With a land area of almost two million square kilometers, there are endless possibilities to cross Transport Indonesia. Do you want to see a lot in a short time or do you want to travel at your leisure? We have listed the most important means of transport for you.
The most comfortable way of traveling between the different islands is by plane. There are endless flight possibilities within Indonesia. That range continues to grow. The prices of the regional aviation services are competitive. You can often book a flight at the last minute.
Yet it is wise to be there on time. Flying is particularly popular in the Indonesian holiday periods and overbooking is not uncommon. Therefore never forget to confirm your flight a few days before departure. This is especially important if you are flying to remote islands, where there are fewer means of communication.
Do you have more time and do you want to see several islands? Then go by boat! There are various ferry services between the islands. They also give you the chance to enjoy the beautiful waters around Indonesia.
Water transport still plays an important role in Indonesia, just like in the old days. Especially where the infrastructure is inadequate or even missing, you can go a long way by ship. There are different sailing options between the different islands.
Most boats are fairly comfortable and have nice amenities. Ferries sail almost daily between the large islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, and Sulawesi. A state ship sails to Kalimantan, Papua, and the Moluccas once or twice a month. With these state ships, you can go almost everywhere in Indonesia. A nice extra is that they stop at different ports so that you often have a few hours to look around.
The boat trips can be booked in different classes: from cheap uncomfortable places on the deck to luxury double cabins. And as it should be in Indonesia, food is always for sale on board! For a fee, you can also sail with certain cargo ships. These ships are a bit less comfortable and you have to be careful; the freight can sometimes stink terribly!
On Java and Sumatra, you can also travel over water inland. Kalimantan, however, takes the lead. The river is often the only way to travel through the densely covered interior.
The bus is the most important means of transport in all of Indonesia. Everywhere you see the colorful bis biasa buses that use the ‘full departures’ system. That may mean that he leaves every minute, but that you sometimes have to wait hours for unpopular destinations. Full also literally means full, if you think that all places are occupied, many more people will always fit in.
The buses have a fixed route, but you can get on and off everywhere. Although it is not the most comfortable and fastest way to travel, you are assured of meeting the locals.
If you want to get to your destination quickly, you better take the bis patas. This bus is slightly more luxurious with more leg and seat space. It is slightly more expensive and runs less often. But usually according to a schedule.
More and more comfortable buses travel on busy, long-distance routes. You can reserve seats in advance at the bus station or a booking office. You often have a choice of different bus types. The prices vary enormously and this usually depends on the route and the condition of the roads. But also whether you want to travel on air conditioning, sun loungers, television or even a karaoke installation?
A less crowded destination is often best reached by minibus. These vans have different names including mirolet, Pete-Pete or bemo and also drive on less well-groomed roads. The bus drivers drive according to the wishes of the passengers, which can be time-consuming if the travelers have different final destinations in mind.
When taking a bus ride, take into account an overwhelming visit to the bus station. Tourists are often surrounded by boys who want to pilot them in their bus or taxi. Don’t let this fool you, take your time to make a choice.
In Indonesia, almost everything on wheels is used to transport passengers. One of the nicest and best-known means of transport is the becak. These traditional bicycle taxis are colorful and heavily painted. As pure folklore, the tricycles are decorated with flags, mirrors, lights and painted just idyllic landscapes or mythological representations.
Before entering a becak, discuss a price with the driver. This price applies to the becak and not per person. It is often slightly more expensive than the bus.
Unfortunately, the government is trying to keep the becaks out of the streets. They see the bicycles as something old-fashioned, which does not suit their path to innovation. This makes it difficult to find them in the center of major cities. Outside of that they still drive everywhere.
The ojek can really be found everywhere. The ojek is simply a simple moped, where you are brought back to all desired destinations. With this, you can ride the worst roads. The Indonesians manage to take care of an entire family, but for tourists, it is a lot more comfortable to rent one ojek per person. The driver always has a good friend. Also, don’t forget to agree on a price in advance.
The dokar is slightly less popular. Yet you can encounter them throughout the archipelago. The dokar is a two-wheeled cart, pulled by richly decorated horses. Four passengers can sit comfortably on the cart. It is a great way to explore the city, but keep in mind that the horses are not always well cared for.
If you are in Jakarta, you will also encounter many bajaj on the road. These are noisy three-wheel mopeds, which look a bit like Thai tuk-tuks. They have slightly wider ties and can accommodate two people. They are very fast and cross everything.