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Indonesia is vast, with patchy infrastructure getting around Indonesia can be slow. Making it impossible to see everything in one trip. It’s best to choose one, two maximum three regions and explore them thoroughly.


Java offers a reliable train network, while some parts of Sumatra are serviced by railways, and major islands typically have intercity bus services. PT Kereta Api operates rail lines across most of Java and some of Sumatra. In Java, trains connect the capital city of Jakarta with other main cities such as Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Bandung. Sumatra has a few lines centered around Medan in the north. Train travel is an excellent way to traverse these islands. Additionally, local and public buses run between major cities and points of interest, ranging from high-quality A/C buses in Java to rickety minibuses in West Papua.

Domestic Flights

With nearly 70 major airports in Indonesia, flying is often the easiest way to travel between islands. However, booking flights online can be challenging without an Indonesian credit card.

Ferries & Speedboats

Alternatively, ships provide another means of inter-island travel. Pelni, Indonesia’s national shipping company, operates twenty-five passenger ships on various routes between islands, mostly on a bi-weekly schedule. They offer different levels of service, from air-conditioned 2-person cabins to deck space. Although their website is outdated and schedules frequently change, Pelni ferries are affordable and can be booked up to a week in advance, so planning ahead is essential. For popular tourist routes, such as from Java to Bali or Bali to Flores, private companies run ferries and speedboats.

Scooters & Car Rental

For longer stays in one location, renting scooters or motorbikes is an option. Indonesian drivers are friendly but often exhibit a more daring driving style. To rent a scooter, you’ll need your national driving license; for renting a car, an international driving license is required, along with a special permit for motorbikes, available at police stations. Rental companies can assist with this, but it may take a few hours to complete the formalities. Typically, rental cars are small jeeps, like the Toyota Kijang, which seats up to six people.

Please note that we do not provide scooter and car rental services due to inadequate insurance coverage from the suppliers.

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