistro serves great satay! The Nusa Dua complex makes you feel safe and secure.


dexter kho
3/17/2005
Stayed at:

Yogjarkata is a relative safe place to travel despite of the warnings issued by certain paranoid countries. Occasional annoyances such as usual touting at major tourist attractions and sales talk from strangers on the road. However, was never in danger at any time and we were traveling as a family with an infant. Places/Things not to miss: Ramayana Ballet at Purawisata, Becak ride around city, Imogiri, Yogjarkata Kraton, Evening stroll along Jalan Malioboro, Prambanan Temples, Borobodur, Candi Sukuh.


william mc quillen
3/17/2005

Gado Gado Restaurant is on the Legian Beach and food is delicious. Kori''s Restaurant was also excellent. We mostly walked or took taxis. Beach Markets have the best deals. Nusa Dua is quieter and prettier than Kuta/Legian/Seminyak. Less people and less hectic. Would stay in Nusa Dua and taxi back to Kuta area when need arises.


matthew turner
3/15/2005

Didn''t think much of the city (apart from the friendly people), but really enjoyed Borobudur, Prambanan, etc. Kraton Ratu Boko (palace ruins just south of Prambanan) is well worth a visit. It''s quite a hike up some steep steps, but the views are magnificent. Taxis from the airport are fixed price (like Bali).


rasyidi mohd yatim
3/11/2005

Visited Plaza Indonesia, Ancol Dreamland, ITC Mangga Dua and ITC Kuningan. Can get taxi very easily from the hotel but again the traffic is quite bad esp. during peak hours. Enjoy shopping at Kuningan, Mangga Dua and also Soga (Plaza Indonesia).


dale smith
2/21/2005

Ubud is a must see for Bali traveler''s, though at the end of your trip makes more sense as this is a great place to shop and you don''t want to burden yourself with stuff. Cafe Wayan was our favorite restaurant... sort of like following the white rabbit into the warren. Great food, sharp, attentive service. Friendly staff.


arik sanusi (additional night)
2/20/2005
Stayed at:

For shopping, I would recommend you to go to Tanabang, Mangga Dua, Pasar Senen, Pasar Baroe and Sarinah Store. The price is cheap and unbelievable. If you love history and heritage, don''t miss to visit Gaja Mada National Museum and Monas.


romy kusumandyoko
2/19/2005

I was on a business trip, I rent a car and drive. It''s okay if you have the guts, but hey, I use to live there for 3 years, so I''m alright with Jakarta driving experience. If you want to go anywhere on Thamrin/sudirman stretch, I''d recommend the Buslane Bus... it''s by far the fastest way to reach anywhere from Mangga Besar to Blok m, and there''s a bus stop just in front of the hotel....


alexandra haendel
2/17/2005

This was a business trip, so I cannot comment on tourist sites. As for transport, I would recommend to stick to taxis from the Bluebird Group, as they are still the most reliable and least hassle. For phone bookings, Putra Taxis, also clean and no hassle, are better, as the minimum payment is less than with Bluebird. The Transjakarta bus (Busway) is very good if one wants to travel between North and South Jakarta.


clare harding
2/12/2005

I liked Jogya, found the people friendly and helpful. I went to Burobadur and Prabaran temples, each a 4 hour expedition for 50$AU each, with my own driver and guide. The guide an elderly gentleman who speaks English, French and German plus many local languages. Silver smiths (not the one recommended by my guide!) and batik (Go to one that has prices marked) I found a batik seller who sat me down, gave me tea and demonstrated the whole art of making a batik picture. I bought a nice piece for 49$AU and was told by the opposition that the exhibition wasn''t really closing down next day and that I had been fleeced. But I still think I got my money''s worth! Riding in the becaks is terrifying as you are in front of the pedaller as he pushes through the traffic at an intersection and you think you are going to die. And everything is incredibly cheap.


teri kopec
2/9/2005

There are some nice temples and places of interest not too far away, taxis are reasonable and the shopping is cheap. If you want to visit mount Bromo (active vulcano & sulphur lake) then be aware that it is 11 hours each way ergo an overnight stay, the nearest airport is still 5 hours away.


deval shah
2/9/2005
Stayed at:

I visited Tanah Lot, Kintamani, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua. I liked the Tanah Lot most, it has excellent view of sunset the best I have ever seen. Trip to Kintamani was full day with many places to cover starting with Balinese dance, which I found not that good and waste of money...rest was ok as scenary was good. The best around Bali was sea and water sports the water is really clean and beaches are well maintained and it has nice waves.


william murray
1/14/2005

I used Gray line for their tours...they were well informed and friendly. The hotel is very close to Gambir rail station...handy for day trips to Bandung.


amir bhaloo
1/12/2005

Putri Bali is located in Nusa Dua. In my opinion this is a better spot than Kuta. It is a quieter area and it would be ideal for relaxation. We visited Denpasar, Kuta and Uluwatu for the sunset, the temple on the edge of the cliff and the kachak dance. Nusa Dua village is a nice place with many small shops that have local arts and crafts.


gerard runham
1/9/2005
Stayed at:

I can recommend the island land tour for an insight into Lombok and it''s culture. The Gilis islands and in particular Gili Nanggu are a tropical paradise.


ricardo rosa
1/5/2005

Recommend getting the hotel to call for a metered taxi to avoid the hassle on the street but allow 5-10 minutes for them to arrive. Hotel was well placed to be able to walk to local restaurants and do souvenir shopping. Anita''s Warung on the beach just by the hotel serves good Indonesian food,satay and huge steaks of barracuda/tuna, all cooked there and then. Takes time but worth waiting for.


hanseng lim
1/1/2005
Stayed at:

Restaurants recommended outside hotel: Taman - wonderful Indian food; Asmara - international standard cuisine. Taxis are cheap on Senggiggi so getting around is no problem.


jim leask
1/1/2005

We went diving and snorkeling with Dream Divers. Very enjoyable. Good restaurants include Cafe Alberto, Asmara, Taman and Tropicana.


adrian robinson
12/28/2004

A must for any traveller to Bali is the volcanos. They are really impressive. Also the temples are a brilliant place to go. It''s really interesting to see all the local people there making their offerings and they are more than happy to talk to you answer questions and let you take photo''s. The carvings on the temples are fantastic. In Kuta, its worth visiting the monument they have built for all the people who died in the Bali bombing in 2002. It''s very sad to see as so many people lost their lives and loved ones but it has been very tastefully done and worth a visit just to pay your respects to the people who did lose their lives there. If you want to take a day to relax I recommend a spa treatment at the Green Garden spa resort in Kuta (there are 2 green gardens, It''s the one opposite the beach!!) The full spa treatment is fantastic and lasts about 2 1/2hrs and you will not be disappointed.<br><br> In Sanur we found some great places to eat. The Cat and Fiddle is an Irish bar/restaurant and if you like a good old roast dinner or a good steak and ale pie you will love it here. The staff are fantastic and so friendly. Xmas dinner was superb. If you like Indian food there is a great place called Cafe Bombay Bali right near the beach in Sanur. Again the food was superb and the staff lovely. My favourite is the local food and there are far too many places to mention to get good local food so best to just pop into any that take your fancy. I think overall Sanur is a good place to stay. I would stay there again but probably choose a different hotel next time. Bali is a fantastic place with beautiful friendly people.


tarja nevala
12/27/2004

It is nice to take a taxi and driver and see around Bali as you wish. Nice restaurants: Terazo in Ubud, La Lucciola and KuDeTa in Seminyak-beach. We had great BBQ in our own villa Christmas-evening.


abdul wahab abdul aziz
12/21/2004

This hotel is located in Jakarta Utara, close to Ancol recreational park but a little bit far from block M area, where you can find many interesting Indonesian items. Mangga Dua is suitable for people looking for clothing, electronics but not recommended for tourist. Always insist for blue bird taxi, quite reliable and very friendly.


hamizawati muhamad abdullah
12/19/2004

Nasi Padang Restaurant in NUSA DUA great for Muslim travellers. I ate till I drop! Tanah Lot & Uluwatu, great view. Precaution..Do not get cheated at Kintamani, whereby locals offer to bring you to this so-called sacred cemetery where they don''t bury the dead. Really misleading ..P/S:Name is Trunyan. It does exist, but not what you expected. BEWARE!


yazeed said
12/19/2004
Stayed at: Melia Benoa Bali

The Tanjung Benoa stretch is a good alternative to Nusa Dua''s resorts. Quiet and clean(tout-free) beaches that are appreciably relaxing than the Kuta stretch. Waters are clear. Good to rent vehicle- the small Suzuki jeep would be sufficient and- and use this as base. Or you could stay in Ubud too.


robert cassab
12/16/2004

Get yourself a private car and driver. It is very cheap about GBP 15 for the day. Watch out for food that is not well prepared...Bali belly is a real thing, if it''s not good move on, its cheap enough to discard a meal and start again elsewhere.


hong-lin yap ms (2nd room)
12/7/2004

In Ubud, don''t miss out on a great meal at the ''Bebek Bengil 1''-''Dirty Duck Diner'' at Padang Tegal. From the road entrance, it extends into tiny rice fields and diners can choose to sit at restaurant sections or in little raised huts. Even on a hot day, there was a cool breeze blowing through. The charming ambience coupled with great tasting crispy duck made for a truly enjoyable meal. Kudeta at Seminyak is a must visit for drinks in the evening. The candlelit bar has deck chairs for patrons to lay back & enjoy drinks to the music from 60s/70s and look out to crashing surf lit by beach lights-a truly romantic experience.


janet ch'ng
12/3/2004
Stayed at:

Never visit Jogya during December. It was pouring like cats and dogs. I was lucky during the second day, the weather was fine. I managed to visit Borobudur and Prambanan, Kote Gede (for silver items), and Kraton (for batik). Missed out on the Ramayana ballet performance apparently, they don''t show the performance in Dec due to raining seasons. Borobudur and Prambanan was truly magnificient. Borobudur has a Mt Kaliurang at the back drop. It was covered with clouds and totally breath taking. Another site worth mentioning, Mendut, which is on the way to the Borobudur. As i was told the originally the buddha statute was. Each year, they celebrated Wesak Day on the fourth month of the fifteen day where a celebration will take place where Buddhist devotees will walk to the Borobudur. Prambanan has its own charm and can''t seem to put into words. I think if you have the chance to watch the Ramayana ballet performance that could really transport you back to the era.<br> <br> Please be reminded in all the historical sites you visited, you are expected to pay US$5.00 and extra for a guide (optional) at about Rp40,000. A local will only pay Rp7,500. The only thing I dislike is that you are discriminated when it comes to paying. For instance, despite you have already paid for the entrance fees to the historical site, any extra in the site for instance viewing a museum, you need to pay extra again. I had a bowl of bakso (noodle soup) in front of one of the shop selling silver items. I paid Rp5,000 (not expensive though) however, when I asked the taxi man how much would he have to pay if he was eating? He said it will only cost him Rp3,000. Unless, you are travelling in twos or threes, it would be more economical to go with a travel group. I rented a taxi which cost about Rp300,000 minus the parking.


hazim felimban
12/3/2004

Central Java in general, full of interesting and historical places. During our staying in Jogya, we had pleasant opportonities to visit many interesting places such as Parangritis Beach, Borobodore Timple, Batic factory and Silver factory. We had a nice time during lunch in a beatiful restaurant with traditional dances performing. We are sure that there are more interesting places we haven''t visited yet because of short of time but hopefully we wish to visit central Java in the future with more excitement.


jaqui fitch
11/29/2004

We took a long weekend in Bali, my husband and I and a friend. It was decided to spend 2 nights somewhere near Ubud and one night on a beach to get the contrast and in case the weather was bad in the mountains. It was a good decision. Being Monsoon time the weather closed in most afternoons in the the high country. We stayed at Tamen Babek Villas in Sayan about 10 minutes from Ubud. The view is better than the 4 Seasons, which is just along the road but below our villa. We were situated overlooking the Ayang River and across to rice terraces and palm clad hills...and in the distance Mount Batukaru. Very peaceful, and yet the jungle around us was teeming with it''s own life. The Tamen Babek villas are lovely old traditional houses with wide verandas and timber floors, very rustic, set in tropical grounds designed by the enigmatic Australian expat Michael White, or Made Widjaya as he is now called.<br> <br> We hired our own driver, rather than take a conventional tour, and went to Ubud. Spent the day window gazing and had dinner in a tiny little restaurant called Bumbu, where there were small pavilions dotted round a private garden with a lilly pond in the centre. There were proper tables as well but we preferred to sit on cushions in our own private pavilion. The food was good and more important the ambience was delightful. We also took in a Kechak fire and trance dance that evening, hawkers sell tickets all over Ubud and tell you where to go and what time etc. Totally rivetting and the dancing girls were very beautiful. We bought some paintings from a local artist in residence near our villas, of the Hindu God characters (Sita Rama and the Monkey King) in the Kechak dance as mementos. The next day we hired a driver to take us to Mount Batur ( the still active volcano). We ate at a restaurant which was built on a ridge opposite the volcano. <br> <br> On our way back our driver was very obliging and stopped whenever we asked, so that we could look at some of the wood carvings, stone carvings and basketware, that interested us. Tegallalang had some pretty good shops. Most private drivers charged around 30,000 to 45,000 Rupiahs for the round trip. We stayed one night at the Pansea Bali in Jimbaran Bay. A beautiful bay with lovely sand and swimming and great seafood restaurants dotted along the beach. This hotel is right on the beach so you can sit with your toes in the sand while you eat lunch or dinner by flaming torch. It is very unpretentious, unlike some of the 5 star hotels in the area. We walked up the beach a couple of hundred yards to one of the seafood restaurants called Denas... where we chose our own red snapper and prawns and told them how we wanted them cooked...just grilled with butter and garlic or with chili sauce. The hotel food was also very good and priced very competitively.<br> <br> As we only had one day and we wanted to see a temple, so we went to Uluwatu Temple. The Macacque monkeys who live there snatch your glasses and hats, all very entertaining and the sunset is divine. You can also sit happily with a cocktail at the hotel beach bar and watch the sunset too if you are so inclined. The Pansea Bali Hotel is only 15 minutes from the airport and yet it is on one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali. As it was the Monsoon season the weather was kind to us, and we got a tan...however the skies were turbulent and exciting as there was always thunder and lightening somewhere in the distance either over the mountains or out to sea. We would definitely go to the Pansea Bali Hotel again.


stuart adler
11/27/2004

Cafe Batavia, Oasis and Hasara are awesome restaurants - both for food and for atmosphere.


david gonzalez
11/25/2004

Transportation accommodations are easily arranged through Melia Bali staff at a nominal expense. All the taxi drivers I encountered had excellent restaurant recommendation, try Cue De Ta and be sure to time the end of your meal at sunset so you can enjoy the extremely large and intimate chaise lounge along the beach while listing to Sinatra and Martin being broadcast throughout the restaurant. A truly romantic restaurant with exceptional food, service and atmosphere.


teteng iskandar
11/19/2004
Stayed at:

You can reach Yogyakarta from all major cities in Indonesia by plane or bus. I like to call Yogyakarta a heritage city. It has a lot of things that have been kept for hundred years, such as king palace, museum, candi, batik, wayang puppet, gudeg and etc. You could enjoy Gudeg (a traditional food) at Wijilan street near king palace. At night you could travel along Malioboro street just to spent your money to but crafts and gifts at this traditional hawker centre. Lesehan is a traditional way to eat gudeg at Malioboro street. Looking for more batik crafts? In the morning, Beringharjo market at Malioboro street is a great choice. Borobudur is one of the wonders of the world located 72 km north Yogyakarta. Prambanan is famous for its Ramayana dance and located near Yogyakarta. Bakpia pathuk are popular traditional cookies that you must try. So many things, so little time. That''s why I visit Yogyakarta every year and always find a new experience.


nader ebrahim
11/18/2004

THE Alila Ubud was a nice place to stay in Ubud. The dances in Ubud are not to be missed. Ary''s warung an excellent restaruant. As with Ubud being the capital of art in Bali so it also seems to be the capital of good artistic food. HOWEVER, one day I went on a white water rafting trip, which was amazing, and at the end of it we were given a beatiful traditional Balinese lunch. We were offered some sauces labeled mild and spicy. Enjoying spicy food I asked the guide if ''spicy'' meant ''very spicy'' and she replied yes it is very spicy. Well being used to spicy food I slapped a bunch on and proceeded to eat it when I started choking as if my esophagus is going into spasms. I downed the beer , anything I could get my hands on , when finally I realised I was going to survive. The next morning I woke up with blisters all around the inside of my lips, and my lips were swollen. I spoke for the next week as if I had a peirced tounge, and I also found it very painful to eat. Later on during my trip I watched a program on Bali Vision on Balinese food. It mentioned Balinese chillies are the HOTTEST in the WORLD. I can attest to that!


sonja bond
11/11/2004

Bambu (outside the hotel on the left hand side) is a really good option for seafood and it is a friendly place to eat. We could recommend this place.


julio benedicto
11/3/2004

If shopping is on your to-do list, Plaza Indonesia is a very pleasant place to visit. Not crowded with a great selection of stores. CGK is a good airport to travel from, but it helps to have lounge access when your flight is early in the morning. The Premier Lounge (available to eligible passengers of CX and SQ) was a good place to relax while waiting for my flight to board.


jean louis quintin
11/1/2004

Ubud is my favorite place in Bali. It is very well located for trips all over the island. As far as restaurants are concerned we would recommend the following: Wayan''s Cafe for its nice garden & food, Tutmak for its excellent food, Bebek Bengil, and Mozaic which is an upmarket restaurant with very nice food prepared by a french-american chef. This restaurant is said to be the best in Bali, however we thought the food was too european.


charlotte mathis
11/1/2004
Stayed at:

This was the first time that I ventured outside of Kuta. We took a day trip into Denpasar to the Kumbi Sari market. It was huge, especially the craft market. The cost for a bemo (public bus) from Kuta was about 10,000 rupiah ($1). Apparently this is where many of the locals shop and business owners buy their goods to sell at the local markets. It is well worth a visit.


terry watters
10/20/2004
Stayed at:

The Basilico restaurant is very nice with a great location on the beach. I spent 1 night on Gili Trawangen (island) and had a very nice relaxing time.


sean gallyot
10/17/2004

Shopping centres you should visit is Semanggil (Jl Sudirman), Plaza Indonesia (Hyatt Hotel) and Pasaraya Gran (Jl Kabayoran) where you can get most of what you''re looking for. Restaurants are average everywhere.


thomas thornton
10/16/2004
Stayed at:

Some hints on using a taxi for travels around Bali. Look for newer taxi. Make sure taxi approaches with windows rolled up...this should indicate the AC works well. If you hire transport for long haul and there are several drivers and vehicles available, ask all of them to start their cars (usually 4x4/SUV types) and come back in 3-5 min to perform an AC check...you don''t want to be stuck all day in a car that doesn''t have cold air. If you get in a car and it''s not pumping ice cold AC after a very short distance and you want to change vehicles, it''s acceptable to have driver drop you off so you can flag down a new car...if you do this and did travel more than say, 1/2 mile, then you should pay 1st driver a small amount, maybe 5000 Rup (60cents US/ $1 SG) a short distance. For all day trips (8hr) with multiple stops, you shouldn''t need to spend more than 200,000 Rup ($22 US/ $37 SG). For 4-6hr trips with a few enroute stops, you cna pay 100-150,000 Rup. Once we had a group of 7 people and we paid 350,000 Rup for 24hrs...but if you do hire a transport for more than, say 6 or 8hrs, you should pay for your driver''s meals, drinks, etc...this is especially true for all day hires. BTW don''t let your driver sidetrack you into accepting offers to stop at various shops and attractions -- politely decline the offer unless of course you''re interested in them.


grant knuckey
10/10/2004

Recommended restaurants: The Living Room: amazing ambience, great garden setting. Ku De Ta: first class food, great location on the beachfront.


lisa westbrook
10/3/2004

Bali is really great. I would recommend staying in the Nusa Dua area if you''re looking for a clean beach free of people trying to sell you massages, t-shirts, or drugs. Kuta is best for going out at night, resturants and shopping for trinkets, t-shirts, etc. When bargaining I got everything about 1/3 of what their starting price was. I would also recommend taking a tour through Ubud...there are also some lovely shops there.


sara petruska
9/29/2004

Plenty to do in the surrounding areas- temples to visit, waterfalls, great snorkelling... there was a 6 hour snorkelling trip to an island in the Northwest of Bali that is supposed to be fantastic, but we were afraid of sunburn... for 20$ a fisherman took us off the coast of Lovina for two hours and although the coral reefs were not spectacular, the fish were amazing. We ate dinner at the restaurant each night since the food was so good. We hired a car from Denpasar and came up to Lovina via Ubud and Gunung Batur (40$ for driver and guide for whole day), and then returned home via the floating temple, visited Tanah Lot for sunset, took showers at the hotel at which we had stayed in Denpasar and then caught our 11 PM flight.


michele duggan
9/13/2004
Stayed at:

