Ways to Get Around Indonesia

train stationIndonesia is an amazing country full of life. A vacation in Indonesia can entail a lot of traveling. With more than 17,000 islands, there may be a lot of places you would want to visit before the end of your trip to this archipelago in Oceania. Delays are common in all forms of transport in Indonesia – including major flights, due to weather problems and other related conditions.

Car Hire

Car hires are available from many international and local companies. It is possible to hire a car or a limo service to have them take you around Indonesia. Cars can be hired for as little as $10 per day, and they come in handy when you want to traverse the many islands of Indonesia. Traffic flows on the left side of the road. There are thousands of scooters moving on the road and at times they can be a menace to smooth traffic.


If you are arriving in Indonesia from Europe or North America, you will most likely land at major international airports in either Bali or Jakarta. There are no non-stop flights to Indonesia from either continent. However, major airlines such as Singapore Airlines, KLM, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways offer a one or two-hop connection. You are given an option for a stopover in the main Asian cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Use of Train

You can see the beauty of Indonesia by train if you are in Java and Sumatra. However, the larger parts of Indonesia are not serviced by trains. There are affordable overnight trains that operate between Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Shorter routes operate between Surabaya and Yogyakarta. Although railways lines are not well connected, they can still get you to the main cities across the country. Trains offer multiple advantages over buses. Their schedules are more reliable with their stations being centrally located.

Use of Ferry

Indonesia is serviced by a vast network of ferries that range from simple wooden boats to large steel ones which can accommodate 700 passengers. Ferries from Ketapang in East Java depart a couple of times in a day and operate for 24 hours. Pelni, which is a state shipping company, runs the most reputable and reliable boats and transportation. They have routes that travel all across Indonesia with many ports of call.

Using Buses

indonesia busesIndonesian buses are very cheap and usually leave on time. There are options for booking your ticket a day or more in advance. The island of Java offers more comprehensive bus services from the town to other destinations. However, standards vary drastically across companies and destinations, with some travel times being painfully wrong. Many tourists on a tight budget choose to hire their cars and drivers, or to travel in mini bus shuttles that operate for reasonable per-person rates.

Apart from buses, you can tour Indonesia by use of scooters. All over Jakarta, Bali, and other towns, you can find scooter for hire in their parking and storefronts. Scooter rates vary, but range from $5 to $6 per day – pretty cheap, is it?