Off to Flores, Sumba, Sumbawa and Lombok

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Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
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Karangasem, Bali
Will be off on my travels again at the end of the month. First a ferry with scooters to Flores then around that island for 10 days or so, then another ferry to Sumba for a further stretch, depending upon how we feel and how interesting it all is. Probably after that will ferry over to Bima on Sumbawa for a dash across that island with finally a run over the top of Lombok with our usual stop in Sengigi to drink Mario dry (most miserable Austrian fuck I've ever met but boy does he know how to keep his draft Bintang) for the home stretch back to Bali.

Am grateful for any tips or travel ideas you may have. Please understand we aren't big on ceremonies (Bali has enough of those, thanks) and "traditional villages" where you have to pay to get in. All the rest is great.

Thanks in advance
Markit
 

PERtoDPS

Active Member
Dec 31, 2018
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Enjoy, unfortunately (Depends how you see it I like having money) I returned to work and just 10 days in Bali is a luxury for me. But one day I aspire to do a similar trip, good on you, I hope you have a great time!
 
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Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
8,789
628
113
Karangasem, Bali
Anyone wishing to take a motor bike or scooter from one Island to the next in this country, not roll-on-roll-off, but in a container ship needs to make the first stop at the Benoa Harbour Police for a document of shipping called a Surat Jalan. At times there were up to six officials gathered around us during this process all acting as if they'd never ever heard of this before in their entire lives. After two hours of repeating the same questions again and again with multiple documentation we received the wonderful document for free. Hurrah! We are on our way! Or?
 
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Gulali

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
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How did it go? I know this was an old post, but I am curious to know so one day I can try this route too! TIA!
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
8,789
628
113
Karangasem, Bali
Sorry for not following this up! It was great, except for the ferries which are floating garbage dumps. Luckily on the first one we had a 2 man cabin (800k extra) but since it was a 40+ hour trip well worth it - supposedly a/c but couldn't really tell. Got to Flores and hung around Labuan Bajo getting a feel of the place - felt dry, really, really dry (before Covid) and trying to be a "new" Bali but with really no hope as there's FA there of interest. Personally I'd rather see alligators or crocodiles than the boring as feck lizards in the park, particularly since it costs about 6 million to get there and see that - that's a lot of cold Bintang. We drove around the island doing all the touristy things it says one shouldn't miss but in all honesty the island has not much of anything to heave itself above the usual island thingy. We loved the motorbiking and the roads (mostly, stick to Google maps) were great and empty so the siteseeing wasn't a disappointment since we largely didn't care anyway.

Took the ferry from Flores to Sumba (10 hours overnight in a floating garbage scow - no cabins this time but lots of chickens) and spent a couple of days in Waingapu drinking cold beer and scanning the locals. Waingapu is about as exciting as watching paint dry so we exited there and went and did the touristy thing all over Sumba. There is much more to see than on Flores but when we were there it was also 190 days since they'd had the last rain so brown was the color of most everything. Having said that they have some wonderful beaches there and the best beach hotel in the world, apparently - we didn't go. We try and keep the hotel budget around 150k/night leaving enough for a palette cleansing beverage or 2 or a willing local girl should one present herself. Happy to say that was not a problem. Being the only 2 "whiteys" on each island made us (or our wallets) fairly popular and since neither island has much in the way of western infrastructure we usually found a local department store that sold beer to hang out at. Word traveled fast! and we were usually the center of village entertainment withing the hour. It was fun :)

The plan was to catch a ferry from Sumba and then go over to Sumbawa (we'd been there before but I wanted to cover some things we'd missed the first time and its just a great ride, too) but there'd been a storm in the previous month and the ferry to Sumbawa was only going once a month and the next one was a fortnight away so change of plans and we caught the next garbage scow (ferry) to Lombok.

Lombok I've been to many times and it always disappoints, except Sengigi. There's a bar in Sengigi (used to be called Mario's, run by the most miserable m.f. Austrian you could ever hope not to meet but thankfully it's been handed on to his son-in-law, whose a great guy and equally serious about good beer) were the European land lord takes his beer seriously and serves the VERY BEST tap Bintang in all of Indonesia, if not the world. So we always rock up there and while away the hours after sunset. They used to have some really nice professional ladies too :) and the local barbecue joint just outside of town is brilliant.

Got home all safe and sound a few days after and had 2000km on the speedo with no issues or problems outside of a faulty cable that needed replacing on Sumba.

It's worth the effort if you enjoy the drive but if you are looking for the promised "10 New Balis" don't bother. In my opinion all four islands added together don't have 10% of the culture, scenery, infrastructure and just really nice people that Bali has.

Next trip is planned for Kalimantan sometime when this stupid virus BS is sorted, hopefully in February. Plan is to go overland to Jogja and then on to Semarang to catch a ferry. Want to try and do Brunei and Sarawak too if possible. Wish us luck.
 