We arrived 2 days after the Jakarta bomb at the Australian Embassy, and local people seemed surprised that we (Australians) were still game to visit, and pleased that we were there. We got around by taxis which were quite cheap but on average they were reluctant to use their meters and we had to insist. No problem with Bluebird cabs, but imitators were abundant. We visited Ancol complex and walked around the beach. Good food and drink, not many tourists (indo or australian).<br> <br> Mangga Dua shopping mall was not far from the hotel, and well worth a visit - clean and bright and modern, with good prices on consumer goods, and there are lots of rumah makans and padang restaurants nearby which do a roaring trade. Also visited Pasar Raya shopping mall a little south of the city, better than Mangga Dua and a favourite of ours. Only about Rp 15,000 by taxi. The market around the mall was a hassle.<br> <br> Sunda Kelapa harbour was interesting, watched boats being laden with timber bound for Sumatra and outlying islands, but the bearers loading the timber only get paid Rp 25,000 per day, a pity. Went to Cafe Batavia on Fatahillah Square. Despite it being lunchtime on a Saturday, it was very quiet. Beautiful ambience, old colonial features, ceiling fans, dark wood, linen table cloths etc - very Raffles. Also very overpriced - we had a modest 2 course lunch which cost Rp 425,000 for 2 people including 2 beers - still stinging from that bill. Visited Istiqlal Mosque, the biggest in SE Asia, which was beautiful - 5 storeys high and very vast and cool inside. We were made very welcome and given a tour by the guide/guard who advised us that he "normally gets Rp 20,000 from each person" for the tour. We gave him only Rp 20,000 total and he seemed ok with that.<br> <br> Also visited the fleamarket on Jl Surabaya which was very interesting - well kept, neat, orderly, little tiny shops in a row filled with bric a brac, "antiques", bits of porcelain, coins, brassware, and assorted interesting bits and pieces - worth a visit. We did struggle to fill 3 days in Jakarta and were happy to be leaving at the end, and feel we won''t return unless it''s necessary to pass thru on the way to another destination. Having said that, we have visited in the past and stayed a beautiful villa in Pondok Indah with swimming pool and cook, and were chauffered around by drivers - if that had been the case again, I''m sure we would feel very differently than having to find our own way around in dodgy taxis in uncertain areas.


sean gallyot
9/5/2004

I didn''t take any tours cos I was there for business but Hardrocks good, not very far from the hotel. Laguna is a restaurant to go and if you''re travelling by cab make sure you take the BlueBird cabs, they go by the meter. If you choose not to travel at night, then the Hotel''s Tiga Puluh Bar will be the best place to relax and have some fun. As for shopping, Mangga Dua (2) should be the best place to shop.


robert waymouth
9/5/2004
Stayed at:

Melasti Beach Resort is well located and you need to take care that you do not confuse it with Melasti Bungalows which is close to the Airport. Everything that Kuta/Legian offers is within easy walking distance, eg. market, diverse range of Restaurants & Bars and shopping. The beach is not so good and is suited to surfing more than swimming. If you walk around the streets near the hotel you need to be prepared for multiple Spruikers trying to sell Timeshare properties.


michael bero
9/5/2004

Kudeta - excellent for watching the sunset. Dreamland Beach - best beach we visited. The Living Room - romantic dinner setting. Trattoria - inexpensive, good Italian food. Taxi drivers - inexpensive, willing to wait while you shop, visit the beach, eat, etc. for about 20,000rph/hr. Seminyak - great for shops & restaurants.


richard souwen
9/3/2004

Best and safest way to go around in Jakarta at the moment is by SILVER BIRD. Avoid traffic if you can. Stay inside shopping malls!!


mohamed azman mohamed taufik
8/25/2004

Make sure you bring your international driving license, otherwise the contribution to the local law enforcement is about 3-4 times higher than Jakarta.


remko hendrikse
8/16/2004

Try the restaurants near Blok M, this is not far from the hotel. Good Japanese, Korean and other food. Dine once at Koy, fusion cuisine by a Belgium chef. Also Park is under his management. Have a high tea and stay for a cocktail or even more at the Darmawangsa, an oasis in the urban jungle.


amanda hong
8/12/2004

One of the places one must not miss is Kotamani in the north of Bali. We used the meter taxi to get around, alternatively you can also book for a taxi or private car for R300000 for one full day. They are everywhere, and chances are they will be insinuating for transports before you. Restaurant to visit in Ubud is Bebek Bengil, good food and good ambience.


james may
8/11/2004
Stayed at:

Bali is a beautiful holiday spot. Recommend hiring a driver for the day and going to have lunch by the volcano, going to the monket forest and shopping for arts and crafts in Ubud. Go and party and Double Six located at Legian Beach.


misael racines
8/8/2004

For shopaholic, try checking out the Mega Pasaraya for their regular sale on RTWs. The local crafts, however, are quite expensive. If you want some cheap souvenirs (Jakarta standard), try Sarina Department Store.


paul greenlaw
8/6/2004

Having been to Bali about 40 times now I can recommend a few quick essentials for first timers: Bargaining is a way of life there. Dont get angry: relax, smile and treat it as a game (they do). Starting price also depends on your nationality: if you’re Japanese unfortunately you get to start at a price almost double the starting price offered to an Australian tourist – sorry about that but better you know. Wherever you’re from, start off at 20% of the price offered and work your way up (as they work their way down) to a maximum of about 50% of the starting price. Don’t be afraid to walk slowly away or call their bluff. As a guide, you should pay about RP20,000 for a simple sarong or RP 25,000 for a copy (not good quality) T-shirt. If you buy more than one whatever, that''s always another good reason to offer them less. <br> <br> Any freshly cooked food is fine even at smaller restaurants. Be careful of soup (which may not have been boiled). Peeled fruit is great. Salads are usually washed in the local water - dont go there. Don’t be afraid to try the local dishes if they are FRESHLY cooked and haven''t been standing in some bowl for half a day. The local food is often better as it has a higher turnover rate and they know how to prepare and store the ingredients. (unlike Western food)<br> <br> If you change money at the airport you will end up with a rate about 200-400 RP less than what you can get at the money changers near the hotels (hotel rate is a rip off), but you won’t get ripped off. If you change at the money changers the ones who count out 50,000RP notes and are in dedicated buildings are usually ok. It''s the ones with just a small wooden table or offer fantastic rates that you have to watch out for. Common tricks are: leaving one bill missing, the total not equaling what''s on the calculator, counting out so many small notes (often repeatedly) you get totally confused or after watching them carefully and they cant find any other way of ripping you off, they tell you the exchange rate has just changed and guess what?: it''s much less. You can actually get the correct money even out of the rip off ones but you really have to watch them closely - again treat it like a game.<br> <br> “Transport” Yes, you’ll hear that a lot. Taxis with a meter are probably going to be cheaper for short trips. For a driver for a day, about 150,000RP FOR THE WHOLE VAN is a reasonable price. For 5 or 6 hrs about 100,000RP is a good price. Be careful whatever price is quoted to you is TOTAL and not per-person. Taxis fares to anywhere from the airport are a set price at the taxi counter outside arrivals. You can bargain with the touts but you''ll probably end up only a few dollars cheaper if you''re good.<br> <br> It is normally better for your own piece of mind to have an international driving/motorbike licence if you intend to hire your own transport. The police aren''t paid much so stop a tourist instead and "fine" them for not having one. The minimum "fine" which goes directly to their pocket is for a local 10,000RP and for a tourist about 50,000RP. You can always just pay the fines as you go and you may be lucky and not even see any police. When getting petrol, make sure the attendant ZEROS the meter on the bouser before filling up your tank. Remember you’re on holidays: enjoy, relax and don’t stress about all this.


james galbraith
7/30/2004

As the restaurant at The Alila is so bad, it is definitely worth eating out. Luckily there are quite a few good restaurants in Candi Dasa. This time we ate at the Watergarden Kafe (formerly TJ''s) which was good, and the Puri Bagus Candi Dasa where we had an excellent meal in very pleasant surroundings. Of course everyone must eat at the Amankila- it has to be the most beautifully situated hotel in Bali and the quality of food and ambience is extraordinary, not to mention the service. If only I could afford to stay at the Aman hotels!!


terry derville
7/29/2004

Highly recommend Ayung river rafting, good fun for all ages! Art galleries a must and high end ones are Agung Rai Gallery, Tate Gallery on Monkey Forest Road, and Neka Gallery.


james galbraith
7/27/2004

The location of the Komaneka in Monkey Forest Road is great and it is close to lots of good restaurants and bars. Some of the favourites are Lamak (excellent!), The Three Monkeys, and Tutmak. We also had Sunday brunch at Biji at Begawan Giri estate and it was wonderful - definitely worth it - the quality of the food and the setting are amazing!


james cutler
7/26/2004
Stayed at:

If you do not want to be hassled by hundreds of Sarong sellers and taxi drivers do not stay in Kuta for long. Best to stay for a day or two then head off to somewhere quieter on the island. Good bars are mainly in Semanak, i.e. Ku De Tah and Hu''u for laid back sundowners. Kuta is only if you want to sing in the street and pick up drunk backpackers.


james galbraith
7/23/2004

I would still recommend Bumbu Bali which is just down the road from the Novotel for good Balinese food. Also everyone staying in the area should go and have a meal at the Amanusa and the Four Seasons (PJ''s on the Beach). Had a wonderful breakfast at the new Conrad Hotel just down the road from the Novotel in Tanjong Benoa- it was superb!


arafaat valiani
7/15/2004
Stayed at:

We would recommend Lombok over Bali as it is quieter and somewhat untouched. We travelled around in a rented 4X4 and motorbike; remember your helmet! The Sengiggi strip restaurants are very basic and it seems the fine dining is in the hotels.


julia browne
7/12/2004
Stayed at:

Spent most of trip in Ubud. Found the most excellent restaurant "Batuan Waru" on the small road between Jalan Hanoman and Monkey Forest. The food is not cheap, but everything on the menu is to die for. We ordered the special everyday and was never dissappointed. Our final meal there was the suckling pig "Babi Guling" it just melted in your mouth. This special is for two people at Rp 150,000 (US$16.50). An average entry is about Rp35,000 (US$4.00) and worth every cent.


kristen elsby
6/27/2004

I took the hotel''s complimentary rice terrace/banana plantation walk in the hills of Ubud, followed by a gourmet picnic in the fields - this was my personal highlight and I would highly recommend the experience.


josephine cheang
6/13/2004

We walked around Kuta town, did a lot of shopping for wood carvings, some sarongs, which were very cheap. Found a restaurant called Kunyit Bali, in front of Santika Beach Hotel in Kuta, which served delicious Balinese food. We also chartered a van to take us to Kintamani, Mt. Batur, Ubud, and along the way, lots of vendors selling wood carvings, handicrafts, which were very much cheaper compared to Kuta. As we are from Malaysia, the sun, sea and surf did not interest us much since we have plenty of that back home, but the shopping did!


shagen ganason
6/13/2004

Shopping centres nearby worth a visit are Plaza Indonesia and Plaza Senayan. Every Saturday night Metro TV (a local TV station) does a live show from a cafe at Plaza Indonesia and it is worth seeing...


winardiyanto suraji
6/12/2004
Stayed at:

Be sure to visit places like Taman Mini - great cultural revelation. Do also spend a full-day at Dunia Fantasi especially if you have kids. They''ll love it there. For the shopaholics, don''t leave Jakarta without stepping out to Mangga Dua Mall. It is great for the computer freaks as well. If you have the time, head on to Bogor and then up to Puncak. Don''t forget to visit the Taman Safari there. Great outdoors for the whole family.


randy schafer
6/9/2004

Recommended restaurants are: Paprika - wine bar, Hazara''s - Indian, Stix - steaks, Porto Venezia - Italian, and Koi Gallery - Mixed. Best souvenir shopping at Pasaraya Grande. Most interesting shopping at Jalan Surabaya. Jakarta is an interesting city with lots of energy. It has lots to offer but often takes some looking to find.


david bolton
5/28/2004

Jogja was great. Don''t miss the Ramayana Ballet, quite spectacular. Prambanam and Borobodur temples were sensational. If you really like the time to look around these places rather than being rushed by a limited tour schedule, book a taxi for the day. Of course you''ll need to bargain, but we got a car and driver (albeit with almost no english) for 400,000 rupiah for the day (and no doubt you could get it cheaper too) and for this we toured to Borobodur for as long as we wanted, the village of Kaliurang for views of Mt Merapi (although it was raining the walk through the rainforest there was beautiful - so didn''t see the volcano) and Prambanam is also very beautiful and worth a good look. Also hire a guide at both temples - only 40,000 rupiah and worth the money - very informative.


richard barichello
5/24/2004

Jakarta is a fascinating city but allow lots of time for car travel due to the bad congestion that applies pretty much all the working day plus Friday evenings. Take Blue Bird taxis as often as you can to avoid surprise rip-offs, junky cars and obnoxious drivers. Too many good restaurants to list.


julie jiang
5/24/2004
Stayed at:

No need to eat at the hotel restaurant, as there are a few nice restaurants near the hotel. The shops near the hotel tend to be cheaper than the ones near Kuta. When take a taxi in Bali, always use meter, and try to take blue (light and navy color) color taxi, Blue Bird is a good company. Japanese food is a good value in Bali, as they are cheaper than anywhere else. Of course, you should always try the chicken satay:) if you are taking a one day tour to nearby island, try to ask for the sailing boat. When shopping always bargain, they tend to ask one third of the price. You can find good silver jewelry, sarong, swim suit, housing ware and other good stuff.


sandy kim
5/21/2004
Stayed at:

We really enjoyed Ubud. Less people, great shopping, more relaxing and the accommodations seem much nicer and better priced. I highly recommend a place called Tegal Sari. If you like to surf and want a great resort, I recommend Uluwatu Resort. It was conveniently in walking distance to the surf site and the Surfing Village on your walk down is great.


wouter van der sluis
5/20/2004

Yokya is a very busy town with good Indonesian culture. The Borobudur should be visited early in the morning cause of the heat. Gadjah Wong is the very best restaurant in town. Take a cab and do go there.


charles crowe
5/10/2004

We hired a car and driver for a day''s touring and travelled around East Bali, through the beautiful, lush paddy fields, stopping off at Tirthaganga Water Palace, up to the volcano and lake Kintamani and finishing for dinner and a performance of Balinese dancing in Ubud. Although this involves a fair amount of time in the car it is a good excursion for anyone with a relatively limited time in the area.<br> <br> We also went diving on the wreck about an hour''s drive north from the hotel. The dive is excellent with plenty to see, with the added advantage of being fairly shallow, so inexperienced divers can also give it a try. The rest of our long weekend in Bali was just spent enjoying the hotel, it''s fantastic ambience and it''s facilities.


siegfried skirl
5/4/2004
Stayed at:

Don''t go to Tanjung Benoa (or even Nusa Dua) for the beaches! They might have been charming once, now the whole stretches are split with stone walls and little pavillions. But do go to Bali: Landscape and temples and so many details truly make it the Island of Gods! In only 4 days and with two infant children, we managed to go elephant trekking in Taro, art-buying in Ubud und fire-dance -watching in Ulu Watu. One of the best Balinese retaurants was to be found in Tanjung Benoa: The Bumbu Bali offers original culinary delights and great ambience at a very reasonable price (sea turtles swimming at your feet!).


lee choong kheng
5/3/2004

Borobudor and Prambanan are a must for visitors to this city. They are great. I find that the peddlers at those tourist sites a nuisance. Just say no if you are not interested and DO NOT talk to them too much. They are the most persistent lot that I have ever seen! Bargain with the taxi driver for your fare before you take the taxi. It is negotiable. I find they are very honest.<br> <br> For food, try the side walk stalls at night along Jalan Malioboro. The pigeon meat is a bit tough to chew but should try. Gudeq is a local cuisine and is quite good, though a bit sweet. A good place for this dish is at Legian Restaurant along Jalan Malioboro. A bit pricey but good. The restaurant is situated not far from hotels such as Mutiara, Ibis and Inna Garuda. One should also try their local Bakso, noodles with beef balls, at any of the side stalls. It is cheap and nice.


eugene goyne
4/24/2004

Bali is safe (even for Australians), but the queues at immigration upon arrival if you don''t possess a visa stretch your patience. We waited nigh on 1.5 hours. Immigration and airport staff were flawlessly polite and friendly though, so don''t take your frustration with government policy out on them. Just make sure you get a visa before arrival.


lynlea ian o'neill
3/31/2004

The best places we found to eat. PaPa''s at Kuta. Padma Cafe is just across the road from the motel and is very good. The tailor across the road in the little shop is very good and does lovely work and will be made on time.


olivier grawehr
3/7/2004

Kuta is nice, worth a trip. Kudeta restaurant is an experience, but very high priced in particular for Bali.


susan johnston
3/3/2004

Recommend Silver Bird taxis since they are metered.


benjamin suda
3/2/2004

Bali is a nice relaxing destination. It was not very busy which may be a result of the lingering doubts felt by some tourists after the Kuta bombings of October 2002. I felt entirely safe the whole time I was there and would not hesitate returning. I would recommend hiring a taxi for the day. 8 hours will set you back aorund 250,000-300,000 rupiah which is a bargain. Places to see are Tanah Lot, Mt Kintamani (I hope that''s how it is spelt), Ubud and the nearby monkey forest.


hooi him shum
2/21/2004
Stayed at:

Beware of the taxi driver, although most of them used meter, they insisted I paid the minimun rate. Minimum rate demanded by the driver varied from one to another, I had paid the minimum rate from Rp10K to Rp18K.


adrian robinson
2/9/2004

The location is not too bad but needed to get a cab to the nightlife but not a huge problem as taxis are very cheap (bluebird or silver bird are the best and cheapest!!) One bar to check out is CJ''s in the Mulia Hotel. The band there was absolutely fantastic...a real must!!! It would be worth another trip to Jakarta just to go and see them again.


paul sykes
2/8/2004
Stayed at:

OK, first Lombok is not the new Bali. Lombok has a charm all of it''s own. Lombok is for those looking to relax and unwind and do nothing too exhausting. Don''t expect streets lined with bars and night clubs or huge shopping centres. Tours are available to the watersfalls (2hr drive from Senggigi), the Monkey Forest (1hr drive from Senggigi) and other areas, but we spent most of our time at our fantastic hotel, sitting on our balcony, swimming in or lying around the pool, or lying on the balcony day bed sleeping. We also went to Mataram (the main city) using the local public transport, but unless you speak Bahasa Indonesian (we do), we recommend that you get taxis. A trip from Senggigi to Mataram costs about 25,000rp and they are clean and safe. Just make sure they use the meter. Mataram has the only Shopping Mall in Lombok and it is rather small. We will be back!


waldemar poerner'
1/29/2004

In Ubud you should visit the Neka Museum which shows many great paintings from Balinese and other Indonesian artists. Bargaining is a must: reasonable price is maximum 20 % of first quote!


janet hook
1/29/2004
Stayed at:

There is not much to do on Lombok, hence removing the need to charged around and do anything at all! This makes the island laid back and relaxing. However check the transfers from Bali to Lombok carefully. I ended up on the night ferry (or nightmare ferry), which takes and incredible 5 hours to journey 35km! To be avoided!


william crewe
1/27/2004
Stayed at:

The only downside is the location of Bali Hai as it''s not too near Kuta itself or other restaurants and shops (although there are some just outside). However, taxi prices are so low - it''s only about $1.50 to Kuta - that it''s not a big problem. If you want to eat out, there''s a range of restaurants along the main Tuban road to Kuta (Jalan Kartika Plaza). We had an excellent Indonesian meal at the Bali Terazo there as well as reasonable meals at other restaurants in that area. Made''s Warung in Jalan Pantai Kuta is famous - deservedly so - and serves excellent local food at reasonable prices, too.


ibrahim karim
1/24/2004

Yogjakarta is a great city, cleanest compared to Bandung, Medan and Jakarta. Borobudur while interesting is overhyped. Nothing compared to Angkor Wat. Needs better facilities and knowledgeable guides. Kraton was worth the visit as it displayed the lifestyle of the Sultans. The temples at Dieng are nothing to look at, not restored and just mounds of stones left, no written history. Same at Prambanan.


james brownjohn
1/21/2004

Third time in Bali and still surprisingly charming, despite the hyped-touristy image. Worth another visit, exploring with a hire car and staying away from the big three resorts we''ve already done. Telumban dive site is worth a visit but 3 hours drive(!) from southern resorts. As an alternate to the volcano I recommend Bedugul. To my surprise and despite I enjoyed the freelance entertainers at Jimbaran; grilled fish also pretty good.


partha bhattacharyya
1/21/2004

Best way to get to the hotel is to call them to book a bluebird cab on arrival from the airport at fixed all-incl rate of Rp 120,000 and do the same thing on your way back. The Indian food at Ganesha Bar & Restaurant on the BRI-II is superb, they also have traditional dances with music to make your dinner enjoyable.


gregory pigott
1/6/2004

Kuta is fun and tawdry-if you want to go shopping, go clubbing and hang out on the beach or by the pool, it seems fine. Not exactly an inspiring destination however but may be a nice pit stop before, during or after other travels; or if you are not too adventurous and just want to hang out without breaking the bank.


kenneth coyle
12/29/2003

I made the mistake of not using the Silver Bird counter on arrival at the airport and used another taxi counter instead. This turned out to be more expensive and while the driver spoke excellent English the car was rather tatty. Best to use the Silver Bird desk when exiting the arrivals hall or find the Silver Bird queue outside. Avoid the touts at all costs.


