Willing a good driver? Go to Flores!

Buy my book – Cross Borneo

Finding a good driver is always a problem and basically a deal between internet reviews and price.

I contacted several people and finally we decided for Sipri Muda.

I discussed with him the route and fixed the price. 4.200.000 IDR for 2 people.

Few days before landing in Labuan Bajo, he contacted me just saying that he got an important familiar appointment and he would have send his big brother, Agustin.

This is something that didn’t make us happy, anyhow we decided to trust him and we did our trip with Agustin.

Agustin is really first of all a great man and for sure a safe and relaxing driver.

In Flores, like in other part of Asia, the traffic has his own rules that we, western people, cannot understand. Everything look like a complete disordered mess… even though, Agustin let us feel relaxed and safe. He was always proud and curious about his land and we just felt like our “brother”.

He speak a really good English, his car is a Xenia, new, with air condition, really comfortable and last but not least, he is really helpful whatever you asked and he came always with us during the visit!

This is the trip we’ve done:

Day 1: Labuan Bajo – Todo Village (Manggarai tribe) – Spider web Rice Fields near Cara Village – Ruteng (overnight).

Day 2: Ruteng – Ranamese freshwater lake – Aimere arak distillery – Bajawa (overnight).

Day 3: Full day trip in Bajawa: Trekking to Tululela Village (1½ hours) – Gurusina Village (Ngada tribe) – Bena Village (Ngada tribe) – Mangeruda Hot Spring – Bajawa (overnight).

Day 4: Bajawa – Boa Wae Village – Viewpoint of Embulobo active volcano – Penggajawa blue stone beach – Ende – Saga Village (Lio tribe) – Moni (overnight).

Day 5: Moni – Kelimutu Crater Lakes – Maumere airport

This is the contact information:

email : agustinusfloreslantana@yahoo.co.id

website: http://www.discoveryfloresindotours.com

webmail: info@discoveryfloresindotours.com

WA number + 62 81 339 898 865

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Something about boat tour in Flores (Komodo)

Buy my book – Cross Borneo

As soon as I decided to visit Flores, I started my research on Internet about the best cruise I could afford.

I contacted basically all the best reviewed in Trip Advisor and then I decided to do with a local, Indonesian Boat and tour, in Tripadvisor the best of the local ones.

Even if the price was not so cheap in comparison with others (7.000.000 IDR for 2 days for 2 person with AC), as the picture of the boat was the best in compare of what the other locals sent me, I confirmed everything at the end of January and reconfirmed again 2 weeks and 1 week before my arrival.

Yanto, this is the name of the owner of Indonesia Boat and Tour, the day before our departure, at 19:00 (!!!) send me a text, saying that due to reorganization of the boats I would have another one, but with the same specification… I asked for the picture and… It was not the same as discussed…

Quello proposto e confermato a gennaio

Cambio del giorno prima!!!

Cambio del giorno prima!!!Cambio del giorno prima!!!

The manager of Wae Molas (Rajab Halla) helped me to find a boat directly at the harbor and I decided to do 2 days with 2 different Boat, without overnight.

The cost per day was 1.300.000 IDR, the boat clean and the tour, both of the day really amazing…

Just after my experience these are my recommendation:

1.      Do not use Indonesian Boat od Yanto and for sure do not send money in advance!

2.      If you want to book in advance, do it, but with Wunderplus. It would cost 15.000.000 IDR for a private tour for 2 person on the Mimic all included. The boat is really good, safe and clean. European standard

3.      Snorkeling equipment could be rent in the shops close to the harbor for 15.000 IDR. I do suggest to come with your own mask and to rent just only the fins.

4.      I do suggest to arrive in Labuan Bajo and to go directly on the harbor and find a deal with a local person, better if you would be with some person of your hotel (Rajab of Wae Molas was really a great help!). The price, food included should be around 4.000.000 IDR for the 2 days for the complete boat for 2 person. No A/C.

a.      Be aware that the engine is the most important part of the boat. The sea is really dangerous around there and would be better to have 2 in good condition

b.      The toilette: this is the second important thing. Please check it, not only if proper, but only if it works

c.      Bed and overall cleanness

And remember, HAVE FUN!

Bali

Giugno 2016

A Bali c’è posto davvero per tutti!

Per chi vuole rilassarsi, per la luna di miele, per l’amante del lusso sfrenato, per il backpaker, per il viaggiatore, per il fattone…

Trasporti

Bali non brilla per i trasporti pubblici. Diciamo che sono praticamente inesistenti e dovrete affidarvi soprattutto ai trasporti che offre la PeramaKura Kura.

Ci sono diverse possibilità per potersi spostare a Bali.

