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Travel Guide: Indonesia Getting Around

5th Jul 2016 2:01am | By Editor

From taxis to tuk-tuks, the best ways to get around.

Getting there

Garuda Indonesia is the national airline, flying directly into Bali’s Denpasar airport as well as into the capital, Jakarta, on the island of Java. Medan is the major hub on Sumatra, with flights linking it to many major cities within Asia.

You can also enter Indonesia via ferry from Singapore and Malaysia — in fact the trip from Kuala Lumpur to Medan takes just a few hours, and has been a major route for surfers and travel junkies needing to renew their Indonesian tourist visas.

Getting around

Beware that too ambitious an itinerary could turn a relaxing holiday into a frantic race. Buses or trains can be slow and crowded and many travellers opt to hire a car or moped (from as little as £2/£4 a day on Bali). Off the beaten track, especially in remote islands, travelling can be unpredictable and, occasionally, downright impossible.

Like most Asian countries, the local bus is the mainstay when it comes to transport. Buses link virtually every city in Indonesia with every other city and they are dirt cheap as well — just expect to share your seat with chickens and maybe a goat or two.

Otherwise, a high speed train links Bali with Jakarta and ferries also ply the deep water channels between the islands, though high-speed vessels are a rarity.

In Jakarta, tuk-tuks are a substitute for taxi cabs. Make sure you haggle with the driver for a decent price! Otherwise, taxis are common on Bali and while they have meters, it’s also better to agree on a price with the driver you embark.