Traveling to tropical Indonesian islands – Transports

Choosing the way of traveling to Indonesia is one of the most important decisions that you should carefully make before you start packing your bags. Depending on your wishes, but also on technical limits, you can select one of the options we are presenting to you.

Traveling by plane

Even though Jakarta and Bali are the main centers of the country, there are other practical international airplane connections such as:

Some of the major international airlines flying to Indonesia are:

  • Garuda Indonesia (The Indonesian national airline flies to Bali and Jakarta from various locations in Australia and Asia)
  • Malaysia Airlines (Offering flights to Bali and Jakarta from Kuala Lumpur)
  • Air Asia (which offers a wide variety of Indonesian destinations in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bali from Bangkok and Singapore)
  • SilkAir (Flights from Singapore, Balikpapan and Lombok to numerous Indonesian destinations)
  • Singapore Airlines (Numerous daily flights to Bali and Jakarta)
  • Emirates (Offers flights from Dubai to Jakarta)
  • Firefly (traveling to major cities of Sumatra from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia)
  • Jetstar / Qantas Airways (This airline company provides flights to Bali and Jakarta from Australia)
  • KLM (Flights from Amsterdam to Jakarta and Bali)
  • Tiger Airways (Low-cost company based in Singapore providing flights to Jakarta)
  • Pacific Blue (This company is subsidiary of Virgin Australia, flying to Bali from several Australian cities)
  • Thai Airways International (From Bangkok to Bali and Jakarta)
  • Lion Air (Airline popular for its low costs and rapid expansion, providing flights to numerous airports across the Indonesia from major Asian cities)
  • Lufthansa (European company providing flights from Frankfurt to Jakarta)
  • Merpati Airlines (Flights from Bali to Dili in East Timor)

    Traveling tby plane in Indonesia

National flights and booking tickets


The number of domestic flights is growing, with schedules and prices constantly changing. Indonesian airlines that cover short routes often use old planes and crowded planes, while flights to Jakarta, Bali and other popular destinations are usually performed in larger and newer models.

The internet is a good source of information for major airlines, but small ones may not even have their websites. The best solution is to inform yourself directly at the local offices of the airline or at the travel agents offices.

Informing about the tickets


The major airlines have websites with tariffs; however, it is difficult (not to say impossible) to purchase tickets online abroad (Air Asia and Garuda may be the exception). You may have to call the company headquarters in Indonesia and the office abroad, if there is any. Additionally, it is likely that no one on the other side of the line speaks foreign languages.

Another option is to seek the services of one of the many agents of big cities. Sometimes the best way to get a ticket for traveling around Indonesia is to go directly to the airport and compare prices. Many airlines accept cash only, and only if there are empty seats on the flight they’ll announce last minute offers.

The essential thing with booking tickets is: Always reconfirm. Overselling exists, and if you don’t reconfirm at least a couple of days before departure, it is likely that you won’t find a free seat on your flight. If you don’t reconfirm your reservation, on the outer islands you may experience problems of

  • limited flights,
  • miscommunication,
  • complicated booking procedures.

Traveling by land


Traveling by bus in Indonesia

There are three terrestrial links between Indonesia and neighboring countries. Pontianak and Kuching on Borneo are connected by bus lines. It is also possible for you to travel from Jayapura to Vanimo, Papua New Guinea, this way.

·      Bus

Most of the Indonesians travel by bus, so the offer ranges from the luxury air-conditioned vehicles, with TV, sinks and karaoke. Local buses are the cheapest: depart as they fill and stop when requested. In the outer islands, they are often the only option. Minibusses usually cover shorter distances.

·      Automobile and motorcycle

You can rent an SUV without a driver for 80 000 – 150 000 IDR per day, but it is more expensive and difficult to obtain one the farther you are from the tourist radio. If the traveler is not able to pass through these chaotic roads, a vehicle and driver cost between 350 000 and 600 000 IDR per day, or even more in more remote areas. To rent a motorcycle or scooter costs between 25 000 and 50 000 IDR per day.

Traveling by bike in Indonesia

·      Bicycle

In major urban centers, you can rent bikes for between 15 000 and 50 000 IDR per day. You can do this in hotels, travel agencies and shops. Really high temperatures, frequent traffic jams and poor road conditions make long trips more demanding, but there are always brave people.

·      Local transport system

Traveling by tricycle in Indonesia

Public minibusses (known as bemos, colts and opelets) are ubiquitous. Bemos operate on standard routes (with rates between 3000 and 5000 IDR), but they can also be hired as taxis.

Traveling by train in Indonesia