Map of train and ferry routes in Indonesia, including Sumatra, Java and Bali
 

 I recommend a hotel price comparison:

Train times & fares on Java...

A train system links most main cities in Java, including Jakarta and Surabaya via several different routes.  Bookings are computerised, and can be made up to 30 days in advance.  Indonesian trains run on narrow-gauge 3' 6" tracks, and are usually reasonably punctual.  Here are the key trains on the most popular routes:

  Jakarta to Surabaya

  Jakarta to Bandung

  Jakarta to Yogyakarta

  Jakarta to Bali

 

  Surabaya to Jakarta

  Surabaya to Bandung

  Surabaya to Yogyakarta

  Surabaya to Bali

  How to check times & fares and buy tickets online

  Useful country information, time zone, currency, visas

Sumatra & Bali...

There is a combined train+ferry+bus service between Java and Bali.  Ferries link Java with Sumatra.

  Jakarta & Surabaya to Bali by train & ferry

  Jakarta to Sumatra by train & ferry

  Train travel on Sumatra

  Ferries to Borneo, Sulawesi & Papua

  Singapore & Malaysia to Indonesia by ferry...

  and overland travel to/from Europe


Useful country information

Train operator in Indonesia:

PT Kereta Api - website www.kereta-api.co.id.

 

 

Ferry operator in Indonesia:

 

Pelni - www.pelni.co.id

Time zone:

Java & Sumatra GMT+7, Bali & central Indonesia GMT+8

Eastern Indonesia GMT+9.

Dialling code:

 

+62

Currency:

£1 = approx 13,500 rupiah;  $1 = 8,800 rupiah.  Currency converter

Tourist information:

www.indonesia-tourism.com.

Hotels

 

Search hotels in Indonesia

Flights:

 

Search flights to Indonesia

Visas:

UK citizens need a visa for Indonesia.  It can be obtained on arrival at all major airports and some seaports.  See www.indonesianembassy.org.uk.

Page last updated:

18 June 2014


Train travel on Java

How to check train times & fares...

For train times and fares on Java, see the Indonesia Railways website www.kereta-api.co.id.  Hints for using this system:

Buy train tickets online...

 
 

Indonesian train ticket.  Photo courtesy of Scott Gasson

Buying tickets at the station...

Jakarta to Surabaya by train...

Lots of trains link Jakarta with Surabaya, via at least two major routes, but the best Jakarta-Surabaya train is the Argo Bromo Anggrek, which is Executive class only, modern and air-conditioned.  It has comfortable reclining seats with footrests.  There is both a daytime service and a time-effective overnight service.  However, the night trains no longer have sleepers, just seats.

 Jakarta ► Surabaya

 

 Surabaya ► Jakarta

Train number:

2

72

42

4

Train number:

1

71

41

3

Classes:

Eks

Eks, Bis

Eks

Eks

Classes:

Eks

Eks, Bis

Eks

Eks

Jakarta Gambir depart

09:30

-

16:20

21:30

Surabaya Pasar Turi depart

08:15

15:30

-

19:45

Jakarta Kota depart

|

15:30

|

|

Surabaya Gubeng arrive

|

|

16:35

|

Surabaya Gubeng arrive

|

|

04:15

|

Jakarta Kota arrive

|

02:21

|

|

Surabaya Pasar Turi arrive

18:30

02:20

-

06:30

Jakarta Gambir arrive

17:15

-

04:56

04:39

Trains 1, 2, 3 & 4 are the Argo Bromo Anggrek, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Trains 41 & 42 are the Bima, Eksekutif class only, air-conditioned.

Trains 71 & 72 are the Gumarang, Eksekutif & Bisnis class.

There are no sleepers on the overnight trains, unfortunately, only reclining seats.

Fare:  325,000 Rupiah (£25 or $38) one-way in Eksekutif class.  Prices vary by date & train, you can check fares at www.kereta-api.co.id.

The distance is 725 km (450 miles).  You can check train times & fares (in Indonesian) using the journey planner at www.kereta-api.co.id.

