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Exotic Java and Bali JV

Visiting: Indonesia
Trip Duration 14 Days
 

Reviews for Exotic Java and Bali

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Exotic Java & Bali reviews verified by reevooReevoo

8 reviews

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Exotic Java & BaliScores 8.6 out of 10 based on 8 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Michele

Dorset
A great insight to the lovely islands of Java and Bali. Some very comfortable hotels and although the Lava View Lodges at Mount Bromo were a little more basic a great night in the restaurant singing to the local live music helped with a great nights sleep. Some very early starts to the days, not only to catch the sunrise but also to help avoid the very hot humid weather. The sunrise over Mount Bromo was quiet chilly so warm clothes definitely recommended but well worth getting up at 2.45 in the morning to see. Walking over the sea of sand and walking up Mount Bromo was a definite hi light, the smell of the sulphur, the loud rumbling and the sight of fire was amazing.
Many temples visited all completely different from each other, each facinating in their own right with very knowledgeable local tour guides to help.
A visit to a local plantation was another hi light where coffee, sugar palm, nutmeg,cinnamon, cocoa and other spices were grown and sampled, finishing with a snack, drink, gifts and a dance by local children from the plantation workers, a great end to a great morning.
The tour is very busy and quite a bit of travelling but with a great bus driver, his helper and a great tour leader in Pieter the travelling provided good time for rest.
Bali is definaltey more commercialised and quite a lot busier than Java. A great evening out to see the fire dance was a delight, very unusual and not expected at all but so worth a visit.
A great tour and well worth the money.
Confirmed traveller: 23 April 2017
Published on: 30 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Cuba

The itinerary covered Java (interesting and varied) and Bali (noisy and touristy). I didn't like Bali because it was such a tourist destination especially for the Australians. However, this is a personal view and I think the itinerary offers the opportunity to see two very different Indonesian islands.

The itinerary was well balanced with walks, ancient buildings, dance and theatre. In a very short time I achieved a real feel for Indonesian culture and its heritage. People were pleasant, restaurants were cheap, the transport was good and the hotels, excluding the simple category were of a very good quality. Even the simple stays were fine, reminiscent of the accommodation used in the past. In fact the Lava View Lodge was so well located it would be unkind to be critical and will be happily remembered for a night singing along with the local musician.

Tips
1. If you take part in the walks to Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen you will need some good walking or trail shoes, you do not need your walking boots.
2. Take light weight wet weather gear. This can double up as an additional layer when you do the early morning walks. It can be cold so take a woolly hat and gloves.
3. Drink plenty of water. The temperature was 31 - 32 degrees in mid April but felt like 40 degrees because the climate was very humid.
4. Enjoy the culture. Go on all the optional excursions - attend the puppet show and Ramayana Ballet in Yogyakarta and see the Fire Dance in Sanur. Importantly, visit the Exhibition of Masks and Puppets on the drive to Sanur, the exhibits are life size and displayed in traditional Javanese antique houses (donations).

On a final note I would say this holiday represents excellent value for money.
Confirmed traveller: 23 April 2017
Published on: 27 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Linda

North London
The two islands contrast well: Java still relatively unspoilt and predominantly Muslim, Bali more commercialised and predominantly Hindu.

There are a number of early morning starts, often to avoid the heat of the day, plus several 'hikes' of a rigorous nature (Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen on Java, to see sunrises, neither of which I did!).

The optional dolphin watching trip at Lovinia, Bali, was very good, although the number of boats (which could well have exceeded fifty) meant that there was a certain amount of vying for poll position, with some of the boat owners being rather aggressive.

On no account miss the included visit to the plantation on Java. I've been to several plantations in my time and this one stands out as being quite the best. The presentation was excellent and the content varied and informative. Our senses of sight, smell, touch and taste were assaulted with all kinds of lovely things. The finale was a dance demonstration by children who are supported by the plantation and it ended a most delightful morning.

The other excursion which should not be missed is the optional visit to Ulu Watu temple on Bali, to see the Fire Dance. Go very early in the afternoon if you want to see the temple (but beware of the monkeys) but go fairly early if you want a good central seat in the amphitheatre, otherwise you'll be packed in and sitting on the floor on the periphery of the acting area where there is at one point a ring of fire (no Elf and Safety here). It is quite the weirdest performance I think I've ever seen, but fascinating.

As with most Explore tours the pace is pretty full on, but the people are delightful and the countryside on both islands is beautiful. Go soon, before it all changes.
Confirmed traveller: 23 April 2017
Published on: 26 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Paul

Reading uk
Tour was very good value. The leader had very good insights into the country but needs more awareness to deal with the stronger characters in the group. The tour leader accommodated individuals interests. The highlights for us on the trip were the highland areas in Java and Ubud. Trip notes should have included more information about dress code for temples e.g. Men should not wear shorts.
Confirmed traveller: 22 April 2017
Published on: 06 May 2017
(9 out of 10)

James

Cork, Ireland
A full-on tour of some of the key sights of eastern Java and Bali. The highlights were the volcanoes Bromo and Ijen, and the ancient monuments of Prambanan and Borobodur.
Confirmed traveller: 22 April 2017
Published on: 27 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Claudia

london
I Had a Very Good Guide Pieter and a very good Driver Made Co Helper Putu
The Local Guide at Borobodur Gamal was Excellence his knowledge outstanding ,the visit to the Plantation Krikilan was on the Sunday a group of Children dance for us and made flower a beautifully place Tips the Royal Tombs of Gunung Kawi has over 300 steps to get down and up hard going in the heat of the day was not expecting , loved the Local Food
Confirmed traveller: 22 April 2017
Published on: 27 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Irlma

Vancouver, Canada
Overall a great trip with lots of diversity. Would have appreciated having sites/locations that were World Heritage Sites and/or National Parks to have been identified in the trip notes. Organized an independent trip to the Buddhist temple near Lovina Beach which was one of the trip highlights. Was only aware of it because in the trip notes it had been identified as an optional excursion although it was no longer being offered as such but Evy made arrangements for us to go.
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2017
Published on: 14 April 2017
(7 out of 10)

Eleanor

Hampshire
The culture of Java was fascinating & we did, as ever with Explore, cover a great deal of ground. Borobodur & Prambanan were very interesting & as usual, I wish I had done some homework before the trip. The walk in the lush countryside on the way to Tawang mangu was lovely, though it was sad that we walked the last section in darkness. Perhaps most fascinating was just seeing everyday life whether in the villages or the workshops along the way. For me, Bromo was a disappointment. The accommodation was poor & the minibus that took us there, probably dangerous. The sunrise excursion took involved hundreds if not thousands of early risers!
Bali was also a disappointment because it is now so popular. Ubud is very crowded although the paddy fields still retain some of their old charm. Sanur was pleasant.
I wonder if it might be worth looking at this trip again in the light of development in Bali? Is Lombok an alternative?
Evy, our guide, was absolutely charming & very keen to make our holiday a success. However, she didn't offer very much background to the country; perhaps seeing herself more as a trip organiser than a guide. For me, the guide's insight is often a highlight.
Lastly, at 18, everyone felt the group was too large, which is another key element in determining success. We did fill in questionnaires at the end of the trip but they haven't been posted so perhaps were for the local agent only?
Confirmed traveller: 27 August 2016
Published on: 07 March 2017