john moyer
12/26/2003

Places we visited: went to the monkeys forest in Ubud. The kids loved it of course, Mom had a good time shopping. We also did a wild water rafting day. Great fun for all. We have a 6 year old who was just fine with it. Snorkeling was not the greatest because the weather was bad. We visited the restaurants outside of the hotel a few nights and had great meals. Went to the Galleria by shuttle from the hotel, it was o.k. but because I have lived in the area I did not think it was the best shopping ever. If you are visiting from abroad, it is the place to go.


wayne chen
12/23/2003

Tour in the morning!! Less people, cooler. I used a private car for Borobudur, and then got to Prambanan by myself. You don''t save much going by yourself but it definitely is more of an adventure. The bus station in the South of town is a pit - very dirty and garbage everywhere. Get out as fast as possible.


erica steenvoorden
12/19/2003

We really love Indonesia and go back every year and try different places every time. We don´t like the very touristy places. Besides Menjangan we stayed this trip in Ahmed (The Santai hotel) which was really quiet as well but with beautiful gardens, lots of birds and flowers and very good Indonesian food even for vegetarians. We started at the Bali Intercontinental, a very nice hotel but there was a group of 400 people there as well, that we found a little too much.<BR> <BR> Besides that we went to the Novotel in Tanjung Benoa. It has beautiful surroundings but the food was not good, very European, hardly no Indonesian at all, and very poor veggie food (the cook had no imagination). Afther a couple of days you want away from there back to Indonesia. Afther that we went to Lombok,a very nice and quiet place to go to if you want to relax, do some sight seeing and some diving or snorkeling. On earlier trips we went to Java and Sulawesi, which are still for us the best islands to visit.


mohamed azman mohamed taufik
12/13/2003
Stayed at:

On my way to Malang, overnite stay in Surabaya was a welcome relief. Went to a hot spot disco called Top situated next to Sogo shopping complex. Fancy stuff going on there, need to be careful on the crowds. Good relaxing and enjoyable vacation.


conrad guenthard
12/12/2003

Nusa Dua beach is not very clean anymore. At low tide you walk 200 m through the mud. It is a bit a rip off destination. Other areas in BALI (Kuta, Ubud) are far cheaper for everything. Especially since the recent problems are most hotels practically empty. Transports, restaurants and shops have sharply increased priced to compensate. Like that the few tourists will also not return anymore. I will definitely go back to Bali, but not to Nusa Dua.


malcolm wong
12/11/2003

Restaurant in Ubud called Mosaic serves excellent food in a alluring garden setting. Must try!


bruce aston
12/7/2003

In Jakarta for business so no sightseeing time. You need to be fairly careful of taxi touts at the airport. I recommend Silver Bird as a reliable taxi company to use. Not especially cheap but reliable and seemed to have good drivers.


sue wilkinson
12/2/2003
Stayed at:

Just around the corner (turn left when you exit the main gates) is Poco loco. Great mexican food with loads of atmosphere. We also went to La Luciola, just beautiful. Taxis are the easiest way to get around and are very reasonably priced. Just make sure you get the Blue taxis as most of the white ones don''t have meters.


curtis hulleman
11/30/2003
Stayed at:

Watch out for exorbitant prices on Jimbaran Bay for seafood. I personally walked from one restaurant to the next until I had two offers that were 1/3 of the prices offered by the initial ones. For instance snapper was available for 80,000 from the first stall and 25,000 from the one I ate at.<BR> <BR> We had a private four piece band play for us on the beach and it was incredibly romantic. It was available for the seafood restaurants toward the far end of the beach from Puri Bambu.


karunia tjuradi
11/30/2003
Stayed at:

Bandung is a small town filled with factory outlets with very good bargains. Be prepared to spend, but with the comforting knowledge that you''re getting good value for money. As for restaurants (in case you need an alternative to Malya''s sole restaurant), "The Valley" is a good place to dine as it is located on a hilltop that has spectacular view of the whole valley where Bandung is situated. However, remember to call and make reservations prior to going: I had to wait more than 30 mins to get a table.


edna m c loh
11/29/2003

Take a trip to Sukawati Market north of Kuta. 45 mins drive. Good for handicrafts, oil paintings, clothes, sarongs and batik. Much cheaper than in Kuta Square.


stephen borron
11/28/2003

It seems to me taxi prices have gone up. Be careful negotiating a fixed price, as the meter may be cheaper!


frank vankleef
11/26/2003

A chauffeur driven minibus will cost you 5 usd per hour. It is a good way a seeing the sights. Although Bali has small roads, very narrow and getting somewhere takes hours.


amul subnis
11/26/2003

The best way to travel is by hiring a motorbike, very easy to maneuvre through the heavy Kuta traffic and also convenient across the small and narrow Bali roads.


jan penninkhof
11/9/2003

This is my first time in Jakarta and I am disapointed. Immigration were slow. When I ask the check in guy that I want an aisle seat as I was very sick, he didn''t bother to assign me a good seat and put me in the middle of 5 seat row. Theer were plenty of empty aisle seat available. There are nothing much to see or do other than shopping. I travel down to Solo and I find that place much more interesting. I would skip Jakarta and probably go to Jogjakarta or Bali. For those who love shopping, I would recommend Blok M mall, Times Square, Plaza Senayan, Plaza Indonesia.


stuart adler
10/30/2003

Highly recommend Hasara Indian restaurant ($$$) next door. Oasis Restaurant ($$$$) on Jln Raden Saleh and Art and Curio Shop restaurant ($) on Jln Cikini 4?, both in Menteng close enough for becak transport. Also Cafe Batavia ($$) if you can manage to get north to Kota through the traffic.


hiroyoshi kano
10/30/2003

Mahkota (formerly named Tiongsan) at Gandek''an that is close to Mlioboro St. would be the best selection for those who want to eat Chinese food with the moderate price.


lau kim ling
10/29/2003
Stayed at:

Ubud must not be missed for those who like arts, paintings and appreciate the architecture. There are also beautiful temples to view eventhough not encouraged to enter. There is a lotus pond with a temple and restaurant near the market area. The temple is beautiful.


lau kim ling
10/26/2003

It is rather easy to get around by yourself in Bali, the taxi drivers are helpful and friendly. This is good as I find that there is not much signboards on the road that shows the direction to the outskirts eg. Ubud & Tegalallang and as such driving on your own would be time consuming. Another factor is I find that the road from the airport to Sanur is poorly lighted at night. A visit to the Lembongan island - Coconut beach resort is breathtaking. The food prices at this restaurant is slightly pricey, but taking a walk of about 100m to bungalow 7 for meals is worth as it is cheap and good. I would recommend the mixed juice which is really tasty and refreshing.


jaime sanchez mayoral
10/7/2003
Stayed at:

Jimbaran is a beach located south of the airport (10 minutes by car). It''s a really nice place to have dinner on the beach and eat fish and seafood in a great atmosphere. It is easy and cheap to travel around south Bali (Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, Sanur,etc) with a taxi (just control the switch the taximeter on). If you want to know a little about the island you should also visit Ubud, Mount Batur and the east beaches of the island (Amed is a quiet nice place perfect for diving). It is easy (and cheap) to rent a car at Kuta or directly at the Puri Bambu and driving around is quite a balinese experience.


jason orange
10/6/2003

I advise all to do the AJ Hacket Bungie Jump in Kuta.


dewa nugraha
10/4/2003

Nusa Dua is more of a quiet location compared to Kuta where all of the bars, restaurants and shops are located. Kuta is about 30 minutes drive from Nusa Dua. Getting around can be done by taxi or rental car. If you are planning to stay more than 2 days, it is best to rent a car.


dian naulita
9/25/2003
Stayed at:

Just be careful if you visit uluwatu temple - the monkeys are very wild and nasty. He grabed my glasses and ran.


john duncan
9/19/2003
Stayed at:

Although there were only a handful of stalls open, enjoyed the antique market. The train to Yogya is quick (a little over an hour), inexpensive (Rp 5,000) and convenient.


kazuhiro takakura
9/18/2003

It would be much better if you have somebody you know in Jakarta. This place is more for working than for leisure. But I am sure you will get a lot of excitement.


julia herrick
9/15/2003

I come to Bali for business so normally don''t have time to go sight seeing. Some good places to eat is Warung Made near Kuta square, most little cafes around are alway great. Unless you have breakfast package with the hotel you stay, it is good to get breakfast outside the hotel which is so much cheaper and good (less selection). For $2 you could get nice egg platter with fruit and toast coffee/tea. Getting around is quite easy by foot or taxi. Just make sure they use the meter.


kenneth green
9/12/2003

Traveled with 2 children (8 and 10). They both loved the Kecak and fire dance at the monkey temple- Pura Luhur Ulu Watu. The Barong dance was another favorite. Check out the kite flyers, I have never seen larger kites! Dinner on the beach in Jimbaran should not be missed. Freshest seafood grilled and served to your beach table.


simon flint
9/8/2003
Stayed at:

We visited Ubud, Gunung Batur, Paddy Fields, Monkey Sanctuary, Legian and Nusa Dua. Recommended restaurants - Ubud Dirty Duck and Indus. Tip for taking long distance taxi agree the price before getting in and whether this is per person. We agreed a rate for Sanur to Ubud only for the driver to stop after a mile and say that this was for one person only. Trip up the Volcano, Gunung Batur. We were led to believe that this can be only done with an official guide. Well worthwhile but cost is Rp300,000 per person. Middle range restaurants are excellent value in Bali as long as you do not expect to drink wine. It costs Rp 100,000 Passenger Service to exit Bali from the airport.


stefan harfich
9/7/2003

Yoyakarta is a highly underrated tourist destination for anyone hungry for Asian culture. World class temples close and the surrounding landscapes with their volcanos and high plateaus give a good scenery. The handicraft factories and shops are well worth a visit and very cheap compared to other Asian areas.


didier lambert
9/5/2003

Places to visit are obviously Borobudur Temple (40km) and Prambanan (17km). It is better to have a guided tour (not vey expansive-compared with the entrance fee- and very interesting). Restaurant : You have to try the newly opened Mlengy: the Chef is the former chef of the Hyatt Regency & the ambiance is very romantic (within 5min you''ll forget the noise of the cars).


joerg malke
8/28/2003
Stayed at:

Not many tourists around at Canggu! We had the wide beach almost for ourselves. Bathing in the sea is only possible if the waves are not too high.


manuel pérez
8/25/2003

Near Grand Balisani Suites you can find some restaurants that we would like to recommend. One is La Luciola (really good italian food well located in Legian Beach and well served. Excellent!). The other is called Hu''u (modern outdoor restaurant, very good international cuisine and well served. Excellent also!).


pei lian ho
8/19/2003

For asians, I reckon Bali isn''t really the place you would go for food. The fare caters mainly to the europeans/americans. Be careful of the whole row of money changers right outside the hotel. The money you changed are actually lesser than what''s calculated.


john c. gettman
8/14/2003

Although it seems travelers are returning to Bali, the Kuta-Legian area is still pretty sad. A lot of empty tables. Ubud, however, seemed much the same as I remember it on my last visit about six years ago. All the restaurants we ate in had excellent food and service. My partner and I stayed in the Ubud Village Hotel. Beautiful room with outside private garden and bath and shower area. Very nice staff.


jason loeks
8/12/2003
Stayed at:

Nice taking the becak''s (rick shaws) around to see the town.


rahmat abdul manaf
8/10/2003
Stayed at:

Sarangan is about 6 hrs drive from Surabaya - outstanding view, cool, friendly villagers and nice waterfalls.


sumeet vohra
8/3/2003

Jakarta is a terrible mess, it is overcrowded, hot and full of cheats. Every cabby will try to cheat you, from the cabbie to the shopkeeper, pretend he does not understand what you''re saying etc. On taxis, avoid the normal blue taxis, opt for the black Silver Bird instead. Even though it is 50% more expensive, at least it is spacious and the aircon works well. Jalan Thamrin is a good place for shopping, eating out etc. though very crowded. Cafe Batavia is highly recommended, though I found it far from civilization, a little shady, very expensive and devoid of crowds on a Saturday evening!


michael hartley
8/1/2003
Stayed at:

Batam is pretty bleak during the day, fruit stalls are cheap but a bit hard to find (except the local ''farmer''s market'' that is almost across the street from the Melia Panorama hotel, but everything is sold out by 8:30 AM - but if you want good fresh fruit, go there about 6 AM and you can get anything, try the durian). Best Western food/ambience/pool bar for expats is Lucy''s Oar House (not misspelled - its motif is supposed to be like a British sailor''s bar. Filled every night with expats (British and Australians working on contract for the oil/gas industry). Excellent Tex-Mex chili, split pea soup, cold beer, nice staff (pretty, young local ladies who do not hassle you like prostitutes, but just serve you beer and food with a smile). The fish and chips are great and servings of everything are almost always too much. Almost the only place I could find real smoked ham (being Islamic, pork is not served in many restaurants except in some Chinese noodle places). On the second floor above Lucy''s is a real get-down bar/club with bar top pole dancers and lap dancers featuring young micro-mini-skirted ladies who will offer many varied and delightful ways to remove any unneeded cash from your wallet. Not my cup of tea, but still it was interesting to go up and ''take a look'' (literally). Taxis, a pain sometimes beacause they are always honking at you, are cheap & generally trustworthy. Just agree with the price before you get in, most are private autos with the owners trolling for extra money. I travelled about 20 kms every day (30 minutes) to work for 50,000 IDR, which only comes out to about US$6 or 3.50 British pounds - very reasonable. Almost any destination within Batam is less than US$2. In my 2 weeks stay, I never had any problems with local people, all were very friendly and open.


misael racines
7/30/2003

Yogyakarta never ceases to amaze me. I have been here so many times, yet every visit is still worth remembering. I never fail to take a stroll along Jalan Malioboro - a haven for cheap traditional crafts, from the colorful batiks to the uniquely designed trinkets, masks to shirts and export overruns. And if that''s not enough, try visiting Pasar Bringhardjo, where there seems to be an endless of anything and everything Indonesian or Javanese. A tour to the many batik houses around the Sultan''s palace is also worth trying - you could even try your skill in batik painting. After a day of bargaining and shopping, have a nice dinner of fried chicken or catfish at the many food stalls that crop up along the road as dusk sets in. If your lucky, you might even be serenaded by some local troubadors. Be ready though for some coins, music does not come free here.


hsien jui ho
7/28/2003

The Bali-style Spa is around 375,000 per person.


malcolm liddell
7/28/2003

Head for Pasaraya Grande Mall for shopping, not too far by Taxi.


misael racines
7/26/2003

Check out the small pubs at Jalan Jaksa near Jalan Thamrin - cozy, cheap and lots of foreigners.


Anonymous
7/13/2003
Stayed at:

I was taken ill, so I didn''t get around much. But there isn''t much to do in Batam except for golf, or if you just wanna hang around and chill. Golden Prawn, the local seafood restaurant, served good food at affordable prices. Unfortunately, it was a little far away from Novotel, the hotel we stayed at.


craig prosser
7/9/2003
Stayed at:

I really enjoyed Bali. I was struck at how friendly everyone I encountered was. Bali has definitely been hit hard by the bombing, and my heart goes out to the Balinese. They are warm, friendly, charming people. They made me feel safe and welcomed. I hired a car and driver for two days, and was able to see the standard sights. As this was my first visit, that was fine. The next time I go back, I would like to spend more time on the western side of the island. If you are going to Bali, be prepared to deal with the street hawkers. They are everywhere, and they are agressive. I even ended up in a small tug of war with a sarong hawker over the loaner sarongs at Pura Ulan Batur. (I was bigger, so I won!) Bali is definitely worth a visit.


Anonymous
7/5/2003

Jakarta is ok. To go around, choose only a Silverbird or bluebird taxi as most of their drivers understand english. Traffic was terrible when we went to Puncak Pass from Bogor. We spent almost the whole day in the bus.


ramasamy rajesree
6/29/2003

Many roadside stalls nearby with cheap and good food. Restaurant across the road "Ayam Goreng" Suharti is a must try.


christopher blunt
6/15/2003
Stayed at:

Nagoya, Batam is adjacent to the nearest ferry port to Singapore and is a popular destination for weekend getaways for Singapore residents. Many foreign workers in the oil industry live here. There''s not much of interest to tourists in Nagoya itself. Most of the resorts are located outside the town.


Anonymous
6/14/2003

I did not have much time to go around, outside of business meetings and meals. When I ask residents about what I can see in Jakarta, most say "not much", which surprised me. The hotels had very good restaurants and I would recommend highly the ox-tail soup in Hotel Borobodur. I was able to visit the Wayang (International Puppet) Museum and watched a brief impromptu puppet show, in English. I found this very interesting and worth the time.


jit lim
6/4/2003

I had not the oppurtunity to delve into Surabaya City itself as the city was only my entry and exit point for my trek and ascent of Mt. SEMERU. IF one enjoys trekking, the "Indonesian style" is quite incomparable. My wife and I had two porters, a cook and a guide. They collectively blessed us with : superb "mountain and trekking " cuisine cooked over open log fire; with cheerfulness and devotion to our safety, comfort and enjoyment that made our trip memorable. WE are surprised that there is precious little information generally available on the SEmeru Trek and climb.


cherdpan warasathit
5/30/2003

It''s not so far from airport (around 45 minutes).


yoon fatt chin
5/29/2003

Pretty convenient as there is a good shopping mall nearby.


anselm richter
5/22/2003
Stayed at:

Surabaya is a noisy city with no major sightseeing points. It''s just for an overnight stay if you to to Mt Bromo National Park, Malang etc. Mt Bromo is a really fantasctic experience, one of my best trips to Indonesia. Malang is fine with a nice climate and beautiful surroudings. I organized all myself, i.e. local train, bus etc.


rohan sikri
5/22/2003

Mine was a 2 day business trip, so not much sightseeing was done. Reasonably good nightlife though.


michele casarico
5/19/2003

Don''t like Jakarta, too much pollution, noisy, traffic is crazy, everything seems not to work as it should... So, don''t go there for holidays!! ;-)


rennie lee
5/13/2003

Travelled around by friend''s car.


sherwin tay
5/12/2003
Stayed at:

I did not really travel around as I was mainly on a business trip. But my experience was good as I find good and clean resturants.


roy tomlinson
5/11/2003

Off the hook! Great city.


ly nicolas
5/8/2003
Stayed at:

Lombok is a peaceful island, good place to relax and to enjoy beach.


karl scheuch
5/4/2003

Bali is an enchanting place, although getting from one place on the island to another can take a long time. The beaches are wonderful, the people are friendly, the golf is great, the temples are fascinating.


wolfgang wegenast
5/3/2003

Jakarta is scary sometimes, so much poverty....if you go for taxis, only choose BLUEBIRD as they can be trusted and always use meter. It''s not advisable to walk around alone at night in JKT....


thierry prudhomme
5/3/2003
Stayed at:

Recommend Matahari island.


guy peters
4/27/2003
Stayed at:

Staying on Jl Hayam Wuruk puts you in the heart of Chinatown. While not a destination for walking much, you are well located from a business point of view if your business is in the Northern part of Jakarta. Its important to check carefully as Jakarta is one big traffic jam during the day.


jaroslava stansfield
4/24/2003

From our previous visits to Bali we have a regular driver whom we use. We visited furniture shops (Tarita is outstanding), and also a lovely ceramic factory/shop in Jimbaran. We also made a trip to Ubud which we always enjoy and up to Mount Batur to see the volcano and the lake which is spectacular. We had short trips to Nusa Dua and Kuta but have always found Sanur area suits us best. Aside from the restaurants in the hotel we found a couple of small ones on the road outside the the hotel which served good food and had great ambience. All our Bali trips have left us feeling that we had a truly great and relaxing break. How anyone cannot like Bali beats us.


ian mcleod
4/18/2003

There are many excellent restuarants in Jakarta but you have to look hard to find them. Best to use up to date magazines (some available in hotel) to find good places.


terry prechel
3/29/2003

The restaurant was good.


phillip crane
3/25/2003

Excellent hotel for business traveller. No need to go anywhere else.


michio nishinarita
3/24/2003

Surabaya is a convenient city with several big malls and good restaurants. Taxies are cheap. By the way, I had a trouble crossing the street.


dinghin michel
3/24/2003
Stayed at:

If you can bring your golf equipment there do it!


yasuko kawabata
3/22/2003

Borobudur, very good! You can arrange transportation to the place and just request experienced (official) guide there. (USD5) Better to go early morning.


ronnie low
3/16/2003

A very polluted city.


asiah mohd shariff
3/15/2003

Pls visit the Nusa Dua beaches. Simply unspoilt and not crowded. It is a swimmer''s haven.


james teh
3/13/2003

There are lots of nice local foods around, from light to heavy meal, however, you must ask your friend to help as the location is not around the hotel vicinity. Places like Kelapa Gading area, Mangga dua are one of the places where you can find both good shopping deal and nice food. <BR><BR> Jakarta is not an easy place to walk around like in Bangkok, so buy a map before you travel and know where you want to go if you are travelling on free and easy, unless you have friends. As for transportation, always use blue bird taxi as it is safer for foreigners. Always check if the meter is on. Please prepare small notes for taxi as they don''t give you small change like in Singapore. <BR><BR> The Spas is good and cheap, much cheaper than in Singapore, it is a good try.


oliver mertens
3/9/2003

Manga Dua Area and special Dusit Hotel have direct connection to shoping mall.


