I'm quite new here at WS so indulge me if I come across somewhat naive.
Me and my partner are planning to cycle across SE Asia, starting end of August. This will be our first big cycling trip, although we plan a test trip in a few months.
Looking at the rain season, it seemed ok if we start in Bali and head up to Sumatra, before taking a ferry and moving up to Malaysia.
Would anyone have any idea where to find good routes for cycling, while avoiding the busy roads? What is usually used to navigate: physical maps or are there many good online routes to be found?
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first some congrats to you.
- Bali got a pretty busy traffic. There's just a little difference to Java.
In Sumatra you'll get really tough "rolling hills".
I can help you a bit for malaysia. I live here in Johor, southern tip of malaysia and next to singapore. i cycled here a bit the west coast. there are rather big roads here, so it is often the only way to get around. If you are around here, feel free to contact me!
I cycled Indonesia last year for 3 months and purposely avoided Java.
Bali was too busy for me and the traffic in Kuta the busiest.
Not sure the route you're looking at but this may help
Thank you all for the feedback and offers!!
I've heard about the traffic indeed but I'll try to go for it :) I see you avoided Java by flying from Sumatra to Flores. I heard similar stories about crowded roads in Sumatra, what was your experience there?
Thanks for the routes. I'll share a few others I've found:
https://www.wikiloc.com/bicycle-touring-trails/indonesia-november-january-2016-2017-21149761 (did quite an elevated volcano stop)
The main reason I avoided Java was traffic and time.
I’d allotted my time to see Sumatra and then the far east. It’s
a huge country with many tough riding days.
But worth it. People are great.
Because I needed an extension on my 2 month visa had to plan that
pretty good. There’s only a few places that do it and extra time and planning was needed.
I found this site good and used it for my shortcut from Takengon
These two also cycled extensively in Indonesia and are also very good
I would like to go back to see Mt Bromo though.
Don’t underestimate the hills.
Thank you!! Planning to go in September so we're fortunately there well after Ramadan.
This guy seemed to have tried Java as well, mentioned it was busy sometimes but was pretty chill about it http://travellingclaus.com/im-half-way-cycling-across-java/ or (older) http://www.bicycle-adventures.com/cycling-in-java.html
The challenge indeed will be that we start in Bali and want to move up to Malaysia, eventually Thailand, within the time limit of the Indonesian visa but also not rushing things. I'm not that experienced in calculating our timing yet so I wonder what our max. is within the 60 days we have. I also saw a ferry line from Jakarta to Singapore and a train connection as backup plans.
I cycled Bali and Java a few years ago.In Java you basically have a choice of the northern route of the southern route.I took the southern route as it was less crowded,although the roads were still very busy with not much hard shoulder to ride on.I finally baled at Jogyakarta and flew up to Singapore.Malaysia is a much more pleasant cycling experience than Indonesia
Thank you, Andrew!
Would you by any chance still have the route tracked? Perhaps even an upload of it somewhere?
Any cities to avoid?
Hi Nicolas, I will have a look on Strava,as I have a feeling I logged all my rides.If not, I can tell you the roads I cycled along.
Posted this topic a while ago but my trip is coming closer: I'm landing in Denpasar on 29th of August, will move towards Ubud and then move to the east coast. From there, we will follow the coastal route counter clockwise to the west and then move to Java.
If someone knows a host or could host us in September in Bali, let me know! Thanks