  1. Auto con driver: da 600.000 IDR/giorno/auto. Un’ottima opportunità per poter visitare tutta l’isola. Nel caso in cui non abbiate voglia di farvi un proprio itinerario, sicuramente il vostro driver vi aiuterà a scoprire le bellezze turistiche di Bali. Tuttavia a mio parere se volete un contatto più diretto con le persone del luogo di conviene optare sul fai da te
  2. Affittare un’auto: da 300.000 IDR. Sinceramente penso che non sia la scelta più conveniente. Anzitutto si guida a sinistra, poi considerate che le strade di Bali sono molto strette, e il traffico molto intenso, le condizioni stradali alle volte davvero povere, e in più mi troverete spesso motorini auto tutto quello che evidentemente che vieni contromano! Guidare a Bali un’auto è come essere dentro ad un videogioco……… tipo Carmageddon!!! Se proprio siete intenzionato all’affitto, vi consiglio balicarfinder.com, davvero conveniente con servizio di drop off in hotel o all’aeroporto a costo zero!!! Auto da 23$/giorno assicurazione compresa.
  3. Affittare un motorino, ma non guidate a Kuta se non volete diventare una frittella!!! il costo dell’affitto della motorino, che normalmente è dotato di cambio automatico, si aggira attorno ai 50.000 IDR al giorno. I noleggiatori si trova praticamente ovunque. Il costo della benzina è irrisorio e i distributori si trovano in ogni angolo di Bali. Sicuramente non potrebbe fare delle grandissime distanze come in auto, ma girare tutta l’isola è comunque fattibile. Le difficoltà maggiori si hanno nei grandi centri abitati, come Ubud, Kuta e Denpasar e dove ci sono le maggiori attrattive turistiche. Per evitare di perdervi, potete scaricare sul vostro cellulare le seguenti applicazioni:
    1. Maps.meAppAndroidAmazon
      • Applicazione completamente gratuita, offline e che funziona davvero bene! Dovete solo scaricare le mappe, anch’esse completamente gratuite!
    2. TomTomGo
      • AppAndroidOttimo, offline, navigazione gratuita per i primi 70 km, poi a pagamento (19,99 euro all’anno). Mappe da scaricare gratuitamente

Continue reading “Bali”

Brunei Darulassam

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I spent one night and one full day in Brunei.

It was a good choice, Brunei is a must to see!

TRANSPORT

We arrived by bus from Miri, really simple, 4 hours, with PHLS company, the only one that is allowed do this kind of transportation. 20 BDN (Brunei Dollar).

There are 2 means of transport a day from Miri, one at 8:05 and another at 16:05, leaving from Terminal Bas Tudan and arriving at Bandar Seri Begawan Waterfront.

I bought the tickets online, at easybook.com; you need to register, but it is not a great deal and then to take with you a print out of the reservation… Not more! Anyhow, the people that travel to Brunei are not so much and in case you could also “risk ” to get your ticket the same day at the Terminal!
The bus is really comfortable and the sightseeing amazing!

BORDER

Passing through the border, not a big deal! No needs to pay or to get Visa in advance, just fill up the paper, give your passport, smile and go!

SLEEPING

We spent the night at the Brunei Hotel (97 BDN) in a superior twin room booked with Agoda, great value for money and really great food! With our superior room the transportation to the airport was included.

SEEING

I just got a useful map on the web.

After a great and complete breakfast, we start our full day in Brunei.

We decided for a visit by boat (30 SDN for both). The man was also a great guide. He showed us, Kampong Ayer, the water village, that is basically the biggest of the world, the Mosque, the Sultan Palace. Inside the mangroves, we also saw the proboscis monkeys and a coral snake!

Then we walk through the shopping center and in front of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

We spend more than 1:30 hours at the Royal Regalia and then we took some food just to eat it in our room (see chapter “RAMADAN”)

After that, we decided to take the circular bus and just to see all the city by a public transportation. It was amazing because the people were really curious.

Before getting to the airport we spend the remaining time in one of the markets close to the river, in Tamu Kianggeh

I need to say that the best part of Brunei is people! It is not full with tourist, and people are really kind and they are trying to help you every time, even if not asked!

WEATHER

Hot! Wet! Rain!

It is Borneo, so… rain is a must!

RAMADAN

Just some few words about it. We went during the Ramadan period.

The Brunei law says that is not allowed to eat and to drink in public, jail is the penalty. It means that the restaurants are open, but they are not allowed to serve you anything. If you want, you just need to buy, take away the food and eat it with “discretion” in your room.

So please be discrete, don’t ask, it is not allowed to serve you.

ROYAL BRUNEI AIRLINES

We used it to fly to Denpasar (272 BDN).

We left in delay because they were waiting for another flight coming from China.
The personal on board were really smart and friendly, food good on board and entertainment great.

I did not like the landing… In case it would have been perfect!