Getting Around - Internal Travel
Indonesia has a fine internal air system linking most of the larger
towns and cities to Jakarta. Domestic flights from
Jakarta depart from Terminal 1 at Soekarno-Hatta International
Airport (except Garuda Airlines flights, which leave from
Domestic operators include Garuda Indonesia (GA),
Bouraq Indonesia Airlines (BO), Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MZ)
and Air Asia.
The Asean Air Pass offers special fares on domestic
flights and access to varying numbers of cities dependent on which
ticket is purchased. Passes must be bought before travelling to
Indonesia at Garuda Indonesia offices in Australia,
Europe, Japan or the United States of America (not available inside
For prices and further information, contact Garuda Indonesia
(telephone: (020) 7467 8600; facimile: (020) 7467 8601);
Between Rp 8 and Rp 20,000 depending on airport
of departure; infants under the age of 2 are exempt.
PELINI, the state-owned shipping company,
has 6 newer ferries serving all the main ports across the archipelago.
Foreign liners also operate, however on an irregular basis. Luxury
cruise ships offer voyages to a wide range of destinations, including
the eastern islands (leaving from Bali). For further details, please
contact the Indonesia Tourism Promotion Office
(see Contact section).
Children under 3 years travel free. Children aged 3 to 7 years pay
half fare. There are nearly 7,000 kilometres or 4,350 miles of track
on Java, Madura and Sumatra.
In Sumatra, trains connect Belawan, Medan and Tanjong
Balai / Rantu Prapet (approximately 2 or 3 trains daily) in the
north, and Palembang and Panjang (usually 3 trains daily) in the
south. An extensive network runs throughout Java.
The Bima Express, which has restaurant and sleeping
cars, links Jakarta and Surabaya. There are also other express
rail services. There are three classes of travel, but first-class
is available only on principal expresses. There are some air conditioned
There are over 378,000 kilometres or 234,360 miles of roads in the
country, of which 28,500 kilometres or 17,670 miles are main or
national roads and 200 kilometres or 125 miles are motorways. Nearly
half of the network is paved and traffic drives on the left.
There are good roads within Java and to a smaller extent on Bali
and Sumatra. The other islands have reduced road systems, although
they are improving with tourism becoming more significant. Road
tolls are present on some major city roads and need to be paid for
by visitors if travelling by taxi. Chauffeur-driven cars are widely
available, with fares varying according to the destination.
There are regular bus services between most cities. Bus trips can
be made from Jakarta to Bali in 2 days. Indonesia
is the land of jam karet (literally ‘rubber time’) and
complicated routes or journeys concerning more than a single change
should not be attempted in a day. Bus fares run about the same as
3rd-class rail. Vehicles can be very crowded, although several of
them are air conditioned. The crew is usually made up of 3 conductors
who also act as touts. The ‘Bis Malam’are night buses
available on a number of routes, running in competition with the
railways. Pre-booking is absolutely essential. Special ‘travel
minibuses’ offering a door-to-door service are also
available in cities and major tourist areas. Visitors should note
that Indonesian bus drivers are famous for irresponsible driving.
Taxis are available in various large cities and some smaller towns.
Metered taxis are only found in the major tourist
areas and main cities. Taxi drivers do not always know how to get
to the required destination and passengers may have to tell them.
Like all public transportation vehicles, taxis own yellow number
plates. The government vehicles have red number plates, whilst the
private and rented vehicles have black number plates.
Car hire is available from many companies and from
taxi firms, which also provide a limousine service.
An International Driving Permit is required for driving in Indonesia.
There are 2 tricycle rickshaws options available
in Indonesia: the motorised version is called bajaj
(pronounced ‘baj-eye’), is a bright orange colour and
seats 2 passengers, with the driver in front. The becak (pronounced
‘be-chak’) is pedal-powered by a rider sitting behind
with a maximum of 2 passengers. Fares should be dealt with in advance.
Rickshaws are an extremely popular and cheap form of transportation
and can be hired almost everywhere. Becaks have now been prohibited
from Jakarta city centre.
Motorcycles and bicycles are available
and can be rented on a daily or weekly basis.
For motorcycles, an International Driving Licence
is needed and a helmet should be worn.
Bemos and Colts are small buses that seat
up to 10 people. These can be rented on a daily or weekly basis
for travel away from the city centres and fares should be negotiated
in advance. Horse carts can still be hired in rural
areas but are no longer available in Jakarta.
Jakarta is the only major city with an established
conventional bus service of any size. Double-decker's are also