Executive class car on an 'Argo' train   Eksekutif seats on an 'Argo' train

An Eksecutif class car on an Argo train...

Photo courtesy of Indonesian young railfans community

 

Eksecutif class seating on an Argo train...

Photo courtesy of Indonesian young railfans community

Jakarta to Bandung by train...

There is a train every hour or two from Jakarta Gambir station to Bandung, with Eksekutif & Bisnis class, taking about 3 hours for the 173 km, fare about 175,000 Rupiah (£13 or $20) in Eksekutif.  See www.kereta-api.co.id for more details.

Jakarta to Yogyakarta by train...

 Jakarta ► Yogyakarta

 

 Yogyakarta ► Jakarta

Train number:

138

118

10*

50*

42

Train number:

117

135

49*

7*

41

Classes:

Eko

Bis

Eks

Eks

Eks

Classes:

Bis

Eko

Eks

Eks

Eks

Jakarta Gambir depart

-

-

08:15

09:05

16:20

Yogyakarta depart

08:45

09:48

08:00

09:26

21:20

Jakarta Pasar Senen depart

07:00

07:30

|

|

|

Jakarta Pasar Senen arrive

16:27

17:24

|

|

|

Yogyakarta arrive

14:57

15:12

15:24

16:21

23:42

Jakarta Gambir arrive

-

-

15:27

16:37

04:56

* = Recommended trains with most modern and comfortable cars.

Train 7 is the Argo Lawu, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Train 10 is the Argo Dwipangga, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Trains 41 & 42 are the Bima, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Trains 49 & 50 are the Taksaka, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Fares:  300,000 Rupiah (£22 or $34) one-way in Eksekutif class or 125,000 Rupiah (£10 or $15) in Bisnis, 125,000 Rp in Ekonomi class.  Prices vary by date & train, you can check fares at www.kereta-api.co.id.

The distance is 522 km (326 miles).  You can check train times & fares (in Indonesian) using the journey planner at www.kereta-api.co.id.

Executive class on the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta   Kitchen car on the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta

Eksecutif class seating on the air-conditioned train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, probably on one of the best trains number 10 or 40.  Photo courtesy of Patrick Gage

 

Dining-car on the Jakarta to Yogyakarta train.  You can eat in the dining-car at a counter with bar stools or be served a meal at your seat. Courtesy of Patrick Gage

Surabaya to Bandung by train...

 Bandung ► Surabaya

 

 Surabaya ► Bandung

Train number:

6

114

48

Train number:

 5

 47

113

Classes:

Eks

Bis

Eks

Classes:

Eks

Eks

Bis

Bandung depart

08:30

16:00

19:00

Surabaya Gubeng depart

07:00

18:10

19:00

Surabaya Gubeng arrive

20:15

05:48

07:26

Bandung arrive

18:44

06:41

08:26

Trains 5 & 6 are the Argo Wilis, air-conditioned, Eksekutif class only.  It's named after the Wilis mountain in eastern Java. 

Trains 47 & 48 are the Turangga, air-conditioned, Eksekutif class only.

Trains 113 & 114 are the Mutiara Selatan, Bisnis class only. 

Fare:  255,000 rupiah (£18 or $29) in Eksekutif class, 175,000 rupiah in Bisnis class.  Prices vary by date and train.

The distance is 696 km (435 miles).  You can check train times & fares (in Indonesian) using the journey planner at www.kereta-api.co.id.

Traveller William Bernstein reports:  "The Argo Wilis is one of the world's great trains in terms of scenery, particularly the first 100 km east of Bandung; if Bali had a railroad, this is what the scenery would look like.  Reserving in advance wasn't really necessary, service was about on a level with a local European second class train."

Traveller Edmund Carew travelled Surabaya-Bandung on the 'Argo Wilis':  "The aircon trains were only 50 to 75 per cent full: it was incredibly easy to book, with no queues at Surabaya or Bandung.  However, third class trains around Surabaya were packed as were local trains on the 'snappy' Bogor line from Jakartakota station.  The Indonesian railways make a real effort to run on time.  Mostly they seem to be no more than 15 minutes late, which is good although schedules between Surabaya and Bandung (hilly last bits) was only an average speed of 57 - 58 km/h."

