Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Southern Asia

Southern Asia Topics specific to Southern Asia, from Iran and Armenia east through Pakistan and India to China / Vietnam / Indonesia.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 1 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 59
Indonesia: con jobs and hold-ups?

Hi,

Self and travel buddy will be riding Malaysia to East Timor via Borneo in a couple of months.

He has some concerns about safety, having heard stories of bogus "officials" demanding special payments, and even highway robbery at gunpoint.

Recently a contact in Indo, from whom we were seeking advice about ferry schedules, came back with the advice that we should avoid Flores at all costs, due to bandits and bogus officials. Interestingly, he is from Java and it tends to confirm my earlier advice that Indonesians frequently advise against travelling in other provinces (i.e. anywhere but their own province). I have no idea if he has actually been to Flores, although he was recommended as being well travelled. Coincidentally he did not provide any information at all about the ferry schedules.

I've travelled in poor countries before, usually alone, had my camera snatched, been the only white person in sight, and I know that sh!t can happen when there's an opportunity and a motive. That's something you have to manage in adventure travel.

But reading the various blogs and posts, I'm really very surprised that this guy has warned against Flores. It seems like a fine place to ride. I've been emailing with an Aussie couple who road across it last year and they loved it, although they said the road is slow going.

So my request is this: aside from con-artists trying their luck on niaive tourists, is there really anything my travel buddy needs to worry about in Indonesia? In particular Flores, Sulawesi or Kalimantan? Can anybody on the forum confirm an actual armed hold-up? (no anecdotals please ... just confirmed incidents).

cheers
Colin
Sydney
__________________
Colin (Sydney)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 1 Mar 2010
farqhuar's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oztralia
Posts: 566
I can't comment specifically on those islands Colin, but I can corroborate your comments that people all over the world are highly parochial and xenophobic, thinking that everyone but there are immediate neighbours are out to get them. In my experience, quite the opposite usually proves to be true.

Best thing to do is go there with an open mind - that way the people you meet will sense your friendly vibe and be more likely to treat you appropriately.
__________________
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2 Mar 2010
beddhist's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whangarei, NZ
Posts: 2,225
Thumbs up

We spent about 5 months riding the length of Indo. No trouble anywhere. Lots of friendly people. The only exception was when we stored our bikes in Kupang with a family, somebody stole some stuff out of a pannier.

Yes, Flores is slow going, but so are Sumatra and Java, unless you want to do battle on the main roads. Plan to fly out and get new 2-month visas once or twice.

Biggest danger, as usual, is the traffic. Like in India, it is expected and necessary to use the horn a lot, as people never look back.

A friend who lived in Philippines and Indonesia advised me to avoid the area around Danau Poso on central Sulawesi, due to ethnic strife.
__________________
Cheers,
Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 59
leaving bikes unattended

Quote:
Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
We spent about 5 months riding the length of Indo. No trouble anywhere. Lots of friendly people. The only exception was when we stored our bikes in Kupang with a family, somebody stole some stuff out of a pannier.
Thanks guys ... does not really sound like a hot bed of violence ang gansters.

Peter, that issue of leaving the bikes unattended crossed my mind too. For example, we go some place where we have to walk to see a waterfall, or even just going for lunch and leaving the bikes. One of the downsides of bike touring. At least with two of us we can cover short stops for petrol or bathroom - that would be hard for solo touring.

Happy rides...

Colin
__________________
Colin (Sydney)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 3 Mar 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: granada,spain
Posts: 156
Indonesia

I live in Jakarta and regularly travel in Java and Kalimantan.I have recently returned from a trip to Flores and Sumba.

There is no security problem that an experienced traveller cannot cope with.Oportunistic theft may happen but not heavier crime.Imho you've got more chance of being mugged in London.

It's a great place to travel in.Mind the traffic,its only one peg up from India but nobody is deliberately trying to run you off the road-they just drive differently!!!!!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 3 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: istanbul
Posts: 23
..

Taking notes..

Thailand now. After some Cambodia and hit KTM Malaysia couple of days,my plan is too getting Indonesia in 2 months.

One thing i am wondering. My childhood legends are Komodo Dragons. Is it possible to go Komodo Island with or without bike?


Mehmet
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 3 Mar 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,584
We rode Sumatra-Java-Bali, only spend 1 month in Indonesia (which is way way too short!!)... our only casualties were my cellphone, that was stolen from a zipped pocket outside my pants by a gang of two slimebags, while exiting a Bemo in Bukittinggi. The other deliberately blocked the doorway, and the other stayed behind me, and opened the zipper. But it was a stupid place to keep the phone, cos I could not feel it being taken away.

Actually the phone was an old one, probably worth less than 5 dollars, and didnt even function properly any more, but losing the sim-card wasn´t good. May be the driver of the bemo was in the plot, too, because once outside the car it it took me just a few seconds to notice what had happened, but they were long gone.

The funny thing was, during this incident I was carrying a Canon 5D with expensive optics on a shoulder strap, this combination was worth around 2500-3000 euros! But I would´ve felt it, if they´d tried to take the camera, and do not even want to think, what probably would´ve happened next (a minor wrestling-match for sure!)...

Other than this one time, we had absolutely no troubles at all in Indonesia, quite the contrary in fact. And it´s a great and hauntingly beautiful country.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 4 Mar 2010
beddhist's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whangarei, NZ
Posts: 2,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by memomemo View Post
Is it possible to go Komodo Island with or without bike?
Unlikely: the car ferry doesn't stop there and both Komodo & Rinca are national parks, where you are only allowed in with a guide. The locals have bikes, but I don't think there is more than a few dirt tracks on the islands.

