To get from one city to another or in between countries via ground or sea, you can try Bookaway for tickets. Bookaway is an aggregator and booking platform for ferries, trains, and buses, and will make planning easier.
Here’s what you need to know to plan the perfect Southeast Asia trip.
Get a new map
Have you ever found Indonesia on a world map? It’s that tiny little archipelago in Southeast Asia, near Singapore and Malaysia. If you believe what the map is telling you, Indonesia is a small country you can do in a short amount of time. In reality, it is the size of the continental United States and has a population of over 260 million people!
Because of practical difficulties of representing the globe on a flat map, as well as the fact that the map we all use was created by Europeans, many massive countries come across as tiny and vice versa. Dropping into Jakarta, thinking it will be a short drive or train ride to wherever you need to go, will not get you far.
You don’t need to rely on a whole new map or discard your Google Maps app. Rather, spend some time researching the actual geography of the region before deciding on where you want to go.
Decide on your comfort needs
Not everyone can be the sort of person who carries a backpack and sleeps in hostels. Some of us wish we had the character for it but simply cannot live without certain comforts. The same is true for getting from one place to another. You might think that a few hours in a minivan won’t be so bad, but find that it resembles what you imagine hell to be like.
There’s no shame in admitting you need a certain level of comfort. Traveling can become an unwanted hassle if you are going to be cringing at the dirtiness of a certain train or worrying about the habits of the car driver.
Basically, know your limits, and when you do book transport, make sure it will meet your minimum requirements.
Southeast Asia can be confusing for many travelers, because they go expecting everyone to speak English. In some cities, that is the reality, but in others it is simply false. So, while people in Kuala Lumpur everyone speaks English, the same is not true of Jakarta. In Bali your English needs will be catered for, but on Malaysian islands you may struggle.
Do your research on each particular place. You can have a much more satisfying experience if you are able to speak to the locals. In an ideal world, you would learn their language, but the truth is that’s simply impossible most of the time.