Argo Wilis crossing a wooden viaduct between Bandung and Surabaya   Argo Wilis between Bandung and Surabaya

The Argo Wilis crossing a wooden viaduct between Bandung & Surabaya.  Courtesy of Aditya Nugraha

 

The Argo Wilis train 6 between Bandung and Surabaya...

Photo courtesy of Aditya Nugraha

Surabaya to Yogyakarta by train...

 Surabaya ► Yogyakarta

 

 Yogyakarta ► Surabaya

Train number:

5*

81

83

41*

47*

113

Train number:

48

82

6*

84

42

Classes:

Eks

Eks,Bis

Eks,Bis

Eks

Eks

Bis

Classes:

Eks

Eks,Bis

Eks

Eks,Bis

Eks

Surabaya Gubeng depart

07:00

08:15

15:35

16:35

18:10

19:00

Yogyakarta depart

02:49

06:55

16:00

16:50

23:51

Yogyakarta arrive

11:17

12:57

20:25

21:11

22:55

23:58

Surabaya Gubeng arrive

07:26

11:36

20:15

21:34

04:15

* = Recommended trains with most modern and comfortable cars.

Trains 5 & 6 are the Argo Wilis, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Trains 41 & 42 are the Bima, Eksekutif class only, fully air-conditioned.

Trains 47 & 48 are the Turangga, air-conditioned, Eksekutif class only.

Fares:  230,000 to 315,000 Rupiah in Eksekutif class, 75,000 to 160,000 Rupiah in Bisnis or Ekonomi class.  Prices vary by date & train, you can check fares for your train & date at www.kereta-api.co.id.

The distance is 308 km (193 miles).  You can check train times & fares (in Indonesian) using the journey planner at www.kereta-api.co.id.

Traveller William Bernstein reports:  "The Yogyakarta -Surabaya train was squeaky clean, the service was exquisite and the scenery as gorgeous as from the Bandung-Surabaya train.  The Indonesians have definitely upgraded their system, and particularly their day trains, from what we’ve seen, over the past 40 years."

Scenery from the train in Indonesia   Executive class on the train from Yogyakarta to Surabaya

Train 84 arrives at Surabaya Gubeng from Yogyakarta...  Photo courtesy of Axel Heolscher

 

Eksecutif class on the train from Yogyakarta to Surabaya.  Photo courtesy of Patrick Gage

Scenery from the train in Indonesia   Executive class on the train from Yogyakarta to Surabaya

Scenery from the train as it crosses Indonesia.  Rice fields and lush greenery...  Photo courtesy of Patrick Gage

 

Meal in Eksecutif class on the Argo Wilis from Yogyakarta to Surabaya.  Photo courtesy of Axel Heolscher

Ferry connections to Bali

How to get to Bali...

Take a comfortable air-conditioned train from to Jakarta Surabaya, then a train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi at the eastern tip of Java.  It's a short hop by bus or taxi to the ferry terminal at Ketapang, from where ferries sail round the clock every 15 minutes to Gilimanuk on Bali, from where frequent buses run to Bali's capital Denpasar.  Alternatively, Indonesian Railways offer a combined train+bus service, with ferry included.  Feedback if you use this route to reach Bali would be much appreciated!  Here are the details for both options:

Travel from Jakarta or Surabaya to Bali using a combined train + bus/ferry ticket...

This is the best option for travel to Bali.  The Indonesian Railways offer a combined train-ferry-bus ticket from Surabaya to Denpasar on Bali.  Although the overnight service is time-effective, it's worth taking the daytime Mutiara Timur train between Surabaya and Banyuwangi, as the scenery along the way is excellent.  Feedback would be welcome if you travel to Bali via this route.