simon lee
3/8/2003
Stayed at:

Good taxi service available round the clock. Just a short distance from the hotel to the city.


simon lee
3/5/2003

Taxis are readily available to bring you around at any time of the day.


hirotoshi sano
2/28/2003

Traffic jam in Jakarta is getting worse, so I would recommend to have a certain allowance of time for appointment or any other moving especially in the morning/evening rush hours.


joachim affeldt
2/20/2003

Travellers are advised to carefully choose their means of transport in Jakarta nowadays.


randy schafer
2/10/2003

Jakarta is a difficult city to get around in. The best option is to get a Silverbird taxi from the hotel and have him standby while to are shopping, eating, or in meetings. This practise is costlier than it use to be but is still the best way to get things done in the city. Plan your travels to avoid heading the same direction as rush-hour traffic. <BR><BR> The best restaurants include Stix, Riva, Hazarra, Porta Venicia, Batavia Cafe, and Paprika. All very good. There are also now a few Starbucks in the city. Batavia Cafe is also a great place to visit from a historical perspective.


kenji haramiishi
2/9/2003

Security situations seem to be improving. Major international hotels, such as Holday Inns, Grand Hyatt, etc. provide good restaurants as well as entertainments.


ria de plus
2/7/2003

We also stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort in Senggigi and would recommend that hotel as well: lovely garden, nice pool, excellent food, free tennis court, convenient apartments for larger families. <BR><BR> We visited the Sasak Village not far from Novotel Coralia: not to be missed!


vivien oh pei sze
2/4/2003
Stayed at:

Restaurants good.


ian mcleod
1/30/2003

Visitors to Jakarta love it or hate it. Bad traffic pollution and slow to move around but friendly people more than compensate. I''ve been going several times a year, most recently Jan 03 and I''ve never experienced any problems of any kind.


makiko okamoto
1/29/2003

My main destination was the Borobudor. The travel agent in the hotel do not offer group tour, but personal tour only, which costs you about US$50 per person (to Borobudor and Prambanann). (over $60 if you are alone.) If you want to save a bit, you could just ask for the car and a driver, that cost about $30 to $40. <BR><BR> If you want to save more by taking a group tour, try an agent in Ibis Mariobolo Hotel. The tour I took cost less than $10 though you have to pay for your lunch and entry to the ruins. ($7 each and less than $2 for lunch at a local restaurant.) Even it was called as a group tour, it was only me and a couple and a baby from Sumatra. <BR><BR> In Jogjakarta, there are a lot of batik stores that are overpriced. (though I do not know how much was the RIGHT price, and the people in general was very friendly to me and tended to give me better price because I am Asian...). If you want to see art batiks (not for clothes but for decoration) at a reasonable price, there is "goverment art center." I was told about the place from a guide at the king''s palace(''Kraton''). (There you have to be guided at first to take a look.) He also instructed the Becha (bicycle taxi) driver to take me there at a very reasonable rate (that you would never get when you ask one on street). I think the price was reasonable there, they only show you the final price on the list. (or at least I was just comfortable with the endorsement of the government...?) <BR><BR> If you need to bargain, you''d never know the right price and you tend to pay much higher than appropriate range unless you know the market very well or you are exceptionally good at bargaining, so... <BR><BR> Then one of the staff there took me to my next destination, a museum. (He actually wanted to take me to his gran''ma''s batik store after the museum, that I declined...) <BR><BR> May be because of the drastic reduction in tourists, people selling things/service in Jogjakarta as well as Bali were TOO eager to sell you, that made me very tired. But people in general was pretty kind and nice!


simon stevens
1/25/2003

Recommend Twilite restaurant in Kemang and BATS bar and the Shangri La for a good evening''s entertainment.


frederic thomas
1/25/2003

My trip was a business trip so I visited no place, didn''t have any tour. I recommend "Pulau Dua" as a nice place for dinner, even though it''s located close to one of the main roads...


david arbuckle
1/24/2003

Actually, Jakarta seems like a desperate place right now. It is hard not to see the desperation in people''s eyes. Country is beautiful, but capital looks a little scary.


eunice nah
1/16/2003

Always travel by meter when in a taxi. Go by Blue or Silver bird ONLY. Even so, make sure your driver knows the way or better still buy a map before you enter the country. Good Jakarta maps are hard to come by, even at the malls. Bookshops are a rarity for English books. It''s best to know your way around by being orientated on the map via landmarks. Asking around may not help ''cos even the hotel staff may not always understand what you are saying in English. <BR><BR> Learn a few essential Bahasa Indonesia words for convenience/survival. Stay away from city central if you are Chinese-looking or caucasian ''cos at any time, an uprising with people brought in from other islands can occur. <BR><BR> Senayan is more or less, a safe place away from the crowds. Walking to Plaza Senayan after dark is ok. Just don''t go beyond the area on foot. Try to dress down - don''t show off and don''t show too much skin. I was followed on my return walk from expensive Pasar Ria and Blok M (half hour''s walk away) so you need to watch your back and keep in crowded and bright areas. If followed, make a u-turn, then follow the person following you. That shook my follower off.


david rinaldo
1/15/2003

An interesting city. Had a delicious meal at a Japanese restaurant called Ambia (?).


olivier dervout
1/12/2003
Stayed at:

Great island but very expensive.


gerald holt
1/3/2003
Stayed at:

Indonesia is going through difficult times at the moment with the almost complete disappearance of Western travellers, and one does not always feel comfortable in certain areas of the city: people do not smile very much in public in Java (unlike Bali) and one tends to wonder if one is welcome. <BR><BR> Just around the corner from the hotel is one of the main streets of Chinatown with several excellent restaurants. Ordering can be somewhat comical because most of the menus are in Indonesian only, but there are photographs of the dishes, and the staff speak at least 15 words of English, including "beef," "fish," "vegetable," which can be useful when in doubt.


shunsuke ideta
1/2/2003

There is an Indonesian restaurant on the next shopping mall B1F. It''s very delicious and serve very quickly.


mitsuru minegishi
1/1/2003
Stayed at:

Good weather condition to stay.


ian angell
12/31/2002
Stayed at:

Took a day trip with a tour guide, nice fellow. Vendors unreasonable and irritating.


tejune chung
12/29/2002
Stayed at:

It is located little off the city center, need to use taxi for shopping and enjoying entertainment.


bruce pohlmann
12/29/2002

Lombok was fairly empty of tourists. It''s sad to see how the region has changed since October. It''s safe, but no one is there.


hideaki fujiwara
12/28/2002
Stayed at:

If you want to have Japanese food, I recommend ''Kurino-ya'' in the Harmony hotel.


klaus dieter wiegand
12/28/2002

You can easily reach the famous Borobudur site even on public buses. Javanese people are very friendly. At Borobudur try to get Ms Aisha as a guide, she can tell a lot of interesting facts and stories in reasonable good English. She usually waits for customers at the ticket office.


anouk ilangakoon
12/27/2002

Yogyakarta is a wonderful place to visit. It is in close proximity to the world heritage sites of Borabudur and Prambanan which you can visit conveniently either on your own using local transport or by arranging tours with local tour groups located in close proximity to hotel Natour Garuda. <BR><BR> We also visited Mt. Merapi an active volcano just 25 km away from Yogya. In Yogyakarta itself the Kraton is interesting and local transport includes Andongs (horse cart) and Becacks (bicycle rikshaws) which are cheap and great fun. Shopping along Jalan Malioboro and eating Indonesian food at night from street cafes is also good fun.


sally mount
12/26/2002

Yogya is a fantastic place especialy for those that what to experience something different from Bali. There are many tours laid on to Borobudur etc. a very good restaurant and definitely worth a visit is ''Gadja Wong'' on Jalan Gadjya. <BR><BR> Taxi''s have improved a great deal, all of them use meters, so its a cheap and comfortable way to get around. learn just a little bit of the local language and you''ll have a great time.


etienne cazin
12/20/2002

I was in Jakarta 4 bays for business purpose, so could neither visit nor entertain a lot. I would recommend the beautiful national museum and the astonishing handicrafts available at Sarinah Plaza (3rd Floor), Thamrin Road.


daryl liew
12/16/2002

Went up to Puncup with friends. An excellent place to get away from the polluted city air. Cool climate and great scenary. Lots of good photo opportunities. One thing to note is that most money changers do not accept old US-dollar notes. Only the newer post-1999 notes are accepted.


michel dinghin
12/9/2002

Little bit far from center but taxis very cheap.


shagen ganason
12/8/2002
Stayed at:

Beautifully located in a valley high up in the mountains. As a foreigner, I felt a lot safer in Bukit Tinggi than I had felt in other parts of Indoensia. The people are warm, friendly and welcoming. This part of Indoensia is totally Muslim dominated but apart from the odd road blocks asking for donations for Mosque building funds, it is a plesant place to visit. Cost of living is extremely cheap compared to other East Coast cities. You could stretch your dollar farther than you thought possible. However, bargain is the rule of the game. If you are travelling from Pekanbaru, whcih is what we did, beware - the route is a killer. The 6 - 8 hours of winding road is a sure test of your driving skills but the scenery which is breathtaking at times, sure compensates for any negative aspects of the journey.


matthew briggs
11/28/2002

Jakarta has turned into a traffic nightmare since the last time I visited 6 years ago. Getting around the city sucks, especially in rush "hour" which seems to last all day and most of the night also! Can''t recommend any restaurants as all I visited were quite bad.


charlotte mathis
11/6/2002
Stayed at:

Bali was a very enchanting and mystical place. The people were very warm and friendly and greeted us as if we were friends. They made us feel safe and welcomed. <BR><BR> During our stay, we took a one day trip to see other parts of the island. We visited Ubud were there were many arts and crafts shops. We also saw beautiful rice terraced rice fields and the Baturlake and volcano. Prior to visiting Ubud, we also experienced a Balinese Barong Dance. It was very exciting. <BR><BR> While in Ubud, we had lunch at a restaurant by the name of Indus. It is located on a hill with breathtaking views of a terraced rice field. It offered a reasonably price menu with a variety of American and Balinese dishes. There were also many nice restaurants in Kuta. The one that we frequented the most was Made Warung, which was recommended by the hotel staff. The menu offered a variety of good reasonbaly priced food and beverages served in large proportions. One of their specialties is prawns with sweet and sour sauce. The service was also very good. <BR><BR> There are also many furniture and handicraft shops within walking distance of the Puri Bambu hotel. Many are located along Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai. All offered reasonably priced teak furniture and local Balineses handicrafts, however, I would recommend Antique Asia, and Kembar Garden Furniture.


tan cheow hock
11/3/2002

Did own travelling and itinerary. Visited Taman Safari in Jakarta a different experience. Did shopping in Manggua Dua vicinity, very crowded, need good bargaining skills, quality of products reasonable.


shinichi ohyama
10/31/2002

There is a big shopping building nearby. SOGO and Senayan Plaze are very nice for me. An area is not a center downtown.


barry barnett
10/26/2002
Stayed at:

Hawkers are the main problem with Sengiggi - on the beach and down the main street. They are not aggressive or unduly persistent, unlike e.g. some African countries, but as soon as one goes another appears!! <BR><BR> Good choice and variety of restaurants in Sengiggi - ludicrously cheap in many, with drinks often costing more than food!! The absence of the 21% GST tax, which luxury hotels charge, make this a good option. <BR><BR> The place was very quiet when we were there, but this was just after Bali. Lombok is very undeveloped - almost "primitive" - certainly outside of Sengiggi. Well worth hiring a jeep or car for 3/5 days to see the island. Car hire is cheap, but rental agreements seem rather vague on insurance etc!! Roads are pretty good and traffic light, other than around Mataram. The drive up North from Sengiggi is spectacular. We were not impressed with Kuta in the south. <BR><BR> People are very friendly - crime doesn''t seem to be a problem. A great place to relax.


guido bakema
10/22/2002

In Jakarta I liked especially walking around and eating some food in a small warung in Sunda Kalapa. In my opinion the most beautiful spot in Jakarta is the small wooden foot bridge between the two parts of Sunda Kalapa kampung near the Luar Batang Mosque, with a very beautiful view over the old harbour.


chris johnson
10/17/2002

Hotel well located for Jalan Maliboro and near the railway station.


marilyn kielniarz
10/17/2002

Excellent location. Many eating options, excellent shopping, and situated on main streets. Expect taxi ride from airport to take a minimum of 40 minutes, depending on traffic and time of day. Allow up to 2 hours for transport back to airport (depending on time of day/traffic).


ramlah md johar
10/13/2002

Close proximity to spas, Sarinah dept store (to do your batik shopping), nice eating places like Hazara, Viet Phoa, Paprika.


paul gardner
10/11/2002

UBUD is in the rain forest and you get bitten to pieces. It''s a charming town with plenty to see. Eating out in UBUD is very, very cheap as long as you stay away from wine. Definitely worth the visit. The Balinese people are one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.


paul trezza
10/9/2002

Bali has lots of activities and lots of shopping for typical Southeast Asian souveniers. Prices are not to be believed and many try to get as much as they can - need to do some research before buying something - many stores with the same exact stuff. Travelling around the island is slow and tedious - roads are overcrowded and poorly marked. Driving is a bit tense, but does afford more freedom to come and go as you wish.


li, gregory
10/8/2002

I thought the hotels in this area were generally of higher quality compared to Kuta, Legian and Senur. The beaches in Kuta were filled with people and traffic. It''s hard to enjoy the beach and the sunset when you have to constantly say no to all the peddlers selling trinkets and souvenirs. Moreover, many of the shops and stalls in Kuta sell the same items. In comparison, the beaches at and near this hotel was white, fine and very clean with fewer people. This area is much more exclusive and nicer than Kuta. I would recommend this area over Kuta.


karen scoble
10/6/2002
Stayed at:

Bali has something for everyone, a lot of people don''t go past the shopping in Kuta but there is so much to see around the island. We hired a car in Padangbai and toured the north east coast. Spectacular views of Gunung Agung, great snorkelling and diving around Amed and Tulamben and the pools of a water palace amidst beautiful rice terraces at Tirta Ganga.


paul gardner
10/6/2002

Nusa Dua is really a hotel complex with little other attractions. Great if you want to relax and do nothing. Otherwise you need to go inland.


elena ozouf
10/6/2002

Sanur is just perfect for a peaceful holiday. It has everthing that Kuta has to offer, but at a much slower and relaxed place. Lots of good places to eat, including The Bonsai Cafe on the beach front and Swasitikas Resturant.


li, gregory
10/5/2002

For any group of 4 or more, the most cost-effective way of travelling and sightseeing would be to rent an automobile with a driver speaking whatever language you understand for the entire day. It is more enjoyable than joining a group of strangers on a fixed schedule which most likely will cost considerably more and visit fewer sites. Our driver also worked as a tour guide for many years. <BR><BR> In essence, we had our own private English speaking tour on our own schedule for the whole day. We paid US $40 for a air-conditioned van for 10 hours carrying 5 people from Kuta to Ubud with many stops in between. That''s $8 per person for a whole day compared to $20+ offered by many agencies for a half-day tours.


marlene jurman
10/4/2002

Bali is beauiful and unique. Rafting on the Ayung river was fun with Sobek. Bud is the place to do almost all your shopping - lots of selection and good prices.


a.c. van offenbeek
10/4/2002

Only pro was the central location. Chili''s restaurant was good. We travelled with meter taxi.


karriem hassan
10/1/2002

The location of the Atlet Century is very convenient to important location, to malls, restaurants and taxi services to historical sites.


jenny wong
10/1/2002

Very centrally located. Next to the shopping mall (and grocery store). About a 5 minute walk from the kraton (sultan''s palace). We paid 353,000 Rp (about $65 canadian) for a tour to Borobudur and Dieng Plateau. A bit pricy, but well worth the driver, guide and air conditioned van. McDonald''s is right next to the hotel. The hotel restaurant is pretty good too.


alister benn
9/30/2002

Jakarta is busy, but taxi''s generally honest. I spent the whole of my stay with a terrible migraine headache, and had to call on the services of the hotel doctor and nurse, so unfortunately didn''t get out much this time!!! They were very nice and efficient though.


makiko sato
9/30/2002

Not a tourist resort but the car of Jakarta is unsuitable for walking mostly.


john harris
9/29/2002

Two main shopping malls Plaza Indonesia and Plaza Senayan are close by. Good for both shopping and eating, and given cost of taxi probably best to take a car there and back.


oliver mertens
9/29/2002

Perfect for shopping. All the malls are starting direct at the Hotel.


mr aymeric guillemot-decreps
9/29/2002

Good restaurant in Kuta ''the Kory'' (poppeys 2).


ingibjorg thordardottir
9/26/2002

The hotel is very well located within the city and staff are quick to arrange what ever transportation you like. It''s close to Borobudur and Prambanan. Both amazing temples. In the city itself the water palace and the sultan''s palace are the most interesting places. Shopping in Yogya is not great...


marga gooren
9/23/2002

Gadja Wong restaurant close to the river is very good!


hazlin noor hamid
9/22/2002
Stayed at:

Better take a taxi with meter or rent a Kijang with driver as they should know places that suit your taste.Recommended, ASAHI RENT A CAR.Tel:(031)5661463.Cheap and good.Food taste too sweet in the restaurant or the street hawker.Club,lounge,bar BEWARE! You are nobody but if order per bottle of liquor, you are somebody.But the bottle will walk or vapourise by itself.


Anonymous
9/21/2002

- Used company transport - Hu-U is a new restaurant in Legian which is very good


rocky de batselier
9/20/2002
Stayed at:

Lombok is a very quiet and lovely island. Very good to escape from all busy life. You can go out and dinner on the mainstreet for very few money


hilary thorndike
9/19/2002

Yogya is a great place: big town atmosphere without the pollution and overcrowding of Jakarta.


helen golland
9/17/2002
Stayed at:

Not far from central Kuta - easy to walk instead of getting bus. Near to beach and restaurants. Recommend JPs restaurant, and Aromas cafe in Kuta.


junko homma
9/12/2002
Stayed at:

Famous Jimbalan cafes (sea food restaerants on the beach) are worth visit. Lobsters are excellent.


russell mark vine
9/12/2002

Nusa dua is a quieter place. If you are looking for a romantic place, this is better place to stay specially for honeymooners. There a package tour at the hotel for places you wanted to go. You can choose for half day or whole day tour. We went to ubud and saw how they make paintings, gold and silver, wood sculpture and sarongs, be sure you have money with you, you can''t resist buying anything. I rather buy wood sculpting and painting in ubud cause its original and well made. quite pricy but you can always bargain. if you want cheaper but poor qulaity you can always go to any street market.


vishwanath narayan
9/7/2002
Stayed at:

I recommend Padmanadhi Restaurant in Jakarta which is excellent for those looking for Chinese Vegetarian food.


allan kau ee tee
9/6/2002

Location is not too bad, a short distance from the highway.


marco soncini
9/3/2002

Tranquil destination .very good the temple of Tanah Lot, the village of Ubud and his temple. very good in jimbaran the fish restaurant on the beach Caffè Santi.


alaister mcdougall
8/30/2002
Stayed at:

Travelled mainly by taxi - very economical - but ensure that the meter is running to avoid arguments over fare when arriving at destination.


r. bruce aston
8/28/2002

Plenty of taxis and not a crowded city. Some intersting old buildings.


bettina reisinger
8/26/2002

We were travelling with a small child & had to cater for her needs. Therefore we choose to see the birdpark which was surprisingly fantastic. To explore the beautiful countryside of the inner Bali island we recommend to stay there (Ubud) for a few nights rather than taking a full day trip from the beach. The restaurants along Benoa Beach seem to be good, we enjoyed the seafood & Balinese food at El Mare near Novotel. Fresh seafood at Jimbaran Bay is very romantic, because served right at the beach in simple style, but the preparation is rather simple, too.<br><br> It''s easy to get around in a taxi or limo, especially if you plan to go to very specific destinations. The price is agreed up-front & the driver waits while you have dinner or visit the sights etc. We strongly recommend to refrain from so-called "Sunset Dinner Cruises" - they are a complete rip-off & a waste of time.


ayumu kanai
8/23/2002
Stayed at:

The night we arrived in Bali and the next night we stayed at WANA VILLAS & BEACH RESORT, Desa Canggu. The hotel is distant from the airport but the beach near the hotel relaxed us because of few people there. The food served at the hotel was very good except breakfast.


patricia soto
8/23/2002
Stayed at:

Did not like a tour of the city. It was expensive and I could have done it on my own using taxis as transportation.


enrico migliaccio
8/20/2002

Yogyakarta is amazing and definitely worth a trip for anyone that is travelling in Indonesia. The two main attractions are the Borobudur temple and the Prambanan temple. These two temples are definitely worth the trip!


orian mcgann
8/19/2002

Nusa Dua is an ideal location if you want just more than a hotel. It has a large shopping area which is serviced by buses from all the major hotels in the area. As well as having a wide range of shops it also has many restaurants if you wish to sample eating outside the hotel environment.


sarah collins
8/19/2002

Mount Rinjani climb was good fun. The north East of the Island the roads are very steep and very scary on a motor bike. Best meal I had was at the Intan Lombok Village ( I tried several nearby restaraunts which were cheaper but not nearly as good).


