Reading the Fine Print with Enoss Travellers Tours

by | Jan 12, 2018

“I hear Enoss Travels is a good  agency?”
“Yeah, there isn’t much to go on but based on what I found, they sound great…”

Enoss Travellers Tours TL;DR

  • “All Inclusive” may not mean all inclusive
  • Bring spare cash on hand just in case
  • Do your research so you can ask your “guide” questions

Traveling to new destinations is always a great opportunity to explore somewhere new. And if there’s a deal available, then it’s even a better value for us. In December we saw that a great IHG Points Breaks deal for the Crowne Plaza in Bandung was available so we decided to make the trip to this unknown (to us) Indonesian city. After making reservation we delved into some online research about the city. It was exciting to read about all the cool sights that we could see in and around the city such as the volcanoes, tea fields and so much more!

No Car? No Problem!

Given that we weren’t going to be driving a car, we decided to look for a driver who can help us explore both North and South Bandung. First off, let me start by staying that given that it’s not a super touristy location from foreign tourists, it’s hard to find information on Bandung and service operators on normal channels like Tripadvisor.

Even when we did, they fell into any combination of  the following 3 categories:

  1. They had very basic websites with confusing details all over the place.
  2. Quite old making it hard to determine the relevancy of the information found.
  3. Some of the providers also look like they had a lot of fake reviews which was quite worrisome.

After doing a lot of research, Ennoss Travellers Tours appeared to be the one with real and fairly decent reviews, so we decided to contact them.

To contact Enoss Travel, the best way was to contact him via WhatsApp. On the plus side they were very responsive. The less than plus side was that their English was a bit broken which made it somewhat tough to understand at times. But the key thing, he was responsive.

The Booking Process

  1. You tell them what you want to do.
  2. They’ll send you screenshots of his tour offerings.
    1. Including prices and additional costs that you’ll be incurring.
  3. Deciding which tour you want to do.
  4. They will send you the booking fee to lock down the dates.
    1. To be paid by PayPal.
  5. Since Ennoss Travellers Tours has multiple guides in their employment, the driver identity won’t be shared with you until you follow up a few days before your appointment
    1. Since Enoss Travel didn’t contact us to confirm, we reached out to them.
  6. Ultimately we ended up booking 2 tours with Enoss over the course of 2 days.
    1. One was for North Bandung.
    2. The other was for South Bandung.

Windy Nadia and JM at White Crater Bandung

First Impressions

The morning of our first tour, we went downstairs to the lobby to meet our guide. He was a couple of minutes late which definitely caused a bit of concern.  We contacted Enoss and he said the driver was on the way. For us, although he wasn’t super late, this caused a bad first impression because from past experiences.  Guides that are great are often there before we even get there. Punctuality is key.

It’s All in the Details

Our driver for the next two days was Ondieh. Overall he was nice and very patient. Although their tour description said that it included “transport + petrol + parking + tour guide”, we found Ondieh to be more of a driver than an actual tour guide. While he did give us some tidbits of information here and there, he primarily:

  • Drove us us to places.
  • Dropped us off.
  • Patiently waited for us to explore on our own.
  • Then drove us to the next location.
  • Wash and then repeat.

For example, at the Tangkuban Perahu Volcano, we had to hire our own local guide to take us down to the Domas Crater. To explore the normal crater, we were just asked to walk around ourselves. We saw other folks there with their guide who helped them take photos which for us is one of the best part about having a “tour guide” but not something that was part of Ondieh’s job description.

Issues That Could Have Been Avoided

Two other instances during the two days that we found quite odd:

  1. Early on day 1 before even reaching our first site, we went to a gas station and Ondieh asked us to “borrow” money for gas
    1. “Petrol” is supposed to be included in the tour.
    2. BUT we gave him 200k IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) for gas.
      1. That 200k IDR was eventually deducted from the final amount we owed for the tour.
  2. The other annoying thing was all the unexpected car costs
    1. Cost for the car entrance and parking into various sites
    2. These fees were not included in the original list of “additional entrance fees” previously told to us.
      1. Ultimately these unexpected costs amounted to a grand total of an additional 475,000 IDR on top of the tour price.

Personally it’s not the amount that I have an issue with but in the manner that Enoss Travel didn’t properly prepare us for them.

What if we didn’t have enough currency on hand?

From what we could tell, there weren’t many ATM’s available in the country side where a lot of the destinations were located. It just felt like bad business practice not being fully transparent with your guests.

Nadia Taking Photos from the the Old Train Bridge in Bandung

Things to Note

Overall, our experience with Ennoss Travellers Tours was just OK.

  • The vehicle used was ok
    • Not too old, not new.
    • Found a cockroaches inside.
  • Driver was nice.
    • We ended up tipping him a decent amount.
    • Also gifted him with a cake from a famous bakery.
  • I thought the communication with Enoss himself was lacking.
    • Hidden costs.
    • Dismissive attitude about our concerns.

If you were to use them you will still have a decent time. Just be prepared to be extremely proactive with communication if you want to understand what’s happening, how much is due each day, etc. He definitely won’t be overly communicative with you but will answer all your questions.

For us, what would really improve the experience is just more transparency upfront in all the costs involved so we know what we’re getting ourselves into. Being surprised with hidden costs adding up to about 50 SGD is never a good experience especially when you’re expected to have that cash in local Indonesian Rupiah and on hand.

Rice Field in Bandung

Enoss Travellers Tours

Do you like to go on tours or do you explore on your own!?!?

You’re going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.

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