 Jakarta & Surabaya ► Bali

 

 Bali ► Surabaya & Jakarta

Air-conditioned train from Jakarta to Surabaya

Train 42

Train 2

Air-conditioned bus from Bali to Banyuwangi

Bus

 Bus

Jakarta Gambir depart by train

16:20

09:30

Denpasar Ubung bus terminal depart by bus

04:00

14:45

Surabaya Gubeng arrive by train

04:15

 18:30*

Gilimanuk depart (bus on ferry)

??:??

??:??

Air-conditioned train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi

Train 85

Train 87

Ketapang arrive (bus on ferry)

??:??

??:??

Surabaya Gubeng depart by train

09:00

22:10

Banyuwangi Baru station arrive by bus (approx)

08:15?

20:15?

Banyuwangi Baru station arrive by train

15:20

04:28

Air-conditioned train from Banyuwangi to Surabaya

Train 86

 Train 88

Air-conditioned bus from Banyuwangi to Bali:

Bus

Bus

Banyuwangi Baru station depart by train

09:00

22:00

Banyuwangi Baru station depart by bus (awaits train)

15:30?

04:40?

Surabaya Gubeng arrive by train

15:21

04:25

Ketapang depart (bus on ferry)

??:??

??:??

Air-conditioned train from Surabaya to Jakarta

Train 41

Train 1

Gilimanuk arrive (bus on ferry)

??:??

??:??

Surabaya Gubeng depart by train

16:35

 08:15*

Denpasar Ubung bus terminal arrive by bus

20:22

09:30

Jakarta Gambir arrive by train

04:56

17:15

* = Trains 1 & 2 Argo Bromo Anggrek between Jakarta and Surabaya use Surabaya Pasar Turi station, so you'll need to transfer by bus or taxi between Pasar Turi and Gubeng stations.

Trains 85, 86 , 87 & 88 are the Mutiara Timur (Eastern Pearl), with Eksekutif class (air-conditioned) & Bisnis class (non-air-con).

Remember there's a 1 hour time difference between Java & Bali.

Combined train & bus & ferry fare:  Surabaya to Denpasar (Bali) costs 170,000 Rupiah (£13 or $21) by train & bus/ferry with Eksekutif class on the train, or 154,000 Rupiah (weekends) or 140,000 Rupiah (weekdays) with Bisnis class on the train.  You can check combined train+bus times and fares to and from Denpasar using the journey planner at www.kereta-api.co.id.

Buy tickets online:  You can buy combined train+bus tickets between Surabaya and Denpasar in either direction online at www.kereta-api.co.id.  It's in Indonesian, but using the Google Chrome browser will easily translate it for you, see the advice on online booking here

Buy tickets in person:  In Surabaya, you can buy tickets at the station.  In Denpasar, a travel agency in the Ubung bus terminal is an Indonesian Railways (Kerata Api) agent and can sell these tickets to Surabaya.  Alternatively, the Indonesian railway website lists the 'Rama Duta Bali' agency at Jl.Diponogoro Pertokoan Gontong Biru, No.150 Blok B No.04, Denpasar, Bali.

The train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi for the ferry to Bali   View back from the ferry to Banyuwangi as night falls...

On board the train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi, comfortable and air-conditioned  Photo courtesy of Stephen Choi and Chloe Rayfield, see their blog...

 

Looking back at Java as night falls and the ferry to Bali slowly pulls away from Banyuwangi... Photo courtesy of Stephen Choi and Chloe Rayfield, see their blog...

The ferry from Banuwangi on Java to Gilimanuk on Bali   The bus from Banyuwangi station to Denpasar on Bali

The ferry linking Banyuwangi (Java) with Gilimanuk (Bali)...  Photo courtesy of Ian Trout

 

The bus from Banywangi rail station to Denpasar...  Photo courtesy of Ian Trout

Travellers' reports...