vinka ternaja
8/18/2002
Stayed at:

the garden is as good as i expect, but the facilities like swiming pool is so rare and small, and i didn''t find a cozy place to listen the music at mahoni bar. Menu at Meranti and Verandah is general ( if you take your the children prepare food or snack for them )


daniel bolland
8/18/2002

Easy to hire a man and a van for trips to Mas/ Gianyar etc . Hotel can arrange this for you . Hotel can also arrange airport pick up.


andrew chan
8/17/2002
Stayed at:

Apart from Candi Cetha (aka Ceto), Candi Sukuh, the kratons and usual tourist sights, go to the main Batik Danar Hadi store at Jln Slamet Riyadi 261 for a fabulous selection of batik; a guided tour of the gallery of antique batiks and workshop is worth the Rp15,000/person fee.


mario bondioli osio
8/17/2002

Lombok is very nice.


ron barfield
8/14/2002
Stayed at:

To me Bali is highly over rated. It is mainly a stop over while traveling to or returning from my ultimate destination.


enrico migliaccio
8/13/2002

Since the hotel is in Nusa Dua it luckily is away from all the hectic loud tourism and badgering of some of the other tourist centres like Kuta or Legian. The hotel offers excellent tours at reasonable prices which allows you to explore the island. Relatively close by is the Ulu Watu temple at the most Southern tip of the island which has some magnificent beaches nearby. Ubud, the cultural centre of the island is about a 50min drive from the hotel. This part of the island is much more tropical during the dry season than the southern part of the island. It is a very beautiful and mystical place (old temples) and should not be missed!


ronald weeda
8/12/2002
Stayed at:

With Blue Bird taxi in a coppel of minits we were in all places in Surabaya we wanted to visit.


yusri handaya joe
8/11/2002
Stayed at:

The traffic is very crowded, and the security is still not so well.


thorsten meyer
8/11/2002
Stayed at:

fortunately far from all the tourist centres!


peter t. ng
8/11/2002

I went to the Borobudur and Mendut Temples, as well as the Parangtritis Beach. Had a chance to ride the andong at Malioboro and also the bendi at the Beach, the rides were great!


yoshiko matsumoto
8/10/2002

- There are many insects, especially the mosquito. So it is good to take an insect avoids spray.<br> - It is better to walk round, if you would like to buy a souvenir. Because the price is much different by the place.


barry smart
8/9/2002

Elephant safari ride was well worth the money. water park also good fun.


donald wilson
8/7/2002

We enjoy Bali but have avoided Kuta before. However the hotel insulated us from the hastle of Kuta while still providing excellent access to the beach and shopping.


claire webber
8/5/2002
Stayed at:

Surabaya is not a place to go unless you have to, being a fairly large, grey and polluted city. However, it is significantly better than Jakarta and women receive slightly less hassle here. If you have a free afternoon, the zoo is substantially better than some in Indonesia and has a good array of animals.


thomas cormier
8/5/2002
Stayed at:

Bali is one of the most sublime holiday destinations you will find. There is something for everyone here. It is Conde Nast meets backpacker heaven. Amazing restaurants, great weather and extremely cool shopping choices.


nurani nimpuno
8/4/2002

Be careful with what taxi you take at the airport. I would recommend a silver-wing (or blue-wing) taxi. If you take a private one you run the risk of getting ripped off...


john enoch
8/3/2002

JKT is always a good fun place and well worth the time and money.


gary mcveigh
8/1/2002

As we were on a stopover and had little time, it was difficult to see much of the place. All organised tours seem to end with a a sunset visit to a temple which we could not do as our flight was due to leave in the late afternoon. We organised our own tour through an agent in the Hard Rock Hotel and managed to see some of the island and temples before we left. Overall the island was not the tropical paradise expected but intetresting all the same.


scot rutherford
7/30/2002

Dieng plateau is a must. The city itself has very nice character, although many locals are agressive when it comes to transportation. Watch taxi prices. Be careful of handicrafts on Malioboro. Look deeper and go to the places where they are made. Prambanan temple is magnificent, on par with Angkor Wat but with less tourists. The BEST restaurant in Yogyakarta is easily "Gadja Wong"


scott buell
7/29/2002

If you have the time, I would recommend spending most of your time on the beach and a few days in the northern countryside. They are equally beautiful and although Bali is a small island, it''s very slow to get around. We did a bicycle tour through Sobek tours, and it was fantastic. We started at the top of a mountain overlooking a volcano and lake Batur and rode downhill through small rice farms and villages. It really gave you a feel for what Bali is. We hired a car and driver for three days which was economical(US$30/day) and practical - we didn''t feel as though we could handle the driving through the cities.


cesar fernandez
7/29/2002
Stayed at:

Very interesting destination because there are many cultural events (do not miss the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan !), incredible monuments (Borobudur, Prambanan), lots of art galleries and shops where you can find some very good batiks.


fah serena
7/28/2002

We hired the driver who brought us from the airport to the hotel thru'' a pre-arranged airport transfer. It is cheaper to hire the driver thru'' private negotiations than thru'' the hotel. For the entire day-tour in his car for 2 adults, ie. 9am to 7pm, we paid 300,00 rupiah. He brought us to Celuk (silver producing village), Mas (wood carving/carpentary village) and Ubud ( craftsmen village). We had lunch at a restaurant in Kintamani which was perched on a mountain top overlooking the volcanoes- it was really awesome and the air was nice and cool! The driver also brought us to Amandari Hotel in Ubud for tea. Sitting high above overlooking the paddyfields was really something else!! Subsequent trips to Kuta and Jimbaran Bay (for dinner at the beach which was an experience in itself!) were also arranged thru'' the same driver. Really convenient.


alissa scalera
7/28/2002

It is very close to the Balau village which has some very quaint and inexpensive restaurants for dinner (which are also very good). I highly recommmend hiring a private bemo and venturing to see the rest of the island to get a true taste of Bali.


john hassler
7/28/2002
Stayed at:

Jakarta has few tourist attractions. However, if you are here for one or two days, you may want to visit the National Museum and Sunda Kelapa.


mark joing
7/27/2002
Stayed at:

Be sure to ask for the "cheap" menu when going to the seaside restaurants at Jimbaran Bay; they have a separate menu for those guests for whom they provide "free" transportation to and from the restaurant, which lists higher prices. Bargaining is also accepted at the above restaurants.<br><br> Bemos are difficult for tourists to negotiate for a fair price; furthermore, often multiple bemo transfers are required to get to certain destinations (i.e., to Ubud from Kuta) and the fare goes up along the way for each segment for unsuspecting tourists. An alternative is to hire a taxi (metered) or to hire a car for those who have international driver licenses and nerves of steel. Tourist shuttle buses are another option, but are generally more expensive on the return portion of the trip. <br><br> Overall, Bali had a lot of natural beauty to offer. Unfortunately, the atmosphere was somewhat ruined by the blatant attempts to exploit tourists for their money, as well as by the aggressive, rude, never-ending touts lining the streets.


ewald moeschinger
7/27/2002

For good sea food I can recommend Nelayan sea food restaurant. Good value for monney.


niladri mukherjee
7/26/2002
Stayed at:

Jimbaran is a good place for having a nice seafood dinner but there are better locations for swimming.


kieran mccarry
7/25/2002
Stayed at:

We went to Jimbaru Beach for sea food dinner and it was lovely. The tables are set on the beach and you can have your dinner under the stars facing the crashing waves. A dinner for two with drinks cost only Rp200,000. Another good restaurant is Lenny''s -- the grilled fish is one of the best I have ever tasted.


elaine goddard-tame
7/23/2002

Great hotel for a few nights, especially if you have a car. Eating out if very inexpensive. Not a location to go to if you are looking for a lot of night life.


hao-lun hsieh
7/23/2002
Stayed at:

You can by their suttle bus in front of Hard Rock.(9:30am.11:30am and afternoon--I forgot what time.)


hiroko kato
7/22/2002

So far from airport 90min., you must to book a car. no way by the taxi, expensive.


bob niedzwiecki
7/21/2002
Stayed at:

Batam is the worst tourist trap I''ve seen!


john bynner
7/20/2002
Stayed at:

Sanur is a perfect place for a totally relaxing Bali holiday. Laid back life style lots of things to see and do and relatively little hawking and hustling by the standards of some other places. By comparison, Katu, the resort nearest the airport and very popular with surfers and young people generally, is the complete opposite: an appalling place, polluted, traffic-congested and overcrowded - to be avoided at all costs.


dr. stefan kammhuber
7/19/2002

I have been for the second time in Jogyakarta and I love this town and its famous Borobodur and Prambanan temples! Just be aware of smart-selling Batik-tenders in Jogya. They know all about sales psychology...


claire wastiaux
7/18/2002

Restaurants around the hotel are not so good. Taxi service at the hotel is very expensive, it is better to take local taxis in the street. We didn''t take any tour because we know Bali since 1é years, and we just wanted to relax. Unfortunately this hotel was not the best option, so we changed.


paddy ryan
7/17/2002
Stayed at:

Bali, despite being the most "touristy" place I have ever visited, still has many redeeming features. The "in-your-face" constant demand for money gets wearing after a while but I retained the impression that this was a means to an end ... maintaining a culture.<br><br> Bali seems to have managed to embrace rampant capitalism but retain its culture and the charm of its people. But this opinion was based on only three days in Bali and I still have much to learn. Would I go back to Bali? Certainly, in a month would be perfect.


stephen butlin
7/17/2002

The aim was relax around the pool and in the hotel so I did not visit the area much. It was a stop pver from Malang and Bromo.


keith bland
7/15/2002

As touristy as it is, I still love Bali. I really enjoyed our stay in Ubud at the Tegal Sari, and the Kokokan restaurant attached to the ARMA museum was my favorite restaurant. The Jazz Cafe in Ubud is great also. Another nice day is to take in the sunset Kecak dance at Ulu Watu, and then have dinner on the beach at Jimbaran Bay.


bee bee tay
7/14/2002

My all-time favourite is the seafood stalls at Jimbaran Bay (near Four Season''s Hotel). Live seafood (yes, still swimming in tanks) at one-third or half the prices you pay for fresh (or more likely frozen and thawed) seafood at restaurants around town. Only bane is the controlled taxis for return to town at a price that is hardly bargainable (but still a steal for the whole experience).


leslie kenny
7/14/2002

We did go to the nearby Aman resort one night for drinks and dinner, but were so uninspired by the menu of the main restaurant, we just turned back and ate at the Bale. "Faces", the Bale''s inhouse restaurant, is excellent -- every meal starts with a complimentary amuse bouche and offers palette cleansers of homemade fruit sorbet. The food was always very fresh (and I am an organic muesli type from California so hard to please!) and cooked perfectly. The menu changes every other day or so and we honestly never wanted to eat elsewhere. <br><br>Unlike our stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ubud and at Jimbaran Bay where we always thought the food was good, but left feeling that we have been "a little ripped off", we always felt Faces was excellent value (but ok, it''s not Ary''s Warung where you can leave dinner and only spend US$3). An all out splurge meal with wine, fabulous souffles, fresh fish, starters, etc, will cost around US$45-50 for two. Final comment: don''t miss the desserts!


firre christian
7/13/2002

Nice town for 2 or 3 nights (Borobodur, Prambanan,....). Kraton can be visited (1.5 km.)


phil mcnulty
7/13/2002

Hotel in walking distance to Arjuna Statue and the Monas... then across the road to Mosque and Catholic Church... spent a few hours walking round the area. Shopping: Millenia... discount clothes, good quality. Mangga Dua also good. Taman Mini is cool. Also saw Ragunan. Train to Bogor to see Botanical Gradens is also worthwhile experience.


bruce pohlmann
7/12/2002

Lombok is very interesting. We made a day trip to Gili Trawangan, one of three small islands off Lombok. It was an excellent day of swimming and relaxing. There is also a large new mall in downtown Mataram which has some excellent deals at better prices than in Bali.


christine mangi chengo
7/11/2002
Stayed at:

I got a lot of informations about available exkursions. The trips I would recommand:<br> Uluwatuh- one of the mayor temples in Bali East Bali Tour<br> Ubud - you should see the restaurant "Miro´s" (one of the most beautiful restaurants i´ve ever seen)<br> Lovina/ Anturan (I stayed there for 4 weeks!!!) black sand, few tourists, peaceful and quiet<br> If you´ll go there don´t miss the best place which is named "KUBU LALANG" - an excellent restaurant with the best food I could find in Bali.


hirohiko miwa
7/10/2002
Stayed at:

This area is not suit for swimming. You can go to Kuta or Suminyak by car around 10 minutes. There are some nice restaurants including Italian restaurant on the beach, you can walk these restaurants within 10 minutes.


eugenie hsu
7/10/2002

Bring a lot of insect repellant and a camera because the scenery is beautiful. There are great restaurants just 10 minutes away by car. The hotel food (took to go) seems over priced and the portions rather small. A roast beef sandwich and fries were $8-10.00 and the sandwich was really small!!!


trang nguyen
7/10/2002

Bali was more magical than I imagined it to be. We spent 2 weeks going around to 6 different parts of the island and if I could do it again, I would probably do less traveling and prefer to stay situated in one place for a little longer. Overall, it was fantastic.


nicole monaco
7/8/2002
Stayed at:

Bali is beautiful, relaxing and full of life. Prior to traveling there, I was a bit jaded about it. However, it exceeded all expectations. Visit the following restaurants - The Living Room and Gado Gado, the former being one of the best meals ever!


bob johnson
7/6/2002
Stayed at:

It is about US$3 to get anywhere by taxi so transportation is inexpensive.


rodney thayer
7/6/2002
Stayed at:

Overall I was unimpressed with Bali. It was my first trip and outside of the resort areas I thought it was dirty and the people tried to rip you off. If I was going to travel to an exotic location I would recommend Phuket Thailand over bali anyday.


james venzke
7/6/2002
Stayed at:

Numerous inexpensive and good restaurants. Shopping is good for furniture; the rest is mostly trinkets.


john evans
7/2/2002

I particularly recommend the services of the knowledgable, English speaking driver whom I retained for a week, at US $30/day. His English name is Robin, and he may be reached on his cell phone at 0818561705. He has good contacts in the various crafts communities, and was extremely helpful in negotiating a large purchase of Balinese wood carvings for me. That is to say, by bargaining on my behalf, he managed to save me an additional 12% on the transaction!


martin clayton
7/2/2002
Stayed at:

White water rafting and elephant safari trips are great fun. Nearby Kuta is good for shopping, there is a free shuttle bus from the hotel.


liz chong
7/1/2002

most convenient to move around with a taxi, not too costly there''s this restaurant in east jakarta which sells very delicious "kuey teow" noodle cant remember the name of the place though if you are willing to spend a little on shopping, check out plaza senayan and a shopping centre in melawai or else the market in melawai is recommended for budget shoping wanted to go to the mall in mangga dua coz i heard its great for budget shopping but didnt have the time.


low yong koon
6/22/2002
Stayed at:

transportation is monopolised by the hotel, extremely xpensive compared to even downtown jakarta ! not a single taxi avail.


mary garlicki
6/18/2002

This is our 3rd trip to Bali. We stayed in Ubud, Candidasa and Jimbaran. We come here to relax. As long as you avoid the overcommercialized centers, you find lovely spots to do just that.


mary garlicki
6/18/2002

Two restuarants where the food was rather good are Terazo and Tutmak. We did lots of walking through the numerous shops and just taking in the atmosphere.


mary garlicki
6/18/2002

It was our 3rd trip to Bali. This trip started in Ubud. Being tired and needing to unwind, we toured very little around Ubud. We did find a couple of restaurants with good food. Terazo, across the street (Jalan Suweta) from the Ubud Palace was a delightful surprise servicing lovely salads. To breakup our shopping and take a rest, we had good coffee at Tutnak. <br><br> The drive from Ubud to Amankila took us through some lovely towns. We always like to take in the sites and enjoy these drives. My husband organized a walking tour through the rice fields and jungles. We trekked for over 3 hours, stopping here and there to take photos. Although it was hot and humid, it was worth every minute. The tour ended in the village of Tenganan that is well know for its traditional double ikat weaver. I Wayan Kondri at Indigo Art Shop was very knowledgeable and was able to clearly explain in English the craft that he practises. Another outting took us by car to various villages in and around Mt Agung. One of the stops was Tirtagangga, the Royal Water Palace. <br><br> I would recommend that one should stay in the east parts of Bali to get away from the more developed areas. We prefer the quiet. We just like to lounge, walk and just take in the sites at a slow leisurely pace.


paula rothenberg
6/17/2002
Stayed at: Tugu Hotel Bali

We visited Bali and Lomback and stayed at 3 different hotels in different parts of the Island - Umbud - the mountain district where arts and crafts are everywhere and the sea shore which has few hotels and wonderful beaches - in addition to our stay at Tugu Bali.<br><br> We usually rent a car on trips but wisely passed up self-driving on Bali - which is harrowing at best. White water rafting on the Ayung River, horseback riding on the beach, and a cooking lesson at Tugu Bali were among the most memorable parts of our trip. The cooking lesson began with a 7 AM visit to a local food market with one of the chefs where we chose the food we would prepare. A wonderful experience and a wonderful feast. Lomock is much less developed and great fun. We stayed at Pur Mas - a delightful, relaxed, and inexpensive hotel right on the water.


breven parsons
6/14/2002

Definitely go to the kecak dance in Ulu Watu and the Barong Dance in Ubud. Both are so worth seeing. Do beware of the monkeys in Ulu Watu though -- they will take anything off you that they can get their hands on.


peter tingbro
6/10/2002
Stayed at:

I visit Git Git waterfall and benugul Lake and botanic garden. I recommed Ubud(Monkey forest) and Nusa Dua(nice beach). This restaurants was quit good: Santa Fee, Gado Gado and som Indian food place all this restaurants are in Jalan Dyhana Pura street in Seminyak.


jacqueline loeks
6/9/2002
Stayed at:

Been to Bali many times in the past. Usually rent a car but not through the hotel because it is much much more expensive. Only had one meal at the hotel (breakfast). Otherwise Warisan and Terazo restaurant in Bali are always great.


petra ewerhart
6/9/2002

for antique and furniture shopping I can recommend Jalan Kemang Raya and Timur.


yeow seng tone leow
6/7/2002
Stayed at:

This is my 6th visit and Jakarta is pleasantly calm this time, maybe it''s due to her birthday celebrations. I just heard that they had a bomb blast last weekend, one day after I left.


janneke van gorsel
6/6/2002

Getting around is easiest by taxi. Taxis are always available at the hotel. A place to eat excellent satay at a good price is the Satay House Senayan (in the direction of Blok M from the hotel). The nearby mall (Plaza Senayan) only has expensive brand stores, but is convenient for ATM''s and has a good supermarket.


bernice white
6/2/2002

Bali, fantastic. Especially if you venture out of Kuta. Tonnes to see, but sometimes you get hassled far too much and a bit too aggrssively.


kraivut vongsurakrai
6/2/2002

I was on business while in Jakarta so getting around was easy as our associates arranged for transportation. However, if you were to travel on your own, avoid taking taxis or simply walking down the streets. This is definitely not Bali where you find friendly people and smiles.


lok eng keat
5/29/2002

can traveling by taxi or ojek (motorcycle taxi). taxi fare is about 20,000RP for short trip (20 minit) around town. must try panti pijat (massage parlour),lovely lady, great service.


michael smith
5/28/2002
Stayed at:

Dirty area.


sapuan basari
5/27/2002
Stayed at:

Didn''t go for any tours. The restaurant is clean and the buffet spread is enough to cater for the asian and western visitors. Shuttle service to the shopping mall should have been two-way for the convenience of visitors. Better have small change when taking taxis. The driver may claim to have no small change to return to you and you end up paying more.


lindsay horn
5/27/2002

Beautiful setting, but very isolated. Cannot possibly be compared to Bali. In terms of Cultural interest.


allister santamaria
5/26/2002

Bali is a great destination. The entrepenurial spirit is very much alive and well!...... Transport anyone?? Sarong??


michael sendecki
5/21/2002

Bali is breathtakingly beautiful. Kuta Beach was my favourite although there are a variety of beaches to choose from. For something a little different, rent a Jeep and drive to Sideman to see some of the island''s postcard-perfect rice fields. The views are definitely worth the drive.


kim linde
5/20/2002
Stayed at:

Be prepared! the minute you set foot on Bali you will be agressively approached by people wanting to sell you anything from wooden sculptures to massages and manicures ! We must have said "no, Thank you" at least a million times during the last 14 days. It gets a bit annoying in the end. Apart from that, the balinese are very friendly, helpful and eager to show you their way of life. Bali is still a paradise worth visiting.


wade leahy
5/13/2002

You can go to Bali for nature and isolated beaches, but Kuta isn;t for that. It''s party time.


per harald sandberg
5/10/2002
Stayed at:

Bali is a beautiful island. People are friendly. Tours are cheap in general - good value for your money.


joann kingsley
5/9/2002
Stayed at:

Easy walk to lots of shops and the beach. Great food at Un''s, also within walking distance.


simon leadbetter
5/8/2002

Always remember if the locals ask when you bartering: you flew with Garuda, you are a Student, you are an Aussie/Kiwi, your friend bought it cheaper, and find the cheapest hotel in Kuta and say you''re staying there. This way you''ll pay the lowest prices. Flying with Qantas, being fully employed, being from England/US or Japan, not knowing what the price of something is, and staying at the Aneka Beach hotel is basically saying to the locals... I get a lot of Rupiah to the £/$/Yen so please fleece me.<br><br> Definitely visit: Lambongan Island, Gitgit Waterfalls (check out the multi-tiered one - up the hill from the main one), Monkey Forest, Ubud, Ula Watu and the Volcanoes. For thrills hit the Waterbom Park, Slingshot Bungee and Aj Hackets Bungy - oh yes and the surf.