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Ginand T

Member
Sep 30, 2019
46
6
8
Sorry for not following this up! It was great, except for the ferries which are floating garbage dumps. Luckily on the first one we had a 2 man cabin (800k extra) but since it was a 40+ hour trip well worth it - supposedly a/c but couldn't really tell. Got to Flores and hung around Labuan Bajo getting a feel of the place - felt dry, really, really dry (before Covid) and trying to be a "new" Bali but with really no hope as there's FA there of interest. Personally I'd rather see alligators or crocodiles than the boring as feck lizards in the park, particularly since it costs about 6 million to get there and see that - that's a lot of cold Bintang. We drove around the island doing all the touristy things it says one shouldn't miss but in all honesty the island has not much of anything to heave itself above the usual island thingy. We loved the motorbiking and the roads (mostly, stick to Google maps) were great and empty so the siteseeing wasn't a disappointment since we largely didn't care anyway.

Took the ferry from Flores to Sumba (10 hours overnight in a floating garbage scow - no cabins this time but lots of chickens) and spent a couple of days in Waingapu drinking cold beer and scanning the locals. Waingapu is about as exciting as watching paint dry so we exited there and went and did the touristy thing all over Sumba. There is much more to see than on Flores but when we were there it was also 190 days since they'd had the last rain so brown was the color of most everything. Having said that they have some wonderful beaches there and the best beach hotel in the world, apparently - we didn't go. We try and keep the hotel budget around 150k/night leaving enough for a palette cleansing beverage or 2 or a willing local girl should one present herself. Happy to say that was not a problem. Being the only 2 "whiteys" on each island made us (or our wallets) fairly popular and since neither island has much in the way of western infrastructure we usually found a local department store that sold beer to hang out at. Word traveled fast! and we were usually the center of village entertainment withing the hour. It was fun :)

The plan was to catch a ferry from Sumba and then go over to Sumbawa (we'd been there before but I wanted to cover some things we'd missed the first time and its just a great ride, too) but there'd been a storm in the previous month and the ferry to Sumbawa was only going once a month and the next one was a fortnight away so change of plans and we caught the next garbage scow (ferry) to Lombok.

Lombok I've been to many times and it always disappoints, except Sengigi. There's a bar in Sengigi (used to be called Mario's, run by the most miserable m.f. Austrian you could ever hope not to meet but thankfully it's been handed on to his son-in-law, whose a great guy and equally serious about good beer) were the European land lord takes his beer seriously and serves the VERY BEST tap Bintang in all of Indonesia, if not the world. So we always rock up there and while away the hours after sunset. They used to have some really nice professional ladies too :) and the local barbecue joint just outside of town is brilliant.

Got home all safe and sound a few days after and had 2000km on the speedo with no issues or problems outside of a faulty cable that needed replacing on Sumba.

It's worth the effort if you enjoy the drive but if you are looking for the promised "10 New Balis" don't bother. In my opinion all four islands added together don't have 10% of the culture, scenery, infrastructure and just really nice people that Bali has.

Next trip is planned for Kalimantan sometime when this stupid virus BS is sorted, hopefully in February. Plan is to go overland to Jogja and then on to Semarang to catch a ferry. Want to try and do Brunei and Sarawak too if possible. Wish us luck.



Sorry for not following this up! It was great, except for the ferries which are floating garbage dumps. Luckily on the first one we had a 2 man cabin (800k extra) but since it was a 40+ hour trip well worth it - supposedly a/c but couldn't really tell. Got to Flores and hung around Labuan Bajo getting a feel of the place - felt dry, really, really dry (before Covid) and trying to be a "new" Bali but with really no hope as there's FA there of interest. Personally I'd rather see alligators or crocodiles than the boring as feck lizards in the park, particularly since it costs about 6 million to get there and see that - that's a lot of cold Bintang. We drove around the island doing all the touristy things it says one shouldn't miss but in all honesty the island has not much of anything to heave itself above the usual island thingy. We loved the motorbiking and the roads (mostly, stick to Google maps) were great and empty so the siteseeing wasn't a disappointment since we largely didn't care anyway.

Took the ferry from Flores to Sumba (10 hours overnight in a floating garbage scow - no cabins this time but lots of chickens) and spent a couple of days in Waingapu drinking cold beer and scanning the locals. Waingapu is about as exciting as watching paint dry so we exited there and went and did the touristy thing all over Sumba. There is much more to see than on Flores but when we were there it was also 190 days since they'd had the last rain so brown was the color of most everything. Having said that they have some wonderful beaches there and the best beach hotel in the world, apparently - we didn't go. We try and keep the hotel budget around 150k/night leaving enough for a palette cleansing beverage or 2 or a willing local girl should one present herself. Happy to say that was not a problem. Being the only 2 "whiteys" on each island made us (or our wallets) fairly popular and since neither island has much in the way of western infrastructure we usually found a local department store that sold beer to hang out at. Word traveled fast! and we were usually the center of village entertainment withing the hour. It was fun :)

The plan was to catch a ferry from Sumba and then go over to Sumbawa (we'd been there before but I wanted to cover some things we'd missed the first time and its just a great ride, too) but there'd been a storm in the previous month and the ferry to Sumbawa was only going once a month and the next one was a fortnight away so change of plans and we caught the next garbage scow (ferry) to Lombok.

