Wonder where to go with 2 weeks in Southeast Asia? Check out our TOP 4 recommended trips for a perfect holiday.
This itinerary covers Java and Bali in Indonesia. We recommend this trip for experienced travelers. You will sometimes have to bargain hard in order not to be ripped off, even for bus tickets.
Your rewards are some of Southeast Asia’s top highlights – still a bit off the beaten track. This trip combines impressive temples with stunning landscapes and cultural performances as well as some days on the beach. There aren’t any big cities on this trip.
If you have doubts, just take the Bali section of this trip and skip the rest. Borobudur and Gunung Bromo are highlights, but with time on the beach, spending one or even two weeks just on Bali makes a great trip on its own.
Stop 1: Yogyakarta, Java
For more adventurous travelers, the trip starts in Yogyakarta on Java Island. You can easily reach Yogyakarta by plane or bus from Jakarta, and there are also a few international flights directly to Yogyakarta. From here, follow our Indonesia Backpacker CheatSheet all the way to Bali.
Visit the temples in Yogyakarta, and organize daytrips to Prambanan and Borobudur. After Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Pagan in Myanmar/Burma, Borobudur is certainly Southeast Asia’s most impressive ancient monument. And there are far fewer people visiting it compared with Angkor Wat.
Stop 2: Gunung Bromo, Java
After a couple of days in Yogyakarta, organize a bus or flight to Gunung Bromo. Walk up the outer crater rim in the early morning. You will be amazed by the views. Then continue to the inner crater and see (not smell!) the smoke coming up. For us, Gunung Bromo offers the most fascinating landscape in Southeast Asia.
Stop 3: Bali
After a day at Gunung Bromo, continue by bus and boat to Bali. The connections are frequent and well organized. On Bali, drive all the way to Kuta or one of the beach towns nearby. Kuta is the liveliest of them all, Legian is more upscale, Seminyak even more sophisticated, and Sanur is more for families. We believe you must have seen at least one of them, but be aware that Bali’s beaches aren’t as nice as some people may tell you. Why must see then? Because you wouldn’t believe us otherwise.
If you skip the crowds and parties, you can find better beaches off the beaten track: Pandangbai is nice, and the surfing hotspots near Dreamland in the south-west are nice as well.
What makes Bali special is that it has it all, condensed on an island that you can easily circle in a single day: Beaches, culture, temples and landscapes. In one day, you can climb a volcano rim and admire the views over rice paddies, visit stunning temples, watch a spectacular fire dance performance, and see the sunset on the beach. We recommend you hire a motorbike with driver and follow our Bali Backpacker Cheatsheet to see it all.
Bali can easily keep you busy for a week, especially if you leave the beach behind and spend a few days in Ubud, the cultural hotspot. With its central location, Ubud is also the best place to organize day trips to other parts of the island.
When your trip is over, Denpasar Airport on Bali offers frequent international connections.
Our GuideGecko Rating for this trip:
Beaches: *** (3 of 5 stars: Yes, Bali’s beaches are just average)
City Sightseeing: - (nada: Yogjakarta doesn’t really count)
Landscapes: ***** (5 of 5 stars: Gunung Bromo, here we come)
Cultural spots: ***** (5 of 5 stars: Just Borobodur would earn 4 stars on its own, and you cannot beat Bali on culture)
Want more suggestions?
This suggested itinerary is one of our TOP-4 trip recommendations for 2 Weeks in Asia. Also check our other suggested itineraries for:
Have questions or want to suggest something else? Let’s discuss!