robert bruner
5/6/2002

Not tours taken this time. We traveld 35 hours straight to reach Bali. The hotel was a recovery point prior to birading a live aboard dive boat.


satish rao
5/6/2002

Bali is a beautiful place - lots to see for people interested in arts. A very quaint place with still lot of rustic element and modern life.


wai hing lam
5/3/2002
Stayed at:

Bali is a beautiful island. You can find anything for any budget, and you can combine a beach holiday with a lot of cultural sightseeing. A little bit disappointing is that you can hardly find any Indonesian food at the main tourist spots.


midhat mahmud
4/29/2002

The staff was kind enough to tell me the places I should visit and making all the arrangments. Please convey my thanks to them.


cheon byung soo
4/27/2002

Korea restaurant "HAN KUK GWAN" was vary good taste and convenient to use. It takes around 10 minutes by take a walk.


onno stienen
4/26/2002

Yogya is a nice city with lots of tour possibilities as to the nearby Borobodur.


neil johnson
4/22/2002
Stayed at:

Kuta is a the place to go if you like cheap copy t-shirts (or copy most things for that matter), cheap beer, dressing up as a surfer (noticed there were a lot of hangers on with all the clothes and no board!), actual surfing, and basically living a seriously hedonistic and borderline immoral existence. In short, Kuta is what many Australians would love Australians to be and probably would be if there were no goverment. <br><br> There is another Kuta and that is the one which is choc-a-bloc with health spas, beatiful furniture and lace shops, some excellent seafood restaurants, some very cool local and expat run designer clothes shops and a beautiful clean beach.<br><br> My ideal holiday is a combination of the two so Kuta was ideal. In my four night / three day stay we partied till four thrirty in the morning a couple of nights at the Hard Rock and Double-Six, ate delicious crab, shopped for clothes and gifts, visited Ubud (what a dump that place has become), spent a few hours in the galleries and furniture shops, tootled around on the USD5/day rental motorbike and generally lazed around the beach and the pool. <br><br> In my humble but experienced opinion, Double- Six is one of the top clubs / discos in Asia (up there with Zouk in Singapore and Retro in Jakarta) along the beach at Seminyak. Well worth a visit, as it attracts its fair share from the local, tourist and expat community and also unites the gay and straight communities. Now there''s a touching thought!


akihiro aoya
4/18/2002
Stayed at:

Very far from the city, but very calm. This hotel has private beach, best sunset scenic. If you want to see sunrise, this hotel is very good I think.


david teoh
4/4/2002

Le Brasserie at Le Meridien hotel had excellent buffet breakfast and dinner.


ian fleming
4/3/2002

The Lan Na Thai is worthwhile.


ian fleming
3/29/2002

Don''t miss the Hazara Indian restaurant, in particular the marinated leg of lamb!


tom sarro
3/18/2002

I used Puri Tours in the hotel to arrange drivers to take me to Borobudur and Prambanan, and was very happy with this arrangement. The Melia hotel is in the center of Jogja, a short becak ride from the palace, post office, Malioboro and other places of interest. Watch out for the becak drivers! They are pleasant enough, but seem to have no scruples about charging 10 or 20 times what the ride is worth if they think they can get you to pay it. For instance, 5000 Rupiahs to get to the palace is VERY generous. Set the price before you get in. If a driver won''t take your price, just walk away. There are PLENTY of becaks in Jogja, and your man will invariably break down once he knows he''s about to lose the business. The sights and musuems are interesting, but I think the highlight of Jogja is the gamelan, dance and puppet performances. The Tourist info office hands out a little sheet listing the regular performances. I went to the Dalem Pujokusuman for traditional dance (Monday night) and it was just about the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It is hard to find, don''t try to find it on your own, my becak driver had to ask where it was, but its worth the effort. I also went to the shadow puppet show at the Sono Budoyo musuem (every night at 8), and the dance rehearsal at the palace (every Sunday morning) and both were very worthwhile. There are also gamelan rehearsals at the palce (Monday and Wednesday morning) which I missed, but I''m sure are very good. I asked which batik shopes were the best, and Margaria, Mirota, and DanarHadi were all mentioned. I bought some nice cloth at DanrHadi, but would have liked to see the selection in the other stores if I had more time. I sense there are a lot of unscrupulous batik dealers, so try to get a reference for any place you go into to actually buy.


lo geok lim, sam
3/17/2002

There are a few good cafes around and I must recommend Daddy''s cafe which is located right outside Bali Dynasty. The waitresses are very freindly and warm and most important of all they serve reasonable good food. The price was very reasonable as well. We visit the cafe almost every night for dinner.


steven daniels
3/17/2002

Despite the last few years of problems, I have found the majority of the people to be warm and friendly. Once they find out I am from the United States, nearly all want to have conversations about the US.


ronald keehn
3/16/2002

The extremely low value of the Rupiah, combined with some of the best international class expat chefs in Asia, make Bali currently a gourmands delight.


michael lim
3/10/2002

Golf is good at the Senayan Club nearby. No massage facility available in hotel or nearby.


ian ross
3/7/2002

What can you say about Jakarta - you either love it or hate it. Fortunately, I love it, and happy to go back there whenever I can.


lindsay horn
3/3/2002
Stayed at:

Ignore the guide books. Kuta is great fun. It has the best beach in Bali. There are some fantastically smart restuarants springing up in the Kuta.Legian Area. Who wants to be stuck out at Nusa Dau and Jimbaran when your can have the best of everything here.


david chow
2/19/2002

Had an excellent massage at "The Body Work Centre" located at 25 Hanoman Street in Ubud...very reasonable prices....probably 4-5 times less than what you would pay at a comparable place in the Nusa Dua. Had an excellent dinner at the Bumbu Bali restaurant in Tanjung Benoa. The Balinese Rijsttafel is a must try! The Terrance restaurant at the Amanusa hotel was a disappointment. Although the view and setting was nice and the staff service was pleasant, the food was terrible. The Prawn curry, Sumatra style was not fresh. The prawns were soft and mushy...a sure sign that the seafood is not fresh. Upon complaining to the waiter, all he did was smile and apologize....no manager or head chef came out to respond to our complaint.


colin gullberg
2/19/2002

Bali is a great destination if you like hot weather, beautiful beaches and cheap hotels. Five-star hotels in Bali are considerably cheaper than in the west and the favorable exchange rate makes Indonesia very cheap. Taxis are especially cheap. International political problems have discouraged people from visiting but Bali is Hindu (not Muslim) and has absolutely no problems for the average tourist. I have been to all the major beach resorts in southeast Asia and I would rate Bali the top for value for money, cultural interest, variety and quality of food (esp. international cuisine) and freqeuncy of travel to/from the island.


harrison foo
2/12/2002

Splendid location


jill fosselman
2/4/2002
Stayed at:

We visited Ubud -- would have loved to have spent more time.


jane steele
2/2/2002
Stayed at:

Very hectic, lots of tourist.


christophe tolzane
2/2/2002
Stayed at:

Ok, just a few words to give you my feeling : you can not find any Jakarta postcards in shopping centers ! The reason is very simple : nothing to visit in Jakarta !! City noisy, traffic jams, pollution. Go to BALI, not Jakarta !!


yvette kolstrom
2/1/2002
Stayed at:

The hotel is located near a fishing village and in a residential area; it is therefore isolated from traffic and is quiet compared to what we saw elsewhere. Because it is isolated, we used the hotel shuttle to the tourist town of Kuta, 20 minutes away, which departs daily at 1000, 1300 and 1500; from there it is possible to take various types of transportation elsewhere. Because we were unfamiliar with the transportation system, we preferred to book group and individual tours to the numerous attractions through the hotel. <br><br>Jimbaran Beach is located some 400 meters away; there are some 80 eating establishments (warungs) specializing in fresh barbecued fish there. We enjoyed the walks along the beach, which is busy during the day with the small fishing boats; however, the rainy season brought extensive debris back on the beach, so there was little incentive to swim there at this time of year.


kenneth hughes
1/27/2002

Hotel is located near shops , email cafe , McDonalds , Pizza Hut and 2 Indonesian restaurants, all within 5 mins walk. It is about 15 mins in bad traffic to main business area but taxis are very cheap and airconed.


mark robertson
1/21/2002

Close to the golf course, not too far from restaurants, clubs and bars with a large taxi on its doorstep - you cant really go wrong for a US$40 hotel room.


willem de boois
1/14/2002
Stayed at:

In the area of this hotel a lot of markets and restaurants, big and small. Near Chinatown means a lot of Chinese food and restaurants.


hiroyoshi kano
1/13/2002

Very convenient location. Close enough to a big shopping mall (Plaza Senayan). It was also easy to go to the airport because the hotel is located close to the entrance of the toll road.


dave chan
1/13/2002

It is very convenient to move around in cab, to Plaza Senayan, Grand Hyatt, etc. Try some foods at the Vietnamese restaurant, was not good.


sarah wong
1/12/2002

Local transport/with drivers easy and cheap. Quite knowledgable about (limited) availability of trips to ubub, temples et. Nothing to faze a reasonably savvy traveller. Sea food good at jimarang? bay, meals by room service adequate, better value at beach restaurants.


hiroyoshi kano
1/9/2002

Very practical location becaused annexed to a shopping mall in the center of city. Though raining, shopping is always easy.


david johnson
1/9/2002
Stayed at:

Sanur''s fairly quite,but it''s a good place for families with kids.


trevor fooks
1/1/2002
Stayed at:

Legian and Kuta very crowded with severe traffic jams and narrow streets. Very different architecture to Java. People extremely friendly and helpful. The Nusa Dua area is cleaner and more relaxed.


leslie hamilton
12/31/2001

Ubud is definitely worth the trip and is easy to navigate on foot. Kuta was a little disappointing - lots of polution and traffic.


rosli ahmad
12/17/2001

Their product knowledge of places of interest are very bad. Is best for you to check yourself first. The Internet and Hotel rate are not much different.


yves courquet
12/14/2001

Plaza Espana to be recommended.


peter cross
12/12/2001

Hotel is located near a lot of good restaurants at reasonable prices.


tracey peter-joyal
12/10/2001
Stayed at:

What to say about Bali. It is a beautiful place indeed. The Balinese tradition and culture is best seen in Ubud. If you go there, be sure to take in some traditional Balinese dance. Ubud is also great to go for souvenirs. You can get crafts for cheaper and better quality. I made the mistake of not purchasing some things in Ubud under the assumption that I would just pick them in Sanur - big mistake.


ashok narula
12/9/2001

Visited a number of tourist sights during my short stay of 3 days (eg: Ubud, Money forest & temples) with a (privately negotiated) driver & vehicle need to bargain for everything (shopping, tour, etc)& don''t be shy about offering 50% of the asking price, be wary of special prizes/offers in shopping areas as these are from people promoting "time share" holiday units.


patrick lee
11/27/2001
Stayed at:

We had a car & driver from 9.00am to 8.00pm for 250,000 + 20,000 tip. Only regret was the choice of places the driver brought us to was probably influenced by the commissions he got, and I understand it could be quite high. These places typically charged higher even after discounts (probably to pay for the commissions) when we compared later at other shops on our own.<br><br> We enjoyed Kintamani and Ulu Watu very much. The museum at Denpasar was also very interesting but best be clear with the unsolicited guide about his charges first.<br><br> The best restaurant we enjoyed was an Indonesian one, can''t recall the name, about 100m down from Matahari Dept store on Legian Road, same side. It had a antique furniture shop in the front and the restaurant is further in.


phillip rajoo
11/27/2001
Stayed at:

A very cheap place for shopping. Excellent choice of food and restaraunt outlets, in many areas. Taxi travel by the meter is cheap within the city only. Bargaining , is the name of the game, in BALI. Many travel agents to assist you to suit your personal tours.


young jo lee
11/15/2001

I did not visit many places. I took a half-day private guided tour of the temples but it was not good. If you are in hurry and have to take a half-day tour, I recommend the royal palace. If you have a full day free, visit Ayutaya.


paul english
11/5/2001
Stayed at:

Great place..the tour of the island is good, but you spend a lot of time in the car (% hours out of 8)


richard eoghan sadlier
10/31/2001

Good surf.


john watson (dr)
10/17/2001
Stayed at:

Best way to get around Bali is to make use of the hotel driver/minibus service. Reasonably priced. However, the minibus stops at prearranged "tourist" spots and you are immediately surrounded by street sellers. This begins to get overpowering since a simple "no thankyou" doesn''t seem to work. This is also true on the beach where it is impossible to more than two minutes between "sales visits".


patricia van putten
10/1/2001
Stayed at:

Hiring a car is quite cheap (about US$20 per day) and a great way to see the island at your own pace. The pottery shops at Banyumulek are a must - great choice at great prices.


tash lebus
10/1/2001

Too exhausted to do much traveling. Day trip to Ubud and Mt Batur well worthwhile. If staying close enough to Legian for dinner then a trip to La Lucciola is a must.


Anonymous
9/30/2001

West bali waters were superb.


tim ferguson
9/19/2001
Stayed at:

We have travelled to Bali many times and as a result have quite a few contacts. So we use local transport or negosaited driver/ transport. There is a great range of restaurants/ eating places in Bali from US$1 to US$60 per head all are good. Note: wine is very expensive, Beer is cheap, good quality spirits are normal western prices.


maeve murphy
9/17/2001
Stayed at:

Seminyak is nice and away from the hustle bustle and you are harrassed as much as Kuta. Balinesse do harrass you to buy goods a bit too much.


kang francis
9/16/2001

If you''re staying at garden Palace hotel and lack of places to go to, try the discothe at Kowloon on the fifth floor of Surabaya plaza, just a 100m walk from your hotel. Nice hangout for the young yuppies of Surabaya. Entry is 20,000 rupiah on weekday, R25,000 on weekends. You get one soft drink (coke in a 250ml bottle).<br><br> Ask any taxi drivers at Surabaya to drive you to a massage centre (this is located near to Shangrila hotel). The price there is R30,000 for 1-1/2 hrs of traditional massage but there are other "typical" massage. There are total about 10 massage centres in this community.


kang francis
9/14/2001

1) Surabaya zoo by taxi 2) Surabaya plaza, Tunjungan plaza, Galaxy mall. Galaxy mal has lots of Chinese people and seem to serve the richer community.


brian & elisabeth dent
9/10/2001
Stayed at:

Visited Pemuteran for diving, Tulamben diving, Ubud for food. Hire car from Poppies , very good rate and reasonable vehicle. Best restaurants Ary''s Warong in Ubud, TJ''s in Kuta and Chi Chi''s in Lovina Beach.


michael matthews
9/9/2001

Jakarta is not the greatest tourist destination (just read the Rough Guide introduction for a ''damning with faint praise'' overview. This was my third trip to Indonesia, and on two out of the three I have been robbed (last year passport, this time wallet). However, almost worse than the experience of having my wallet lifted in Pasarya department store was the experience of having the pickpocket caught by store staff. I was taken down to the store basement, given back my wallet (contents intact), and then asked to wait for the police while what seemed like the whole staff of the store took turns to kick and beat the culprit (by now stripped and cowering in a corner). <br><br>Ultimately the police turned up, and told me that I had to leave my wallet and contents with them for three months as evidence! With great relief I refused, hoping that the poor wretch would then be released. Jakarta is not a city to visit without good reason.


peder kongsted christiansen
9/8/2001

Close to Shopping Centre and golf course.


jannyk m. & elco schwart muntinga
9/6/2001

Can provide airport pick-up and car rental or taxi services to tourist sides, e.g. Burabudur, Brampanan, Kaliurang and city center for which you can make reservations at the taxi stand in front of the hotel.


talal al-sayed
9/6/2001

far from the center, but there are shopping mall behind the hotel that you can walk.


ben kieniewicz
9/3/2001

Sanur in Bali is a great place for couples and peeople wanting a quiet night. During the day the beach is nice, with little hassle but a few street sellers. Water sports are on offer as the beach has few waves. During the evening the main pastime is dining and a few resturants have bands. I would highly reccomend sanur as a first stay in Bali. Everything is cheap here!


simon and honor irvine
9/2/2001

Kuta is a little way away from the main tourist centres (and the airport) but the hotel makes it easy to arrange day trips to the main centres, the various Gili Island destintations etc. and you can easily take in the more local areas on a moped. Lombok is extremely quiet, and the beaches are pristine - the atmosphere is incomparable to Bali - not sure what options are available for night life etc in Senggigi but Kuta certainly does not abound with options for a frenetic night. Highly recommend snorkeling in the Gilis and a trip to the waterfalls.


susan hogan
8/31/2001

Booked transport with the hotel is reliable and safer.


miguel de gomis
8/29/2001

Bali is a very nice relaxing island, altough you cannot easily swim in the sea (very low deep untill arriving to the dead coral reef). The currency varies every day against USD.


steven thomas
8/25/2001

THE HOTEL IS JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM A VERY LARGE MALL WITH A COMPUTER SECTION ON THE 4TH FLOOR FEATURING THE USUAL GOODIES. UP AT THE CORNER IS A TONY ROMES RIB BAR IF YOU CANNOT FACE NASI GORENG AGAIN! NOT FAR FROM THE SHOPPING SECTION OF TOWN "BLOCK M"


stephen thomas
8/24/2001

SANUR IS A MORE SEDATE, QUIET RESORT THAN KUTA. GOOD RESTAURANTS ( BONSAI RESTAURANT ON THE BEACH IS VERY GOOD). THE BEACH AROUND THE TOWN IS MUCH BETTER THAN FURTHER NORTH. SAND IS YELLOW. CORAL REEF JUST OF BEACH BEYOND WHICH SWIMMING IS DANGEROUS, SWIMMING AT LOW TIDE IMPOSSIBLE. THEREFORE HOTEL WITH POOL ESSENTIAL.


virgile bertrand
8/22/2001

Immediate surroundings are really unimpressive. The beach is not too clean.


peter howarth
8/22/2001
Stayed at:

More hawkers than we expected but less pushy than an Arab or African country. Lovely place, nice beaches, friendly locals and very very cheap to eat and shop.


robert paterson
8/19/2001
Stayed at:

I think Sanur is nicer than Kuta, especially if you prefer a quieter more relaxed kind of holiday location. There are still plenty of good cafes, restaurants and shops and the walkway along the beachfront is far more attractive than Kuta I believe. One advantage of having the sun setting behind the beach rather than over the sea (as in Kuta) is that in the hottest part of the day there is more shade. Sanur also has many more trees than Kuta and less hectic traffic.


peter howarth
8/16/2001

It rains a lot in Bali in August or at least it seemed to!


edwin chan
8/15/2001
Stayed at:

The food was very cheap along Poppies Lane, watch out for "Tree Top Cafe" the meals there are really cheap and offer wonderful value! A meal for 2 persons plus beer is no more than US $5!! BTW motorcycle rental is at about US$12 for two days plus insurance. Also make sure you bargain 80% off ANYTHING that you buy and stay at the bargain price, move up slowly and it''s best that you walk away. Come back later because they''ll often yell the "best price".


mark heath
8/15/2001
Stayed at:

bali is excellent but be warned you wont be able to shop at your leisure without getting hassled,night life excellent,resteraunts are all good too many good ones to mention,best to buy a guide book before you get there....


carla morris
8/13/2001
Stayed at:

We truly appreciated this property. In particular, the grounds were lovely, and having never been to Bali before and expecting to find a cultivated Hawaiin experience in the culture of SE Asia, we found Kuta alarmingly lacking in safe and effective infrastructure, extremely dirty, garbage everywhere, no recycling program in sight, open sewage run-off into the sea, and we were overrun by tourist sales hawkers. We were particularly sorry to see so many coral pieces being sold in the forms of jewelry, etc., which of course represents the irreversible destruction of the natural reefs. Many travellers will pay very good money to be allowed to see nature in its natural state, not produced for temporary tourist markets, and we hope places like the Bali-H''ai can influence the local villagers to stop their plunder of the natural resources, and conserve their environment for those seeking eco- and cultural tourism experiences.<br><br> To have the resort be such a pretty oasis in the midst of ugly Kuta was a wonderful thing. <br><br> We took a day trip to Ulu Watu, and went on for five days in Ubud from Kuta, and then stayed in Sanur for the last part of our trip. We did not venture to the restaurants nearby, because Kuta was so unwelcoming, particularly for two sisters travelling alone. The hotel menu was fine.


patricia & mathew welch
8/13/2001
Stayed at: Tugu Hotel Bali

The western coast of Bali is enough off-the-beaten track in Bali to offer good beaches (albeit a rough surf at times if you''re an ocean swimmer) and interesting local walks. Definitely visit Ubud (but be prepared for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic james) and Mas, famous for its woodcarvers and other craftmakers. Hire a hotel car and turn the driving over to a hotel driver so you can enjoy the sites and simply call out "stop!" when something interesting appears. They''re great local guides and can be of real assistance in toting your wares back to the hotel. All hotels will pack your purchases for you for loading onboard.


chris wong
8/12/2001

Diwangkara hotel is at one end of Sanur Beach. Just behind the hotel, there''s little stores that sell clothes and sunglasses. A few mini resturant that serve italian and seafood. Just walk out to the main road, you will be able to catch "bimo", to get to anywhere (a small local "blue" bus to hop into) but make sure you negotiate with the driver before you actually hop on it. Taxi is the same. Make sure you have small change before you take a transport. The drivers will ignore you when you don''t give them the excact amount. Most of them won''t give you back any change.


alison murray
8/11/2001
Stayed at:

The people are really annoying as they pester you constantly and once one starts you are surrounded by 5/6/7 of them it ruins your hoilday!


