Other means of transport
Happy Trails Indonesia does not provide any International flights to its clients. Domestic flights however we do provide and the choice is overwhelming. Indonesia is a vast country and the only fast way to get somewhere is by plane. There are a great number of domestic airlines the largest being the state-owned Garuda Indonesia. But others such as Lion Air, Air, Mandala, Air Asia Indonesia, Merpati and many more have sprung up. The biggest problems with the Indonesian domestic flights is reliability such as poor on-time record, frequent last minute changes and cancellations. But also the safety record of some of the smaller airlines is dubious. This has resulted in the European Union including most of the Indonesia domestic airlines in its Blacklist. The exceptions being the airlines mentioned above.
Happy Trails will only book reliable airlines for its clients and will not use the ‘dubious’ ones.Â As for the reliability issue seeing as this is an issue caused by the airlines itself it is impossible to predict what will happen for each flight. The famous Indonesian expression Jam Karet (Rubber Time; meaning that time is a flexible thing) unfortunately also applies to airlines. What we do try is make sure all the clients are on the airport in time, are informed about chances are soon as we get informed ourselves no matter if this is during business hours or not and solve any problems/issues caused by delay (or early arrival) as quickly as possible.Â This way we do our best to keep problems and loss of time to a minimum.
A great traditional mode of transport is a so-called Becak. Made for short distances a Becak is a tricycle (pedicab) that mainly operates in cities. In most cases the driver will be sitting behind the passengers although in Medan he will be sitting on the side. Before you get into a Becak always haggle for a good price, this is part of the experience. To make it easier Happy Trails has created some city tours by Becak where we have already done the negotiating for you. A Becak is a very nice way to get better acquainted with a city such as Yogyakarta. Please note that on Bali Becaks do not exist.
In some locations in Indonesia there are simply no alternative public modes of transport besides an Ojek. An Ojek is nothing more than a motorbike with its owner driving you somewhere whilst you sit on the back. Ojeks can mostly be found on smaller islands which are mostly inaccessible for bigger vehicles but too big to use a horse and carriage to get anywhere quickly.Â Happy Trails rarely uses an Ojek as means of transport due to safety and comfort issues. In most locations where you can find Ojeks we still try to arrange a car to get you to the hotel or alternatively use a local boat.Â Still an Ojek can be quite the experience but also like with a Becak do negotiate a price before you get on.
Another traditional means of transport in Indonesia is a Dokar. This is a horse-drawn two-wheeled cart which is usually brightly colored with decorative motifs. A typical Dokar has a bench seating 3 to 4 people comfortably but you will also see Dokars with more people or cargo then that. The horse or pony is usually quite small but tough. On the island of Java you will also see the Andong or Delman which is the larger horse-drawn wagon designed to carry six people.Â A Dokar can be a nice relaxing way to explore a city or get transported to your hotel on one of the many small islands of Indonesia.
Very similar to a Dokar a Cidomo is also a horse-drawn two-wheeled cart.Â The difference between the two is that a Cidomo has car tires instead of the traditional wooden wheels on a Dokar. Also a Cidomo can only be found on Lombok and the Gili Islands.
Happy Trails offers a number of bicycle tours in different locations. This can be a city tour by bike or a mountain bike tour through the rice paddies of Bali. Please contact us for more information on the possible options.