2 independent reviews for Indonesia vacations, tailor made, Orangutans & Komodo dragons

Reviews for Indonesia vacations, tailor made, Orangutans & Komodo dragons

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review 21 Jul 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Staying with the Iban tribe and seeing the orangutans in Sarawak, and Borobudur at sunset in Java. The beaches on Lombok and the Gilli Islands were gorgeous. We also saw an amazing kecak fire dance and had the best massage ever in Bali.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take time to choose an itinerary that takes in everything you want to see. We found domestic flights were often delayed in Indonesia, so it was good to use other forms of transport too e.g. trains and boats.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, as all our guides and drivers were local people. Also we visited some very interesting places, e.g. small villages such as Candirejo, which seemed to have just started opening up to tourism. We probably wouldn't have known about these spots if traveling independently and hopefully the majority of the profits will have gone directly to the villagers who showed us around. Environmentally we didn't do so well as lots of flying and endless plastic water bottles - probably should've taken a filter...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic! It was incredible to have everything pre-arranged and all the logistics sorted out for us, so relaxing and just what we needed after a hectic wedding! It also made it possible to squeeze a huge amount in to the time we had available. The guides were all good and some exceptional - we learnt a huge amount about everyday life in the countries visited, which enhanced our experience greatly.

review 26 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It's very hard to pick just one - but I think it was probably touring about on our boat for three days in the Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan visiting the orangutans. They were just amazing to watch and we got some great photos too. It was really relaxing being on the boat surrounded by nature and we were well looked after with an excellent guide and fabulous home cooked, traditional food.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We spent a couple of days in Surabaya in Java which wasn't really worth a visit - if I was going again I'd skip this or stay a shorter time if a stopover was required. There is a fantastic colonial hotel though - which is where we hung out for most of the time. Also in Lombok we stayed in Sengiggi and visited the Gili islands - if I went again I think I'd book to stay on the islands - probably Gili Meno which was gorgeous.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Benefited local people - We always had local guides and many of the tours we went on were run by locally owned companies - in particular a cycling tour in Ubud, Bali run by Banyan Tree Cycling where we went for lunch at the with the owner and his family at their compound after the tour. Wages are low here so we tipped generously. I think most of the hotels we stayed in were owned by international owners/companies - I guess that is to be expected for luxury hotels though. Environment - There was a lot of flying so not exactly carbon neutral! When we climbed up Rinjani there was a considerable problem with rubbish and although we took all our rubbish down with us and we did discuss the problem with our guide more could be done.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Really brilliant - it was our honeymoon and we really had a fabulous time. It was so well organised by the operator which took a lot of the stress out of traveling which was exactly what we needed with such a complicated itinerary. The hotels we stayed in were second to none - really fabulous and we were spoilt rotten!

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