We just did a day trip to Rinca from Labuanbajo.
__________________
Cheers,
Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4 Mar 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: granada,spain
Posts: 156
Komodo

Yes,Beddist is correct.

Day rip(or longer if you sleep in Ranger hut)with bike left in Labuanbajo(Flores).

Rinca is a better bet than Komodo for the Dragons.However,they are still all Indonesian Dragons
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4 Mar 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinD View Post
Hi,

Self and travel buddy will be riding Malaysia to East Timor via Borneo in a couple of months.

He has some concerns about safety, having heard stories of bogus "officials" demanding special payments, and even highway robbery at gunpoint.

Recently a contact in Indo, from whom we were seeking advice about ferry schedules, came back with the advice that we should avoid Flores at all costs, due to bandits and bogus officials. Interestingly, he is from Java and it tends to confirm my earlier advice that Indonesians frequently advise against travelling in other provinces (i.e. anywhere but their own province). I have no idea if he has actually been to Flores, although he was recommended as being well travelled. Coincidentally he did not provide any information at all about the ferry schedules.

I've travelled in poor countries before, usually alone, had my camera snatched, been the only white person in sight, and I know that sh!t can happen when there's an opportunity and a motive. That's something you have to manage in adventure travel.

But reading the various blogs and posts, I'm really very surprised that this guy has warned against Flores. It seems like a fine place to ride. I've been emailing with an Aussie couple who road across it last year and they loved it, although they said the road is slow going.

So my request is this: aside from con-artists trying their luck on niaive tourists, is there really anything my travel buddy needs to worry about in Indonesia? In particular Flores, Sulawesi or Kalimantan? Can anybody on the forum confirm an actual armed hold-up? (no anecdotals please ... just confirmed incidents).

cheers
Colin
Sydney
Quote:
Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
A friend who lived in Philippines and Indonesia advised me to avoid the area around Danau Poso on central Sulawesi, due to ethnic strife.
Im native indonesian

Nowdays, you dont have to worries about security concern in indonesia. flores, sulawesi, java, and kalimantan they were all ok. Except the papua closed to the freeport mines.

there is an american guy who did it, Travel every island in indonesia last year. His writing his trip on FACEBOOK, You may check and contact him at "darren young".

for poso it was a few years back ... the city was already safe although i havent travel there.

good luck ...
__________________
cheers,
www.daddynaeva.wordpress.com
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
We rode Sumatra-Java-Bali, only spend 1 month in Indonesia (which is way way too short!!)... our only casualties were my cellphone, that was stolen from a zipped pocket outside my pants by a gang of two slimebags, while exiting a Bemo in Bukittinggi. The other deliberately blocked the doorway, and the other stayed behind me, and opened the zipper. But it was a stupid place to keep the phone, cos I could not feel it being taken away.
I think that is a classic method of pickpocketing - they work as a team. It happened to my wife in the Eiffel Tower - she had 800 in Euro notes in her outside jacket pocket. The easiest pocket to get into without her noticing. A few people crowded around her in the elevator and she didn't even notice. You can imagine how angry I was about that when I found out, especially when there are signs everywhere warning about pickpockets. She learned an expensive lesson from that.

Apparently this sort of thing used to happen at airport security checks too. They wait until you put your wallet or laptop through the scanner, then one of them jumps in front of you, and deliberately has something in his pocket to set off the alarm. While security is checking him out, you can't get through, and somebody else is walking off with your wallet and laptop. I won't put my stuff on the conveyor unless I am next in line. But it must have looked bad last time I travelled - I forgot I had a serated knife in my laptop bag. I use it to cut up oranges for lunch, which I grow in my yard

I had my camera snatched in Lima and this was back in the days when an SLR was worth a lot of money (diigital not invented), and they were taking hostages in Peru. I know now that I asked for it by being the only white person in the district, bad street, and nbeing humble (i.e. showing the camera). But being only 21 at the time, I chased the guy down and took it back. Lucky I didn't get mobbed or stabbed. A passing citizen witnessed the event and stopped her car and motioned to "get the %^^& in". I didn't even realised until years later she may have saved my life. I liked the camera but it wasn't that important. It's all just trinkets. Bad karma to get obsesed about it. These days I never let the desire for a good photo become my motivation. There is no camera that can actually photograph what you feel.
__________________
Colin (Sydney)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 7 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: istanbul
Posts: 23
Quote:
beddhistQuote:
Originally Posted by memomemo
Is it possible to go Komodo Island with or without bike?

Unlikely: the car ferry doesn't stop there and both Komodo & Rinca are national parks, where you are only allowed in with a guide. The locals have bikes, but I don't think there is more than a few dirt tracks on the islands.

We just did a day trip to Rinca from Labuanbajo.
Quote:
tony johnstonKomodo
Yes,Beddist is correct.

Day rip(or longer if you sleep in Ranger hut)with bike left in Labuanbajo(Flores).

Rinca is a better bet than Komodo for the Dragons.However,they are still all Indonesian Dragons
Thank you very much for info guys. Good news that dragons are not only in Komodo.. Hope i can see one..

But i still have some roads ahead..
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Custom Paint Jobs - what's your favourite? Matt Cartney The HUBB PUB 6 24 Jan 2009 21:12
Motorcycle jobs in Surrey or Sussex UK? LostSaffa Europe 1 29 Oct 2007 13:10
Jobs............ Timferret Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 6 10 Jul 2007 07:01
Can GPS V hold worldmap ? mmaarten Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS 5 15 Nov 2003 14:31
How to hold on to all the info. fireboomer Communications 13 14 Jan 2003 02:25

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 16:11.