Indonesia Islands Trip + PNG & Borneo

a trip by Catalytic Traveler
From: June 30th 2011
Until: August 27th 2011

I begin the long series of flights south on the 30th starting my trip in Brunei. I will spend roughly 1/2 day touring brunei before busing down to Miri, Sarawak (Malaysia). The next day I will head over to Niah Caves which is a site of one of the oldest remains of modern humans - roughly 40 000 years ago. I will explore these massive caves in the park before heading back to Miri for the night. The next morning I fly out to Gunung Mulu and will visit the even bigger caves there. One cavern is apparently the largest of its kind in the world. Mulu is also famous for its bats and I intend to watch 3 million bats fly out at dusk. I stay in Mulu for the night and fly out the next afternoon to Kuching. I stay overnight, and if I can manage it I will head over to Bako park which is full of wildlife and hike around.

The next part is rather crazy in that it is easier to fly from Borneo Malaysia to Java (Indonesia) and then back to the Indonesian Borneo. Otherwise it takes about 6 flights hopping around. So I am touring Java next starting in Jakarta and visiting an old friend I met the last time I was down here. I will train to Yogyakarta and visit the massive temples there before training off to Mt (Gunung) Bromo for the world-famous sunrise hike. I fly out from Surabaya to Balikpapan (in the Borneo Indonesian province of Kalimantan) and onwards to Saraminda. Here I will be doing 2 things: A river tour up the Mahakam to visit traditional longhouse villages, and a trip up island to the Kutai Park which is apparently chock full of wildlife including the orangutans and proboscis monkeys. Due to the rather crazy (and remote) nature of the trip thus far, I don't expect to have much internet access.
I fly to Sulawesi. Dependent on timing, I may or may not go to the Tana Toraja which is a really strange culture in central sulawesi. It's not particularly congruent with my plans and difficult to get to so we'll see. For a massive shift in gears I will be undertaking my Open Water Diving Certificate on Bunaken Island (Northern tip of Sulawesi), with some world-class dive school surrounded by some of the best reefs in the world.
That's what I have hammered out so far. Beyond this, no change from the last trip update, although there is apparently a massive tribal gathering at Mt. Hagen in PNG that I want to plan around.
Trip Length: 8 weeks
Blog Entries: 29
Photos: 977
Words: 25185

Blog Entries

Date Blog Title Location
July 1st 2011 The First Day Asia » China » Shanghai
July 2nd 2011 Day 2 - Miri, Malaysia Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Miri
July 3rd 2011 July 3 Mulu Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Gunung Mulu National Park
July 4th 2011 July 4 Mulu + Kuching Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Gunung Mulu National Park
July 5th 2011 July 5 kuching to jakarta Asia » Malaysia » Sarawak » Kuching
July 6th 2011 July 6 Jakarta Asia » Indonesia » Java » Jakarta
July 7th 2011 july 7 The road to Jogjakarta Asia » Indonesia » Java
July 8th 2011 july 8 Borobudur + Jogja Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur
July 9th 2011 july 9 jogja Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta
July 11th 2011 July 10- 11 Mt. Bromo Asia » Indonesia » Java » Mount Bromo
July 12th 2011 July 12 Surabaya to Samarinda Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Samarinda
July 13th 2011 July 13 Samarinda Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Samarinda
July 16th 2011 July 14-16 Sungai Mahakam Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Samarinda
July 18th 2011 July 17-18 Kutai National Park (Orangutans) Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Samarinda
July 19th 2011 July 19 Balikpapan - Bunaken Asia » Indonesia » Kalimantan » Balikpapan
July 26th 2011 July 20-26 Bunaken diving Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park
July 30th 2011 July 27-30 Makassar + Toraja Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja
August 3rd 2011 July 31 - Aug 3 Jayapura - waiting for PNG visa Asia » Indonesia » West Papua
August 5th 2011 Aug 3-5 Vanimo PNG Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Sandaun » Vanimo
August 8th 2011 Aug 5-8 Wewak + Muschu Island PNG Oceania » Papua New Guinea » East Sepik » Wewak
August 10th 2011 Aug 8-10 Mt. Hagen - Mendi, PNG Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands » Mount Hagen
August 11th 2011 Aug 10-11 Goroka Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Eastern Highlands » Goroka
August 13th 2011 Aug 11-13 Waighi Valley Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands
August 15th 2011 Aug 13-15 Hagen Show! Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands » Mount Hagen
August 18th 2011 Aug 15-18 Leaving PNG Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Sandaun
August 21st 2011 Aug 19-21 Wamena - Papua Highlands Asia » Indonesia » West Papua » Wamena
August 22nd 2011 Aug 21-22 Jayapura ... one last time Asia » Indonesia » West Papua
August 24th 2011 Aug 22-24 Sorong + Raja Ampat Asia » Indonesia » West Papua » Raja Ampat Islands
August 26th 2011 Aug 24-26 End of the Trip - Heading back to Dalian Asia » Indonesia » Java » Jakarta
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