The holidays in Indonesia were quite easy to plan: I wanted to see Mt. Bromo and the friends wanted to go to Bali (me too). And it seemed natural for what I found on the Internet to end up in Yogyakarta: it seemed one of the cities in Java that was worth staying for a few days, with an airport with planes to Kuala Lumpur and possible to reach after Mt. Bromo visit.
The friends found the website http://javaamazing.com, we liked the price and we specially like the customer service: it was easy to communicate with them, they explained the things by email that we needed to know.
At the end the trip was done by a friend and former employee I think from Javaamazing.com: his name is Asep and he has another company: http://www.bromomountvacation.com.
It was quite surprising how many websites never answered with the price, or the price was quite expensive or never follow up any questions.
We did the tour from Bali to Ijen Crater, Mt. Bromo, Madakaripura Waterfall (was a nice surprise) and then Surabaya. AmazingJava helped us buying the train tickets: we couldn’t buy from the station because it was too late so they drove us to the supermarket, helped us, drove back to the train station to print the booking, etc. top service!
The hotel in Ijen Crater zone was an amazing hotel (sadly we stayed there only for an evening and until 00:30: departure time).
AmazingJava, our guide (Asep) explain us things about the culture and traditions. Asep and Cahyo look quite fit and that they do hike Mt. Bromo (he did) and Ijen Crater (sometimes, we did with a local guide so he could sleep for the long day driving after that).
I met later on some driver who arranges the transport and local guides for these hikes but didn’t look able to do or didn’t look like would enjoy. I like people who have experience with the activities that they organise.
And top service: our guide Asep has very good photography knowledge. He is a photography aficionado, he helps National Geography photographers organizing month-long tours to take photos. He even sells some photos on the Internet. The result of this is that he took very good photos with our camera (with or without us), explained how to pose, where to pose, when to take the photos, etc. and the photos look very good indeed. Very good memories, thanks! 🙂
Some nice things here and there: they negotiated the local activities (Mt. Bromo horses, local guide in the waterfall) so it was convenient for us and made sure that they were returning us to the point with a good price. Or they provided top-class masks for Ijen Crater sulphur, much better than other masks that I saw there.
So, if you go to Java check http://www.bromomountvacation.com/ and http://javaamazing.com/ – they are more than a driver just dropping you from a place to a place but they know the zone really well and what to expect in each place.