Anonymous
8/10/2001

Rafting


ritsuko hagihara
8/9/2001

We enjoyed shopping along Jl. Raya Seminyak whole afternoon. We took a taxi from the hotel to the north end of Jl. Raya Seminyak then walked to the south. There are too many attractive shops on both sides and it''s not very easy to cross the street, because the traffic is very busy. Aslo, the street is incredibly dusty in this season and the air is terribly polluted by the exhaust gas. We got so dirty and had soar throat. So don''t try to spend too much time on shopping along this street at one time.


allison laney
8/9/2001

First visit to Bali; we have been travelling through SE Asia for last eight months. Friends we met up with in Vietnam had recommended Bali so we came at the end of our trip. The only tour we went on was to a Balinese cremation ceremony (organised via the hotel) -- sounds morbid but it was very enjoyable and colourful. Only problem was that our guide disappeared at the beginning of the ceremony and only re-appeared at the end. SO we got no explanation of what was going on.


deborah strafford
8/7/2001
Stayed at:

Spent three days in Kuta, simply reading books by the pool. Then three days diving at Menjangan island. Did this through Dive and Dive. They are a very reputable company that I have used a few times. Spent the next three days in Sanur, reading books by the pool. Having been to Bali a dozen times this was just perfect and most relaxing.


junko sugiyama
8/7/2001

I visited the zoo called Kebun Binatang Ragunan in Jakarta. I saw beautiful white tigers there.


ritsuko hagihara
8/6/2001
Stayed at:

A seafood restaurant called" Segara Agung" was really great. Free transportation service is avairable within Sanur area. It''s a casual restaurant located almost on the beach. We enjoyed dinner in the moonlight.


wayne bowring
8/6/2001
Stayed at:

I hired a car after PAYING for a local 30day bali licenses (1for a car and 1for a motor cycle..300.000rp for both)... The car was delivered without petrol..another 50,000rp fro a tank of fuel. I met up with friends and went to Dempasar markets and from there negotiated with a losal driver to take up back to the hotel and in the conversation arranged to hire him for 4hours to drive to Ubud and places for 160,000rp The Young Artist shop in Ubud ( a bit of an apprentice workshop centre),is the best for paintings of all sorts and supporst the local artist directly.


venkatraman anantha-nageswaran
8/5/2001
Stayed at:

A trip to Ubud from Denpasar is well worth it. Both in terms of sight seeing (Royal palace, Monkey forest and Elephant cave) and shopping.


ray benson
8/4/2001

Surabaya is a busy city. Several large shopping malls. For day trips there is a nice waterfall neat Batu ourside of Malang. Tretis is a mountain resort nearby.


laura shen
8/3/2001

Do not rent your own car. Hire a car and a driver to take you around - to Ubud, to temples, Gunung Batur, etc.


nikolaus sturm
7/30/2001

die zentrale Lage empfiehlt das Hotel fuer einkaeufe. die grossen Shopping centers sind schnell zu erreichen.


melany aiono
7/25/2001
Stayed at:

highly recommend T.J's Californian Tex Mex restaurant down Poppies Lane 1.


derek johnson
7/5/2001

Tanah Lot is a MUST. Don't just get the sunset at the beach and temple, head out of the town for about half a mile and look back towards the sea; the water in the padi looks as if it is on fire!! We hired a Suzuki Jimmny which was great for the local roads and plenty of room for two people (+shopping!). Once you get off the main roads the signing is woefully lacking and there are no such things as road numbers. A road map is a must, but is only partially helpfull. If you are from the northern hemisphere don't forget that in the summer the sun goes from the east through NE to N at noon and through NW to west at sunset - took me a couple of days to get used to it.


paul zummo
7/4/2001

Bali is the best. It reminded me of Hawaii a bit although there were distict differences as well. Nua Sudua is great - very clean, very beautiful - even if it is a bit artificial. Still, the rest of the island was beautiful as well.


daniel snyder
7/2/2001
Stayed at:

Bali is the greatest place on earth. (You MUST stay a few days at Bali Cliff Resort, absolutely the nicest people you have ever met and the place is a palace.) Get out and meet the local people at the Warungs. I love Jimbaran at sunset for seafood. I don't care if the scales are off it still a great deal.


michael van de watering
6/30/2001

Taxi are very cheap. Take some trips in the area like Malang and Bromo to escape the crowded Surabaya.The traffic is crazzy!


aini mohd
6/29/2001

Staff were really helpful & friendly. They were my guide to all my needs in JOGYA !


scott tillman
6/27/2001

As mentioned above, slightly off the beaten path (the end of Benoa peninsula), but still a very cheap and not too long cab ride from all the major hot spots.


renuka gupta
6/27/2001

I would highly recommend a night or two at one of the black sand beaches on the west coast, as the black sand against the crashing waves makes a dramatic backdrop


maryann smythe
6/22/2001

Definitely go snorkelling...this was a highlight! (at low tide, not far around the bay from Waka Nusa (nr. pontoon). Village tour is available just about every day...worth going...but if you want more time, just walk in your own time...it's not that far. If at all claustrophobic, don't go anywhere near the underground house!!! (I didn't make it through the entrance!) Take motion-sickness medication prior to boat-trip over to island!


paul pescatore
6/13/2001
Stayed at:

Bali is beautiful, our sixth trip and we keep coming back. Mystical.


azra nanji
6/10/2001

Easy to get around. Driver is best deal if all day trips are taken.


kara berklich
5/27/2001
Stayed at:

The only downside of Poppies Bali is that it is in overcrowded, dirty, almost sleazy Kuta Beach - the upside, though, is that Poppies is a true respite within.


sara lawrence
5/26/2001
Stayed at:

I much preferred Sanur beach over Kuta - but it is close enough to Kuta if you want to partake in the nightlife. We ate in the Gazebo and the Bonsai, both of which were good. Trip to Ubud and the elephant safari were excellent.


al o''donnell
5/24/2001
Stayed at:

Poppies restaurant is very nice.


robert foltz
5/23/2001
Stayed at:

My time in Bali was for business, not pleasure. The Monkey park was fun, the tiered rice paddies were beautiful. I used a local driver named Ketut (his mobile phone #081-2392-2314). He has a nice vehicle and is very helpful & friendly. Some of the drivers here were only interested in taking us to the "tourist" places. Ketut took us where we wanted to go.


simon wong
5/22/2001

Ubud is more Baliesque than Kuta, yet less so than some other parts of the island. But it's a wonderful destination for rest amidst the paddy fields, arts and crafts. One can, however, do without the numerous locals offering 'taxi' and 'transport' every three metres or so.


george ferris
5/20/2001

We arranged to have a car and driver for two days. We did this at the hotel & were very pleased with the service. On day 1, we visited Ubud, with many stops in transit for shopping. That same day, our driver took us to his village & even to his home, which was great! Later that day we visited the Elephant Caves.<br><br> Day 2: We had the car & driver again and went to East Bali, again making stops along the way for shopping. We visited Samarapura (also known as Klungkung) and toured the palace & island garden & hall of justice complex. Afterwards we visited Pura Basakih temple complex up in the mountains. <br><br> Tourists Beware!!!!! At all tourist attractions we were hounded to death by people wanting to give us tours for a fee and/or sell us something. This got really old really quick.<br><br> I'd highly recommend hiring a car & driver rather than going on an organized tour. It allowed us to make as many stops as we wanted and stop for as long as we wanted. This was great for leisurly lunches & for shopping, AND the cost of car & driver (you pay additional for petrol & tip) was very very reasonable.<br><br> There's just SO MUCH SHOPPING in Bali, and prices are very low, and usually negotiable. Each town we went through seemed to be known for a different craft: stone carving, ceramics, basketry, jewelery, paintings, etc. If you run out of rupiah, so vendors will accept US dollars. I'd say about 25% of the time vendors would not accept credit cards.<br><br> We had some FABULOUS meals, the following restaurants were some of the best (and definately the most beautiful) I've been to anywhere in the world: La Lucciola (on the beach in Saminyak), Indus (just outside Ubud, with beautiful views of the jungle & terraced rice fields), and Ku De Ta (also on the beach in Seminyak).


inge gerlagh
5/18/2001

Good destination. shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood.


wena poon
5/18/2001

Ubud is a lovely little town, more for atmosphere and the people than for shopping. The monkeys in Monkey Forest are worth a look. I recommend a restaurant that you'd miss if you weren't deliberately looking for it (which I was thanks to a friend's recommendation): the Bebek Bengil (a.k.a. Dirty Duck Diner) along Monkey Forest Road. Excellent sambal, fried duck and chicken, and Indonesian chutney. Also has all kinds of sophisticated New American fare (upscale pastas and such). It's hidden off Monkey Forest Road but look out for a driveway with the restaurant's banner flags lining it.


eric paquin
5/14/2001
Stayed at:

Bali was very nice but it is not a destination I would go back to. It was a great holiday but not quite the paradise island they are trying to sell you (unless you are prepared to pay big money and stay in one of the 5-star hotels in Nusa Dua)...<br><br> The balinese attitude has been sort of ruined by the tourist industry. Everywhere you go, you know that if they talk to you, they are trying to sell you something...<br><br> Transport:<br> It does worth organizing day trips with local people offering transport but be very clear as to what you would like to see... They tend to try to bring you everywhere they can make a commission. We hired the same guide for day trips so he got to know that we wanted to get out of the beaten track and we got a far better experience on the 2nd trip... Also, for local trips, the best value transport is actually the meter taxi (try Bali taxi 701 111). Their price are much lower for travelling around Sanur-Kuta-Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. You can take one from Sanur to Ubud and get them to wait with the meter on...<br><br> Food:<br> If you like spicy food, don't go to the restaurants that are near the hotels... Get out of the beaten track and try to find restaurant in small villages... Try also the food stalls!


katherine rose
5/7/2001

My friend and I spent the first two nights in Sanur, closer to the beach and just by the pool and then the last night in Ubud, to see more of the cultural things. We took cabs most of the time, or had a driver take us around for a fixed cost. The Ulu watu temple is nice (South Bali) and also driving through the rice paddies and seeing the volcano''s and lakes is very beautiful.


michael rithmire
5/3/2001
Stayed at:

Watch the beach, lot's of panhandlers at sundown.


michio nishinarita
4/30/2001

Nishiki,Japanese restaurant in the hotel, was good: both food and staff. A taxi was very cheap: less than one US dollar for one ride.


niel schubert
4/24/2001
Stayed at:

Great surf location. beautiful break right in front of hotel. maccaroni club in kuta for best western food, ali baba on jln. dhyana pura for lamb kebabs and whatever that indian restaurant nearby is called for great meals


ayman nawash
4/19/2001

It was pretty close to alot of things although it was in a really rough neighberhood. It was ok.


william marzen ii
4/18/2001

Bali is a very nice place, in particular, Sanur!


douglas everett
4/15/2001

Used taxis extensively. Visited Old batavia,National Museum,Monas, Blok M all good. Give Glodok a miss


lee-peng chow
4/15/2001

We love Bali where the people are warm despite the problems faced by their country. The scenery and arts of Bali also greatly impressed us. In fact, we are planning future trips to Bali.


micki lonsdale
4/13/2001
Stayed at:

Arrange for a car for the day at your hotel desk for any trips around the island ($25-$35). There are several standard routes-but be explicit and firm if you aren''t interested in a certain art form ie. wood carving. Definitely go to Jimbaran for seafood-Nelaya was good-but I don''t think it matters which restaurant. Spago in Sanur was elegant and the food was creative and tasty.


louise simpson
4/12/2001
Stayed at:

Very quiet and peaceful - the riots in January 2000 has meant that tourist numbers are down - good for us not good for tourist related businesses. Everything is now calm and has been for ages. Spent two days on Gili Air - could have taken three days as it was very peaceful and everyone very friendly. Everything on Lombok within easy reach with motor bike, car or public transport. First two easy to hire and traffic OK - not like Bali! Excellent restaurants around Sengiggi - Asmara, Princess of Lombok and Bambu to name a few.


arturo negron-garcia
4/11/2001

Restaurants in the area were very good and my wife says that the buying of silver jewelry was a bargain.


hsueh fang ching
4/10/2001

The destination is good because there is a shopping mall(Mal Surabaya)nearby, and easy to get taxi.


lisa black
4/9/2001

Ubud is wonderful - much quieter and more cultural than the beach areas - what one imagines Bali to be.


lindsay horn
4/9/2001

We went t o Kuta; the shopping was excellent. We ate at Poppies, very good and very cheap and the Oberoi, excellent food and fantastic beachside location. We stayed in two other locations; we have returned surveys on both.


linda sahlin
4/6/2001

We stayed in Bali for two weeks and had a wonderful time travelling throughout the island. I would warmly recommend dividing your time between different locations in Bali, as there is so much to see! The best beach is around Kuta and Legian, lovely clean sand beach with clean water and massive waves. Perfect for anyone who enjoys swimming and/or surfing. Be prepared for hawkers, especially around the Kuta area, which is quite commercialised and very busy. Legian is bustling but still a little quieter than Kuta. <br><br> Travelling trough the mountains and volcanoes is a must, beautiful scenery covering everything from the famous rice terraces and small country villages to mountains covered with rain forest, lakes and craters. The air is much cooler in the mountain areas, and you may experience some tropical rain- so bring something long-sleeved just in case! <br><br> On the north coast we stayed in Lovina, a quiet area but simply breathtakingly beautiful. Try one of their early morning boat trips to see the dolphins or to go snorkelling. The coral reef contains plenty of tropical and colourful fish- bring some bread along and they’ll feed more or less from your hand! Ubud and neighbouring villages is where you find the best craftwork in Bali, everything from woodwork to stone carving, batik fabrics and silver & gold. Worth your while to shop around for the best prices, and make sure to haggle! <br><br> Sanur is quite a busy place. The beach is beautiful to look at, but I have to say that the sea isn’t as clean as you’d like it to be… Mainly because of the coral reef blocking off the beach area- you can see the reef from where the waves break. Still a very nice place with some great restaurants- but make sure you have a hotel with a swimming pool or go on boat trips to find clearer water. Best restaurant in Sanur is the Jazz Bar & Grill where they have great food, brilliant service and live music at 9pm every night. Warmly recommended!<br><br> Nusa Dua is a luxurious place with mainly 4 and 5 star hotels and a super shopping mall (shop around for best bargains). The beach is nice and clean, however up towards Benoa, where they have all the water sports, the beach isn’t cleaned regularly and may seem a bit dirty. The water is quite clean apart from some sea grass. If you stay around this area, make sure to try the seafood restaurant Nelayan in Benoa. Great value for money, very good food and friendly service. We had a 3-course meal for two, including drinks, at $10! Overall I can recommend Bali as a wonderful holiday destination. Beautiful scenery and sights, the Balinese people are very friendly and pleasant, and it’s incredibly cheap! Shop around for best prices as it can vary a lot, and remember to haggle!


rachel pettigrew
4/6/2001
Stayed at:

Hired a mini van for the day through Poppies and drove around parts of the island seeing a Barong dance and stopping off at various places on the way.


nicole reis
4/5/2001

We traveled to Nusa Dua beach to do water sports and it was seaweed infested so I recommend before booking a hotel in a certain area to find out where the best beach is to go when you go. It all depends on the wind. We also went up to Ubud area and farther north to see the rice terraces and it was well worth it! Renting motorbikes and cars is extrememly simple and cheap so I recommend bringing an int''l driver''s license.


thomas purvis
3/21/2001
Stayed at:

Solo is a busy town with lots of activities and interest points. Good shopping for Batik too.


andrew miller
3/17/2001
Stayed at:

Great location, quiet, right on beach yet close to the bars of Legian, but far enough away from the dump of Kuta.


william tedford
3/11/2001
Stayed at:

Dined in Poppies Restaurant on 2 evenings - did not live up to it''s reputation, despite pleasant service. Used hotel taxi service to tour.


ken sudo
3/10/2001
Stayed at:

In Japanese Restaurant , lunch menu was poor, compared to that in other hotels lisk President.


ann-margret yngve
3/6/2001

We also found tours, boat trips etc quite overprized on Bali. You have to bargain on everything, even post cards. I would not come back to Bali for the beaches or the food, but for the beautiful architecture, the culture and the nature. We stayed two nights at Ubud that we recommend.


joseph donald edirisinghe
2/25/2001
Stayed at:

Visited so many interested places. Visited to see a batik factory also.


rachel huang
2/18/2001
Stayed at:

Is quite far from the main road (Legian Street).


amedeo schirripa
2/15/2001

great shopping at mangga dua, good restaurants at ancol.


leigh ann seto
2/13/2001

We didn't take any tours while staying at the Hyatt. We ate all our meals in Kimangi. The staff and food was very friendly.


peter foyston
1/30/2001
Stayed at:

The resort was so lovely, we barely left it. I did tour into Sekarbela to look at pearls, but was disappointed in their low quality, high prices and poor metal craftsmenship. Would give this a miss. Blue taxis are cheap, easy and safe to use.


matthew burgess
1/28/2001

Dutch Cafe (bar) in Yokya and Cafe Solo (restaurant) in Solo both good places.


bernd wagner
1/28/2001
Stayed at:

Very remote and quiet place. Transfer to Kuta is about 1/2 hour. Very nice and reasonable tours are being organized by Canangsari which is just around the corner from the hotel.


jatinder singh
1/28/2001

Indonesia was nice but very polluted. overall the people was friendly and helpful.


steffen taubert
1/27/2001

not much to see in Surabaya, beside typical asia-styled shopping-malls


jonathan peters
1/23/2001

Not much there but good restaurant = Sarkies. Good pub = Java Jimmies Irish Bar. Transprt around by taxi.


dennis oetting
1/21/2001
Stayed at:

The Maharani Department Store is wonderful and only a short distance away. Good place to buy food and snacks and to give you a starting figure for souveniers. Look for transport outside of the hotel.


perry missner
1/20/2001

We visited Borobudur, the Palace and Prambanan. My wife has siblings who live in Jogya so all of our transportation was provided. Eat the chicken at Nyonya Suharti - ayam goreng - delicious!


herman ten klooster
1/13/2001

On the stay mentioned I used Ibis Slipi as a staging place for my through trip to Banjarmasin the next day. One week later I stayed again, this time for one week and used the hotel to reconnoitre Jakarta again. I can recommend Ancol Seaworld to everybody.


stuart davies
1/6/2001

Nusa Dua is a very safe place.


terry ievers
1/5/2001
Stayed at:

Very overpriced in view of quality of the hotel, food, service and the local costings. We expected a far superior facility in every way.


masayuki terakura
1/5/2001
Stayed at:

I am not sure the shuttlebus's schedule to go beach. The hotel need open offered. The good restaurant very cloth.


amanda tinworth
1/2/2001

I found Bali to be the perfect destination, for a cheap, beautiful, friendly and special holiday. I recommend people to get away from Kuta, and all the major tourist resort and places. That is NOT the real Bali. Try mingling with the LOCALS - THEY will show you what its all about. Good Place to visit is LOVINA, up in NORTH bali... I stayed there for about a month, and the people are great! Good for a night playing instruments on the beach till the sun rises.... Singaraja is only good for passing through..dont bother staying there. If you can be bothered, learn a little of the language. It makes life alot more interesting, and alot less stressfull. (If anything just learn to say "No Thank you" or "I have no money", so the hawkers will leave you alone. They are more likely to harrass you if you continue speaking in English)<br><br> P.S If your drinking ARAK, be careful of the mornings after. *green face*


boy menist
1/1/2001
Stayed at:

Bogor's botanical gardens are nice, but do avoid holidays! Bogor itself was a disappointment: it is very dirty and not quite as tranquil as the guidebook promised.


wayne maxner
1/1/2001

Bali is truly beautiful, and even more if you exit the Kuta area. I suggest double checking the tally of all bills and change you receive. In less than 24 hours in Kuta we encountered no less than 5 blatant attempts to rip us off. Also, once you have been there for a while you may find that paying 1/3 or less of the asking price for things is not out of the question.


andrew & elaine holborn
12/31/2000

Good restaurants on Senggigi beach. Kuta was worth a visit.


claudio bridi
12/29/2000

If I go to Bali again I would stay in Padang-Padang Warung again( i did it from dec/29 to jan/1) and it was really much better than staying in Balisani. Don't miss to visit the kintamani, monkey temple and turtle island.


leo de haan
12/27/2000

It was Idul Fitry so all shops were closed and we stayed in the hotel, went for a swim in the pool and had a good rest.


steve harrop ophelia daug
12/27/2000

Very hot and humid. Lots of tours and lots of Aussies!


