"Theo and Helen" theo1006's Profile
We, Theo (1942) and Helen (1952), have chosen to live our retirement years in Java. Theo, a Dutch national, worked here in his former life for 16 years. Helen, born in Suriname, lived in France and the Netherlands, before she teamed up with Theo.
We love travelling off the beaten path, discovering places that most tourists pass by. In Java and Bali we do this with our own ISUZU minibus. And we find that Indonesia is also a good starting point to visit other countries in South-East Asia.
December 2006/January 2007 saw us in Helen's country of birth, Suriname, where we spent 2 months discovering the interior and other places.
In October 2007 we explored the region round Wilis mountain in East Java. This trip resulted in the tips on Madiun, Nganjuk, Ponorogo and Tulungagung, the towns which lie near this mountain.
in 2008 we did more exploring on Java, and visited Vietnam as well.
2009 was a busy year. We had occasion to visit West Timor twice, and also Timor Leste. See our tips on Kupang, Soe and Kefamenanu.
We also spent time on the Karimunjawa islands, and in China.
The year 2010 saw us in Thailand and Banda Aceh.
In 2011 long-standing travel wish was fulfilled, we took our car island-hopping from Java via Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa to Flores, where the Kelimuti lakes were our farthest destination.
In 2012 we circled around the globe: Indonesia - Netherlands - Suriname - Venezuela - Costa Rica - USA and back to Indonesia by way of Korea.
At the time of writing this update we are in Suriname for a 3 months' stay, where Theo has taken up a teaching assignment.
Our own minibus brings us everywhere in Java and Bali. It has ample space for 2 to 4 people with luggage and is just right for the road conditions.
Now that we have done Java to Flores by car, the next wish is to traverse the length of Sumatra.
As for other countries, Spain is on our wish list.
Java is an overpopulated island. The population has about doubled since Theo first set foot here over 40 years ago. The effects of this are visible everywhere.
On public holidays popular destinations are crowded with domestic tourists. Unless of course you like to mix with these crowds, you better plan your journey to avoid these days, or seek out a remote destination on them.
Consult the General Tip on our Indonesia page for the holidays in Indonesia for the years 2013 and 2014.
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