Lombok I've been to many times and it always disappoints, except Sengigi. There's a bar in Sengigi (used to be called Mario's, run by the most miserable m.f. Austrian you could ever hope not to meet but thankfully it's been handed on to his son-in-law, whose a great guy and equally serious about good beer) were the European land lord takes his beer seriously and serves the VERY BEST tap Bintang in all of Indonesia, if not the world. So we always rock up there and while away the hours after sunset. They used to have some really nice professional ladies too :) and the local barbecue joint just outside of town is brilliant.

Got home all safe and sound a few days after and had 2000km on the speedo with no issues or problems outside of a faulty cable that needed replacing on Sumba.

It's worth the effort if you enjoy the drive but if you are looking for the promised "10 New Balis" don't bother. In my opinion all four islands added together don't have 10% of the culture, scenery, infrastructure and just really nice people that Bali has.

Next trip is planned for Kalimantan sometime when this stupid virus BS is sorted, hopefully in February. Plan is to go overland to Jogja and then on to Semarang to catch a ferry. Want to try and do Brunei and Sarawak too if possible. Wish us luck.
s
 

Ginand T

Member
Sep 30, 2019
46
6
8
Was thinking about a bike tour of Lombok but looks like you talked me out of it. I did some riding around Jogja 2 years ago, the west coast is nice, a bit dry back then but there is some great rugged coastline, a few shallow beaches but mostly rocky. People were nice.
Be glad to hear from anyone thats travelled Kalimantan or islands further east.
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
8,789
628
113
Karangasem, Bali
Was thinking about a bike tour of Lombok but looks like you talked me out of it. I did some riding around Jogja 2 years ago, the west coast is nice, a bit dry back then but there is some great rugged coastline, a few shallow beaches but mostly rocky. People were nice.
Be glad to hear from anyone thats travelled Kalimantan or islands further east.
Bike tour of Lombok the first time is great - lots to see and the roads are brilliant for biking. When I wrote my thingy above that was my 4th tour of Lombok - 1 adventure, 2 and 3 out of boredom and 4 for the beer.

Was planning on doing Kalimantan too until I found out it's 4 times the size of the UK. Still wouldn't mind doing the east coast up to Malaysia and Brunei. North of the island supposed to be beautiful but mozzies and jungle pretty pervasive I'm told.

Nip over the canal to east Java and do the Red Beach tour then up to Ijen volcano over to Probolingo. Then over the Bromo volcano to Malang is well worth the tour too.
 

Ginand T

Member
Sep 30, 2019
46
6
8
Bike tour of Lombok the first time is great - lots to see and the roads are brilliant for biking. When I wrote my thingy above that was my 4th tour of Lombok - 1 adventure, 2 and 3 out of boredom and 4 for the beer.

Was planning on doing Kalimantan too until I found out it's 4 times the size of the UK. Still wouldn't mind doing the east coast up to Malaysia and Brunei. North of the island supposed to be beautiful but mozzies and jungle pretty pervasive I'm told.

Nip over the canal to east Java and do the Red Beach tour then up to Ijen volcano over to Probolingo. Then over the Bromo volcano to Malang is well worth the tour too.
So Lombok, around the outside or across the middle somewhere
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
8,789
628
113
Karangasem, Bali
So Lombok, around the outside or across the middle somewhere
I'm not a big one for hiking so we skipped Rinjani (3 day hike in and out) other than that the inside isn't much happening but the outside is a great little tour if you can ignore the mosques everywhere. If you are a beer drinker anywhere outside of Sengigi and Kuta it's like doing a drug deal. But it's there.
 

Ginand T

Member
Sep 30, 2019
46
6
8
I'm not a big one for hiking so we skipped Rinjani (3 day hike in and out) other than that the inside isn't much happening but the outside is a great little tour if you can ignore the mosques everywhere. If you are a beer drinker anywhere outside of Sengigi and Kuta it's like doing a drug deal. But it's there.
I can live without beer for a week….maybe
Looking at hiring a PCR or such over there
Will have my indo girlfriend on the back so looking for tips on locations and Homestay/ hotel
 

PERtoDPS

Active Member
Dec 31, 2018
531
155
43
Not sure that region but everywhere I've stayed in both Bali and Jakarta the agoda app gets you pretty much the best rates on homestays often cheaper than the places can offer directly
 

Ginand T

Member
Sep 30, 2019
46
6
8
Lonbok Drive. Went anti clockwise from Kuta by car, east to Ekas beach then up the coast the road is winding and scenic but slow in a car. Then went clockwise on bike. Sengiggi to Bangsal is great ocean scenery. South west coast really nice beaches. Very few Bule except surfers in Kuta. Good group of Aus and Canadians xmas show at Brians place.
 
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