Jakarta’s Sukarno-Hatta Airport and Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport are the main international air gateways into Indonesia, with direct flights from several Australian cities – there are flights to Bali from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin. The archipelago also boasts international airports at Medan, Makassar, Manado, Surabaya and Yogyakarta – with connections mainly with other Southeast Asian airports.

Indonesia has good ferry connections with Malaysia and Singapore and there are occasional cargo boats from the Philippines.

A variety of ferries and speedboats depart from Penang, on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, to Medan and from Melaka in southern Malaysia to Dumai or Pekanbaru. You can also take ferries from Johor Bahru, in far southern Malaysia, and Singapore to Sumatra via the islands of Batam and Bintan; and from Port Klang, near Kuala Lumpur, to Tanjung Balai and Dumai in Sumatra.

There are two entry points between East Malaysia and Kalimantan. You can catch a bus between the capital of Malaysian Sarawak at Kuching to West Kalimantan’s capital, Pontianak; alternatively, you can cross from the East Malaysian state of Sabah by catching a two-or three-hour ferry to Pulau Nunukan or Tarakan from Tawau, two days’ bus ride southeast of Kota Kinabalu.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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