Traveller Ian Trout reports (2013):  "Train 86 left right on time from Surabaya Gubeng at 09:00, arriving right on time at 16:00 in Banyuwangi Baru station.  The ride was just as Nancy Wehlau described.  On arrival in Banyuwangi Baru station, at the exit, a man is collecting your train tickets for Denpasar and tells you to wait for the bus.  I waited with about 8 other Indonesian travellers and 3 or 4 foreigners. Come 16:30, the man with our tickets says that the bus should arrive in 5 minutes.  At 16h45 the bus pulls up, a bus from the Damri bus company (a major Indonesian bus company throughout Java and Bali) and it is almost full of passengers coming from Jambir.  Big luggage gets placed behind the back row of seats at the back of the bus while small luggage can be placed in the overhead rack above the seat.  A ticket collector comes by to ask for your tickets but I just said “train” and he understood that I had already given mine to the man at the station. 15 minutes later we arrived at the ferry terminal, where the driver let some sales people get on to sell food, drinks & sunglasses.  Then the bus boarded the ferry and we got off to enjoy the crossing.  The ferry left at 17h30 and arrived in Bali at 18:00 (actually 19h00 Bali time due to the 1 hour time change).  On arrival in Bali, the bus stopped for 15 min at a police checkpoint and everyone got off the bus, but when I tried to get off the ticket collector beckoned me to stay seated.  We finally left at 18:15 for Denpasar.  The road was very curvy and had a lot of traffic, the driver drove as if the road was disappearing behind him; typical SE Asia driving.  Of course their was a movie or music playing from a flat screen during the whole trip (also typical).  Around 21h00 we arrived at a bus terminal in the middle of nowhere called 'Merkas' or 'Marcos' terminal.  Everyone got off, but as I was taking off my luggage, I asked the ticket collector where Ubung terminal was.  He beckoned me to reboard the bus and away we went.  We arrived at Denpasar Ubung terminal exactly at 21:45, 1 hour late."

Traveller Nancy Wehlau reports (2012):  "I took the train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi in March 2012.  The train was the Mutiara Timur; scheduled departure 9 am, actual departure 9:15, arrived Banyuwangi 4:15 pm.  It was noticeably shabbier than trains on previous routes such as the Argo Wilis Bandung-Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta-Surabaya, but it was comfortable enough.  Quite fiercely air-conditioned, in fact, and with somewhat grubby windows obscuring the view I spent large parts of the journey in between cars with the doors propped open taking photographs.  The first half of the journey is not particularly scenic, but the last 3 hours or so are stunning - descending down through coffee plantations with spectacular views of distant volcanoes.  Like other routes, tasty cooked food is available and the service personnel are friendly and helpful.  On arrival in Banyuwangi, representatives from the company that runs a bus service to Denpasar board the train and collect up anyone who is booked and/or interested."

Or put the journey together yourself...

Step 1, take a comfortable air-conditioned train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi...

 Surabaya ► Banyuwangi

 

 Banyuwangi ► Surabaya

Train number:

85

87

Train number:

86

 88

Surabaya Gubeng depart

09:00

22:10

Banyuwangi Baru depart

09:00

22:00

Banyuwangi Baru arrive

15:20

04:28

Surabaya Gubeng arrive

15:21

04:25

Train:  Trains 85, 86 , 87 & 88 are the Mutiara Timur (Eastern Pearl), with Eksekutif class (air-conditioned) & Bisnis class (non-air-con).

Fare:  105,000 rupiah (£8 or $13) in Eksekutif, 75,000 rupiah (£6 or $9) in Bisnis.  You can check fares at www.kereta-api.co.id.

How to buy tickets:  At the station or online.  For Jakarta to Surabaya trains, see above.

Step 2, take a ferry from Ketapang to Gilimanuk...

Banyuwangi Baru station is just 100 yards from Ketapang ferry terminal, a 2 minute walk.  Ferries sail from Ketapang to Gilimanuk every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day.  The ferry crossing takes 30-45 minutes.  The ferry fare is 6,000 rupiah for an adult foot passenger, about 50p or $1.  One ferry operator website, in Indonesian only, is www.indonesiaferry.co.id, although there are several operators.  Having left Surabaya by train at 09:00, arrived at Banyuwangi station at 16:05, you could easily be on a ferry by 17:00 arriving on Bali at Gilimanuk at 17:30.

Step 3, take a bus from Gilimanuk to Denpasar...

