My second trip to SE Asia lasted from 29 December 1996 to 25 January 1997. I had wanted to go on a vacation outside Europe. It had to be a warm, tropical place, especially since I was trapped in the cold and dark North-Norwegian winter (I was stationed with the military in Bodø). I considered either to go somewhere in South America or South East Asia. I finally decided upon SE Asia, as I regarded it as safer and easier than South America. I had already been to Thailand, so I decided to fly to Singapore, and fly home from Jakarta. It would be a nice circle to travel I thought (and so it did!)
The route was something like this: Arrival in Singapore on KLM (I stayed at Lee’s Travellers Club in Beach Road). Bus to Malacca (Malaysia) on 1st January. Bus to Taman Negara National Park (I stayed one night at a hut in the forest). Bus to Georgetown, Penang. Ferry to Belawan (Indonesia) on 9 January, and then immediately a bus first to Medan, and then Danau (Lake) Toba. Bus to Bukittinggi. Bus to Padang, and then immediately a Mandala flight to Jakarta, where I stayed at Nick’s Hostel in Jalan Jaksa (paid Rp 10,000 for an A/C dorm bed). Train to Solo from Senen railway station (I had an “ekonomi” ticket to Yogyakarta, but missed it and jumped off in Solo instead). Bus to Bali, where I stayed in Kuta (at two different places). I rented a motorbike and a car for sightseeing. Bus all the way back to Jakarta, and finally departure from Jakarta (on British Airways) on 25 January 1997.