robert kenny
12/26/2000

We thought the best restaurants in Ubud were Ary's Warung and Terazo - good food and good atmosphere, though I wouldn't describe either as authentically local. For outings, Tanah Lot is the temple everyone is supposed to visit. The coastline is impressive, but you can't see much of the temple itself, and the area is overrun with hawkers. Another time I'd skip it, and maybe travel further west to see the coastline unadulterated. Much better was Pura Luhur, a small temple in a beautiful setting on the flank of Batukaru. It was very peaceful and had a magical quality to it.


alison pearce
12/26/2000
Stayed at:

There is little tourism (ie it is not commercialised - yet) & therefor little to do, but that was the appeal for us. The 1/2 day 'city' tour (US$22 pp) of a temple, palace, market & the inevitable visit to a 'typical' village which just so happened to have a basket seller, was not good value. Seeing the countryside with the fruit trees, nuts etc made up for it. Other trips to basket makers & weavers are also available, as is a 3 day trip to the mountain. A trip to the Gili islands made a pleasant day out but the reef is in poor condition. Mountain bikes were available & appeared to be in reasonable condition.


david kilham
12/24/2000

The location of the hotel is close to some restaurants and other shops if you want to get out (we were only staying between flights). Jakarta is possibly not most people's place for any sort of visit for a holiday.


richard redcap
11/28/2000

Bruno Mountain was very interesting, but the trip there was nerve racking and dangerous. We saw two head-on vehicle crashes and were very nearly involved in one ourselves. After that experience we tended to stay close to the hotel and hang out at the mall.


jacques corcos
11/26/2000

Ubud is probably one interesting place to stay and visit. The Amandari hotel is a must and deserve at least the time of a lunch. The best wood carving can be find at Mas (don' t miss the Tumel Galery the best on the island).


russ hagan
11/22/2000
Stayed at:

Internet at the hotel was too slow. At the Monkey Park, my travel companion did not follow the advice of leaving sunglasses behind and set them on a rock while looking for his camera. Luckily, the monkey was hungry and swiped the peanuts instead. The drive up and back was better than the monkeys, and our guide had so many recommendations for places to see that we should have schduled more time to make some other stops.


peter mcguckian
11/18/2000
Stayed at:

In kuta, we recommend Aroma restaurant in JL Legian for delicious vegetarian food and a great capuccino (not always easy in Bali). There is also Un's for maragaritas and good food.


june chan
11/17/2000

Mt Bromo is about 2 hours away. Go there to see the spectacular sunrise on the active volanic mountain.


patricia miller
11/5/2000

We arrived at 6:00 pm and the traffic was very congested. It took us over an hour to get to the hotel from the airport. We ate at the Lebanese restaurant and the food was great. We took a shopping tour to Block M which took us about 10 minutes to get there. A great shopping area.


derk bolt
11/1/2000

It's the same with taxidrivers. Don't expect them to know anyting, English is scarsely spoken. Indonesian taste is very different. A recommended cosy restaurant is like the lobby of the Hiatt hotel (very uncosy). A High Quality restaurant can turn out to be a tasteless Chinese. Anyway, the best spot in town is the Cafe Batavia in the "kota" area (center) or JJ Duit, about 20 min from hotel (restaurant, cafe, dancing)


mrs. purwanti bintang rachmadi
10/29/2000
Stayed at:

I loved the tour around the small village and show us how making ceramics and another things, but the hotel information not response or call me back when we asked about what we needs from the tour. It seemed not have a good connection with the tours. Anyway, the others was good !


lance reeve
10/28/2000

Taxi's are reasonable and air conditioned.


soehardiman kasidin
10/19/2000
Stayed at:

Destination - great from the hotel we get a city map to visit all the places around our destination. From the concierge of the hotel we arrange a tour with driver. The driver was great.


richard rossmark
10/16/2000
Stayed at:

Kuta is a little busy - not the place to go if you want seclusion. The people selling things on the beach can be very annoying. Look around to see what things cost before you buy anything.


supaporn jirakawinsatitkul
10/13/2000

I WENT TO SURABAYA ON BUSINESS TRIP. THERE IS ONE GOOD INDONESIAN RESTAURANT NAMED LIA, THE FOOD TASTES GOOD, THE RESTAURANT IS CLEAN AND THE PRICE IS DECENT. I COMMUTE BY TAXI AND ITS RATE IS VERY INEXPENSIVE COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES I HAVE EVER BEEN.


daniel meere
10/9/2000
Stayed at:

Bali is an interesting and culturally diverse place to visit. We took a trip recommended by the hotel for the afternoon and saw Kecak dance, artisan exhibitions and had an excellent meal. The only drawback was the constant sales people at each location we visited. The hotel location is pleasant and remote, so allow extra time to reach the major towns. Free shuttle service was very good.


masashi kato
10/5/2000

Destination: good for shopping or business. Restaurant: I stayed here before and I think breakfast are little grade down than before.


bill ekhoff
9/30/2000
Stayed at:

The poppies restaurant was delightful. The ambiance was relaxing and comfortable and the food was delicious. We ate most of our meals here.


clive / mia dixon / gooris
9/25/2000

Jakarta is a good place for shopping and to make arrangements to travel to other parts of the country, not a place where you want to spend more than one or two days.


audrey manion
9/21/2000

It's a little out of town but we were met at the station by hotel staff, and it's on the way to Borobudor. Our tour guide picked us up at the hotel. Try the Tirta Kencana, Jalan Ring Road Selatan Janti, for an Indonesian buffet at a good price.


sylvain suissa
9/18/2000
Stayed at:

The problem with Bali, is that you get continuously harrassed (politely) by all the merchants,peddlers who want to sell you something. So learn these words: NO, THANK YOU because you will be using them a lot. You cannot walk 5 meters without being offered something to buy. The place I enjoyed the most was Jimbaran Bay, for the quiet and relaxing beach and for the excellent seafood served in the many restaurants located right there on the beach. You must have dinner there (at sunset) it is magical. A placed I liked particularly for the panoramas are PURI THANAT LOT and PURI ULUWATU. The view of the volcano and the lake at KILIMANTAN is impressive. Nothing is expensive in Bali. Great dinner and drink for about Rp 37000. I used taxis (very cheap) to get around all those places. Woodcrafting is incredible and I wish I could have brought back a lot more things with me (I could hardly close my suitcase).


marilyn mcmullen
9/16/2000

The purpose of our holiday was to relax and do nothing. We've been to Bali before so we didn't feel the need to sight-see. We walked everywhere. I loved not getting in a car for a whole week. The most interesting restaurant was Carusos. Its on the beach just up from Legian - its built to look like a tree-house - the food was inexpensive and good. The hawkers on the beach were quite well behaved. Much less hassling than in the past.


norman saban
9/5/2000
Stayed at:

Bali is fantastic. This was our second trip to Bali. I suggest staying in Seminyak as opposed to Kuta. This area is much nicer and quieter. Hotel has free shuttle to Kuta if needed. My favorite tour in Bali is to Tanah Lot and to Lake Bratan. Both these areas are very beautiful.


neo choon keong
9/2/2000
Stayed at:

Our group walked to Kuta area. Transport is not a problem.


Anonymous
8/30/2000
Stayed at:

Bali has loads of possibilities for all types of travellers. There are thousand of temples to visits in addition to the natural wonders. One can go surfing in Kuta or white water rafting in Ubud and that's just the tip of the iceberg for these adventure tours.


miho yamanoi
8/24/2000

During my stay,I could enjoy day-tours which the hotel recommended.It is a good position for getting around Bali.Only thing I am disappointed at was that the hotel was a bit far from the main beach of Sanur.


jonathan tinney
8/16/2000
Stayed at:

BOROBUDUR AT SUNRISE WAS BREATHTAKING AND ALTHOUGH IT WAS STENUOUSA ND RATHER DANGEROUS AT TIMES THE CLIMB UP MUNT MERAPI IS A MUST FOR HIKERS.THE RAMAYANA BALLET UNDER THE STARS AT PRAMBANAN IS ALSO A MEMORABLE EXPRIENCE.


hardy joergensen
7/16/2000

We hired a car with a driver and made a roundtrip for 8 days. It was unforgetable.


cynthia pauly
7/15/2000

This hotel included airport transportation which was more than helpful, considering that we were a traveling party of five. We had personal attention both when we arrived at the hotel and when departing. The tour desk personnel gave us good advise on which attractions to see and at what cost plus arranged for special seating for the evening performance of the Ramayana. The driver they provided us with was friendly and efficient. <br><br>Being that our breakfast was included in the price of this hotel rate and also that our departure flight would leave early in the morning before regular breakfast hours, the hotel staff suggested we leave our breakfast requests with them before going to bed so that they could deliver it to our room before hours. They did just that, most efficiently and quietly. The breakfast was hot, delicious and plentiful.


sue and doug speedie
6/28/2000
Stayed at:

We took two tours while there arranged through the travel agent at the hotel and both were excellent. Worth taking. Be sure to visit Kuta and be prepared for lots of traffic and intense shopping. Be sure to bargain!!!!!! Prices are really something to see but BARGAIN!!! If you are interested in Playstation games they are really cheap-about $1.00US a game-but be warned-I bought 6 and they won't play! Sigh.<br><br> In Kuta you will find KFC,McDonalds,Wendy's etc.<br><br> If you are going to take a taxi anywhere take the blue taxi-they are metered. Be careful of the traffic when crossing the road.


christopher thiersch
6/17/2000

Yogyakarta was incredibly quiet over the last days. Other hotels were almost empty, the Melia was the only hotel with some guests but was still very quiet. To visit Borobudur and the Phrambanan temple we booked a taxi via the in-house travel agency. (very good service). Walking alone in Yogyakarta at night is discouraged but it is ok in 2.


james troescher
6/13/2000

It is necessary to use taxi service or auto in this area, as there is danger to those on foot.


colin brown
6/8/2000

I got around by taxi and becak -- easy. Yogya still has a relaxed lifestyle. Sari Raja is a good Padang restaurant; Moro Lejar (in Pakem) for seafood. Did not take any tours -- business visit


jonathan firth
6/4/2000
Stayed at:

As seven of us were looking to try some local food, we asked at reception where they could recommend. Three of us bundled into one cab and the rest got into the one behind. Due to some sort of communication breakdown, the cab drivers took us different places. We had a great meal with copious amounts of Bintang in lively surroundings at the place the hotel staff suggested: the other four got food poisoning.


paul lavergne
6/2/2000

Bus stop was very near. I could easy take a taxi. Tram stop also.<br><br> 7-11 is near here.<br><br> I feel like a theater screen - what a view of harbour(from 25F).


dale arnold
5/31/2000
Stayed at:

Ate at the Oasis Restaurant---a little bit expensive but very nice atmosphere. Shopped at Pigura Arts & Gifts--bargain pewtershop.


james polk
5/27/2000
Stayed at:

Sanur is a quiet location. The restaurants are reasonable and the area is not as touristy as Kuta or Nusa Dua.


paul beamish
5/23/2000
Stayed at:

Bali is great.


phillip lindsell
5/22/2000
Stayed at:

Hire a roadside private taxi to tour the island Rp200 - 250 per day and go where you want. End day at Ullawatu to watch the sun go down. Magnificent!! (Watch your hats/sunnies from the monkeys).


Anonymous
5/22/2000
Stayed at:

Quiet area next to the Oberoi. Easy access (walking distance) to the ever popular "La Lucciola" restaurant. Not too many hawkers on the beach which is clean in this area. Easy to visit other areas by negotiating a price for "transport", arranging a tour through the hotel or even taking a shuttle service which is booked through many different offices (often also money changing offices) - these pick up at hotels and are good for reachihg more distant places relatively cheaply.


sapuan basari
5/15/2000

Getting around is easy. A few shopping plazas are within walking distance. There are plenty of foodcourts in these plazas.


simon and fran breeze
5/4/2000
Stayed at:

The big plus about Poppies Cottages is that it is just across the lane from the famous Poppies Restaurant. This has a justly deserved reputation for excellence of food and atmosphere. Don''t even try to walk in and get a table after 8pm most nights! The great thing is that ''Room Service'' at Poppies (and the breakfast too) comes across from the restaurant at no extra charge. On a rainy night or when you''ve forgotten to book a table, its a godsend. AND the food is presented in its delivered form, just as it is in the restaurant. Waking each day to a beautiful breakfast on your own front porch was a joy.<br><br> We walked to the two main streets (50 metres!) but if we wanted to go further it is so easy to pick up a ''Bemo'' which is your own minibus and the fares are cheap if you know what to offer. A short trip (5-10 min) will cost you $US 1-2 and a longer one $US5. But watch out because they will always try for higher fares (can you blame them?) and they charge more for the trip back compared to the outward journey (they''ve got you in a corner then). But its all good friendly bargaining and a smile gets you a very long way. The only time we cringe is when we hear a visitor shooting his/her mouth off in an unpleasant way.<br><br> We did a trip (Bali Hai Cruise) across to Lembongan Island (2.5 hours by large sailing boat but the ''smellies'' get there much quicker). Absolutely wonderful. Crystal clear water, clean sand and facilities. First class buffet lunch (not like some we''ve had). Very friendly staff (especially on the boat) and great organisation at the resort (we are not ones for organised packages but this struck a good balance of plenty of possibilities of things to do but no compulsion). Altogether a wonderful day trip and the cruise home at sunset was magic. One point to note it that the open seas between Bali and Lembongan can be quite choppy. Several people on our boat were sea-sick (and the crew were wonderful in their care and assistance). So if this could be a problem, better to take the bigger high-speed ''palaces''.


susan aitken
4/23/2000

Bali is a beautiful spot. I highly recommend renting a car and driving around, especially to unique spots like Gunung Kawi and Tirtigangga. Indonesians are very friendly and helpful. Stay out of Kuta which is not the highlight of Bali. Seminyak area is very peaceful and beautiful. Good place for a romantic holiday. For families I would recommend areas where the surf is not so rough, like Sanur. But be careful: parts of Sanur beach are not very good: Stay close to the Bali Hyatt in Sanur - thats the nice end of the beach.


kenneth hambrick
4/22/2000

Bali is a beautiful place. People are very friendly, gracious and helpful. Prices are unbelievably cheap for those with US$ You can hire a car and driver for about US$26 for a full day and tour the island. Definitely would return for a wonderful, restful stay. Again, Sanur area is the best area to stay. Easy and cheap to get to Kuta if you want the nightlife.


sabina sahni
4/22/2000
Stayed at:

MUST see near Bukit Tinggi: Lake Maninjau. Hire a taxi to take you to Puncak Lawan and hike down to the lake (leisurely 3hrs). Wear sturdy walking shoes. Then you can go for a swim (the water is WARM!) in the lake.


margaret fox
4/13/2000

The beach by the hotel wasn't that beautiful and Kuta is a ridiculous tourist trap. I would avoid most things south of the hotel.


olle ostensson
4/9/2000

Always make sure that your taxi driver knows where you want to go. Many drivers are too shy to ask and you can spend a lot of time driving around looking for an address.


harold h brandt
3/29/2000

Surabaya lacks anything to attract tourists -- all the worthwhile sites are fairly distant from the city. Beware also of taxi companies who lure propsective clients into using cabs in lieu of tour buses to explore distant sites. I used Blue Bird (a presumably reputable cab company) to visit Penataram Temple and Sukarno's grave site. First, the company gave me an estimate of Rp. 150,000 for the round trip fare; the actual fare was more than twice that amount, in part because the driver, Mr. Sanyoto, insisted on taking me to other "attractions" nearby with which he was familiar, and in part because Mr. Sanyoto, I am absolutely convinced, had no idea where Penataram was. I asked him several times to obtain a map; instead, he asked directions twice, then proceeded to get lost on the way back to Surabaya in a heavy downpour. All the while, he was friendly, chatty, and generally a nice person, with a fair command of English -- but he was clearly out to make a few bucks (or a few thousand rupiah) more than I had bargained for.


patricia miller
3/27/2000

Rent a car and go shopping, especially to the pottery factory. We also rented a car and a boat to go to the Gili Islands to enjoy sun and snorkeling. We only ate in the hotel because the food was great and very reasonable. My husband also enjoyed the golf, but it was quite a distance away from the hotel.


patricia miller
3/27/2000

Golf courses very close, great golf course on the hotel grounds. If you go, you have to see the Borabadur Temple at sunrise. We rented a car and driver to take us there and what an experience.


shu hoong yong
3/27/2000
Stayed at:

I got around by taxi. Need to take caution - especially for first time visitors.


ronnie lim
3/15/2000
Stayed at:

The surrounding shops are closed at all times, unable to get the basic neccessarities, like umbrella or toothbrush, etc.


joseph hwang
2/14/2000

Most everything is as nice and good as advertised. It might not be a good idea to visit the so called turtle island. It's an amature zoo with poor animals in poor condition. We were offered on the street free rafting trip, claimed sponsored by hotels. Turned out that you have to attend a sales presentation of some time sharing vacation programme.


joseph cohen
1/5/2000
Stayed at: Tugu Hotel Bali

The best way to travel is rent a car and driver. Because of traffic this is the best way to actually arrive where you are going. Once you know your way around, you might attempt to navigate on your own. However, The driver that I hired was both kind and became a friend. He even invited my fiancee and I to his home for his sons first birthday.


hugh foster
1/2/2000

Most of the restaurants near the hotel at Senggigi are excellent and not expensive. White water rafting was good (inland day trip), but a bit expensive. Everybody has to visit the Gili islands for snorkelling - pleasant boat trip and good variety of fish to see. A day trip to Kuta beach (almost deserted in strong contrast to its Bali namesake) is worthwhile.


sheila macleod
12/31/1999
Stayed at:

a trip to Ubud is worth your while and also a drive through some of the rice paddies north of Ubud. You can skip Besakih Temple but the Batur area is very pretty on a clear day.


aarne & eliane dubrovin
12/16/1999

Hotel is close to some nice restaurants, some cheap and some pricier, but excellent. In general, found hawkers too aggressive right around hotel and touristy areas.


david ruble
11/28/1999
Stayed at:

Stay on the beach away from congested areas if possible. Rafting trip recommended.


kee pin ong
11/23/1999
Stayed at:

Visitors will probably need at least a week to soak Bali in. Don't settle for any less days as there are too many places of interest and fewer days will lead to a rushed holiday. Bali needs to be taken in at a slow leisurely pace ....


peter eayre
11/7/1999

The street vendors of watches, pearls, hats and others can be very insistent at times. They do not know the meaning of NO.


david chow
10/25/1999

We had an excellent romantic dinner at the "Singaraja" restaurant at the Bali Intercontinental Hotel in Jimbaran Bay. We signed up for a snorkelling trip through the Grand Hyatt Bali's Watersports Center. The snorkelling was pretty good, but time was wasted when the guide took us to a "turtle sanctuary" I figured that this "sanctuary" was just a tourist trap and the operators did not truly care about protecting endangered green sea turtles.


steven harvey
10/24/1999

The only problem with this hotel is that being downtown, the traffic noise and pollution can be overwhelming. There are many good movie theatres where first run movies can be seen for half the price in the US. Taxis are very cheap and easy to get around in.


Anonymous
10/9/1999

Travel agent in the hotel can arrange trips to any site in the area on short notice. Yogyakarta is an excellent base for excursions to Solo, Borobodur, Dieng Plateau etc.


dennis mcdermott
9/11/1999
Stayed at:

Yogyakarta is fairly compact, flat and slow-paced, so take the horse-drawn or cycle rickshaw cabs for atmospheric transport to destinations near your hotel. Yogyakarta has a large student population and some entertainment spots offer decent live bands. Go to see the Ramayana ballet, wayang kulit shadow puppets, and Sultan's palace in the city. Borobudur and Prambanan are absolute must-sees within an hour of the city. The bus tours leave very early and tour groups sometimes book them up; hiring a car and driver for Rp 200,000 for the day proved a better alternative. The airport is just a few kilometres from the city, and traffic seems to flow smoothly.


lewis and carol young
9/10/1999
Stayed at:

The destinations were Bali, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Airplane, trains , buses and minivans were used for transportation. There were historic and cultural tours, along with adventure. I visited temples, king's palaces and museums; rode elephants, enjoyed dance theaters and of course beach areas, etc. Most of the restaurants used were in the hotels which did an excellent job in their preparation of a variety of foods both eastern and western. Thanks to the chefs.


cao thai michel
9/3/1999
Stayed at:

Bali is a beautiful place but in the city, take care when you want to change your dollars.


arthur antilla
8/30/1999
Stayed at:

We were in Balikpapan to visit our son who is a volunteer at the Orangutan Project in Wanariset. We found the area interesting, charming and quite beautiful. We found the food at the Dusit very good but did venture out one evening to Jack's Place on the beach and found that to be quite good, great atmosphere and excellent Mexican food.


stephani declercq
8/15/1999

The destination was O.K., a little too close to Kuta and it was not possible to swim in the ocean due to the big waves. We rented our own car and drove around the Island. We visited Ubud. Once we went for dinner to a very smal original restaurant called WARUNG BALI in Krobokan. This was the nicest restaurant on the Island, very simple and small (only four tables). The very creative Balinese food was delicious and there were very few tourists.


holly schmidt
8/11/1999

This hotel is located on the northern side of Sanur Beach, which is good if you're looking for a quieter place. But you will need to take a taxi to get to the main part of Sanur where all the good restaurants and shopping are.


takuya kakehashi
8/8/1999

A big local shopping mall(Galleria Mall) is located next door. Convenient Super Market there.


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