Local buses link the ferry terminal at Gilimanuk with Denpasar's Ubung bus terminal, distance 125 km or 78 miles, journey time 3 hours, fare around 30,000 to 50,000 rupiah (£2-£4 or $3-$6).

Ferry connections to Sumatra

Java to Sumatra by train & ferry, from around $6...

You can take a rustic local train the 151 km from Jakarta to the port of Merak, where the ferry terminal is next to the station.  Ferries then sail between Merak on Java and Bakauheni on the southern tip of Sumatra every 20 minutes right around the clock, the crossing taking between 90 and 120 minutes.  You can then find a local bus or taxi for the 94km 90-minute trip from Bakauheni to the main southern Sumatra town of Bandar Lampung, from where there's a twice-daily train to PalembangFeedback on any of these trains or ferries would be appreciated!

 Jakarta ► Bandar Lampung (Sumatra)

1) Jakarta to Merak by train, 151 km...

Train 272

Train 274

Jakarta Kota station depart by train

-

13:10

Jakarta Tanahabang station depart by train

07:38

13:41

Merak station arrive by train

11:44

17:41

2) Merak to Bakauheni by ferry, sailing every 20 minutes  

Ferry

Ferry

Merak (Java) depart by ferry

   12:30*

   18:30*

Bakauheni (Sumatra) arrive by ferry

   14:30*

   20:30*

3) Bakauheni to Bandar Lampung by bus or taxi, 94 km...

Bus/taxi

Bus/taxi

Bakauheni depart by bus or taxi

  **

**

Bandar Lampung arrive by bus or taxi

  **

**

Trains 271-274 between Jakarta & Merak are Ekonomi class only, fare 5,500 Rupiah ($1.50).  Somewhat rustic trains with basic seats but lots of local colour, see the photos below.  No reservation necessary or possible, just turn up, buy a ticket and hop on.  At Merak, the station is next to the ferry terminal.

* = Ferries sail between Merak & Bakauheni every 20 minutes around the clock, these times are just an illustration.  The crossing takes between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours.  See www.indonesiaferry.co.id.  Foot passenger fare 11,500 Rupiah, less than $2.  Just turn up & buy a ticket at the port.

** = The 94 km (59 mile) journey by bus or taxi between Bakauheni ferry port & Bandar Lampung takes 90 minutes.  There is lots of local transport available:  A bus from Bakauheni to Bandar Lampung's Rajabasa bus station costs around 20,000 Rupiah ($2.50).  An angkot shared taxi will cost around 35,000 Rupiah ($4), ask the driver to drop you off at your hotel.

Feedback if you use this route would be very welcome!

Use this timetable as a guide, but check all times when you're there.  Compiling it has been more like detective work than anything else!

 Bandar Lampung (Sumatra) ► Jakarta

1) Bandar Lampung to Bakaheuni by bus or taxi

Bus/taxi

Bus/taxi

Bandar Lampung depart by bus or taxi

**

**

Bakauheni arrive by bus or taxi

**

**

2) Bakauheni to Merak by ferry...

Ferry

Ferry

Bakauheni (Sumatra) depart by ferry

 03:20*

 11:30*

Merak (Java) arrive by ferry

 05:20*

 13:30*

3) Merak to Jakarta by train, 151 km...

Train 271

Train 273

Merak station depart by train

06:00

14:15

Jakarta Tanahabang station arrive by train

09:53

18:07

Jakarta Kota arrive by train

-

-

The train from Jakarta to Merak, for the ferry to Sumatra   On board the train from Jakarta to Merak

The Jakarta to Merak train, connecting with the ferry to Bakauheni on Sumatra.  It's a basic train with Ekonomi class seats only, but lots of local colour.  Photos courtesy of David Lupton.

Train & bus travel on Sumatra...

 
 

On the train between Palembang & Bandar Lampung.  Photo courtesy of Leigh-Chantelle

There are a handful of train services in Sumatra, but no system covering the whole island.  Map of Sumatra.  There's a twice-daily train to Palembang from Bandar Lampung, although just to confuse you the station at Bandar Lampung is known as Tanjungkarang-Telukbetung, its former name, even though it's been known as Bandar Lampung since 1983.  See the timetable below.  You can travel by bus from Palembang to Padang.  It's 900km, one bus daily, probably overnight, but no information is available on the bus times. 

 Bandar Lampung ► Palembang

Twice-daily train...

S2

S6

Tanjungkarang (Bandar Lampung) depart by train

21:00

09:00

Palembang Kertapati station arrive by train

05:42

17:10

 Palembang ► Bandar Lampung

Twice-daily train...

S5

S1

Palembang Kertapati station, depart by train

09:00

21:00

Tanjungkarang (Bandar Lampung) arrive by train

16:41

05:39

Trains S1, S2 have Eksekutif class (air-conditioned) and Bisnis class (non-air-con). 

Trains S5, S6 are Ekonomi class only.  All trains run every day. 

The station in Bandar Lampung is normally referred to as just 'Tanjungkarang' even though the town has been known as Bandar Lampung since 1983, and you'll often see the station in Palembang referred to as just 'Kertapati'.


Borneo, Sulawesi & Papua

Ferries between Java and Borneo...

Ferries run by www.pelni.co.id link Tanjong Priok (near Jakarta) with Pontianak on Borneo, also Semarang (Java) with Ketapang, Kumai & Sampit (Borneo), and Surabaya (Java) with Sampit, Kumai or Batulicin (Borneo), with each route operating on a handful of dates each month, see www.pelni.co.id.  Here is a Pelni ferry route map, dating from 2006 but still useful:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Pelni_Schifffahrtsnetz_2006.png.

Ferries between Java and Sulawesi, Java & Papua...

Ferries run by www.pelni.co.id link various ports on Java with various ports on Sulawesi and Papua, see www.pelni.co.id.  This Pelni ferry route map dates from 2006 but is still useful:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Pelni_Schifffahrtsnetz_2006.png.


Getting to Indonesia by ferry

Singapore or Malaysia to Jakarta, Indonesia...

You can travel between Singapore and Jakarta by ferry, with a change of ferry at Pulau Batam, an Indonesian island just off Singapore.  The service operates once a week.  This Penli ferry route map may be useful, even if outdated!

Ferry schedule Singapore or Johor Bahru ► Jakarta

Ferry schedule Jakarta ► Singapore or Johor Bahru 

Ferry fares & on-board accommodation...

How to buy ferry tickets...

Travellers' reports...

The Pelni ferry 'm/v Kelud' from Pula Batam to Jakarta...   Economy class sleeping area on the Pelni ferry m/v Kelud to Java

The ferry m/v Kelud about to sail from Sekupang to JakartaPhoto courtesy of Stephen Choi and Chloe Rayfield, see their blog about this ferry ride...

 

Economy class sleeping area.  First class cabins are also available.,. Photo courtesy of Stephen Choi and Chloe Rayfield, see their blog about this ferry ride...

Penang (Malaysia) to Medan (Sumatra, Indonesia)

Although the Langkawi-ferry website still shows this service, they in fact no longer operate a ferry on this route.

Europe to Indonesia without flying?

You can reach Indonesia overland from Europe, taking a train from London, Paris or Amsterdam to Moscow, the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing, the twice-weekly train from Beijing to Hanoi in Vietnam, train to Saigon, bus through Cambodia to Bangkok, and trains south to Singapore for the ferries to Java.  To piece together such a journey, start with the Trans-Siberian page.  Then see the Russia page for London-Moscow, and the Vietnam page for Beijing-Hanoi and Hanoi-Saigon.  The Cambodia page covers Saigon to Phnom Penh and on to Bangkok.  The Thailand page covers Bangkok to Singapore.

There are no ferries between Indonesia and Australia.


 


Find hotels in Jakarta, on Bali, or anywhere in Indonesia

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Flights

Overland travel by train & bus around Indonesia is an essential part of the experience, so once there, don't cheat and fly, stay on the ground!  But a long-haul flight might be unavoidable to reach it in the first place.  For flights to Jakarta, compare airlines at Skyscanner.com.

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Travel insurance

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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